West Indies players have had a significant impact on IPL’s success over the years. They are known to add the Caribbean flavor to the tournament, making it more exciting and thrilling.
Nobody can forget that 175 not-out by Chris Gayle for RCB nor the impact that Dre-Russ had in the previous season for KKR.
IPL has witnessed the entire journey of Sunil Narine from being a mystery bowler to a pinch-hitter. Dwayne Bravo’s contributions with the ball in the slog overs for CSK are well documented.
There are also many other standout players from West Indies who did exceptionally well for their respective IPL teams.
This year the tournament has shifted to UAE, and there are both pros and cons for Windies Players.
A total of 12 players will be playing this year’s IPL in UAE. The Windies players will be the most prepared in terms of match practice as they are coming off their recently concluded domestic CPL 2020 tournament.
The pitches and conditions in UAE will be different from the Caribbean Island; however, these players have the ability to adapt to such conditions.
The level of competition in IPL is also different from CPL. Technically strong batsmen like Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetymer could have a huge impact on IPL with their consistent performances.
Of course, this is no disrespect to hard-hitters like Pollard, Russel, and Narine, who can be handy in the second half of the tournament when the pitch starts deteriorating.
The matches are being played across three UAE emirates, namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s square boundaries are relatively long compared to Indian grounds, which may make it difficult for the Windies batters to clear the fence.
The West Indies batsmen will have to focus on both timing and muscle power to hit sixes.
However, Sharjah stadium’s straight boundaries are short, which will help the power batters clear the fence easily. Even the miss-hits in that ground could easily go for six.
We have already seen a high scoring encounter in the first match between CSK and RR in this (Sharjah) stadium. Balls bowled fuller length by both spinners and pacers have been deposited for a six by the batsmen.
Bowlers like Cottrell and Thomas are known to hit the deck hard. They are expected to perform well on these pitches. However, they will have to keep their bowling length close to short and good away from the batsmen.
Also, playing an across-shots in this (Sharjah) ground could lead to top edges. Therefore, the West Indies’ hard-hitters would have to target the shorter straight boundaries and play through the line.
The spinners will also play an important role in the latter half of the tournament.
Since 2009, for the first time, an entire season of IPL is pushed to UAE. It will be a new and memorable experience for West Indies players this year, especially in this strict bio bubble.
Team bonding with their fellow Indian domestic players and other foreign players will also be an important activity in such a situation.
Most franchisees have booked resorts instead of hotels to have extra-curricular activities like swimming, tennis, volleyball, beaches, etc.. thus expanding the bio-bubble. These activities will rejuvenate the minds of the players, hence keeping them 100% motivated during match-days.
One cannot help but look forward to Windies players’ performance and contribution in this year’s IPL competition.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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