In Case You Missed It: All eyes on the IPL

Can you tell this season's going to be a nail-biter? BCCI

No opening ceremony, no spectators but the biggest franchise tournament in the world is officially a go in a biosecure bubble in the UAE, and missing none of the intensity. Why the UAE? And how did this all come about? Catch up on the background with our handy primer, then really get stuck into the teams and strategies and what to expect in our preview of a surreal season. And just before the IPL sucked up all the oxygen in the room, England lost their first bilateral ODI series at home since 2015, to old foes Australia. Catch up on that and all the action from the UAE in our weekly rundown.

Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis help CSK break Mumbai Indians jinx
The IPL kicked off in ways that would be familiar to fans: the Mumbai Indians lost their season opener yet again and MS Dhoni employed some intriguing tactics (this time with his batting order) in the Chennai Super Kings' five-wicket win. Oh and dew was a factor too.

Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey turn tide to seal thrilling series for Australia
Australia looked set to go down hard at 73 for 5 in the series decider before the pair put on a 212-run stand for the sixth wicket. This is the first bilateral ODI series England have lost since 2017, and the first at home since 2015, but George Dobell says it's a good time for England to work on areas that need improvement in the World Cup cycle.

Why Rishabh Pant is perhaps India's first T20 batsman with a T20 attitude
Sidharth Monga looks at how Pant excels in the IPL at the difficult task of batting in the middle order, but he has his work cut out trying to push his way back into the India set-up. But might this be his team Delhi Capitals' year to go all the way to the top? Franchise owner Parth Jindal believes they might finally have the firepower to get there.

How will teams' strategies change because the IPL is being played in the UAE?
We know from the Pakistan Super League that's been held in the UAE that scoring is slower, big totals are harder to come by, and running between wickets matters more. How will teams cope? Sidharth Monga and Gaurav Sundararaman put on their captains' hats. What will each team's starting XI look like? Aakash Chopra puts them together.

Australians in the IPL: ESPNcricinfo's one-stop guide
They're arriving in batches and quarantining longer but there's plenty of them this season in the IPL. Who plays for whom? How much did they cost? How likely are they to play? Andrew McGlashan has all the answers

The coffee wars are going to create latte problems for Australia
Alan Gardner investigates the trouble brewing in the Australian camp in this month's Light Roller.

Wristspinners are in, but don't write offspin off just yet
Fingerspinners are increasingly making their presence felt in the powerplay in IPL matches. Andrew Fidel Fernando explores the phenomenon.

The 19th-over specialist, 50 runs off four overs, and other trends in the IPL
Shiva Jayaraman lists the many highly specific strategies that the tournament has evolved since its early days.

How has the Chennai Super Kings Dad's Army fared since the last IPL?
Sure CSK just taken the first match of the season, but what have the ageing stars who helped the franchise reach two consecutive finals been doing in the last 16 months before that? Dustin Silgardo throws back.

Andre Russell, the IPL's most destructive, impactful and valuable player
The countdown to find the IPL's MVP of MVPs ends here: no other player comes to close to the impact he has on games in the league.