Buzz missing but IPL aims to bring normality amid pandemic

"Super Morning Lions: MS Dhoni Ravindra Jadeja Train With Chennai Super Kings

Mumbai - winners of a record four IPL titles - are favourites to win this 13th edition, but Sharma said adapting to the foreign conditions would be crucial to their success.

"His experience will be missed, what he did with MI is unbelievable and it is unfortunate that he is not a part of the team this year. He is a left hander and plays spin very well and the weakness for CSK could be that majority of their players are right handed", Jones told Star Sports. "So we have had a good chat around the group about that", he elaborated. "We have played a couple of practice matches and we understood what we need to expect going out there", he added.

Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones reckons Suresh Raina's absence from the IPL would be a major concern for three-time champions Chennai Super Kings, who open their campaign against holders Mumbai Indians on September 19. He expects something similar this time around too. Along with worldwide experience of some of their players in the UAE, Mumbai also have Lynn, Kieron Pollard and Mitchell McClenaghan in the squad who have featured in the PSL across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. "The slowness of the pitch will be a big factor", he said.

Rohit also said that not only the spinners but the seamers would also get a lot of assistance in terms of reverse swing. "We have got balance and variety in our bowling attack, so we can use it depending on the conditions and team composition", he said. "They complement each other well, they're consistent and both of them are experienced".

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Mr Sharma is not the only one looking forward to the cricket tournament.

He reckoned the team's spinners - including Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Anukul Roy and Prince Balwant Rai - would have an advantage on the slow Arab wickets - a view endorsed by the coach. The first match in Sharjah will be played on 22 September between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings.

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma said Thursday that the IPL's coronavirus bio-security bubble was "mentally tough", but the team was finding ways to stimulate players and keep in good spirits.

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