It’s not incidental that the rise of Chennai and Rajasthan, after lacklustre starts, is due to the impact of unknown faces — Sudeep Tyagi and Shadab Jakati for Chennai and Naman Ojha and Abhishek Raut for Rajasthan.
Do we see a trend in the reversal of fortunes of the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders after rather promising starts? Mumbai won their first and Kolkata their second match but are currently at the bottom. The same could be said about the Kings XI Punjab.
Let's take the point further. Have Chennai and Rajasthan done so because they are being brilliantly led by MS Dhoni and Shane Warne? Are these two the reason why little-known youngsters are punching much above their weight?
It's got to be so.
What makes Dhoni and Warne tick? Both are top performers. It goes without saying that their tactical acumen and ability to keep cool under pressure is legendary. The camaraderie in the dressing room is infectious and that's because there is no hierarchy.
They were the champion sides of the first season and one won't be surprised if it's a repeat this year unless Delhi and the Chargers think otherwise. In a highly volatile and uncertain format, it's good to know that a few basics of the game still hold good. Theories such as the multiple captains one, I'm afraid, could be good for making headlines but it's not for winning matches.