“Twenty20 cricket rides a lot on momentum, especially in tournament play. Those who made a strong start to their campaigns must quickly rediscover the winning formula,” wrote Laxman in his column for The Times of India on Sunday. “For teams like us (Sunrisers Hyderabad) who are in the bottom half of the table, the break has provided the opportunity to regroup and return with our mental batteries recharged and our determination renewed.”
A total of 31 matches, including the knockouts, are left to be played in the season. While Delhi Capitals currently lead the table with 12 points, Sunrisers are rock bottom at No. 8 with just one win in seven matches.
“I sincerely pray the remainder of the IPL stays incident-free, and the teams are able to put on a show for the audience, several of whom will be physically present,” said the former Test stalwart.
Laxman reckoned it’s relatively easier to keep the bio-bubbles incident-free when the need to travel by air in between matches is not required.
“It’s my opinion that the sanctity of bio-bubbles can again be maintained impeccably. One of the prime reasons behind my conviction is that Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are within driving distance of each other,” he wrote.
“Like many, I am of the belief that air travel during the Indian leg of the IPL had a role to play in the positive cases within various franchises that, along with the sadly destructive second wave of the pandemic in our country, necessitated the tournament to be temporarily halted (in May).”
The T20 World Cup will be played at the same three venues in the Emirates right after the IPL concludes on October 15.
“With the T20 World Cup to be played at these three venues in less than a month’s time, it will be interesting to see what kind of surfaces are on offer,” said Laxman.
“I understand the predicament of the curators; while they will want to ensure that the pitches aren’t worn and tired by the time of the World Cup, they wouldn’t like to compromise on the immediate task at hand, which is to provide quality surfaces for the IPL. I don’t envy them.”
IPL 2021 POINTS TABLE
Laxman felt the second phase of the IPL couldn’t have come at a better time for the Indian team that has been in Test mode over the past 3-4 months. The IPL, he reckoned, provides the Indian players the competitive stage to get back into the groove for the World Cup in the shortest format.
“After nearly four months of long-format cricket, they (Indian players) have between six and eight matches to rediscover their 20-over mojo before the World Cup. It’s also to their benefit that they will get to play in the same conditions that will confront them during the mega event. That might be true for players from other countries as well,” Laxman concluded.
The league resumes with the match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.