How quickly the cricket caravan in the world of cricket moves these days. Only last week we were talking about Test cricket and now we have moved to the hustle and bustle of T20 cricket and the IPL. What a great start to the IPL we saw in Kolkata's win over Delhi. To see my great mate Brett Lee take a wicket off the first ball of the tournament was fantastic albeit against my old team.
After their first up loss, Delhi will be desperate to get a win on the board against the Royals in their first home game of the campaign. They have an exciting top order who can score runs quickly and if David Warner and the exciting Unmukt Chand get them off to a good start, they could score an imposing total.
Rajasthan have a quality squad of players and I expect them to be hard to beat in the tournament. They have plenty of experience in their squad. Led by Rahul Dravid and with the likes of Shane Watson and Brad Hodge, they have players who can handle pressure situations. Watch out for James Faulkner in this tournament. He was very impressive in the Big Bash in Australia and I expect him to have a big IPL.
Regarding the other match today, Chennai and Mumbai will be a great contest between two teams with quality line ups. Chennai have had great success in this tournament over the past few years and once again will be hard to beat. M S Dhoni was in great form during the Test series and I expect that he will translate this into the shorter version of the game.
Watch out for a big tournament from Dirk Nannes. Dirk is a specialist T20 player and is coming off some great Big Bash form in Australia where he was player of the Tournament for his team the Sydney Thunder. Mumbai have a team full of stars.
They have a mix of the games greats in Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar with some of cricket’s most explosive T20 players in Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and young Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. I am interested in seeing how young Aussie quick Nathan Coulter-Nile goes in this tournament. He had a tremendous summer here in Australia and it will be interesting to see if he can replicate that form in the sub-continent. This will be a great game; Chennai will be desperate to get their campaign off to a winning start while Mumbai will want to make amends for their nail-biting opening game loss to Bangalore.