IPL appetiser before main course of T20 World Cup

© Provided by The Indian Express

The restart of the Indian Premier League (IPL) doesn’t feel like a restart at all. It does not feel like the second half of a tournament of two (forced) halves. But like a different tournament altogether, an un-hyped sequel, a related but different product altogether, without the narrative arcs of catharsis and escapism that had prefaced the prequel.

The first part is a hazy memory, made to look more distant by the intervening sport-filled five months. In this span, India lost the one-off World Test Championship final, reset and prevailed in a nail-biting Test series in England, and if you veer away from cricket, clasped their first-ever Olympic gold medal in athletics. The time-lapse of 144 days looks longer than it is.

Apart from the points table and stats board that serve as reminders of the past, it is, practically and fundamentally, a fresh tournament. The venues are different, some of the teams wear different looks, all of them have to start anew, reacquaint themselves to the mood and tempo of the most challenging franchise-T20 tournament. Some players are flying straight after gruelling Test matches, some from The Hundred tournament in England, and others from hibernation. And before they get warmed up to IPL-2021, Version 2.0, it’s nearly over — 30 games are break-necked into 27 days.

What has not changed is the lens through which IPL has been viewed. The lens of the World Cup. What they would see, or want to see through the glasses, though would be different. Back in the summer, it was an audition of sorts for the World Cup. Teams and strategies were semi-formed, there were spots up for grabs, a wider pool of players to be watched, assessed and analysed. It was a platform for a new star to burst forth, an avenue for out-of-form veterans to restore their touch, and needless to say, acquire some familiarity with the conditions (though India in May and October could be vastly dissimilar). In the April-May instalment, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had encouraged most of its T20 regulars to compete in the IPL, even if it meant missing out on games against the touring New Zealanders, or a chunk of the series in India before that, because of the looming T20 World Cup. Every team wanted every IPL-contracted player of theirs to be in India.

…to be continued 🏆🔥#OneFamily #MumbaiIndians #IPL2021 pic.twitter.com/5GyIm3euVy

— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 18, 2021

Changed circumstances

Five months on, with all teams having filtered their squad, the IPL assumes the purpose of a dress rehearsal, or an extended, competitive warm-up. Like an ATP tournament before the Grand Slams, or a pitstop to check the fuel and gear of a race car.

Players going to the World Cup would look to adapt as much as they could to the conditions, gather local expertise of pitches, climate and conditions, see how fine-tuned they are, gauge what would work and what might not, what lengths or what strokes could reap the maximum rewards, and study some of their prospective adversaries. Familiarising with venues where they could play a bulk of their matches could give players and teams a discernible edge in the World Cup.

It helps that teams play at least a couple of games at every venue, so in effect when the World Cup arrives most of the players will have experienced playing on most surfaces. Though pitches for a particular game could be different, the difference would not be enormous. Sharjah has the flattest pitch and shortest boundaries, not coincidentally the most high-scoring venue of all. Hence, batsmen here would fancy the aerial route more than at others. Abu Dhabi tends to get sluggish towards the back-end of tournaments and has the largest ground dimensions. It’s where spinners would be the most dangerous, while fast bowlers would have a bit of a breeze to work with. Dubai is the slipperiest and bounciest of the surfaces in the Emirates, the groundsmen leave a bit of grass, which has facilitated movement with the new ball. Hence, fast bowlers have (relatively) enjoyed bowling on this ground than the other two.

The possibility of gaining first-hand knowledge pleases South Africa coach Mark Boucher. “They’ll be picking up bits of information about playing in those conditions that will really get them ready for a big tournament and if they manage themselves well and get some good time in the nets and get used to facilities, it will stand us in good stead,” he said recently.

Some believe it would level out the playing field too, more so as the Emirates had hosted the league earlier too. So feels Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell: “Probably makes it a little bit easier for there not to be as much of a home ground advantage. For the IPL to be there, to have a lot of international players that are potentially going to be in that World Cup over there playing, I think it’s probably levelled the playing field a fair bit.”

