Legendary quick Brett Lee feels that low and slow conditions in UAE will automatically make Chennai Super Kings, who play in similar conditions back home in Chennai, the favorites to lift the IPL 2020 title. Lee also feels that experience is CSK’s biggest strength, heading into the tournament.
Last month, Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), confirmed that the 13th edition of the tournament was going to be staged in UAE and the tournament became ‘official’ a few days ago when the Indian government gave the go ahead for the same. While several cricketers, including Steve Smith, have noted that the conditions in UAE will not be too different to that of India, what’s a given, however, is that wickets will most likely be one-dimensional – i.e. slow and low – and will not provide the bounce tracks such as Mohali or Eden Gardens, back in India, do.
This will play into the hands of a spin-stacked side like Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who boast no less than 7 specialist spinners in their squad, and, according to former KKR and KXIP cricketer Brett Lee, this could very well render MS Dhoni’s ‘Daddy’s Army’ favourites to lift the title. The turning wickets apart, Lee also feels that CSK will also find it easier to acclimatize to the scorching heat as the players are used to it back home in Chennai.
“It’s definitely right up there and that will definitely suit those wickets. Recently, I’ve looked at the forecast for the next two or three weeks. It’s 40 degrees, plus the wickets will surely turn. Therefore, I feel CSK will feel a lot more at home. Imagine all those spinners getting big rips, big turn. I reckon they are definitely suited for this tournament and should definitely be favourites,” Lee said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected, reported Times Now.
A major reason for CSK’s success over the years is them keeping hold of their core and heading into IPL 13, they will once again have players such as Dhoni, Raina, Bravo, Jadeja and Vijay who know the environment inside out. Despite being somewhat of an ‘old team’, it’s the experience that came along with the age which helped them win the title in 2018 and reach the final in 2019 and Lee believes that experience factor will once again lend a hand to CSK come the thirteenth edition of the tournament in Dubai.
“I reckon their strength is that their players are a bit more elderly, mature. They’ve got that youth coming through but they’ve got a lot of players who’ve been around a long, long time and I’d say that’s their greatest strength.”
CSK will be vying their fourth IPL title after agonizingly falling short in the 2019 edition, where they lost the final to Mumbai Indians by a solitary run.