Evenly poised - GulfToday

Evenly poised


Mahendra Singh Dhoni . File

The IPL tournament is at a crucial juncture and things are not looking good for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and three time champions Chennai Super Kings (“Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 10 wickets,” Oct. 24, Gulf Today).

While Super Kings have never finished below the fourth position in the tournament the battle for that spot is wide open. At where it stands now barring Dhoni’s side almost all others seem to have a good chance to reach the qualification stage.

Not many had expected this edition of the Indian Premier League to be exciting because of the situation brought about by the pandemic. To begin with it is being held outside of Indian shores, no glitz and glamour, matches bereft of spectators, players ensconced in bio-bubble.

The charm of the tournament was lost even before the first ball was bowled, or so it seems. But it has belied all that. Super-over deciders and close encounters have piled pressure on formidable sides. The UAE edition has exhibited that all the teams are evenly matched.

If one would look at Kohli’s team, a string of poor performances at the beginning of the tournament had fans believing that Royal Challengers would be chokers once again. But the skipper and AB de Villiers turned the tide around and if they continue with the same tempo, the trophy might just be theirs.

Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals are very much in contention though.

Kings XI and Rajasthan Royals are on eggshells because a loss is sufficient to knock them out from the final leg. With the bottom half of the table so tightly squeezed the run-rate quotient will play a crucial role as the tournament progresses. The real fun starts now.

Ralph R — By email

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