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IPL 2020 SOPs: Rigorous testing, restricted movement, one team per hotel



The IPL has laid out a rigorous testing process for players and support staff who will need to clear at least four tests along with a week-long quarantine before they can start training in the UAE. Details of the testing process and frequency feature among the draft document of standard operating procedures (SOPs), which the IPL shared with franchises on Monday.

The SOPs include details on dos and don’ts during travel, lodging and training during the 53-day tournament, which is scheduled to be played at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – between September 19 and November 10. The BCCI is yet to announce the tournament schedule as it awaits a formal nod from the Indian government.

ESPNcricinfo understands that teams have been asked to travel with “minimum” contingents and not before August 20. Among the SOPs, the IPL has permitted families of squad members to travel to the UAE and stay inside the bio-secure bubble, but the final decision on that front will remain with each franchise. However, the IPL has made it mandatory that each team will need to have a medical doctor on board to help the franchise mitigate risks as well educate the squad during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Testing protocols

As per the draft SOPs, IPL has recommended to franchises that all members carry out two tests before their squads depart for the UAE. Those two tests will need to be done at 24-hour intervals as per the World Health Organisation norms. They will also need to be done before the player or coaching/support staff member assembles in the city where they will board the flight for the UAE. The validity of the second test result will need to last for at least four days (96 hours) including the date of landing in the UAE.

The player or staff in question can only fly out if both those tests come out negative. Anyone infected will need to undergo the mandatory two-week quarantine period as per the guidelines of the Indian government. After that, the person will need to undergo a fresh set of two tests and clear them before joining the squad in the UAE.

Once the squad lands in the UAE, all members are to undergo another test at the airport before heading to the team hotel. From this point, the IPL testing protocol will kick in.

As per the protocol, every squad will undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine in the team hotel. During this week every squad member will be tested thrice – on days 1, 3 and 6. Once all those results come back negative, the squad can start training.

After that, all squad members will be tested on the fifth day of every week throughout the tournament.

“The IPL has permitted families of squad members to travel to the UAE and stay inside the bio-secure bubble, but the final decision on that front will remain with each franchise.”

As far as the non-Indian players and staff are concerned, they will need to carry the negative result of the test carried out in the last 96 hours before arriving in the UAE.

As per the local rules, during the tournament squads travelling to Abu Dhabi will need to carry negative test results carried out in the previous 48 hours. As per the IPL guidelines, if the weekly test result has expired during the course of travel to Abu Dhabi, squads will need to undergo a fresh test again.

Testing positive during the tournament

In such a scenario, it is understood that the person in question would need to isolate but outside the bubble, considering that aerosols – respiratory droplets – can easily be transmitted. That infected person would be put in a sanitised room within the same hotel. One of the guidelines recommends having a few rooms where the squad is staying to isolate any infected person(s).

No stepping out of the bubble

It is understood the IPL has made it clear no person can go in and out of the bio-secure bubble during the course of the tournament. Strict social distancing norms have been recommended, including squad members discouraged from having any close contact even within the bubble which includes moving between hotel rooms. Squad members have also been asked to wear masks outside their rooms at hotels and avoid any unnecessary movement.

There will be exceptions. If an injured player needs to visit a hospital for X-rays or scans, then the guidelines suggest the movement be restricted to the clinic with minimal interaction with outsiders.

One team per hotel

As per the guidelines all eight teams will stay in separate hotels. The franchises have been asked to book a hotel or resort exclusively for the squads with no outsiders allowed. If that is not possible, then IPL has recommended they stay somewhere with a separate wing, entrance and exit.

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Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020, Fantasy Pick, team predictions



Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, Sharjah

Pro Tip
Pack your team with batsmen from both teams and expect yet another high scoring game at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Our XI: Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi

Substitutes: Sheldon Cottrell, Rahul Tewatia, Nicholas Pooran, Jaydev Unadkat

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Player availability: All players are available including Jos Buttler who missed the last game.

