In his exclusive face-off with Criclytics, Cricket.com’s AI-driven prediction platform, Brian Lara has predicted his fellow Trinidadian Nicholas Pooran to be a huge success in the forthcoming IPL, set to kick-start in Chennai on April 9 (Friday).
One of the finest T20 players of the generation, Pooran was one of the rare positives in the Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab) IPL campaign last year, scoring 353 runs at a brilliant strike rate of 169.71. As another season beckons, Punjab have pinned their hope on the Trinidadian to come big as does Lara, who picked Pooran along with Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul to be the three most successful batsmen for this season.
“I would like Nicholas Pooran to have a great season. We all know what a big talent he is. He has of course given some sporadic performances but this year I want to have a really big season and challenge the top spot in terms of runs. At present, I enjoyed watching Suryakumar Yadav last year and it is no secret that KL Rahul is one of my favourite players,” Lara told Cricket.com.
There have been multiple Covid-19 cases detected ahead of the IPL 2021 while Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood pulled out of the league, citing bubble fatigue. Lara understands that bubbles might have an impact on players’ mental health but the team’s result will play a huge role in navigating through the situation.
“It’s going to be tough. We had a little bit of a hint when the IPL happened last year in UAE. It’s back in India now. You know how the crowds in India are. They are fanatical, nearly every game there’s 50,000 people in venues. It’s going to be a little bit strange without them but the players have got a little bit accustomed to it. Guys are moving from quarantine to quarantine, bubble to bubble, I feel somedays [they] can be affected by it,” the stylish left-hander of the yore added,
“If the teams are winning, they are continuing to win. But if the team is losing, the players would just want to go home. It all depends on how the team is performing and the players’ interest attached to the result,” Lara, who will be one of the most prominent names on Cricket.com’s Man vs Machine Show during the IPL 2021, said.
Virat Kohli already announced that he would be opening for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season and that decision has been received with mixed reactions. The former Windies skipper stated that it is a wise decision from the RCB management to open with someone’s calibre of Kohli.
“Opening the batting allows him to bat more overs. I think it is the best position for the best batsman. I also did that in the 1992 World Cup. Of course, if Virat Kohli loses his wicket early, it puts pressure on the team but if he can give himself the best chance, then it will be a huge benefit for the team. In my opinion, this is a very wise decision.”