The opening week has convinced me even more that the team with the best bowling attack will win the IPL.
There is a common perception that batsmen win these games. But that’s not the case. How many times do we look at a scorecard and see only who has scored the most runs? Sure, a bowler who takes 5-5 like Anil Kumble did last weekend will catch our attention, but the man who produces figures of 4-0-18-1 has probably done more to win a match than a batsman scoring a 40.
The Delhi Daredevils still remain my tournament favourites. If Glenn McGrath has the X-factor, it will be hard to pick a weakness in their attack while the batting firepower is undisputed.
I’m happy to see that my prediction regarding the prominent role of spinners has materialised too. Having said that, it is only the cream of the crop who have prospered like Kumble, Muralitharan and Daniel Vettori.
Sometimes in T20 cricket you have to gamble. The Super Over, for example, can be a complete lottery if you allow normal cricket to take its course. Both the Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders gambled during the first Super Over of the tournament, but one did so cleverly and the other poorly.
Shane Warne is a semi-professional poker player and his skill in double-bluffing Chris Gayle by leaving his strengths unguarded was brilliant.
Why the Knight Riders gave the ball to Ajantha Mendis is beyond me.
If Warne didn't consider himself the right option, why on earth would Mendis be? Especially, with Ishant Sharma also in the side!
One lesson the other teams would have learnt is that the Royals, despite lacking big names, will continue to make the best use of resources.