The Kings XI Punjab get back to home base in a better frame of mind, having won the super over against the Chennai Super Kings and opening their account on the points table. Having been dismissed for not too many, they would have thought that the game was gone, but the Super Kings let them back into the game by throwing away wickets needlessly.
This is where the Royal Challengers have done well, with Jacques Kallis playing the anchor role to perfection. It is not as if he is just patting the ball back but is cleverly rotating the strike and scoring off the bad deliveries. He is not playing the risky shots but leaving them to Manish Pandey and the others. And once the halfway mark of the innings is reached, he lifts the tempo of his game.
This way, the team knows it won’t run out of batsmen if they go slam-bang from the other end. But, it’s crucial that the batsmen at the other end are taking their chances, else the team will end up short of runs as happened to the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Mumbai Indians.
Chris Gayle batted almost throughout the innings but since he had little support from the other end, the Knight Riders, despite losing only three wickets, ended up with only 155 runs.
Then, Sachin Tendulkar came in and showed that a batsman does not need to go aerial to get the boundaries. His demolition of Ishant Sharma was such a clinical one that the young man had no clue where to bowl. The Tiwaris and the Dhawans will get the attractive 20s and 30s but the winning knocks will come from the experienced guys like Tendulkar, Kallis, Hayden who value their wicket.
When Hayden too got carried away and was bowled in the game against the Kings XI Punjab, the Super Kings lost the glue that holds the batting together and tied a game they should have won, finally losing in the super over. It is the experience that these players have that helps them react to a pressure situation better and look for various ways to get out of a hole than the younger players who know only one method — to crash-bang the ball. It may work but not consistently and that’s why the seniors are wearing the orange cap.
The seniors are also wearing the purple cap with Chaminda Vaas changing his pace and angle, forcing the batsmen to try and hit too hard and lose their timing.
The Rajasthan Royals have opened their account and will be looking to add to that but with the return of Brett Lee in the Kings XI ranks it may not be easy for them. It’s a clash of the bottom-tablers and could well be a close affair. PMG