Into the IPL
Halfway into the tournament, the points table couldn’t get tighter than this. Rajasthan Royals 5 back to back wins mean a number of teams including Royal Challengers Bangalore (5 wins out of 6 they played in the first half), now face a real challenge to maintaining their spot in the top 4. Mumbai Indians may have lost the game last night against the Chennai Super Kings they sit pretty on the top spot with 14 points. This loss however means more competition between the remaining teams.
It’s only natural of every single fan to start making assumptions and choose their top 4. An RCB Fan, Raghu, does it with a lot of logic behind it, he publishes some probability percentages using an algorithm he’d not share unless I move to Bangalore and become his Shishya (student), displaying the chances of each team making the top 4 before & after every match. Now stat is my weakness, so this post is intended to let you know of my favorite 4 depending on the matches played so far, read on..
Before we start here’s a look at how the points table stands currently post Match no. 37 between the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians played in Chennai. Chennai Super Kings won the match by 24 runs defending a score of 165 batting first. The match also saw the little master Sachin Tendulkar walk off the field retired ill unable to bear the Chennai heat. He later returned to play the saviour for his team but was hold out in the deep. From then on, the match was headed only the Chennai Super Kings way.
Mumbai Indians – The Best team there is
Sitting pretty on top of the Table, Mumbai Indians, with Sachin in top form have become the favorites among everybody’s list. It’s hard to call on them to win the IPL, but them making the finals is a definite bet!
All the Indian recruits with the team are in top form. Saurabh Tiwary looks like a good future for India while Ambati Rayadu continues to prove why he should have been in the Indian Cricket team long before most current players. Sachin is in the form of his life, and Shikar Dhawan is helping the team with a start! Keiorn Pollard may not have still played the inning that justified his price, but Mumbai Indians have thankfully found a good all rounder in him! Lasith malinga bowls yorker at will, while Zaheer Khan continues to lead the bowling attack even from the sidelines. Harbhajan seems to have unusually found rhythm & the right attitude to bowling, while the benchwarmers in Tare, Shikar dhawan, Jayasuriya & Nayar looks promising replacements! All in all, the best team there is in the tournament!
Royal challengers Bangalore – I Support!
Having won 4 out of the 6 games they played in the first half of the tournament, RCB proved why it had the ability to beat the top sides of the tournament. 3 games later, RCB is seen fighting for the top 4 spot. Royal Challengers however have a good number of games left & enough steam within them to take the bull by the horns and prove why they could still be one of the top 2 teams!
Kallis has been in great form. The team depends on him to give them the good start required. Robin Uttapa is in good touch, more like the Uttapa we know, walking down the pitch and hitting the bouncers straight over long on for huge sixes. The batting order looks even more strong now with KP and Ross Taylor back, both have showed their class and shot hitting form in the last game. Anil Kumble has shown good bowling performance so far, but is lacking a bit of support from the other end. The bowlers in the last few matches have taken a beating from the batsmen. Praveen Kumar, the hatrick man suddenly looks out of sorts! Vinay kumar’s form with the ball now looks gone! The team heavily depends on Steyn, replacing him in the last match showed why he was an important member in the team.
RCB need to get the right combination going in the last 5 games! They need a settled batting order and more importantly a good bowling group. My playing XI for RCB goes like this: Kallis, Pandey, Uttapa, KP, Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Appana, Praveen Kumar, vinay kumar, Anil Kumble, Dale Steyn.
Given Coach Ray Jennings expertise, and a settled close knit team as it appears from the sidelines, RCB becomes my favorite to taking the second spot behind Mumbai Indians.
Delhi Daredevils – The team that isn’t playing to their full potential
Sehwag, Gambhir, Dilshan, DeVelliers, Collingwood, Vettori, Nannes. A team full of players who have proved their deed with the shorter version of the game for their respective countries. They have seen daredevils through into the semi finals of all the previous IPL seasons. If they have done it in the past, they can do so now!
The start to season 2010 was good until captain Gambhir got injured. Dinesh karthik took command because Sehwag had already stepped down as the captain to bat freely. Not an auspicious start for the young wicket keeper. Daredevils lost a few games in the middle, sometimes unable to chase the score down, sometimes unable to defend a big score.
Collingwood joined the team only recently and changed it around. His quick fire scoring style proved worthy for the team! Vettori only joined the team in the last match and already proved why he is considered the best spinner in the shorter format. The team now suddenly looks back in reckoning, not they were out of it anyways. Sehwag is due of a big score, and so is dilshan who has been sitting out some of the matches. Dirk Nanness and Amit Mishra are doing the wicket taking responsibilities, while some of other medium pacers are doing a decent job. Given the Daredevils put their act together, It shouldn’t be tough for them to book a semifinal berth, only this time hoping they go a step forward, the final!
The last one is a choice between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals
Ask me before the start of the tournament, My Obvious choice was Saurav Ganguly a.k.a Dada led Kolkatta Knight Riders. Shane bond joined the team and suddenly they found something to cheer about. KKR took easy wins in the first two games. Their performance however dipped in the middle with a lot of fans accusing Dada’s slow batting as the problem. All that changed with Gayle back in the side, He trashed a mighty 70 plus in his first game for KKR, but all that still is lagging. The Team is currently place in the 6th spot with only 4 wins with 5 games to play. Hoping to see a Saurav dada comeback. A true cricket fan wouldn’t want to see this team go away, but IPL is about entertainment and all their matches have been boring!
The other teams that have bored me include – Kings XI Punjab. There is only a 1 in 1 Million chance of them qualifying for Semis! Not so happy Punjab fans are only to blame their star batsmen Yuvraj Singh who never looked in form. Some of his problems with the other players in the team was seen on the field and in his batting! Kumar Sangakaara & Mahela Jayawardene, the only saviours of the team, can do nothing but smile after losing every match, most of them that they could have won with a little effort!
There is nothing good about this team except for Adam Gilchrist & Gayatri Reddy(Oh, I’m a big fan of her looks. Cricket? I always thought choosing Kemar Roach for that price was a bad bad choice!) It’s not that I don’t like the team that I’m taking DC out of the reckoningIt’s more to do with their 2 run defeat against the Rajasthan Royals only a few days ago. The shots that some of the batsmen played towards the end were irresponsible! Rohit Sharma oozes attitude of a star every time he walks into the field, Whatever respect I had for him, sometimes even calling him as Sachin Tendulkar’s descendant is now lost!
Adam Gilchrist is trying hard to keep the team together, but some of the irresponsible behaviours are proving costly for the team. They need Symonds & Gibbs to fire, Kemar Roach their expensive purchase is proving to be nothing but a fast and boring Manpreet Gony to them!
The Choice is therefore between Rajasthan Royals & Chennai Super Kings. Going by heart, it’s difficult to choose one, because both aren’t on my favourites list! I’d rather see Deccan go through than these teams. Cricket fan in me thinks otherwise. Thee two teams are tied close together & the competition is definitely fierce! Both teams have won their last few games and won them convincingly but when u think in the lines of which team would prove worthy competitors to the other 3? I’d love to see Chennai Super Kings should go through, more because they have some star players that fans want to see. Muttaih Muralitharan, I’m a fan! Rajasthan Royals have played good cricket so far, and should they make it owuldn’t surprise me.
This season, it’s heading down to the wire. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. My Heart wants RCB to win, A win that involves Rahul Dravid guiding the ball through extra cover for a boundary or flicking the ball on his pads to the square leg boundary, or the perfect forward defensive shot! There is no better treat than watch this man play, and take the team one step forward, an IPL victory! Join me at the Mumbai DY Patil Stadium to watch MI take on RCB! 🙂