IPL 2020: "Likes of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will struggle," says Ramiz Raja

Mumbai Indians will feature in the IPL 13 opener on 19 September.

Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard | Hemant Padalkar

UAE will host the entire season of an IPL for the first time ever. As the pitches in the country are slow and aid spin, the tweakers will be licking their lips to bowl this year. Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has made some interesting predictions ahead of the tournament.

The IPL 2020 will begin from September 19 onwards and will be played at three venues- Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, without crowds.

Raja feels that the likes of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya will not be able to score runs freely and will struggle in IPL 2020. He also made another prediction that fans will get to see a lot more variations as fast bowling will not be as easy.

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Raja said on a YouTube show, "I think the teams who have a good spin department will do well, that is the first thing. The big-hitters will struggle. Like Lynn, Pollard, or Pandya brothers, Hardik Pandya probably although he plays spin well."

"But I feel that the team selection in this IPL will be slightly different. Fast bowling will be difficult, you will see a lot of variations," he added.

The cricketer-turned-commentator is also of the opinion that players will find it challenging to play in empty stadiums without the buzzing crowds and an IPL is incomplete without that.

He said, "And behind closed doors, what will be the impact because you will have to almost remain like a prisoner in a bio-secure environment and put up your best performance. So it becomes a difficult task. Because IPL without the buzz of the crowd is incomplete."

"So big teams will be playing away from their homes where they had a lot of advantage, for e.g. Kolkata Knight Riders had an advantage of playing at the Eden Gardens where the crowd support helps them in crunch moments. Similarly, RCB plays in Bangalore, who get an advantage there. So, it will be interesting to see how they adjust themselves in neutral territory," the 58-year-old concluded.

Mumbai Indians will face Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener in Abu Dhabi on Sept 19.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times)


By Sameer Deodhar - 11 Sep, 2020

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