IPL 2021, The RCB Story So Far

With our first match in 🇦🇪 just a couple of days away, here’s a recap of what happened in the first half of #IPL2021 earlier this year.#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers pic.twitter.com/Ox3kBBXQR6

— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 18, 2021

Indian edge

But even in the perceived absence of home advantage, India seem perceptibly advantaged. First, all of their squad players are expected to start every match. It cannot be said of others, some of whom even if they are undroppable for their country, are dispensable for their franchise, and often lose out in the juggle of overseas players. For instance, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Jason Holder, or Delhi Capitals’ Shimron Hetmyer and Steve Smith. Moreover, the roles of India’s personnel for the franchises are more or less the same as they are for the country. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are openers for their country and club, Jasprit Bumrah is the death-bowler for both India and Mumbai Indians. Hardik Pandya would stride out for late-over blitzes, Ravindra Jadeja would apply the middle-over choke. Their acts for the country would be an extension of their franchise role.

It might be the case for many overseas players — some of their roles vary. For example, Delhi Capitals would expect Smith to be more explosive than he could be for Australia, for whom he is the stabiliser (by T20 metrics) around whom bigger hitters like David Warner and Glenn Maxwell thunder. Holder opens the bowling for West Indies, searching for early wickets, while for Sunrisers, he delivers the stock bowler act. Role-acquaintance in this format, for athletes of the highest pedigree, is often overstated, but the power of subtle factors can’t be understated either.

Yet, most national coaches and players would be delighted at this prospect of watching their players locked in a competitive tournament just ahead of the World Cup on the same set of grounds. By the time they assemble for the World Cup tilt, they already have a core in the groove, aware and acclimatised to the conditions, match-fit and match-ready. Burning out too soon is not a fear either, as six-seven games would not leave much emotional or physical toll on them, even for the fast bowlers. It could, thus, pave the path towards an open, intense and high-quality World Cup.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Live Eredivisie: Feyenoord starts with Dessers and Senesi against RKC

Follow the matches in the Eredivisie closely here with all statistics, standings and goalscorers. Feyenoord starts on Saturday afternoon for the first time with Cyriel Dessers in the base. Trainer ... Read more »

‘Iceman' Files For Divorce After Recent Arrest

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell has filed for divorce from his wife following a domestic violence arrest earlier this week. © Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images Liddell, who ... Read more »

Ali Abdelaziz believes Nate Diaz's UFC contract is likely holding up potential fight against Vicente Luque

Make no mistake, Vicente Luque wants to fight Nate Diaz but that doesn’t mean the UFC is on board. © Esther Lin, MMA Fighting On Thursday, Diaz took to Twitter ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: Fahadh Faasil and Darshana Rajendran's Irul to be remade in Hindi; Nawazuddin Siddiqui approached

© Provided by Pinkvilla Many South films are being remade in Bollywood. From Nani’s 2019 Telugu sports-drama Jersey being remade in Hindi with Shahid Kapoor, to the Ajay Devgn starrer ... Read more »

Vishnu Manchu's wife Viranica and father Mohan Babu participate in his oath taking ceremony as MAA President

© Provided by Pinkvilla As we all know, Vishnu Manchu defeated veteran actor Prakash Raj to win the presidency post for Movie Artist Association-MAA.  Today, the actor-producer takes oath as ... Read more »

NFL DFS, Week 6: Best DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy football picks, lineup advice, stacks

With the injuries that the New York Giants have carried over the past few weeks, first round selection Kadarius Toney has made the most of his opportunity, and scored two ... Read more »

Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone to embrace PARENTHOOD? The Cirkus actor spills the beans on the baby's name and more

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Ranveer Singh has opened up on having a baby with Deepika Padukone. In a new promo of The Big Picture, Ranveer Singh is seen talking about ... Read more »

NFL odds, Vegas lines, picks, spreads, bets, predictions for Week 6, 2021: Model backing Ravens, Broncos

The Buffalo Bills have been one of the best teams in the NFL so far, and they cemented their contender status with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Now ... Read more »

Hakkinen hails Bottas' Turkish GP win as one of his greatest

Two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen places Valtteri Bottas’ victory in Turkey up there among his compatriot’s best in Formula 1. © PA Images Valtteri Bottas wins the Turkish Grand Prix. ... Read more »

