The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The tournament was supposed to commence on March 29 earlier only for the COVID-19 pandemic to delay it. Since then, the BCCI waited patiently, adopting a wait and watch approach. They also hoped to stage the T20 extravaganza in India. But the worsening condition of Coronavirus in the country has led to them moving the IPL out.
However, this isn’t the first time the T20 league is being played out of India. Earlier in 2009, the IPL was staged in South Africa, and then 20 matches of the tournament were played in the UAE after the dates clashed with the general elections back home.
Every side played five league matches in 2014 in the UAE, and the change in conditions played a significant role in the performances of the players as well. Here are the top IPL batsmen in the UAE:
1. JP Duminy (Delhi Capitals)
This name might surprise many, but JP Duminy was an established middle-order batsman in T20s then. Playing for the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals), he scored 173 runs at a superb strike-rate of 135.15. The southpaw also smashed a couple of half-centuries and, more often than not, bailed his team out of trouble. Duminy’s average of 86.50 also proves that he finished the job while in the middle for his side.
2. Ajinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals)
Ajinkya Rahane was the only Indian batsman in the list of top five run-getters in the UAE. He more often held one end for the Royals after opening the innings while the other batsmen rallied around him. Rahane mustered 182 runs during his stay in the middle at the strike-rate of 120.52 and interestingly, hit only a solitary six apart from 20 fours.
3. Brendon McCullum (Chennai Super Kings)
If Dwayne Smith was at one end, Brendon McCullum was at the other, giving the CSK quickfire starts in the powerplay. The former New Zealand skipper was at his brutal best smashing two half-centuries when the part of the tournament was played in the UAE. McCullum scored 193 runs in five outings at an average of 48.25 and a comparatively low strike rate of 127.81, helping CSK win the majority of the matches.
4. Dwayne Smith (Chennai Super Kings)
Dwayne Smith opened the innings in the IPL 2014 for the CSK and was one of the main reasons why the team won four out of five matches played in the UAE. He amassed 240 runs at a strike-rate of 143.71 and an average of 48 to blow away the opposition teams. Smith was the second-highest six-hitter hitting the ball out of park 15 times only behind Maxwell (17 sixes).
5. Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)
Glenn Maxwell played for the KXIP in that season and batted in full flow throughout and not only in the UAE. While in the country, the Australia all-rounder held the Orange Cap smacking 300 runs in only five matches at a brilliant strike-rate of 201.34. Rather the top three scores of the season by then were on Maxwell’s name itself. 95 (off 43) against CSK and 89 (off 45) against the Rajasthan Royals were two of his best knocks in the UAE.