The IPL is steadily nearing the halfway mark with most teams having completed seven games, but everything still looks rather open to me.
Chennai are beginning to resemble the side that have enjoyed so much success in this competition but then we know how it can go, they lose two games in succession and suddenly they come under pressure.
So for me, teams would do well to avoid thinking about the playoffs just yet or else they run a real risk of not even getting there.
Looking at today’s clash, Kolkata Knight Riders welcome Mumbai Indians in a game where the two points are crucial to both teams.
Mumbai go into the game on the back of two resounding defeats on the road to Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils. If they were a massive disappointment with the bat against Rajasthan then their bowling performance cost them the game against Delhi.
I noticed that they made a few changes to personnel for the Delhi game but I find it baffling that their talented all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is yet to get a look in. He’s just too good a player to be warming the bench for so long.
With the wicket in Kolkata having proven to be rather spinner friendly so far, I reckon today’s as good a time as any to introduce Maxwell.
Being the versatile player that he is, he could also prove to be the answer to Mumbai’s woes at the top of the batting order. So I would surely like to see him in action against the Knight Riders in place of Dwayne Smith.
Kolkata haven’t quite produced the stuff you come to expect from defending champions until now and it appears that their batting has been a huge let-down. I think the penny would surely have dropped by now that Sunil Narine, however bamboozling and effective a bowler he is, isn’t going to win them matches on his own.
But there’s no disputing the quality they have within their ranks, so I believe they are a good enough side to get their campaign back on track.
I suppose the occasion will have some added sparkle with that man, Sachin Tendulkar, set to notch up yet another milestone, a personal one this time. Turning 40 doesn’t appear to be slowing him down in any way.
He’s still hungry to succeed and still looks fit and I’m sure he’d like nothing better than to mark the occasion with a match-winning knock for Mumbai. Happy Birthday Sachin!