Former Australian speedster Brett Lee has tipped three-time champions Chennai Super Kings to win the 13th IPL, saying the variety in their spin department gives them an advantage in the UAE conditions. The 13th IPL, which was shifted to UAE due to rising COVID-19 cases in India, will get underway in Abu Dhabi on Saturday with a clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.Also Read - IPL 2022 Retention LIVE Updates: Bairstow, Warner Part Ways With SRH; RCB Retain Kohli, Maxwell, Siraj
Much to the delight of the fans, Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be back in action after more than a year-long hiatus from competitive cricket. Lee believes Chennai’s slow ball bowlers will make the difference on UAE wickets and will be tough to hit. “They (CSK) are up there. I have picked them to win and I think CSK have a good chance because of their spin attack,” Lee said on Star Sports’ show Game Plan. Also Read - IPL 2022 Retention: KL Rahul to Become Most Expensive Player in IPL History With Rs 20 Crore Salary? Watch Video to Find Out
“With Santner, Jadeja needs to step up and be the no.1 spinner and CSK have got great variety and none of the spinners are same, so they are at an advantage for the conditions in the UAE as the tournament progresses.” Also Read - IPL 2022 Retention: David Warner, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina to Hardik Pandya; Best Released XI Who Could Fetch Big at Mega Auction
Four-time winners Mumbai Indian will miss the services of their bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga who opted out of the tournament citing personal reasons. However, the 43-year-old Lee said he has no doubts that Jasprit Bumrah will be able to fill in the shoes of the experienced seamer.
“I am always Bumrah’s fan since he burst onto the scene some years ago. He has got a different bowling action, he pushes the ball in, and can swing the ball both ways. He is good with the new ball but I like him with the old ball and that’s why he can fill the shoes of Malinga and can bowl at death overs,” he said.
“He can bowl at 140kmph and zoom the ball in at the batsman’s feet. He is bowling the yorkers consistently and there are very less bowlers like that, so he can fill those shoes.”
Lee, who has 310 wickets in 76 Tests and 380 scalps in 221 ODIs, said he considers Mumbai Indians in his top four. “They have to be. Champions of last year, they have got a good squad,” he said when asked about MI’s prospect this year.
“Pollard is in form and we know what Rohit can do. They have Jasprit Bumrah, and some good spinners and some power hitters as well, so yes, they are in my top four.”