Outstanding Mohamed Salah takes Liverpool by the hand with a world pass and a world goal

Liverpool, with Virgil van Dijk in the base, started energetically on Vicarage Road and that paid off after eight minutes. After a beautiful pass with the outside of Salah’s foot, ... Read more »

Marko does not suspect ‘illegal' Mercedes activity

While Mercedes’ blistering straight-line speed in Turkey remains a mystery to Red Bull, they do not suspect foul play from their rivals. © PA Images Valtteri Bottas ahead of Red ... Read more »

Ashes: Ben Stokes comeback isn't the point of discussion among England players, says Mark Wood

© Provided by WION After Ben Stokes returned to the nets this week, England players have not discussed his possible comeback for the Ashes trip in Australia, and their main worry ... Read more »

From Jammy to Dravid sir: Coach Rahul Dravid takes charge of Team India

© Provided by The Times of India Late on Friday night, as most cricket fans were revelling in Chennai’s comeback IPL win, reports came in that batting great Rahul Dravid ... Read more »

Dutch judokas quickly eliminated at grand slam in Paris

The Dutch judokas were quickly eliminated on the first day of the grand slam tournament in Paris. Both the men’s and women’s teams could not break any pots. In the ... Read more »

Malaika reveals her nickname on 'India's Best Dancer2'

© IANS Malaika reveals her nickname on ‘India’s Best Dancer2’ Mumbai, Oct 16 (IANS) Actress, dancer and model Malaika Arora and contestant Meyitemsu Naga discover they share a similar-sounding nickname ... Read more »

Ahead of Ranveer Singh's The Big Picture launch, Deepika Padukone roots for the show in a quirky way

Ranveer Singh, who has been ruling the big screen with his impeccable acting skills, is making the headlines as he is set to make his small screen debut today. The ... Read more »

Sherlyn Chopra lodges FIR against Raj Kundra; Accuses him of sexual harassment & criminal intimidation

© Provided by Pinkvilla Looks like trouble and Raj Kundra continue to walk hand in hand and his woes don’t seem to end anytime soon. After getting bail in September, ... Read more »

Manchu Vishnu takes charge as MAA prez, Mohan Babu urges rivals not to quit

© IANS Manchu Vishnu takes charge as MAA prez, Mohan Babu urges rivals not to quit Hyderabad, Oct 16 (IANS) Actor and producer Manchu Vishnu took oath as the newly ... Read more »

Adipurush: Kriti Sanon wraps the shooting of Prabhas starrer; says, 'My heart sinks as I let go of this super special character'

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Prabhas starrer Adipurush is the most awaited film. People are eagerly waiting for Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan and Kriti Sanon. Kriti Sanon recently that she wrapped ... Read more »

Diana Penty Oozes Glam In Woolen Midi Dress, Take A Look At Diva's Most Elegant Pics

Diana Penty looks like a vision in a grey midi dress. (Image: Instagram) Diana Penty enjoys her beverage in a wollen dress as she holidays in Shimla. (Image: Instagram) Diana ... Read more »

Ranveer Posts Steamy Selfie Of His Unreal-Looking Abs & Fans Ask ‘Baba Photoshop Kiya Hai'

© Provided by MensXP There are only a handful of things in life that have the power of making us both drool over and cry about something at the same ... Read more »

'Oor Kuruvi', Actor Kabin Raj's Next, to be Produced by Vignesh, Nayanthara

© Provided by News18 Tamil actor Kavin Raj’s next will be a comedy-drama titled, “Oor Kuruvi”, produced by Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan. Arun, one of the associates of Vignesh who ... Read more »

Wondergoal Salah, anniversary goal Mané and hat-trick Firmino: Liverpool gives Ranieri horror debut

Thanks in part to a world goal from Mohamed Salah, Liverpool had an easy afternoon against Watford. The Egyptian made one of a total of five hits: 0-5. With seven ... Read more »

Cruz To Undefeated Retirees: ‘Did You Not Challenge Yourself?'

