The Indian Premier League that was set to take place in March-April-May was postponed indefinitely before a window opened up in September post the rescheduling of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. With the rising number of cases in India, the IPL had to be shifted out of the country and UAE, which had hosted a leg of the tournament back in 2014, turned out to be the most feasible venue.
With bio-secure environments and safety measures adhered to, the IPL was moved to UAE with each team set to stay in different hotels and observe strict protocols to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus that is rampant across the world. The tournament is set to begin on September 19 and will run until November 10, 2020.
With the IPL moved to UAE, and considering the current pandemic situation, there are three venues where matches will be held this IPL – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. All are within close distance to each other and ensures players can travel by road to reach the venue.
The conditions and grounds in UAE are pretty different to that in India, a factor that could challenge franchises that built their team for home venues in India. The pitch is considerably slower and the grounds are bigger which means that six-hitting won’t be as easy as it used to be in India.
Another exciting season is just around the corner… Let’s get you ready for the biggest cricket event this year. Check out the long-awaited IPL 2020 schedule, just released by BCCI.
Squad changes and new players
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings were dealt a massive blow when Suresh Raina, their highest run-scorer returned home to India from UAE. Chennai also had a couple of COVID-19 positive cases amongst players but they have recovered now. Sam Curran, Engand’s all-rounder, is their major signing alongside leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.
Delhi Capitals were active in the trading window and brought in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane, both key Indian players. They also had two major England players, Jason Roy and Chris Woakes opting out.
Kings XI Punjab
Aside from hiring Anil Kumble as their head coach, Kings XI Punjab added a few international players of high quality in Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell and James Neesham in the auction.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders signed up Pat Cummins for a record-breaking fee and also added key overseas players in Eoin Morgan, England captain, and Tom Banton.
Mumbai Indians lost the services of Lasith Malinga who is set to miss the entire tournament, but made key additions in the pace department with Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni and James Pattinson coming in.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Kartik Tyagi were Rajasthan Royals’ major signings this IPL auction. The under-19 players are expected to add a breath of fresh air in their line-up.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore added Australia skipper Aaron Finch and South African pacers Dale Steyn and Chris Morris to amp up their bowling department. They also made a last minute addition in Adam Zampa considering the UAE conditions.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were short of firepower in the middle-order last season and with the signing of Virat Singh and Rohan Kadam, they hope to bridge that gap.
Which teams could benefit and which teams could lose from the switch to UAE?
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is notorious for high-scoring games and Royal Challengers Bangalore were struggling in their own home ground with the kind of bowling attack they had. They have beefed up their spin department and in UAE where the ball turns big, they have 3-4 very experienced batsmen capable of winning matches on their own. RCB are much better placed than before as a result of the shift to UAE.
The defending champions will be crippled by the shift to UAE because of their team make-up. While their batting is still formidable, Mumbai’s bowling attack – built for the Wankhede surface in home that is bouncy and quick – is primarily made up of pace bowlers. The spinners seem inexperienced and they are short of an attack leader in the spin department. Mumbai had also lost all five matches in UAE when the IPL was last played there in 2014.
Strong on the batting front and armed with two of the most versatile spinners in the format in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, Sunrisers Hyderabad have a strong squad capable of destroying teams. Their batting was top-heavy last time around, but after the auction for the 2020 season, the Hyderabad franchise are well placed to deliver on all fronts. Their seamers are experienced, the batting group has multiple options and their spinners are more than potent. Sunrisers Hyderabad have a real shot at the title this time, particularly with the venue shifted to UAE.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Armed with power hitters and variety in the spin cupboard, it is difficult to write off Kolkata Knight Riders. They made key recruits in Tom Banton, Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins in the auction and could benefit from each of these signings. Their young group of players in Shubman Gill and Prasidh Krishna are also promising and could be a handful on the UAE wickets. The think-tank needs a bit of work but with players like Russell, Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan in the middle-order, KKR could surprise a lot of teams.
10CRIC provides betting odds to the millions of fans the IPL has with options ranging from outright odds, live betting or pre-match betting odds. There are welcome offers including bonuses and promotion offers during the tournament.
You can find the most competitive odds in the market for the Indian Premier League 2020 with betting options like live/in-play betting markets available.
The outright betting odds for the eight franchises are as follows:
Chennai Super Kings – 5.25
Mumbai Indians – 5.50
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 6.00
Delhi Capitals – 7.25
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8.00
Kolkata Knight Riders – 8.50
Rajasthan Royals – 10.50
Kings XI Punjab – 11.00
*Odds may vary.