IPL returns to home-and-away format with defending champions Gujarat Titans to face Chennai Super Kings in the first match

MARCH 31 – The Indian Premier League (IPL) will return to its traditional two-legged format after four years, with the defending champions Gujarat Titans taking on the Chennai Super Kings in the opening match on Friday.

The tournament was held in the United Arab Emirates in 2020 and the second half of the 2021 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the IPL will also feature three Bangladeshi players, with Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Das for Kolkata Knight Riders and Mustafizur Rahman for Delhi Capitals, the largest ever entry from Bangladesh. However, Liton and Shakib may miss a few games as they were delayed for Bangladesh’s one-off test against Ireland.

Gujarat Titans, one of two expansion teams, will be looking to retain their title, while Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will try to recapture the crown in the 16th edition of the tournament. Teams will need to quickly adjust to a new rule that allows for tactical substitutions with an “Impact Player” coming in to bat or pitch as needed.

Top Indian players like Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer will miss the tournament this year due to injury, while England’s Jonny Bairstow is still recovering from surgery.

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