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Cricket IPL Intermission

IPL Intermission

The second wave of COVID-19 has brought the sports festival of India to a halt. The only relieving news for the cricket fans is that the 14th edition has not been cancelled, only postponed. The decision was made after players from various franchises tested positive inside their bio-bubble in a span of 2 days. List includes Varun Chakravarthy(KKR), Sandeep Warrier (KKR), Amit Mishra(DC), Wriddhiman Saha(SRH) and CSK staff members.

What’s next?

BCCI is holding talks to host the remainder of the tournament in England which is to be spread across 2 sessions- before and after the T20 World Cup.

Ashes & T20 WC will ensure that ECB manage their players with more care this busy year and will most likely make their squad unavailable.

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Story So far

Below is the logistics since 2020 to provide a deeper look into the current form as it happened within the last 7 months and moreover, outside India.

What if England hosts?

Let’s look at the team dynamics and road ahead if IPL were to happen in the United Kingdom which is second only to New Zealand (or South Africa) in terms of batting friendly pitches.

Teams with Advantage

Capitals will be the front-runners with a pace-heavy procession from bowling side and a Prithvi Shaw exhibition from batting side of things. Shaw, Hetmyer & Steven should relish English conditions along with the pace attack of Rabada-Nortje-Avesh/Ishant.

Dhawan has been in phenomenal touch since 2020 and had a century in England in 2019 World Cup before getting ruled out. Likes pace on the bat and should have no problem to get going. In all probability, he would end up as the leading run-scorer in the season but his anchor role won’t decide the fate of the games as much as Shaw’s onslaughts.

Challengers is expected to fare well with Swing & Seam attack spearheaded by Siraj and Saini. Siraj has been sensational in every role while Jameson has been hitting the deck hard and will extract decent swing. Harshal’s change of pace could come in handy on those flatter decks while Christian/Sams will feel much more at home. VK-AB-Maxi trio has the advantage of enough exposure on England tracks in recent times and, at the very least, expect 2 of them to make it count.

Knights could turn things around with inclusion of Lockie Ferguson’s raw pace to go with a so-far mildly effective Cummins. Russell and Prasidh can manage other 6 or 7 out of 12 overs, leaving the rest for Varun/Narine. Morgan’s absence could prove a blessing in disguise as it opens up a crucial overseas spot for an in-form Seifert, maybe? This window comes at the cost of Morgan’s captaincy which failed to make a difference and his batting which has been rather poor in the last 10 T20s.

Punjab Kings will be relieved to have their Warner back after the surgery which happened in the first week of May. KL enjoys English conditions and has an unbeaten T20i century at Manchester. High chances of him procuring the orange cap at the end if he unleashes even 60% of his 2018-self.
Meredith/Jhye/Shami could be called an ideal attack for the conditions given the rhythm is decent. Pooran might find his hitting spot after a forgettable Indian-leg of this season where he registered 4 ducks in just 6 innings.

Teams with Disadvantage

Super Kings feed a lot on home advantage and will take the biggest hit amid venue change. If we were to go by the trait, CSK doesn’t do well outside India. The spin prowess came undone in UAE at IPL2020 where CSK registered the worst Economy by a spin bowling unit. Shardul has been out of form and Chahar has blown hot and cold this season so far. It will be interesting to see who shares the new ball with Deepak in Sam Curran’s expense if Hazelwood isn’t included.
Even though it’s too late to affect their Playoff chances, it’s unlikely that they will overcome the pace-attack of DC and MI in Playoffs on those tracks.

Royals will lose the remainder of Playoff chances to the overseas spot conundrum. Buttler & Stokes have been RR’s superstars and its fate rides a lot on how the English duo fare. Samson is short on choices from the bench who could make substantial impact except for Livingstone who will be playing at home. Morris, Sakariya and Tyagi should shine but the remaining 8 overs will be a weak spot.

Sunrisers have just 1 win from the first 7 games so far. 6 teams in the past have had the same start to an IPL season and all of them finished at the bottom of the table except for PBKS last year. It’s almost too late for any change in their fortune.
Although fans will be relieved with the absence of English openers as it means their legend gets to make the come-back after the horrific call of dropping in their last league match. Hyderabad’s medium paced attack might take the worst beating of the season given the tracks and conditions. Their spin-friendly bench will not be so friendly in the UK and their middle order fire-power might just not be enough.

No Impact

Mumbai are too strong and balanced to be fazed by change in opponents or conditions. Tailor-cut conditions for Boult who will be making the new ball talk even more. Jansen and Nile should be more than enough around an all-season Bumrah. Rohit will be under spotlight after his Heroics in the World Cup in England. Their batting is coming to terms after typical early fall-outs every season. It is usually this time of the season when MI peaks. They win 63.4% of the games in the 2nd half of the season which is the highest in the history of the league. Expect nothing different this time around and watch them march to get their 6th title in the last 9 years.