• The last fortnight has proved that there are no real favourites in the IPL because every team has the ability and the players to beat any other side. For example, Rajasthan Royals beat an in-form Deccan Chargers the other night to take significant strides up the points table. Since no one team has really forged ahead, it would take a brave man to predict the semifinal line-up at this point.

     

    I landed in Delhi on Thursday, the day Delhi Daredevils registered an impressive win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore. I started training with the team on Saturday, and it's great to be back with my old mates once again.

     

    It's wonderful that we have won a game after a bit of a rough patch, and judging by the mood in the side, the win against a form side like Bangalore has lifted everybody's spirits and instilled confidence in the group as we look ahead.

     

    We now come up against Kolkata Knight Riders, who would be boosted by their comfortable win against Kings XI Punjab on

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  • The focus has shifted somewhat from the ongoing IPL to the forthcoming T20 World Cup, thanks to the announcement of the squad on Friday. Most of the team pretty much picks itself, and the possible topics of discussion are the two Sharmas, Rohit and Ishant.

     

    Many would have felt that Rohit is getting a rather extended run in the national team, but I would have to agree with the selectors that the youngster does seem to have potential.

     

    I was impressed with him ever since I saw him in Australia in 2007-08, and he has shown his class in last year’s IPL as well as in the recent games he has played. Rohit is a good player, and the selectors have done well by recognizing that.

     

    Ishant Sharma seems to be trying too hard, and seems to need to get back to his basics for a bit. This might be disappointing for the lanky youngster, but he might just benefit from this break. What Ishant needs to do is bowl in the longer version of the game, and bowl 20 overs a day. This will help him as a

    Read More »from Focus shifts from IPL to World T20
  • What strikes me most about the third edition of the IPL is that, perhaps because this is the third year, most of the players and teams finally seem to have come to grips with it, and several teams that have done poorly in the first two editions can now beat anybody.

     

    In this respect, I would refer specially to the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, who look capable of beating anybody on their day, while previously successful teams such as the Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals are not having it all their own way.

     

    This indicates greater competition, of course, which is better for tournament, and much more exciting for audiences. And best of all, a lot of the local Indian players, who earlier seemed overawed by the big stars, are not so any longer, which can only be good for Indian cricket. Apart from anything else, it will teach the youngsters that a delivery from the greatest bowler of them all is still just another ball to hit, and names don't count for anything.

     

    Having

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