2020 has been a year of the unusual script which no one ever anticipated. Well, one thing that's good about this year is IPL. Yes! You heard it right. The 13th season of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is all set to begin today and the fans just can't keep calm. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has managed to choose UAE (United Arab Emirates) for its matches.
This time the cricket fans will surely be missing the craze of the live audience, the cheerful cheerleaders, and of course, fans with the placards of their favourite teams and players but you know what, the true cricket fans would still treasure the game. A slight change in traditional match timings has taken place this year. The evening match will begin from 7:30 pm, which used to be 8:00 pm and the afternoon matches will start at 3:30 pm. Eight teams will be playing and there are a total of 10 doubleheaders in the 13th season.
The Dream11 IPL will be a blockbuster start with the opening clash of Mumbai Indians(MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on 19 September in Abu Dhabi. It will be exciting to watch the clash of the two most successful teams in the history of this tournament. If you remember, the Mumbai Indians under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma has won the IPL trophy in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 whereas CSK has won the IPL Cup in the years 2010, 2011, 2018 under the captaincy of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
All eyes will be on the recently-retired MS Dhoni, who takes the field for the first time since India's defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the semifinals of the World Cup 2019. If CSK wins the IPL 2020, it will be Dhoni's 100th IPL win as a CSK skipper. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma needs 6 more sixes to reach the 200-six mark in the IPL.
Talking about the build-up of both the teams, even before the tournament started, CSK had to deal with a series of blows. A couple of players and members of the support staff had tested positive for COVID-19 and then, vice-captain Suresh Raina pulled out of the league for personal reasons. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too made himself unavailable. Rohit Sharma's team will miss the services of Lasith Malinga but it has the bases covered with star players such as Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
Mumbai Indians is surely on the safe side this time as MI has been based in Abu Dhabi and is aware of the conditions but CSK is directly walking into the match without prior knowledge of the wicket. Even coach Stephen Fleming said to the CSK website, "I must admit, going to Abu Dhabi without seeing the wicket of assessing the conditions is going to be one of the big challenges to start with."
Head To Head
Speaking about the history of the MI and CSK, both sides have faced each other 28 times with Mumbai winning the cup 17 times and Chennai 11 times.
Talking about the venues, for the first time in cricket history, the 60 matches of IPL will be conducted only on three venues that are The Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai; The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi; The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah. 24 matches will be held in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah in the league stage.
Abu Dhabi Pitch Report
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium, where the first match will be held, has hosted 45 T20I matches in the last ten years, where the highest team total has been 225/7. The Abu Dhabi pitch, traditionally, favour the spinners and a large ground dimensions given the spin bowlers a leverage to flight the bowl. Also, the pitches would be dry and slow, which is not fruitful for stroke players. The average run rate in T20I games played in Abu Dhabi is 7, which shows that anything above 150 will be a par score.
This year, there will be no hindrance in the IPl matches due to the weather conditions as the weather forecasting service has given a hint that the temperature will remain around 35 degrees celsius. This IPL is surely gonna be fun.
Mumbai Indians Probable Playing 11: MI tentative playing 11: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan/ Anmolpreet Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile/ Mitchell McLenaghan/ Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrahh
Chennai Super Kings Probable Playing 11: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur/ R Sai Kishore.
Players to watch out for
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, HArdik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Imran Tahir
Toss Prediction: This is a batting wicket so toss winner could look to bat first.
Mumbai Indians: Back 1.79, Lay 1.8
Chennai Super Kings: Back 2.26, Lay 2.28
IPL 2020 Winner Live Odds:
Mumbai Indians 5
Sunrisers Hyderabad - 5.5
Chennai Super Kings - 6
Royal Challengers Bangalore - 6.5
Delhi Capitals - 7
Kolkata Knight Riders - 8
Kings XI Punjab - 10
Rajasthan Royals - 11
All the IPl matches will be telecast live on Star Sports India channels and Disney+Hotstar VIP.