Captain: Jos Buttler
Buttler has had a week off after the ODI series against Australia and would be eager to resume playing his preferred format. In his last three T20I innings, Buttler scored 178 runs at a strike rate of 158.92. His performance against the Kings XI have been impressive since 2018: 225 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 143.41.

Vice-captain: KL Rahul
Rahul has continued his purple patch even after a six-month break. His 132 not out against the Royal Challengers is the highest individual score for an Indian in the IPL. With his ability to clear long boundaries, he is likely to make the most of the Sharjah ground dimensions.

Hot Picks
Glenn Maxwell
Though Maxwell has had a couple of failures in as many games this season, he could find form against the Kings XI. Rahul tossed him the ball against the Royal Challengers and the Australian returned a wicket. In the ODI series against England, he struck a fifty and a hundred against a Jofra Archer-led attack.

Chris Gayle
This could be the right time for the Kings XI to unleash Gayle: a small ground, a batting-friendly surface and a couple of legspinners in the opposition XI – all could favour Gayle’s style of batting. Gayle has a strike rate of 197.14 against legspinners, the highest among all batsmen who’ve faced 100 or more balls from legspinners in T20s since 2018.

Mohammed Shami
Shami has been bowling with great rhythm and pace. He’s looked peerless in the pace-bowling department across teams so far this season. He has picked up four wickets at an economy of 4.14. Even in a small ground without much help for the pacers, Shami is a key pick. Since 2018, Shami has had an economy of 6.80 in the powerplay, the best among all seamers who have picked up five or more wickets in the phase.

Differential Picks
Ravi Bishnoi
The young leggie has been given the ball in tough situations and has still come on top. He has picked up 4 wickets at an economy of 6.75. The small ground and big hitters in the Royals line-up will be another challenge for Bishnoi but we expect him to ace it yet again. Tom Curran: After a forgettable outing the Super Kings, many may not pick Curran. But a bowler with as many variations as Curran is very handy on this ground. Even though he has an economy of 9.99 in the death since 2018 in all T20s, he also has a SR of 9.9 suggesting he will get you a wicket or two more often than not.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Wait until the toss to see if Buttler keeps wickets. If Sanju Samson does, make Buttler your vice-captain and Rahul your captain to maximise on points as Rahul will surely keep wickets for the Kings XI.

  • Chris Gayle should be brought into the XI given the ground dimensions and the two legspinners in the Royals’ line-up. Since 2017 in all T20s, Gayle has struck at 182.93 against leg spin.

  • If Gayle does not play, pick one of the the Royals legspinners ahead of Tom Curran since there’s expected to be only one left-handed batsman in the top six for the Kings XI

  • Royals’ line-up is filled with right-handed batsmen, so playing both the Kings XI legspinners could also be an option instead of one of their batsmen.

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Match Preview – Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, Indian Premier League 2020 2020, 9th Match



Big picture

The Kings XI Punjab recovered superbly – a 97-run win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore – after their Super Over heartbreak against the Delhi Capitals. Now they move to Sharjah, the smallest of the three venues, to take on the Rajasthan Royals, who made 216 at that venue earlier this week for a 16-run win over the Chennai Super Kings. We could be in for another high-scoring game on Sunday.

The Kings XI have so far held back Chris Gayle. Is there a case for them to unleash him in this game? No ground is too big for him, but in Sharjah, where even mis-hits carry over the rope, Gayle will be a big threat even though he isn’t the force he once was. The Kings XI management is happy with his form in the nets, but bringing him could mean altering their balance because both KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the regular openers, have done exceedingly well in the first two games. Yet, it is a good selection headache to have. Nicholas Pooran may have to miss out in case Gayle comes in.

The Royals will be boosted by the return of Jos Buttler, but there is a possibility he’ll bat in the middle order. Steven Smith played anchor from the top of the innings in the first game, and might want to continue doing that alongside rookie Yashasvi Jaiswal. With Sanju Samson likely to play one-drop, Buttler could slot in at No. 4 to give the middle order some solidity, with Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag to follow. David Miller, who was run-out without facing a ball on his debut for the Royals last week, could be the unfortunate one to miss out.

