The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is different in many ways. After moving out of India in the last edition, the T20 extravaganza was brought back to the country. Things were looking bright in February-March and there were reports that the BCCI may allow a certain number of spectators in the stadium. However, the second wave of Coronavirus ruled out any possibility of the fans cheering their team from the stadium.
The situation forced the organisers to come up with a schedule where teams are not required to travel much. As a result, they came with an idea of twin city ‘Cluster Caravan’ format where each team will play multiple matches at a venue before moving to another. As many as 17 games have been completed in the tournament so far and all the teams have played their matches either in Mumbai or Chennai.
Both these venues have been very contrasting in nature. While Mumbai has delivered batting friendly surfaces, Chennai wickets have been sluggish in nature which has made the run-scoring very difficult.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was part of the Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2021 but was ruled out due to an injury, has slammed the pitches for their slow nature and hoped that the teams do not end up getting restricted to low scores consistently in the tournament.
"Hope the wickets don't get worse as the IPL gets deeper into the tournament..160/170 minimum not scraping to 130/140 cause the wickets are trash," Stokes tweeted after Mumbai Indians painstakingly reached 131 for 6 which was chased down by Punjab Kings.
Hope the wickets don’t get worse as the @IPL gets deeper into the tournament..160/170 minimum not scraping to 130/140 cause the wickets are trash..— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) April 23, 2021
Till Friday, Chennai hosted nine games in the IPL 2021 and only twice the team batting first has managed to score in excess of 170. RCB posted a mammoth 204 against the KKR before KKR posted 187 against SRH.
Chennai will host its final IPL game on Sunday between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals.
Read our review for RR vs KKR
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