Former India coach Anil Kumble on Saturday backed Mumbai Indians to tame Chennai Super Kings in the final of the IPL in Hyderabad.
“Mumbai has the edge (60-40). It has beaten Chennai thrice in this edition and looks balanced. Chennai has issues with its batting, and the middle order will have to fire if Chennai wants to win the final. It is going to be a cracking final. Watson and Harbhajan v Rohit and Hardik,” Kumble told Sportstar on the eve of the match.
He is part of the Select Dugout team that offers cricket fans analytical and predictive commentary on Star Sports Select.
On his role in the Dugout, Kumble said, “It's a wonderful concept. It allows you to be part of the game. We give our insights and read the game in way the captains and coaches do. We sort of get into their shoes.”
Former Australian batsman Dean Jones termed it a delightful experience. “It's good to listen to other great experts, how they see it. We educate the viewer and also entertain. The Dugout expands my horizons of the game.”
Jones, however, was critical of the pitches in this edition of the IPL. “This year some of the pitches (Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur) have been poor. They have not allowed the players to showcase their talent. Also the bowlers (overall) have to get smarter. They are way behind in the development and improvement aspect. If they don't learn fast they would get pulverized more.”
For New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris, the Dugout was a good concept. “We get more time (than commentators) to explain to the viewers what the batsmen and the bowlers are looking to do. In fact we ourselves learn when listening to greats like (Brian) Lara, (Kumara) Sangakkara, Mahela (Jayawardene) on how to play spin, the key to play the hook and pull. It helps the viewer enjoy the game more.”
Brett Lee noted, “The Dugout helps the viewer get ahead of the game. We all talk from our experience and look to predict what can happen. We get into the ring. I wish I had all this analysis when I was playing. We all could have been better players.”
Brendon McCullum, who smashed a 158 not out for RCB against KKR in the inaugural IPL match in 2008, picked Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard's catch to dismiss CSK's Suresh Raina as the “IPL Moment of 2019” and added, “I love the constant banter in the Dugout where we explain the nuances of the game to the general public. It's great fun.”
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