The first week of IPL 7 has concluded and we have had some interesting results so far. The inaugural match saw a confident KKR take on Mumbai Indians who put up a lackluster performance to say the least. Mumbai Indians have fewer stars as compared to all the previous editions and hence also find themselves a batsman short of international experience. They have put their money in buying international players but have failed to secure quality domestic players that will put up consistent performances through the season. Two big players for Mumbai Indians namely Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson have moved to Punjab and it is not surprising to see Punjab starting off well in the season for the first time.
Kings 11 Punjab probably has the best batting line-up in this year’s IPL. The dependable Pujara opens with Sehwag and some big hitters in the form of Maxwell, Bailey and Miller make up the middle order. They have easily chased down two big totals in two matches against formidable opponents. Maxwell has missed a century by not much in both the matches. Punjab will be a big threat if he continues to play in the same vein. No total is safe when Maxwell, Sehwag and Miller get going for the Punjab team. They are on second place just behind Royal Challengers Bangalore who top the table on account of a better net run rate.
RCB are in pole position thanks to Kohli, DeVilliers and Yuvraj making the bulk of the runs. Things will only get better once Gayle comes back from injury and strengthens the batting even more. RCB spent a lot of money on buying Yuvraj Singh in the auction and it has been a justified buy so far. One of the highlights of RCB so far is that the domestic bowlers have stepped up to the plate and are restricting the opposition to decent totals.
The surprise package of this tournament could very well be Delhi Daredevils having finally broken a losing streak that they carried into the first match of this tournament. They looked all but lost against KKR until a Duminy special bailed them out in the end. Kevin Pietersen would be keen to join the team and I think they are the dark horses in the tournament. Do not be surprised if they make it to the top four this time around after a horrendous IPL 6.
Rajasthan Royals also have a solid team this year so there are a lot of expectations from captain Shane Watson. They have a good batting attack but the bowling has let them down in the last match against Punjab. They need to strengthen their bowling as they are playing with 2-3 all-rounders in the team rather than genuine bowlers. They will be a team to watch out for if they get their bowling combination right. They currently lie at fourth place behind RCB, Punjab and KKR.
The teams that are yet to win a match are Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. Mumbai is in the worst position having lost two out of two matches and so lie in bottom place. Chennai are second last with one win and one loss. This is quite unusual for the two teams as we normally see them in top half. Hyderabad once again looks a little dependent on Dale Steyn and so they get in trouble if he does not fire. A collective team effort is needed to start winning and rising above the sixth spot that they occupy currently just below Delhi Daredevils.