How can IPL 2020 prepare Indians for tour Down Under?
The Indians are scheduled to tour Australia in November this year for a four-Test series, along with a three-match ODI and T20I series each. India are the current holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having won their first-ever series in Australia, in 2018-19.
The cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to kick-off its 13th edition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday. This would make it the third time that the tournament will be held overseas and the second time of it being held entirely on foreign soil. Although the IPL is a domestic tournament, it still provides a huge platform for many cricketers who can grow at the level of international cricket, by playing alongside renowned international cricketers.
Meanwhile, India have a tough tour of Australia coming up, where they would look to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy that they won during the 2018-19 tour. Furthermore, experts believe that this IPL could well provide the Indians with the best preparations for the upcoming tour. Here, we analyse as to how it would.
Bio-bubble sphere and social-distancing norms: Firstly, the focus would be upon the health and safety of the players, owing to the prevailing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Players have to undergo strict measures and procedures in order to avoid inviting the virus within the playing premises.
Things would remain the same Down Under, come November, as IPL, too, is currently under a similar bio-bubble sphere. This is the first instance that the Indians are finding themselves inside the sphere, as the two-month exposure would, most likely, give them a hang of things and they are less likely to become strangers to the norms when they arrive in Australia.
Tough playing conditions: Australia is well-known to be the toughest place on the planet to play cricket. While teams don't just find it difficult to adjust to the hot conditions during its cricketing summer, it is also its dry and hard pitches that support enough pace, making it tough for the batsmen to score.
UAE is ordinarily on the same likes of Australia, especially in terms of weather, where the conditions are hot and humid. As for the tracks, it is regularly dry, while it does support a decent pace. However, being in middle-east Asia, it somewhat does support spin too, which is also an added advantage for the players. This would help the players perform Down Under, especially in Adelaide, which does have sub-continent like playing conditions.
Getting accustomed to playing against the Aussies: The format of the IPL is so overwhelming that it provides every player with an equal opportunity to get accustomed to the playing style of a particular player, regardless of the national team he represents. It is this very characteristic that has made the tournament so competitive with each passing season and has changed T20 cricket forever.
Undoubtedly, this would help the Indians to get a hang of the Aussies right before the tour, which has never happened before. With most of the top Australian players participating in the tournament, the Indians would have sufficient experience and learnings as to how to deal with them when they visit Down Under.