IPL-2 will be low-scoring: Wessels

Cape Town, April 18 (Inditop) The second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will not be as high scoring as the inaugural tournament in India because the pitches in South Africa will assist the bowlers, feels former Proteas captain Kepler Wessels.

Wessels said the weather and pitch conditions, especially during April and May, would be bowler-friendly.

“The extra bounce on the pitches will influence the scoring pattern. The bowlers are going to play a much bigger role in this year’s tournament,” Wessels was quoted as saying in the Afrikaans daily Beeld Saturday.

Batsmen ruled the roost last year, with team scoring 200 runs or more 11 times, and between 180 and 200 on 15 occasions. There was no dearth of fours and sixes on the batsmen-friendly Indian wickets. The figure is startling – 1,702 fours and 622 sixes struck in 59 matches – one of the factors that made IPL a huge hit.

However, it will not be the same this time around.

Wessels said Indian batsmen have difficulty playing on bouncy wickets. A lot of young Indians will be playing outside the subcontinent for the first time and they might face difficulty in adjusting to the wicket. This could have an impact because only four foreigners are allowed per team.

He said the Indian bowlers, too, will take time to hit the right length on pacy tracks.

“There will be some younger Indian players who are going to battle, but there will also be outstanding performances from the Indian ranks,” he said.

Wessels said Bangalore Royal Challengers, who finished last in the inaugural edition, would be the team to watch out for.

“I think (Bangalore) Royal Challengers are now a dangerous Twenty20 unit. Dale Steyn on home ground is going to make a lot of difference for them,” said Wessels, who was the coach for the Chennai Super Kings last year.

Wessels was also sceptical about the chances of defending champions Rajasthan Royals: “I think the loss of (Australian) Shane Watson and (Pakistani) Sohail Tanvir will leave a huge gap.”