There are four teams that have won the IPL in its earlier editions with the Chennai team having the best record of two wins and two more appearances in the finals. As always they start marginal favourites, for in this format, an upset is just a few deliveries away, but having been in the searing pressure of a finals on no less than four occasions, they are in a much better position to deal with it than the other teams.
Two teams who will want to make this edition of the IPL theirs are the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers of Bangalore. They have some of the most destructive players in the game in their teams but they seem to crack under the pressure in the knockout stage.
Mumbai Indians have won the Champions League so they can deal with the pressure alright, but that is a much shorter league than the IPL and so they have not been able to sustain it over the period of the IPL. This could well be their year, for they have got the services of one of the greatest batsmen in the game, Ricky Ponting, who also is one of the best ever fielders seen in the game. He will be leading them.
Ponting has just won his first Shield title for Tasmania in the national championship of Australia, and that will have whetted his appetite for more. Importantly, he will be available for the full season and his partnerships with Tendulkar will be worth going miles to see. Seldom do the cricket lovers get to see a sight of two of the best batsmen in the game batting together, and if they get going, then the regret will be that it is only a 20 overs format and not more.
The Bangalore team also has its own share of destroyers with Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli leading the pack. Gayle will want to better the record for the longest six that Shahid Afridi has just set in South Africa and Kohli will want to lead from the front and show that he can also play the big shots.
It is in the bowling that Mumbai have a slight edge with Lasith Malinga in their ranks and the battle within the battle will be between him and Gayle and Kohli. It promises to be a smashing game but then which IPL game isn’t?
Professional Management Group