Dominick Cruz isn’t sure why some fighters are stepping away from MMA with a zero in the loss column, especially if they didn’t completely test themselves throughout their careers. © ... Read more »

Bellator 268 predictions

The light heavyweight grand prix semi-finals look a little different than Bellator was expecting. © Lucas Noonan, Bellator MMA One of Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero were supposed to be ... Read more »

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino despite dissatisfaction: ‘World Cup every other year is possible' Foreign football

Gianni Infantino, the president of the world football association FIFA, has again called for the introduction of a biennial World Cup. He did so during a press conference in the ... Read more »

How to Find a Cheap Treadmill

If you like to run for exercise, the CDC suggests that you jog for at least 75 minutes a week to meet your recommended cardio requirements. But if jogging outside ... Read more »

Johnson & Johnson puts talc liabilities into bankruptcy, offloads debts into newly-created arm

© Provided by Zee Business Johnson & Johnson on Thursday put into bankruptcy tens of thousands of legal claims alleging its Baby Powder and other talc-based products caused cancer, offloading ... Read more »

Los Angeles hosts Minnesota after Kopitar's 3-goal game

Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles; Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EDT FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Kings +104, Wild -126; over/under is 5.5 BOTTOM LINE: Los Angeles hosts the Minnesota Wild ... Read more »

Penguins to host Blackhawks on Saturday

Chicago Blackhawks (0-1-1, fourth in the Central) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-1, first in the Metropolitan) Pittsburgh; Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Penguins -173, Blackhawks +144; over/under is 6 ... Read more »

Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros, ALCS Game 2: Time, how to watch, TV, live stream, starting pitchers for Saturday

After winning Game 1 on Friday night, the Houston Astros are right back at it on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox in the second game of the 2021 American ... Read more »

Arizona State vs. Utah prediction: Cameron Rising keeps Utes rolling

Cameron Rising Getty Images LAS VEGAS — It’s easy to be impressed with Arizona State, which has posted five double-digit wins and is led by one of the nation’s most ... Read more »

Ronald Koeman hints at Aguero debut and tries to stay calm at Barça: ‘But that's not easy'

With matches against Valencia, Dinamo Kiev and Real Madrid ahead, Ronald Koeman is starting an important week at FC Barcelona. Starting with the duel with Valencia (tomorrow at 9 p.m.). ... Read more »

Cricket-BCCI chief Ganguly hopeful IPL 2022 will be held in India

By Amlan Chakraborty © Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas FILE PHOTO: Former Indian cricketer and current BCCI, president Sourav Ganguly reacts during a press conference at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai NEW DELHI ... Read more »

Ex-UFC champ Chuck Liddell files for divorce just days after domestic violence arrest

© Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Chuck Liddell has filed for divorce from his wife following a domestic violence arrest on Monday. The former UFC light heavyweight champion filed paperwork for ... Read more »

Kerala Rains: Over 10 Go Missing in Kottayam, State Seeks IAF Assistance For Rescue Operations | Top Points

© Rajashree Seal | India.com News Desk The IMD has warned of widespread heavy rains in Kerala. Kochi: The Kerala government has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force ... Read more »

2022 KTM RC 200: Review Image Gallery

© Anuj Mishra 2022 KTM RC 200: Review Image Gallery KTM’s fully-faired motorcycle, the RC 200, recently received its biggest ever update in India. The motorcycle has been altered on ... Read more »

Goalkeeper Yannick Derix stops immediately at UNA: ‘Long doubt, but it is almost impossible to combine'

After a long time of hesitation, UNA goalkeeper Yannick Derix (30) got the word out last week. The Limburg keeper decided to stop immediately. Last week against GVV Unitas, the ... Read more »

Alonso: ‘Mick reminds me a lot of his father'

Fernando Alonso says “almost everything” about Mick Schumacher reminds him of the German’s father Michael Schumacher. © PA Images Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher walking through the Monza paddock. Italy ... Read more »

IPL 2021: Ziva Dhoni's adorable celebration video shared after CSK beat KKR in IPL 2021 final

© Provided by News18 IPL 2021: Ziva Dhoni’s adorable celebration video shared after CSK beat KKR in IPL 2021 final MS Dhoni was playing his 300th T20 game as captain ... Read more »