Former New Zealand cricketer-turned-commentator, Scott Styris, believes Indian players will find lack of crowds, deafening silence at stadiums more uncomfortable than their overseas counterparts during the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE, starting September 19.
Styris said given the fact that Indian players are so used to playing in front of huge crowds wherever they turn up, they may initially take time to adjust to the new norm amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the deadly outbreak, IPL 2020 is being held within bio-secure arrangements, which are likely to extend to the field and result in no spectator-presence during the sixty-match event.
Speaking on Star Sports' show 'Cricket Connected', Styris said in such a case scenario, overseas cricketers should be able to get used to empty stadiums earlier.
"I don’t think there will be too much of an adjustment for the overseas players," said Styris. "A lot of the overseas players play in front of small crowds or even empty grounds on a regular basis, so they will be used to that."
"But you are right, Indian players, I can’t remember. I mean Kohli, 10 years ago, most of those players have been around long enough now. They won’t struggle, but they will just wonder where they are and look for that energy in other ways," he added.
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, however, made a different point on the show, saying the feeling of being able to play cricket after an extended break will overtake any hesitation or discomfort playing behind closed doors.
"Might be a bit odd for the first couple of games, but at the end of the day, you are grateful enough that the tournament is taking place. You are getting to play some cricket," said Agarkar.
"A lot of these guys are at the peak of their careers, not having cricket for six months, that’s a huge loss when you are doing so well in your career. So, they will be very excited to actually play the tournament."
"It might be little odd at the start, but like Scotty (Scot Styris) said, that energy sometimes you get from crowds, particularly in India, the IPL has moved to the UAE, but in India, it can sometimes act like a 12th man for the home team," he added.