The last one week in the Indian Premier League has been controversial - that’s the word I would use. We have seen the ‘Mankading’ incident in the Rajasthan Royals-Kings XI Punjab game. It was a fantastic game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, but the no-ball in the final delivery was a stunning revelation.
The IPL has been different this season because everybody is talking about it around the cricket world for unusual incidents. In a way, it’s a positive but on the other hand, it comes down to violation of laws and that needs clarification.
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If you look at both the no-ball and ‘Mankading’ incidents, they were incredibly significant as far the results were concerned. Had Malinga's last delivery been a no-ball, it would have been a free-hit and AB de Villiers would have come down on strike and with the form that he was in, RCB had every chance of winning that match.
In the RR-Kings XI match, Jos Buttler was winning the game single-handedly for Royals and his dismissal led to the collapse and there was a mental distraction in the team and Kings XI went on to win the game.
Last season, one of the things that we saw was the rise of the young Indian fast bowlers and batsmen. But this time, the experienced players have stood up. The India internationals have a bit more motivation this time as the squads for the World Cup will be announced and they see this as their final opportunity to give good performances and nailing the World Cup selection. Players like K.L. Rahul want to go to the World Cup.
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We have seen Virat Kohli. In the previous editions, we have seen his emotions as well but this time, he is trying to get his team off to quick starts. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, has gone on to opening the innings to match up to what he does for the Indian team. The trend has been about the quality and performance from the India’s senior players.
The best teams work out their best starting eleven quickly and at the moment, there are some teams who don’t know the way forward. Kings XI made four changes after the first game, RCB doesn’t quite work out what the balance of overseas players should be. If you look at CSK, KKR, Mumbai Indians, you see same players are there in same roles for every game. I think that’s the reason why they are the most successful teams in the tournament.
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