IPL: Kohli finds positivity in no home advantage
The 14th Indian Premier League (IPL) will be having no ‘home advantage’ for the second consecutive time, thanks to the pandemic. RCB skipper Virat Kohli, however, finds the good side of it.
The IPL, which begins tomorrow, has returned to India after the last year’s delayed edition was staged in the UAE.
Six venues in India will host this year’s IPL, but with none getting the privilege to play on home ground. This will make the world’s most lucrative T20 league more competitive, believes Kohli.
“There’s nothing quite like playing in Chinnaswamy in front of your home crowd. Obviously the fans are going to miss watching us play. Such are the times that we are in right now. But the good thing is that we are back in India. And one more positive about this edition, like last year, is that there is no home advantage,” Kohli said.
“Every team is playing in neutral venues and the strength of your squad really comes to the fore. That’s precisely why last IPL was so competitive – until about the last three-four games everyone was in the reckoning to qualify, which I think is great for the tournament. The viewership was through the roof, which I expect to be the case this time around as well.
“Having done well last year in such a competitive scenario and space, we’re very confident that as a side, with a stronger squad this time around, we’ll have another great season. Just playing in set venues with four teams, I think that’s going to nullify all the home advantage that every team used to have.”
Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore finished fourth in 2020. They will begin this year’s season with three games in Chennai, followed by two in Mumbai, four in Ahmedabad and their last five of the round-robin stage in Kolkata.
Reigning champions Mumbai Indians will take on RCB in the opening match on Friday (April 9).