Do the standings on the points table reflect the correct picture of this IPL? Although the second half will begin soon, it does show that the consistent teams have been the ones at the top. The Mumbai Indians have combined well with Tendulkar showing the way with the bat and making sure that he stays at least till the halfway stage so that he builds a solid platform.
The distinguishing feature about his batting is the change of bat speed. While most hitters have just one big pick up and a big follow through over the front shoulder, Tendulkar’s bat barely goes near the shoulder. It is in the timing that he scores over others and this is where the bat speed comes into play.
This is what the two teams languishing at the bottom need. A solid opening and a batsman who is prepared to stay for long. Kallis is doing that for the Royal Challengers and thus giving free rein to Uthappa and Pandey to play the way they like.
The Rajasthan Royals put on a big score every time one of their openers stays long at the crease and gives Yusuf Pathan the license to murder the bowling. The more Bopara and Hayden stay at the crease, the better the chances of their teams putting up a good total or chasing successfully.
Similarly, apart from the odd spell by the speedsters, it is the slow bowlers who have ruled the roost this year. The Delhi Daredevils’ use of Rajat Bhatia and Collingwood has helped them get back in the reckoning. The slow bowlers may not be the glamour boys but they are certainly applying the brakes.
The Deccan Chargers versus Royal Challengers should be a keenly contested game since the Chargers are looking to get back in the winning groove and the Royal Challengers would be looking fresh after a good break.