The first week of IPL 2017 gave us some thrilling and some one-sided games as the teams battled it out to draw supremacy. On one hand there was Chris Lynn who played a fabulous knock which gave Kolkata Knight Riders a lot of confidence heading towards the next half of the league. On the other hand there was young Rashid Khan who grabbed all the headlines and continued to mesmerise everyone with his art of leg spin. The team to look out for are defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad whose bowlers have formed a formidable attack once more and may well go on defend their title.
As the first week of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been done with and it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. Stadiums were not crammed up and the matches too were quite tedious initially. Things, however, have picked up and despite the slow start, there have been quite a few things to take note of in the first week of the tourney. Here we review week one of the IPL 2017
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have begun from they left last season. After a comprehensive win against RCB in the opening match they have once again gone on to win another match against Gujarat Lions. Hyderabad during the chase never really looked under pressure as David Warner and Moises Henriques showed great character and give a solid partnership to the hosts and win the match for them. As now with two back to back win they are the team to beat.
Leading run scorer
With a strike rate of over 150 and a total of 125 Chris Lynn leads the charts as the highest run scorer till now. Chris Lynn grabbed all the headlines as he smashed a 19 ball fifty to take his side to victory in the third match of IPL 10.
In an unbeaten opening stand of 184 with Gautam Gambhir, Lynn dominated the attack and smashed 23 runs against Dwayne Smith in one over. With his attacking strokeplay suiting the shortest format of the game, Lynn will surely be the man to watch out for.
Leading wicket taker
Young Rashid Khan along with Imran Tahir is leading the wicket taking charts. The IPL is proving to be fruitful for the wrist spinners but Rashid Khan has grabbed all the headlines and also has the best bowling figures as of now with figures of 3/19 of four overs.
With a mix of wrong ‘uns and sliders Rashid Khan has slowly but surely etched a name for himself as one of the premier leg spin bowlers to watch out for in this edition of the IPL. At the tender age of 18, he is already set the IPL on fire with his art of spin and watching him bowl is a joy to watch for any lover of the game
RPS once more under pressure
However, after giving an initial jolt to Mumbai, they seem to have fallen once again in a muddle; losing the game to KXIP tamely. Their top order seems to be one-dimensional and the middle-order does not have enough power hitters. The bowlers too are being inconsistent, and unless Dhoni comes up with some winning formula soon, the RPS may fall off the radar pretty quickly.
On one hand when Hyderabad have won two games in as many matches, last year’s top-four finisher Lions now have had two defeats in a row.
Gujarat Lions might rethink their strategy of playing four overseas batsmen after a nine-wicket thrashing by Sunrisers Hyderabad condemned them to their second defeat in two matches. Coach Brad Hodge has hinted at a change in tactic.
Gujarat Lions will be worried about their bowling attack after they were taken to the cleaners by Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn. A few changes in the line-up will be the order of the day and Australia all-rounder James Faulkner needs to be back in the team.
The batting department though continues to look strong and a lot will be dependent on them. Suresh Raina along with Brendon McCullum and Dinesh Karthik will be hoping to keep their fine form going with the bat and put up a big total which would help their weakened bowling line-up something to defend.
By next Monday, we will get a fair idea of which four teams are likely to make the cut and who will be left behind. The likes of Punjab, Pune, Gujarat and Mumbai will attempt to climb up the ladder and be more consistent. Also, the local Indian talents, apart from Rishabh Pant, are yet to fire and any real exciting new talent is yet to emerge. But all of that might change qucikly in a span of a week.