In one of the major developments in regards to IPL 2020 being hosted in UAE, the news comes as a huge respite for all the cricket fans across the globe. Not only does it offer a great hope for cricket to return in the sub-continent but will also kickstart a busy cricket schedule for the Indian cricket. After ICC postponed the T20 World Cup 2020 which was scheduled to be played in Australia, BCCI got a window to proceed with the already postponed 13th edition of the IPL in September this year.
While the COVID-19 situation in India is not highly encouraging, BCCI decided to shift IPL 2020 to be hosted in UAE for this year. IPL 2020 will kickstart in UAE from September 19 with the IPL final expected to be played on November 8. The 51-day tournament will not only prevent franchises from incurring a huge loss this year but will also promote young prospects to yet again showcase their talent at the big stage.
With the tournament being shifted to UAE, it will force a change of strategies for all the various franchise depending upon the kind of pitches and conditions that will be on offer in UAE.
Here's a look at 5 teams which can greatly benefit from the IPL being hosted in UAE for the 13th season:
1. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)
We all know what impact Glenn Maxwell made in the UAE leg of IPL 2014. He had a brilliant run with the bat on some of the flattest pitches in the UAE. He single-handedly won games for his side with three consecutive Man of the match performances. With the entire tournament being shifted to UAE, the Kings XI Punjab dugout will hope the ‘Big-Show' to fire all cylinders and lit up the tournament with his performances.
Also, Punjab has great death bowling recruits including the likes of Sheldon Cotrell and Chris Jordon. The pitches in UAE might assist spinners more than the pacers. And with Anil Kumble at the helm as the head coach of KXIP, spinners can be expected to deliver the goods in conditions rather conducive to spin bowling.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is one of the few sides that are yet to win an IPL trophy. But they would assume for a great chance this time around with acquisition of several quality overseas players. Over the years, RCB's main concern has been their death bowling which they might have addressed at the IPL 2020 auction table with the inclusion of Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, and Kane Richardson.
A strong overseas pace department will allow them to start with Indian bowlers like Washington Sundar and Umesh Yadav. This gives them the liberty to use their experienced overseas players in the death overs. Yuzvendra Chahal was excellent in the games he played in UAE in IPL 2014 and the team will yet again rely upon him to lead the spin attack.
3. Delhi Capitals (DC)
Like RCB and KXIP, Delhi Capitals would also like to get their hands on the elusive IPL trophy that has eluded them for nearly twelve years now. Delhi Capitals was one of the teams to beat in last year's IPL. With a brilliant support staff and some quality gun players in the squad, the Capitals finished third-best in IPL 2019.
Their top-order boasts of Indian international players, and along with a great spin bowling core, the team will be one of the contenders for the IPL trophy. They have a crop of good quality fast bowlers and a young and inspirational captain in Shreyas Iyer. The pitches tend to assist spin to a large extent in the UAE which augurs well for DC.
4. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
It is often tough to look beyond Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as one of the supreme contenders for the IPL title. The Chennai-based franchise has been one of the most consistent teams in the IPL history. With MS Dhoni at the helm, CSK never fails in proving wrong the critics with stupendous IPL season year after year. Even when IPL 2020 is been shifted to UAE, offers great hope to CSK fans for their fourth IPL title.
With some of the most experienced spinners in their ranks, CSK will yet again be one of the toughest teams to beat in the competition. The Yellow Army will greatly benefit from the tournament being played in UAE and will try to exploit the spin-friendly conditions to their advantage more than the other teams.
5. Mumbai Indians (MI)
The defending IPL champions, Mumbai Indians have a knack of finding ways to get the last-four at the business end of most IPL seasons. With one of the most settled units among all the IPL 2020 squads, Mumbai will always have a chance irrespective of the conditions they play in. Led by an experienced leader in Rohit Sharma, Mumbai boasts of some quality match-winners who can turn up on their day to win the game for the team.
While most teams will look to strategize their planning centred around their strengths, it will be interesting to see which teams finally benefit from the tournament being hosted in UAE.