Having competed hard and won a high-scoring game at this venue should give the Royals a slight edge in this contest, but on their day, Kings XI can topple any side like they showed two nights ago against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Whatever happens, expect another 200 vs 200 contest.

In the news

  • Buttler is available for selection after completing his extended quarantine. That means the Royals may have to decide between David Miller and Tom Curran for one overseas spot.

  • The Kings XI have no injury concerns. Everyone is fit and available for selection.



Gaurav, Shashank and Karthik alongside Alexis Nunes take turns on muting each other on a variety of IPL topics

Likely XIs

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Steven Smith (capt), 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Robin Uthappa, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 Shreyas Gopal, 8 Jodra Archer, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Rahul Tewatia, 11 Jaydev Unadkat

Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Jimmy Neesham/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 M Ashwin

Strategy punt

  • The Kings XI have an opportunity to surprise the Royals by fielding Gayle. Apart from the dimensions of the ground, the Royals have two legspinners – Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia – and Jaydev Unadkat, the left-arm pacer. Gayle strikes at over 200 against bowlers with these skillsets since IPL 2018. This will also give more heft to an in-form Kings XI line-up.

  • Jimmy Neesham didn’t bat, and bowled just two overs in the previous game, and if the top three fire, it’s unlikely he’ll get too many opportunities. While leaving him out may seem a tad harsh, strategy could dictate the inclusion of Mujeeb Ur Rahman in his place.

Stats that matter

  • Samson is two hits away from 100 sixes in the IPL, and Maxwell is nine away from the landmark.

  • Buttler needs 97 more to get to 6000 T20 runs.

  • Archer’s IPL best of 3 for 15 came against the Kings XI in IPL 2019.

  • Kings XI’s opening pair has averaged 50.8, the best among all teams, since IPL 2019.

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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, live streaming, where to watch KKR vs SRH, IPL 2020, 7.30pm, Sep 26



In the Knight Riders’ tournament opener, opener Sunil Narine was dismissed with a short ball. Sunrisers Hyderabad don’t have a genuine quick – they are full of swing bowlers, but it’s a prospect that should excite them. So does Narine still hold his place as a bowler? Most definitely, going by his bowling figures of 4-0-22-1 against Mumbai Indians. Also, who opens then if he drops down the order? The Sunrisers didn’t do much wrong for most parts of their opening game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the middle order, entirely Indian on the day, failed to see off the game. They must be hurting, and would be eager to correct that.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad is available to view in India on Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Airtel TV.

When does the KKR vs SRH live streaming start?
The KKR vs SRH live streaming will start at 7:00 PM India Time September 26, 2020.

Where is the KKR vs SRH match being played?
The KKR vs SRH match will be played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.

On which TV channels will KKR vs SRH live coverage be available?
In India, Star Sports 1 and 1HD, Star Sports Select 1 and 1HD and SS1 Hindi and 1 Hindi HD will telecast the match live.

Where can one find KKR vs SRH live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: KKR vs SRH live score.

What are the likely playing XIs for today’s KKR vs SRH game?

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Sunil Narine, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Dinesh Karthik (capt, wk), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Nikhil Naik/Rahul Tripathi, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Shivam Mavi, 11 Sandeep Warrier

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 2 David Warner (capt), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Priyam Garg, 5 Kane Williamson/Mohammad Nabi, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Abhishek Sharma, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 T Natarajan/Khaleel Ahmed

Who are the captains for today’s KKR vs SRH game?
The captains for today’s game will be Dinesh Karthik (KKR) and David Warner (SRH).

Who are the umpires for KKR vs SRH game?
The on-field umpires for today’s game will be Virender Sharma and Chris Gaffaney. The third umpire will be S Ravi.

Who will be the match referee for KKR vs SRH game?
The match referee for today’s game will be Shakti Singh.

All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.

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