New Delhi: The ongoing season of the Indian Premier League has reached its halfway point, as the majority of the teams have played seven out of the 14 league stage matches. As of now, all 10 sides have a chance to win the title, and according to former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan if Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians want to win the record-extending sixth IPL title this year than a 34-year-old spinner, who is the part of the squad must finish as the leading wicket taker.
The spinner about whom Pathan is talking is none other than his former Indian teammate Piyush Chawla, who has been in red-hot form for MI this year. In six matches of the IPL 2023, he has picked up nine wickets, which is the most by any MI bowler, and he sits at No. 11 on the list of leading wicket takers this season. Chawla has bowled at an impressive economy rate of 6.83, and that’s why Pathan feels if MI wants to win the title, they will need to back Chawla.
Speaking on the Star Sports Cricket Live show, Pathan said, “Piyush Chawla is MI’s best bowler. He is showing all his experience and bowling in the right areas. Mumbai needs to back him, and for MI to do well, Chawla will have to be the highest wicket-taker in the TATA IPL.”
Chawla, who has picked up a total of 166 wickets in 171 IPL matches played till date, will be in action on Tuesday (April 25) for MI against defending champions Gujarat Titans in Match No. 35 of IPL 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Speaking about the defending champions, Pathan praised the balance on the Gujarat Titans’ side and lauded coach Ashish Nehra’s execution of plans.
“Gujarat Titans look like a very strong team this season as well. Their vision and execution in the last season are visible in this season as well, and that makes them a dangerous side,” he said.
With four wins and two defeats from six matches played so far this year, the Hardik Pandya-led side sits at the No. 4 position in the IPL 2023 points table, whereas with three wins and as many defeats, MI occupy the No. 7 spot.