As another week of the IPL goes by, we shall have a brief look at what happened and the players who made the most of it and off course the players who flopped.
Teams that impressed:
The Hyderbadis are slowly coming into their own as their bowling attack, which many consider the best in the IPL are tearing apart the opposition. Bar AB DeVilliers’ blitzkrieg, they have been quite consistent. Although captain Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t provided even one innings of substance as of yet, his team mates have ensured that they have had a smooth sail ahead. Their defence of a paltry 134 against the Royals was certainly one where their bowling took responsibility and they duly delivered. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has been phenomenal to say the least. Leggie Amit Mishra was battered by Pollard but he came back strongly as he took 3 wickets against the Daredevils. With the bat, Warner has been the one who has had some kind of form.
With two wins out of a possible three, the Royals have stabilised their position in the points table. Players such as James Faulkner, Steve Smith and Karun Nair have showed their worth. Pravin Tambe and Shane Watson chipped in with the ball when required. Tambe changed the course of the match as he got three KKR batsmen out in three successive deliveries leading Royals to a victory out of nothing. James Faulkner’s exploits with the bat is well known but he hasn’t come to the party this IPL, not until now. The same goes for Steve Smith, as the two Baggy Greens tonked the RCB bowlers around the park as they brought about a fantastic victory.
Now that we’ve looked at the teams, let’s look at the people who made this week how it was.
AB De Villiers
The swashbuckling Proteas batsman was in his belligerent best against team mate Dale Steyn as he scooped the fastest pace bowler in the world for a six. He inspired a bruised RCB as he steered them to victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was on course for another devestating innings but as fate would have it, the Kings XI Punjab spinners got the better of the Bangaloreans. De Villiers’ innings last night against the Rajasthan Royals was another of his masterpieces. Although the Royals went on to win, the retrieval of De Villiers’ form is something the RCB think-tank would be happy about.
The Karnataka batsman is back to his best and he has made the opening spot his own off late. He followed a classy 65 against the Royals which ended in vain with a couple of 40 something scores against the Daredevils and the Kings XI Punjab. The return of his form has ensured that KKR’s opening issues are solved, at least temporarily. To see him walk down the pitch against the fast bowlers and hit them over their head is a sight to behold. His confidence is back and so is his form.
Another fine find by the Royals, rookie Karun Nair has been extremely good over the course of the tournament. His consistency at the top was something the Royals direly needed and he has given them that. He may not be as explosive as a Chris Gayle nor is he as flamboyant as a Kevin Pietersen, he is just your regular, everyday cricketer. He has scored a couple of good knocks this tournament and he’s surely one to watch out for the future.
One wouldn’t expect his name, right? Although he has been phenomenal the past couple of years, Kohli is having a very tough time this IPL. A couple of poor shots along with a few bad decisions have certainly not helped the cause. Poor shot selection by Kohli has cast doubts in his mind. Especially against the Kings XI Punjab when he got out to an ordinary delivery which would on any other day, would have raced off the field to the boundary.
After a good start to the IPL, Finch hasn’t had a good run in the tournament. Deliveries that move after pitching are certainly troubling this batsman from down under. He has been able to muster less than 50 runs in his past 3 matches as the bowlers have started to get the better of him. And playing spin isn’t his forte and in Indian pitches which are most likely slow and low, that’s a nightmare for any batsman.
Like his leap during his run up during bowling, his economy rate has also shot upwards. With economy rates showing 12.66,12.33 and 9.75, he has had a disastrous week to say the least. His delivery has been easy pickings for batsmen who have gotten a liking for his bowling. He has become an expert in bowling half volleys and slower balls which end up like lollipops in the death overs. While his franchisee RCB are not too happy about this, the opposition hope he does play more.