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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Second half of IPL 2021 will begin with MI taking on CSK in Dubai on Sept. 19
  • Gautam Gambhir reckons the conditions in the UAE will suit MI’s fast bowlers
  • IPL 2021 was initially postponed indefinitely after just 29 matches due to Covid-19

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir feels Mumbai Indians will have an advantage playing in the United Arab Emirates when the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season begins from September 19.

Gambhir reckons the conditions in the UAE will suit MI’s fast bowlers unlike some of the grounds in India where the pitches are low and slow.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians will kick start IPL 2021 with three-time champions Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Stadium on September 19.

“They’ve played in conditions that are completely different to where they normally play in. When you see the conditions in Chepauk or Delhi, they are completely different from what you get at Wankhede. And, as I mentioned, they are going into conditions that are suited to their fast bowling – people like Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult.

“There will be swing upfront, so they will be very dangerous. Plus, Mumbai wants balls to swing and you’ve got quality fast bowlers and it’s going to be an advantage for them. Plus their batters, want the balls to come on to the bat as well, people like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, all those guys struggled at Chepauk, because it was gripping and turning.

“They are not going to struggle, once they start playing in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. So, that’s the reason why I would feel Mumbai Indians will have an advantage; they can’t afford slow starter anymore, because they have seven games to go and they might have to win 5 matches to qualify, so they can’t afford to be in that situation, where they have to win five out of five,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show Game Plan.

IPL 2021 was initially postponed indefinitely after just 29 matches in May due to the second wave of Covid-19 in India.

But the Indian cricket board (BCCI) was able to find out a window to slot in the remaining 31 games to complete the season and thus, decided to take the tournament to the UAE where it will be played from September 19 to October 15 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Oman.

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