Exactly a year after the IPL hostage in the UAE, the T20 league continues there on Sunday, however in completely different circumstances. The 2020 plan was to quench the thirst of a particular cricket player, after normal life was halted by the epidemic. This time the IPL will be played between the Indian cricket team with superstars Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the middle characters.
Kohli’s demise as T20 captain after the October-November World Cup brings with it mistakes in the dressing room. The right decision may have been made but time is running out to close the action on the field.
The Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are the most popular in the play-offs, but history has changed according to their chief. It is about the roles of Kohli, Sharma and Doni and the national team beyond their IPL sides – Kohli is the departing captain, Sharma follows and Dhoni as T20 World Cup adviser is expected to make an equalizer during this critical phase of change.
Everyone wants to see how Kohli handles his captain’s extra attention and whether it affects his form or gives him strength. RCB, with 10 points and five wins in seven games, is firmly set to make play-offs and play the game under the top of Delhi Capitals (DC). Kohli’s challenge is to make sure they don’t slip towards the end of the business as a last resort when they lose their last five games, including Eliminator.
He noted that the first leg shows better balance. “If you look at our throwing that was our feature, the guys who go into the bowls at different stages do the job, and we have that kind of diversity in our attacks. We have a lot of hitting and throwing methods too, ”Kohli said in his post-match interview with the official broadcaster.
One of the reasons Kohli decided to step down as T20 captain was to focus on the strike. He is the highest level athlete in the IPL, but has had some seasons. In this edition, you have a rating of 33 for every fifty.
Former India wicket-keeper Kiran More feels that ending the T20 controversy over the captaincy will help Kohli to focus better. “It will also help him in the IPL, RCB is no No. 2 on the table.”
The MI defending champions recovered from a slow start and slept four. Sharma’s captain’s record is excellent, but his career is coming to an end. With the DC, CSK and RCB having created the right gap from the bottom four, it is MI that the fifth and sixth set-up Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings will look set to move out of the play-offs battle.
If KL Rahul can get the Punjab Kings into the top four, it will add to the claim that India may have a future captain. MI requires Sharma to avoid any disruption of being captain of the India T20 side. MI has fond memories of the 2020 IPL in the UAE where they came from the ever-leading T20 team with a flawless run in the title.
With the bat though Sharma had a mid-season game, hitting 332 runs while leading the MI title. His international status despite being at an all-time high, after playing very well in a series of overseas Tests in England.
MI is a very successful and dangerous team, the CSK tag will agree as the UAE second leg starts with a blockbuster dispute between them. CSK set the tone for the first leg with controls but one of their two defeats came from MI. That last match, which was played in Delhi before the IPL was suspended after Covid’s charges against multiple clubs, saw MI chase CSK’s 218/4 tally.
CSK will have to put back memories of their last campaign in the UAE, when they finished seventh. By beating lynchpin Suresh Raina back, this season, they are a stable team. Moen Ali’s No. 3 attempt is effective and openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaekwad give them a good start.
While Dhoni is back in the spotlight after becoming India’s T20 World Cup adviser, and he is the one who has the ability to deal with any setbacks. He loves to make a statement and this is a great opportunity to set a CSK record directly in the UAE.
In DC, the focus will be on R Ashwin, after his controversial exit from the Tests against England and a sudden return to the T20 squad. DC sits at the table with 12 points and six wins and is encouraged by the return of Shreyas Iyer after shoulder surgery. Rishabh Pant though will continue to lead. Sikhikhar Dhawan will have a point to prove after losing his place in the T20 squad. He is the leading scorer in the tournament with 380 runs. His record in the UAE is also impressive, and he became the first to hit hundreds of consecutive centuries in the IPL last year.
Their fast bowlers will love to play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada were killed for the last time there. Nortje, 27, has delivered the fastest delivery to the IPL (156.22 kph) against the Rajasthan Royals. He threw second and third very fast – 155.21 and 154.74 kph.
The reasons are huge, and if the wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are in possession and beating as a last resort, DC will look to exploit it. The same can be said of the MI of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. The competition between Rabada-Nortje and Bumrah-Boult has illuminated the 2020 IPL with a high-frequency wicket-taker. They were the top four wickets and Rabada (30) finished top, ahead of Bumrah (27), Boult (25) and Nortje (22).
Among the spinners, all eyes will be on how RCB leggie Yuzvendra Chahal responds. Voters picked up a large phone and left him out of the T20 World Cup team and his MI teammate Rahul Chahar was taken away because he was lifting the bowls so fast.
Chahal has already established himself in the UAE as the leading wicket-taker among the last spinners with 21 wickets in 15 matches. Chahar had 15 off 15.
The Indian leg was very beneficial for domestic workers. Harshal Patel (RCB), Chetan Sakariya (RR), Arshdeep Singh (Punjab Kings) and Avesh Khan (DC) donated to their teams. They basically rely on the opposite and on control. In the slow-moving Indian wickets their cutters were very successful as the ball held the top. Whether they can work in the UAE will be widely watched.
Unlike last season when there was little to separate teams and the qualifying race went down the fence, this time the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have a huge gap to reduce. SRH is bottom of the table with one win in seven games and KKR has won twice in two. A sharp rise in SRH after finishing third last year. KKR lost fourth place at run-rate.
WORLD CUP BUILD-UP
The IPL is also gaining traction because all countries with difficult access to top-level players see it as a prelude to the T20 World Cup in October-November. Ironically, the ICC event starts later in the day at the same venues. Doubts as to whether it is a good preparation are rising as some of the players play various roles in their franchises with national teams. Former India player, coach and collector, Madan Lal, nevertheless said: “There is nothing better than training with the game. You can gain confidence once you get deep into the ground and play. They will face a variety of bowling attacks. The important thing is that your form should be good and you should be good at hitting the ball. It will be good preparations and they will be ready when the World Cup comes. ”