Why do some IPL teams ride the momentum and cruise to victory while others get trapped in a horrible slump? Players experience fluctuations in form and so do teams. Obviously, team results are determined by the quality of players and their on-field performance. But there is also an undefined,
difficult to describe quality that separates the leaders from the ones who lag behind.
The IPL is riveting because, essentially, the teams are evenly matched and each time two teams square up at the toss it is difficult to tell who will notch up two points.
The Daredevils have had a disappointing run, but clearly the team has far more talent than the results suggest. Initially, Sehwag kept their hopes alive, but once a bad shoulder ruled him out, no other batter put his hand up.
The team is last in the league but the difference between being there and sitting somewhere in the middle is only a couple of wins.
Looked at from a different angle, this is a massive gap because two wins make a major difference. But as the IPL is much more than cricket, teams that don't perform well risk losing support. In the business side of IPL, perception and image are important.
About the puzzling question - why some teams win more often than others - experts offer a valuable insight. They feel, in a Twenty20 situation, only the fearless will prevail, and successful teams are those who win key moments.
Eric Simons, India bowling coach, sums up the challenge: It's like a fielder in the deep who must decide whether to go for the catch or hold back to collect it on the bounce.
The winning teams go for the catch. Teams and players have to be hungry to win, and look for the moment when they can make a decisive impact.
Mathur is CEO, Delhi Daredevils