Since BCCI has put an end to the rollicking debate of whether to conduct the Indian Premier League during this pandemic situation, this IPL edition in UAE will definitely be a broader worth for the loyal cricket fans who are desperately seeking for high octane entertainment. While the IPL is gearing to set its foot on to showcase more dramas, the tournament players must be setting their mindset in the apt way to adapt to the conditions of the UAE grounds.
Different dimensions give different outputs. Dry and slow wickets – going to transmogrify the form of the IPL. Only the flat wickets and hot conditions are going to be the similarities from the Indian conditions. Other than that, the UAE grounds have their own characteristics, which will significantly impact the way the tournament will be played. The bigger dimension of Abu Dhabi ground and the small outfields of Dubai and Sharjah grounds will have many differences to get adapted to for the players. Mainly for the batsmen.
Batting won’t be much easier like it is in India. It was also seen in the past that as the tournament gets progress, the UAE pitches will start getting low run-scoring surfaces because of the sheen and cracks that may develop on it. Consequently, it troubles the batters in getting the ball so easily on to the bat. Unfortunately, there is no way for the batters other than biting the hard bullet.
The batsmen’s favourite on the upshots of this modern times, which is a go-to option for most T20 specialists, will be held before a question mark on the pudding tracks for this edition. And also, with the outfield being comparatively less quick than that of India, the batsmen would be forced to run harder, which won’t be a trouble for the modern times’ athletic cricketers.
It has always been ‘Winning the toss and choosing to bat first’ kind of pitches in UAE so far. New ball batting can excite the viewers with the ball carrying on so easily. But the middle overs will have its tricks to reduce the run-scoring elements, especially when the bowling side possesses quality spinners. Therefore, the inclusion of better batters against the spin bowling might batten the batting side.
Since this tournament is flamboyant with its night games, the dew factor will play a role but not like it is on Indian grounds. Spinners have this tightrope to walk in T20s, albeit they will be the key for the bowling side with the conditions of UAE mostly favoring them. Particularly the leg spinners will have their go in this tournament as the grounds are slightly bigger than Indian grounds.
Hot conditions. And there is no escape from it. It will be a tremendous challenge for the players to keep themselves fit throughout the tournament. The fast bowlers had to bend their backs to get some assists from the featherbed surfaces. Thanks to the shorter format, which doesn’t absorb the full potential of the players.
One thing to cherish for the fast bowlers will be the new ball. The new ball’s swing will have a significant role as usual as it is in any part of the world. Smarter teams might urge for the early breakthroughs. But unfortunately, the seam movement from fast bowlers can be rocket science in this edition.
Most importantly, the reduction of runs during the Powerplays will play a vital role for the bowling side, and it had been so when Pakistan and UAE played their home T20s in these conditions against other T20 nations for the last few years.
Since the powerplay overs need to be extracted with more productivity, sending in pinch hitters at the top can be surprising. Bringing in proper new ball hitters may find ways to make better use of the field restrictions. Besides, the death over cameos like the ones which Hardik Pandey and Andre Russell did in the last year isn’t going to be a cakewalk this time for sure. It needs more adaptability.
Nevertheless, once the script of pitches and conditions are learnt, the competition will ignite with the battle of brains and brawn. Even though there are lots of new challenges, IPL has never missed its magic from the franchises. The analysis department of every team is the underlying element of innovation in the IPL. In the case of players, most of them are proven talents. More than 5 match-winners per side can be found, who have done it in international stages. And this is what separates IPL from other leagues. So the quality they could bring in is always above the expectation meter, and it has once again become the intriguing factor this time, in this edition.
Pure entertainment awaits… let’s get ready to experience.