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Sunday, May 10, 2009

IPL2 after 37 matches

From the initial set of matches in IPL2, there seems to be a pattern in the winning team, regards to the team composition. Only those who can get this formula right, have managed to get all bases covered and hence managed to keep their winning streak going. Of course, the usual parameters apply - the form and individual skills of individual players (multi-utility players definitely help - those who can contribute in more than one area) help in increasing the chances of winning.

One look at the teams of all the 8 teams shows us enough proof of the same. As of May 9th, the standings of the teams after 37 matches and the batting (most runs) and bowling (most wickets) records of individual players show a good example of how the composition of teams impact the performance of their teams.

What are these key components that is keeping the teams at the top?
  • Overseas players - the teams have quite a number of overseas players in their ranks but they are restricted to select only four of them in the playing eleven. How good these players gel into the composition is critical. As the Delhi team shows, the 4 players who play regularly are Dilshan, AB De Viliers, Daniel Vettori, Dirk Nannes. Vettori has been replaced by David Warner whenever Sehwag has not been able to play - this has affected the balance of the team and has resulted in the Delhi team losing a few matches.
  • Multi-utility players - The right composition of the players is important - it is important that these players can contribute in any 2 of three areas (batting, bowling, fielding). Deccan Chargers have Rohit Sharma and TS Suman who can contribute with the bat and bowl - they have taken crucial wickets, giving away runs at an economical rate. Similarly, Chennai SuperKings have Albie Morkel, Jacob Oram in their side who are capable of turning the match on its head by their power-hitting or skilled bowling.
  • Number of Indian domestic players - Though Delhi have Glenn Mcgrath and Pervez Maharoof in the bench, they cannot play them because of the limitations of the number of overseas players. Thus, the Indian players have to come to the party to get their teams ahead. One good example of this is Rajasthan - the number of youngsters (Kamran Khan, Amit Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Naman Ojha, AS Raut) who have made their mark are maximum in this side, mentored by Shane Warne. Similarly, Chennai is lucky to have the best T20 players of India at the moment (MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina) in their side.
  • Form of their icon player or captain - It is very important for the Icon players in each side to fire - this will give the confidence to the rest of the team and boost their chances to get to the next round. MS Dhoni, Sehwag, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist have played well in their matches and expected their teams to fire similarly whereas the teams that have Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Brendon McCullum, Yuvraj Singh have not fared well thanks to the moderate showing of their stars.
Going by the way the teams are playing right now, the ones that will make the semis seem to be Chennai, Rajasthan, Delhi and Hyderabad. Only fall-out from last year is Punjab, who have been impacted by their weak bowling skills. Based on the pairings of each semi-final, the finalists can be determined. I would go for a repeat of the last years finals with the winner reversed. Let us wait and watch!!!
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