The 2020 edition of the much-awaited Indian Premier League will commence within a week time in the foreign land of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi will be sharing the workload of hosting the entirety of the tournament. Many pundits have already opined about the difficulties which the batsmen will be facing on slow and square-turner pitches in the UAE.
Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has recently asserted that big hitters like Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Chris Lynn will have a tough time in the Gulf nation.
“I think the teams who have a good spin department will do well, that is the first thing,” Raja said on a YouTube show Cric Cast.
“The big-hitters will struggle. Like Lynn, Pollard or Pandya brothers, Hardik Pandya probably although he plays spin well. But I feel that the team selection in this IPL will be slightly different. Fast bowling will be difficult, you will see a lot of variations,” he added.
“IPL without the buzz of the crowd is incomplete”’: Raja
The cricketer-turned commentator reckoned that lack of spectators, coupled with the players’ confinement within bio-secure bubbles, would surely affect their performances in IPL 2020.
“And behind closed doors, what will be the impact, because you will have to almost remain like a prisoner in a bio-secure environment and put up your best performance. So it becomes a difficult task. Because IPL without the buzz of the crowd is incomplete,” Raja said.
The 58-year-old further added that some of the teams like Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would certainly miss the home advantage which they used to have back in India.
“So big teams will be playing away from their homes where they had a lot of advantage, for e.g. Kolkata Knight Riders had an advantage of playing at the Eden Gardens where the crowd support helps them in crunch moments. Similarly, RCB plays in Bangalore, who get an advantage there,” concluded Raja.