The pitches in Sharjah were relaid just before the UAE leg of IPL 2021 began, and the venue was no longer the batting paradise of the past. In the 2020 edition, teams hit a six every 12 balls, but in 2021, that number was 23. In all, only 98 sixes were hit in ten IPL matches in 2021. On these slow pitches, the bowlers who varied their pace had more success, and while seamers and spinners registered similar economy rates - 6.92 and 6.79 respectively - the pace bowlers had better strike rates, taking a wicket every 17 balls compared to 22 for spinners.
The pitches in Dubai have not changed much over the last couple of years. Some pitches have been slow while a few have helped pacers. The average score has been in the range of 150-160 over the last two seasons of the IPL. The seamers have been more successful here, conceding 27 runs per wicket, compared to 32 for the spinners. Teams will likely look to play three fast bowlers in Dubai, including at least one with extreme pace (if they have the luxury of having one in their squad).
Abu Dhabi is the venue that is most likely to witness high scores this World Cup. The conditions are generally excellent for batting, but because the boundaries are the biggest among the three venues, the bowlers are also in play. There isn't much help for spinners here: they average 33 runs per wicket while the pace bowlers average 29.
The World Cup is being held in the months of October and November when the weather starts cooling down in the UAE. The numbers from IPL 2020 - a tournament that was played from September to November - presents an interesting tale of two halves. In the first half, when conditions were hotter and there was less dew, the teams batting first won 77% of the matches. In the second half - which is when the World Cup is being played this year - the numbers flipped around, with the team chasing winning 77% of the matches. The numbers were more skewed in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah: the teams chasing won 15 out of the 18 matches at those venues.
Gaurav Sundararaman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo