Experimentation is the name of the game at this edition of the IPL. Quite a few teams have shown a willingness to shuffle their batting order, and some others have not hesitated in bringing on their spinners at the start of the opposition innings. The move to introduce spinners early has usually paid off but the shuffling of the batting line-up hasn't proved that fruitful.
Though the batting order has been meddled with partly due to the availability of certain players for certain time periods, much of it has been put down to strategy by the coaches.
The Royal Challengers, for instance, have been changing their batting order in almost every game. "It's all a part of our strategy. The fact that only four international players can be in the playing XI also leads to this experimentation," said coach Ray Jennings.
Kings XI coach Tom Moody said changes are needed for staying unpredictable. "One has to be quite unpredictable in this format, and the team that springs a surprise on other teams has more chances of success," said Moody.
However, for some, the changing batting order reflects confusion and is due to the pressure arising out of losses. "I think the top three positions need to be fixed. In an ideal situation, I don't think anyone would tamper with the top order. It happens only when teams start losing," said former Zimbabwe opener, Alistair Campbell. “Teams doing well in the tournament are the ones with more settled top order.”
Rajasthan Royals are the only ones to benefit from shuffling their batting line-up. And Yusuf Pathan is one player who has delivered at different batting positions. "Well, I am not sure if it's a clever ploy to hold back Yusuf. But it's working for them," said Gilchrist.