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Big hitters like Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will struggle in IPL 2020: Ramiz Raja

Hardik Pandya is likely to be a key player in the Mumbai Indians lineup in IPL 2020
Hardik Pandya is likely to be a key player in the Mumbai Indians lineup in IPL 2020
Kartik Iyer
Modified 09 Sep 2020, 12:59 IST

Former Pakistan opener Ramiz Raja has opined that big hitters like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya might struggle to come up with the goods in IPL 2020. He made this observation while responding to questions from Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show Cric Cast.

Ramiz Raja was asked how different the IPL will be this time around, with it being staged in the UAE. He responded that the franchises with the best spin attacks are likely to do well, considering the conditions in the UAE.

"I think the teams who have a good spin department will do well, that is the first thing."

He added that the big strikers of the ball, such as Chris Lynn, Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers, particularly Hardik Pandya, would find it difficult to show their magic.

"The big-hitters will struggle. Like Lynn, Pollard or Pandya brothers, Hardik Pandya probably although he plays spin well."

He also mentioned that the IPL franchises might have to try out different combinations, with seam bowlers likely to have a tough time and thereby resorting to their variations.

"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."

Ramiz Raja on the IPL being staged behind closed doors

The fans would be conspicuous with their absence in this year
The fans would be conspicuous with their absence in this year's IPL

Ramiz Raja observed that playing the IPL without the presence of fans would take the sheen out of the tournament, with the players also having to adjust to the bio-secure bubble.

"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."

The 58-year-old, who has been associated as a commentator with the IPL in the past, opined that some of the teams like KKR and RCB would particularly lose the advantage of playing in front of their vociferous home crowds.

"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."

Ramiz Raja signed off by stating that it would be interesting to watch how all the IPL teams adjust to the neutral venues.

"So, it will be interesting to see how they adjust themselves in neutral territory."

The IPL is scheduled to start on September 19, with the first match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings being played in Abu Dhabi. Dubai and Sharjah are the other two venues in the UAE that would be staging the matches of the prestigious league apart from Abu Dhabi.

Published 09 Sep 2020, 12:59 IST
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