It's a close race to finish in the top four of this year's IPL and I have a feeling that it will be a potboiler finish. This uncertain nature has been the biggest draw of the tournament and I am sure the cricket-loving public all over the world is lapping up every bit of it.
The Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders are leading the race and, I am sure, these two teams will go into the playoffs without any hitch. But, the race for the next two spots is really tight and the scenario is changing with every passing game. Every result from here on will be decisive.
Interestingly, the Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians are in a bit of a bother as they are being challenged by Kings XI and Rajasthan Royals. Both these sides have played fearless cricket. Ajinkya Rahane (RR) has had a good tournament and the way he has carried himself must have been noticed by the national selectors. Mandeep Singh (Kings XI) is another youngster who has caught the eye. Both the Royals and Kings XI have a good balance, and the biggest plus is that they have been able to put it across the rivals both while defending or chasing.
For the Royals, Brad Hodge, Owais Shah and Shane Watson have adapted to situations very well. For Kings XI, Shaun Marsh, David Hussey and Ryan Harris have been impressive.
(360 Corporate Relations. The writer is the Pune Warriors India skipper.)