Monday, April 27, 2009

IPL-II has warmed up nicely

The IPL-II has now warmed up nicely. At least six of the eight teams could have a real shot at the title and this implies suspense which is essential to any good sporting event.

The laggards are Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore and unfortunately, both only have tougher days ahead.

Knight Riders would lose Chris Gayle on his national duty and that means the face of the team’s batting is gone.

Brendon McCullum hasn’t been the same free-spirited batsman since being the captain but then he is always looking over the shoulder to see how many hands are up for the challenge in his absence.
Inspirational leadership

Lightweight batting needs inspirational leadership, such as Shane Warne provides to his team regularly.

In bowling too, a lot has come to rest on Ishant Sharma who hasn’t been his normal self. There are tough days ahead for KKR.

Royal Challengers is licking its own wounds. Kevin Pietersen is criticised for its ills and that is understandable since he is the most expensive buy of the tournament.

Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis are alright but they need a Hulk Hogan of a striker in their ranks.

Of the rest, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Dardevils and Deccan Chargers inspire confidence.

All these four teams have an allround balance and that matters. Names such Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Harbahjan Singh, Suresh Raina, M.S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Pragyan Ojha figure in these teams and that is virtually India’s ODI line-up!

These men are worth their weight in gold.

Even their foreign buys are incredible: Sanath Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga for Mumbai; Matthew Hayden and Muttiah Muralitharan for Chennai; A.B. de Villiers and Daniel Vettori for Delhi and Adam Gilchrist and Fidel Edwards for Hyderabad have been awesome.

All these teams have solid opening bowlers and batsmen and that tell us something about successful teams in this format.

With Andrew Symonds joining the Chargers ranks soon it will be one team to keep an eye on.
Dark horses

Punjab and Jaipur ought to be the dark horses. Punjab, for it has such incredible batting talent as well as two new ball bowlers who can take the best by surprise.

Yusuf Abdulla has no international reputation but try telling this to his domestic opponents in South Africa and they would vouch he is the best going around in T20 circuit.

Irfan Pathan doesn’t inspire fear but unfailingly picks up important wickets.

As for Jaipur, never write it off. It has this uncanny ability to throw up stars out of nowhere. Kamran Khan can be the fizz of this tournament.

The team will only look up when Graeme Smith starts flexing his muscles.

[the article was originally published at]

No comments:

Post a Comment