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Will the return to India after the first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) affect the teams in anyway? Nishad Pai Vaidya discusses…
How much will the two legs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 7 affect a team’s plan? With the first leg in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), followed by the Indian phase, teams may have to adjust to the flow again. The move to the UAE seems to be one to a territory that is quite similar to the Indian conditions. When compared to South Africa, UAE was a better option as there won’t be any problems of adjusting to the bounce or conditions that may favour the seamers more. Yet, the teams would have to do some adjusting when they get back to India in early May.
If one looks at it in a more simplistic way, being in the UAE is not much of a difference. Dubai is just a three hour flight from Mumbai, about the same time it requires to fly to Kolkata from India’s commercial capital. Plus, there are numerous Indians in the UAE and the country does have an Indian influence. In cricketing terms, the wickets there seem to help the spinners. The performances of Saeed Ajmal and company are proof of how much the wickets at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah aid that kind. The grounds too aren’t all that big and that should make the players feel at home.
If there is one thing that is different, for the better if one may add, is that the teams won’t spend a lot of time travelling. Scaling the lengths and breadths of India during an IPL season can be quite taxing as you touch the four corners of the land in about 50 days and take numerous flights. In the UAE, they may well take a drive that would last only an hour and a half, saving them from a lot of travel fatigue. That is one thing that would work well for all the players.
Thus, the return to India could be a more psychological one the teams. Yes, there would be bigger crowds and greater support here, which would only pep them up. However, in May, that round of travelling would begin yet again. It would be a different atmosphere on a whole, although there are some similarities with the UAE. Teams would have to make that psychological adjustment and rework their plans. If any side gains momentum in the UAE, it is imperative that they win the first few games in the Indian leg to keep that going. As far as the conditions go, it may be a little simpler for the teams in India as the heat wouldn’t be as intense as that of the UAE. The pitches too would be a lot more familiar.
Thus, it would all boil down to how well a side returns and gets going in India. It may be a challenge for the teams that are winning, but those who struggle in the UAE may welcome the return to home conditions and that could work for them. We are set to have an interesting first week in May.
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