- India is back to host the IPL’s 14the edition after the last edition in UAE
- Playing in Indian conditions is the only familiarity to all the IPL franchises
- No home advantage, crowd less Indian stadiums shall pose a new challenge
After IPL’s last season played in UAE, India’s biggest cricketing league is back in the familiar territories for its 14th edition. In fact, many players felt relieved that the current edition will be hosted in India, especially considering the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and bio-bubble life. However, the environment surrounding the IPL 14 will not be as familiar as it has been in other Indian editions, since no IPL team has a home ground advantage throughout the event. Through this blog, let’s dive into the familiarities and unfamiliarities of the upcoming IPL edition.
Read More: Why Rishabh Pant as DC Captain?
Indian Conditions – Sole familiarity of IPL 14
If there is one familiarity for all the IPL franchises, it is of playing in the Indian conditions. Unfortunately, that is the sole familiarity as far as the playing environment is concerned. Since this familiarity is the same for everyone, none has an added advantage over others. All other environmental factors are more or less different than the previous years.
Lack of Home-Advantage
Playing in the home condition is the topmost advantage in the game of cricket. And in IPL, that advantage grows seven-fold as each team plays on the home ground seven times. On the home ground, the teams generally doctor the pitches according to their team’s strength. Vice versa, the teams can create their auction strategies – and subsequently, build the team core – as per the home conditions and pitches.
For all previous Indian editions, the teams had the advantage of playing in the home conditions. For few teams, there were more than one home grounds, but those still were considered as their home grounds. They had the right to improvise the playing conditions as per their suitabilities.
However, the IPL 2021 venues and scheduling have taken away that advantage. This time, none of the team can claim the ground as their home. In fact, no team plays more than five matches on the same ground. Contrary to the auction strategies, the teams may not have the freedom to use their core as the strength. This will certainly force some tactical changes into the playing XI and pecking order.
In normal circumstances, you hardly get an empty seat in the IPL matches. So, the teams have a habit of playing in front of a huge crowd. Though the last edition didn’t have the crowd, the tournament was hosted in UAE. In India, this is a novice experience for the teams. This is pretty much unlike Indian conditions, where you would otherwise have a crowd chanting and supporting on top of their voice for every minute of the game.
Even though IPL 14 is back in India, there is hardly a familiarity factor in its playing environment. This change will force the franchises to change in their tactics and game plan.