It’s just getting to that time in the tournament when you get an idea of who will slip easy into the all-important semifinals and who needs a miracle to get there.
The Deccan Chargers, who take on Rajasthan Royals, won’t be worrying too much given their winning run. Another team that is comfortably ensconced is the Delhi Daredevils, but they certainly won’t take the Chennai Super Kings lightly.
Where’s the fizz?
The Super Kings are not quite down and out but they certainly don’t seem to be the force they were last year. Most notably, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lacked the zing that characterises his leadership. Perhaps the mindnumbing routine of having to play day-in and day-out is taking its toll. Whatever it is, Chennai need their leader back in his best mood. Without Dhoni’s self-belief, the Super Kings look flat.
The Delhi duo
Virender Sehwag has just 87 runs from five matches while the man once called the Bradman of T20, Gautam Gambhir, has eked out 56 from 5 games. While the Tendulkar-Jayasuriya opening partnership has to be the one opponents fear the most in this tournament, Sehwag and Gambhir are certainly not far behind.
Despite the failure of their openers Delhi have been bailed out by Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan (176) and South African AB de Villiers (181). It’s high time the openers returned the favour.
Six and … not out
Adam Gilchrist is hitting the ball mighty far, but not in anger.
For every six Gilchrist manages, a charity presents one disabled child with a specially modified bike. The motivation is working as Gilchrist leads the six-hitting stakes (till the end of Sunday’s matches) with 11. The tight battle for top spot is between Gilchrist (11) and Chris Gayle (10) at the moment.
The Indian Yusuf
While the South African Yusuf Abdulla is powering Kings XI Punjab's campaign, India’s Yusuf — the elder of the Pathan siblings — has played a huge role in keeping the dream of defending champions Rajasthan Royals alive.
From providing the late-order blitzes Yusuf is famous for, to bowling brisk offbreaks at the beginning of the innings, Warne is asking much from the allrounder. And he has delivered so far.