Indian Premier League teams are exhibiting unpredictable performances in the recent days. No team is looking as hot favourite to win 2008 Indian Premier League. I surprised after seeing the decimation of Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur at the hands of Rajasthan Royals while Mumbai Indians comfortably defeated Delhi Daredevils as Delhi depended too heavily on their top order. Kolkata Knight Riders suffered successive defeats after rousing start in the initial matches. Even though these unpredictable results are good for IPL tournament but team fans are not in a position to digest their unpredictable performances.
Bowlers are gradually gaining edge over batsmen and Delhi legend Glenn McGrath is simply a revelation in this tournament. There is visible drop in batting performances of some teams after the exit of foreign players. At present, Rajasthan Royals are consistently winning matches due to collective performances but you need match winners like Adam Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag etc to win in knock out matches. I am eagerly waiting to see how they perform in high voltage matches. Except Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royals, all teams are looking strong to win the trophy. Mumbai Indians are current underdogs.
Players I missed in IPL 2008: Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen.
What I liked in IPL:
1. Shane Warne – superb leader and Jaipur success is a case study for MBA atudents.
2. Rajasthan Royals team – Underdogs surprised analysts with their performances.
3. Australian and New Zealand cricketers: We really missed these stars. Who can forget McCullum and Hussey centuries and Mathew Hayden’s consistency?
4. Adam Gilchrist & Virender Sehwag: Most dangerous cricketers on their day.
5. Shaun Pollock through his all round performance.
6. Delhi top order is simply superb.
7. Rohit Sharma- who has tremendous future.
8. Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan – Indian bowling is in safe hands.
9. Young cricketers like Gony, Dinda, Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Kohli, Abhishek, Asnodkar, Shukla etc. They played much better than icons like Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman.
10. Wicket keepers like Brendon McCullum, Adam Gilchrist, Mark Boucher, Kumara Sangakkara etc tremendous roles through their batting.
1. Ricky Ponting: Worst performance.
2. Harbhajan Singh: Worst behaviour.
3. VVS Laxman: Worst captain.
4. Worst coach: Lalchand Rajput.
5. Worst team: Hyderabad Deccan Chargers.
6. Worst pitch: Eden Gardens in that match.
7. Worst match: Chennai Super Kings Vs Rajasthan Royals.
Verdict: IPL is a resounding success. I am glad to see busy businessmen like Mukhesh Ambani and Vijay Mallya in the stands. Owners like Preity Zinta actively involved in the team preparations. IPL cricket tournament succeeded beyond expectations. If ICC can include this tournament in the future calendar, IPL will reach tremendous heights in popularity. Youth Icon Anil Ambani failed to judge the tremendous opportunity lies in this tournament. He really missed the boat.
Who will win IPL 2008 Cricket Twenty20 tournament? Please share your opinion.