Royal Challengers Bangalore’s MVP with the ball, Yuzvendra Chahal, has admitted that the absence of crowds will be a blow to his side but has claimed that they have no option but to cope with the change. The leggie further feels that RCB have sorted out their problems with the ball at the death.
While the Indian Premier League (IPL) is viewed as the biggest festival in the sport of cricket, the tournament, this time around, will be inherently different, with the entire competition set to be played in front of empty stands owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The absence of crowds in the competition will pose a huge challenge to all teams, who are generally so reliant on their loyal fans inside the stadium to both cheer them up and intimidate the opponents.
Historically, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, alongside the Wankhede and Chepauk, is considered as one of the loudest venues in the entire IPL and on many on occasion, Virat Kohli’s Reds have fed off fan support and have marginally edged their opponents due to the intimidating home atmosphere. This season, RCB won’t have that luxury and Yuzvendra Chahal admitted that the absence of fan support will be a considerable blow to the team.
"Not having fans in the stadium will be a disadvantage because their support makes a lot of difference. Given the circumstances, there is nothing we can do about it. Having said that, we are used to playing without spectators during first-class matches, so we just have to accept it,” Chahal was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
With 100 wickets in 83 IPL games, Chahal is one of the most successful leg-spinners in the competition’s history and the undisputed ‘number one’ in the RCB side, but this season, thanks to Kane Richardson’s withdrawal, the 30-year-old will have some company - and competition - in the form of Australia’s Adam Zampa. Chahal praised the Australian and asserted that the leggie’s arrival has strengthened the side, as a whole.
"Zampa is a wonderful legspinner who comes with a lot of experience. He has also played in India, and the wickets here are similar to those back home. His arrival has strengthened our attack because he comes fresh from international duty in the T20 format," said Chahal.
IPL 2019 saw RCB finish bottom, and a major reason for the same was their bowling at the death, due to which, in many games, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. However, with the 10 crore of purchase of Chris Morris, with the return of a fit Dale Steyn and with the presence of both Navdeep Saini and Umesh Yadav, Chahal feels that his side have sorted out all the issues at the death.
"We have sorted out our bowling in the death overs. We have Dale (Steyn) sir, (Navdeep) Saini, (Chris) Morris and Umesh (Yadav) bhaiya. We are not worried about bowling the last few overs because everyone is ready and on wickets here (in UAE) spinners too can chip in with a couple of overs,” said the 30-year-old.
RCB will begin their campaign on September 21 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai.