Cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja is of the view that big-hitting sensation like Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Chris Lynn will face a lot of challenge on slow tracks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020).
While speaking to the sports journalist Sawera Pasha on her YouTube programme Cric Cast, Raja observed that despite Hardik Pandya playing spin bowling quite well, Pandya brothers will also struggle when it comes to the big-hitting.
Given to the significance of Hardik, he plays a quintessential role for Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians side.
“The big-hitters will struggle. Like Lynn, Pollard or Pandya brothers, Hardik Pandya probably although he plays spin well,” Ramiz Raja told Sawera.
Besides, the UAE pitches had a history of helping the slow bowlers and same could be witnessed, according to Raja in the impending IPL 2020 which will commence from September 19 in Dubai.
Spinners will dominate in the IPL 2020: Ramiz Raja
Former Pakistan cricketer Raja further added that teams with spin-heavy attack could yield the desired results in UAE conditions.
“I think the teams who have a good spin department will do well, that is the first thing,” Raja said.
When asked how to tackle such situation in the UAE, Raja had suggested a plan to opt for variations and shuffling the bowlers as per the requirement. He added that team selection would be altogether different in the UAE and pacers will drop pace in a bid to get more assistance from the pitches.
Interestingly, he is himself keen to know how teams will adjust on neutral pitches which proved different than what India had on an offer for the shortest version of the game.
Also, the teams had lost the advantage of playing at the respective homes, which will also open up the impending edition of the lucrative league.
“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. So, it will be interesting to see how they adjust themselves in neutral territory,” Raja further maintained.
IPL without the buzz of the crowd is incomplete: Ramiz Raja
The 58-year-old Raja admitted the fact that things are far different when it comes to the matches behind closed doors apart from players being pushed into the bio-secure bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Raja made it clear that it would certainly have its impact — and mega crowds that completes the extravaganza of the IPL.
“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,” Raja stated.