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IPL so far...

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IPL_Indian_Premier_LeagueIt has become increasingly evident this season, the IPL does not intend to portray itself as a cricketing event. It was, is and will always remain a two month reality show complete with bouncy babes, bat and ball wielding men, marketeers posing as umpires and poetic commentators and anchors. Not to say the cricket hasn't been exciting. Except for the first, the matches have provided riveting entertainment.

Even low scoring games have been nail biting. Bowlers like Dale Steyn, Sunil Narine, Amit Mishra and Kevon Cooper have represented their kind astutely. There have been very few batting stars so far.

Most teams have by now, identified their key players and the duds in the pile.

Delhi Daredevils

David Warner losing his wicket for Delhi is like them getting hit in the nuts. It hurts. Real bad. Virender Sehwag's return shouldn't affect the status quo much. The most one can expect from him is one 50 in 6 games. The bowling will definitely be bolstered by Morne Morkel. They have the players. They just need more people to start performing in the same game.

KXIP

The first match was an easy win. Unfortunately their batting remains weak and was exposed against CSK. Their bowling is not fearsome, but on their day they can contain the batsmen to manageable scores.

Rajasthan Royals

An in form Rahul Dravid makes their batting look stronger than it actually is. Ajinkya Rahane has done well and Brad Hodge has finished the innings. But they desperately need Shane Watson to find his destructive form. Kevon Cooper has been miserly on the bowling front. Unfortunately he has been that way while batting too. The team is still an underdog and is unlikely to win the tournament.

KKR

Yousuf Pathan is a free wicket for the opposition. Pretty much every team has worked out he can only hit half volleys. But it's only a matter of time before Kallis returns to form with the bat. Narine is their key bowler. Lee and Balaji provide enough amunition with the ball. They are a balanced side. One of the teams for the knockouts

Mumbai Indians

Never thought I'd say this, but Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are holding the team back. Dinesh Karthik has been inspirational and Kieron Pollard, brutal. Pollard has shown maturity and should be given more overs to bat. However, he shouldn't be given 4 overs to bowl. Malinga's return augurs well for MI. If they get their opening batting combination sorted, this team seems unstoppable. (At least, on paper)

Pune Warriors

Filled with inconsistent players, Pune for me won't go too far in the tournament. Yuvraj, Samuels, Ross Taylor are all good players. But I wouldn't count on them to perform in even 50% of the matches. Aaron Finch blasted the Rajasthan bowlers. But even he stands as a one match wonder. The bowling is weak. Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs swing. Dinda, well, needs luck to not be hit around or bad batting. Rahul Sharma like last year, remains their go to bowler.

CSK

The team to beat. Michael Hussey is perhaps the best opening batsmen in this IPL. MS Dhoni's form in limited overs cricket has been outstanding for a long time now. Sir Ravindra Jadeja is in the team. Need I say more? They have been the most consistent team in the IPL and this year shouldn't be any different.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Dale Steyn. Period. The man is an entire bowling attack in himself. Ishant Sharma and Amith Mishra provide support like good briefs. Their batting needs a lot of work. However, their bowling is good enought to force a win in low scoring games as well. They might surprise us with a place in the semi-finals

RCB

Chris Gayle. Period. The man is an entire batting line up in himself. He also enjoys good support from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Their bowling line up is formidable too. Balanced. Definite candidates for a place in the knockouts.

The fielding in this season has been eye catching. Especially the one handed flying catches. Ponting, Dravid, Taylor, Gurkeerat and Ajinkya Rahane have mesmerized by their defiance of human body limitations. With just 18 games gone, there is a lot more entertainment still to come.



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