The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to resume in September-October after being suspended due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases within the franchises.
After a lot of deliberation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to conduct the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021 in UAE as the suspended edition will be difficult to host in India due to monsoon season.
IPL 2020 was also held in the United Arab Emirates without any hiccups.
There is no doubt in saying that the pitches in UAE are much different as compared to the Indian conditions. Hence, the shifting of IPL 2021 might not be a welcoming decision for many franchises.
On that note, let’s take a look at three teams that will struggle the most when IPL resumes in UAE.
3. Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals might not be happy with the remaining games moving to UAE. The former champions had a forgetful outing last season as they finished the tournament with a wooden spoon in the United Arab Emirates.
Despite registering the back-to-back wins in the starting, RR failed to get going in the UAE.
Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jofra Archer will not be available.
Notably, Archer was one of the best performers for the Rajasthan-based franchise in the UAE. The 26-year-old pacer took 20 wickets from 14 games at an economy rate of 6.55. Stokes and Buttler also looked in good touch with the bat in IPL 2020.
RR will have a lot to ponder about when the IPL resumes in UAE.
2. Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) also had an average outing in the UAE last year as they finished fifth with seven wins and as many losses.
KKR were expected to put up an improved show in the 14th edition, but a mixture of poor captaincy and the underwhelming performances by players let the team down.
Before the IPL 2021 was suspended, KKR were placed seventh in the points table with just two wins out of their seven games.
Now, adding to KKR’s misery, the Australian pacer Pat Cummins has also pulled out of the remainder of IPL 2021, which is set to resume in the UAE.
Meanwhile, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan is likely to miss out on the second half of the tournament because of his national duties.
West Indian stalwart Andre Russell is also not a confirmed starter for Kolkata-based franchise as the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 is set to get underway from August 28 and the final will take place on September 19.
With Cummins opting out of IPL 2021 and uncertainty lurking over the participation of Morgan and Russell, the two-time champions have no chance of qualifying for the play-offs.
1. Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are considered to be one of the most successful teams in the history of the Indian Premier League. Under the leadership of legendary wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni, CSK have won three IPL titles so far.
The MS Dhoni-led side has made it to the playoffs 10 times out of the 11 IPL editions they have participated in so far.
It was in the 13th edition of IPL when the Yellow Army failed to qualify for playoffs for the first time in tournament’s history. Dhoni & Co. looked clueless in UAE and finished seventh in the competition with only six wins and eight losses.
If we take their last season’s performance into account, it is needless to say that CSK will be the most impacted side when IPL 2021 starts in the UAE.
Though the Chennai-based franchise performed exceptionally well in the first half of the tournament, winning five out of its seven games, the team surely has a herculean task in the second leg of the IPL 2021 which is set to take place in the UAE.