Monday, May 13, 2013

IPL6: The Slog Overs

The Yes Bank Maximumth edition (or the 6th edition in normal lingo) of the Indian Premier League has now reached the slog overs stage. Some teams have been thrashed out of the competition (Delhi Darevdevils, Pune Warriors), some barely clinging on (KKR, Kings XI) and an intense 5-way fight going on for the 4 play-off spots. As the IPL reaches its business end (finally), here are some quick thoughts on each of the teams.

Teams being discussed in the reverse order of ranking as on date:

Pune Warriors India: (2 wins from 14 games) - They have been outplayed by one and all. Constantly changing captaincy (Matthews, Taylor, Finch), a misfiring star (Yuvraj Singh), poor death bowling (Dinda in particular), spinners whose mysteries have been sorted out (Mendis, Rahul Sharma) have all contributed to another very bad season. However they have had a solid opening pair (Uthappa & Finch) and one good bowler in Bhubaneswar Kumar (best Indian seamer on display). But thats not enough to see the side through.Would like to see more of Pervez Rasool in the coming games.

Delhi Daredevils: (3 wins form 13 games) - A top-order of Sehwag, Jayawardene, Warner with support cast of Unmukt Chand & Naman Ojha, a bowling line-up of Morkel, Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Nadeem. On paper a match-winning combination. Yet somehow all seems to have gone wrong with the Daredevils. They have been hit by injuries (Pietersen, Ryder, Aaron) but what has hit them most is the lack of form of most of the main cast and almost the entire support cast. When they have fired, Warner and Sehwag have single-handedly won the games. But no one's been consistent enough.

Kings XI Punjab: (5 wins from 13 games) - Kings XI haven't been performing well since IPL1. But they have managed some stunning performances this year mainly thanks to David Miller. Praveen Kumar has been the amongst the best Indian seamers on display while Piyush Chawala  has been making regular contibutions. The domestic Indian players like Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra are utilizing the opportunities that they have got. However its the under-performing foreigners (Gilchrist, David Hussey, Mahmood) who are pulling down the team.

Kolkata Knight Riders: (6 wins from 14 games) - The defending champions are not having a good time this year around. This despite having retained the same team. A rock-solid batting line-up of Gambhir, Kallis, and Morgan is getting undone by the wretched form of others specially Yusuf Pathan. While Sunil Narine is holding up the bowling department and Rajat Bhatia is executing his bits & pieces role to perfection, the others are just not pulling their weight and as a result KKR are languishing mid-table just holding on to their play-off hopes.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: (8 wins from 13 games) - They have been the surprise package of the tournament. Their batting line-up which was almost non-existent at the beginning of the tournament has been boosted by the arrival of Shikhar Dhawan. The bowling line-up however has been doing more than its bit to cover the batting faults. Steyn, Ishant, Mishra, Perera and Sammy are a real good attack to have. Unlike some other teams, the poor form of their captains (Sanga & White) have been a blessing in disguise for the team. And the domestic players like Hanuma Vihari & Karan Sharma have put their hand up and bailed out the team when required. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore: (8 wins from 14 games) - RCB bring extreme firepower to the IPL. Gayle at top, Kohli to consolidate, if required at all, and de Villiers to finish. Pujara coming in as Gayle's opening partner makes it potentially the most explosive batting lineup possible. Yet a misfiring bowling lineup (Vinay Kumar, RP Singh, Unadkat, Rampaul etc) and over-dependence on their top-order has ensured that they are still not  certain of qualification to the play-offs. 

Mumbai Indians: (9 wins from 13 games) - A team which is doing quite well, yet at the same time not  giving the feel of a top favorite. Poor opening partnerships (with due apologies to the legends at the top) and under-performing Pollard & Malinga have been offset by the performance of Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Mitchell Johnson and others. Some more consistency in performances is needed.

Rajasthan Royals: (10 wins from 14 games) - Rahul Dravid's team are like Rocky, the people's champions. They may not have the big names on their roster, but they certainly know how to make full use of their limited resources. The most flexible line-up in the tournament, they keep re-jigging the team depending on the opposition and ground conditions. And more often than not, their strategies have worked. Whether its the big guns Dravid, Watson and Rahane or the relatively unknowns -  Faulkner, Samson, Binny, Yagnik, Chandila, Cooper, Trivedi everyone has come in and contributed to the team's cause. The Royals have kept a perfect home record, though not so successful outside Jaipur. 

Chennai Super Kings: (10 wins from 14 games) - Its been said IPL is a competition in which 8/9/10 teams play and in the end CSK wins. Like every dominant champion they have their share of haters who do not want to see them win. But even the haters agree that the cricket is not the reason for hating CSK. Its a team making the most of its formidable resources (inlcuding non-ground ones). And in Mohit Sharma they have found one genuine local talent from this year's edition.

So thats the team's reviews as we enter the final stages of this year's IPL. For the IPL finals, I would love to see Rajasthan Royals beating Sunrisers. And the team carrying Dravid around Eden Gardens in a victory lap. A fitting finish to a legendary career. 

P.S. Hope that I have not jinxed the team.

4 comments:

  1. you said, "I would love to see".. enough precautions against jinxing... so relax :)

    Btw a perfect review of performances thus far...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was an anti-jinx ritual done :P

      Delete
  2. Honest and Genuine review... Well done...
    Ajeeth boaz
    FB

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