Ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League, former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja has opined that big hitters like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya could struggle to get going. The former cricketer-turned-commentator made the interesting observation while speaking on YouTube show Cric Cast.
The thirteenth edition of the tournament will take place in UAE across three venues – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. And even before the season’s start, a number of experts have opined that big hitters could struggle to get going this season due to the slow tracks of UAE. Ramiz Raja is also of the same opinion.
The former Pakistan international said that the franchises with the best spin attacks are likely to do well because of the conditions in UAE. He further 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 prowess with the bat.
“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,” he said.
Ramiz Raja further 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,” he opined.
Ramiz Raja on IPL being held behind closed doors:
IPL 2020 won’t be held in front of the fans due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking about that, Ramiz Raja said that playing the IPL without the presence of fans would take the sheen out of the tournament.
“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,” said Ramiz Raja who has previously worked as a commentator in IPL.