Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Pitch perfect: How will the surfaces play in IPL 13

Pitch perfect: How will the surfaces play in IPL 13

Pitch perfect:

There is a great deal of concern over the effect playing in the UAE will have on the brand of cricket played in the Indian Premier League.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

IPL 13 gets underway on Saturday 19 September, but it has been months since any competitive cricket has been played on any of the three squares that will be used for the T20 showpiece.

Traditionally the wickets in the UAE haven't set the world on fire for pace, and any scores above 150 tend to take some chasing.

That may not carry through to the early stages of the IPL though considering the pitches have gone unused for months, and the hosts will be pulling out all the stops to accommodate their guests.

The most recent franchise T20 tournament held in the UAE was the short Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy. Although there were plenty of high-scoring matches, spin did prove tricky to live with at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

A lack of pace in the pitches coupled with fields that are quite a bit larger than some of the frequently used grounds in India, make it difficult for batsmen to get after the turning ball, particularly against tweakers capable of spinning it both ways.

It remains unclear at this stage if the BCCI will bring the boundaries in at the larger grounds in Abu Dhabi and Dubai or leave them at their standard dimensions.

The pundits seem to agree that the early phases of the competition are likely to be dominated by batsmen, but with most of the players involved trying to shake off the rust, early matches may be highly unpredictable.

However things do play out it seems that teams with quality spinners and the best players of spin will likely rise to the top while quick bowlers will lean heavily on variations. We may also see a shift away from explosive power-hitting in favour of more nuanced batting.

This will be the second time the UAE has staged IPL matches, having played host to the first 20 matches of the 2014 campaign.

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