This year’s IPL has been the most competitive and out of the seven games played so far, five have gone to the wire in evenly contested matches between all teams.
But what has been common in the results of the five games is that all chasing teams have gone on to win the game. There is a lot of dew and bowlers are finding it difficult to bowl the right length and instead of getting the yorker right, have either bowled too full or full tosses - which have gone for plenty of runs in the death overs. In Thursday’s game between Chennai and Lucknow, 34 runs were required of the last 12 balls and Lucknow managed to score them in just nine balls and win the game. Similarly, in the game between Lucknow and Gujarat, 68 runs were needed in 30 balls and the Titans still managed to chase it down.
Most of the captains in a day-night game have all opted for chasing because of the dew factor and have been successful, barring Sunrises Hyderabad who could not chase 210 set by Rajasthan Royals. So, is it safe to say that teams winning the toss have a clear advantage? Yes, cause the ball comes on easily on to the bat and chasing 10 runs per over is not that challenging any more.
If the team batting first bats out the opposition by putting up a big total, it might not be that easy. Also if they have a good bowling attack which is backed by a good fielding side, scores could have been defended. Chennai dropped two chances of both KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock and paid the price. Similarly, Kolkata Knight Riders missed an easy runout of Dinesh Kartik in the 19th over and DK capitalized on it to finish the game.
Zaheer Khan, Director of Mumbai Indians, said that bowlers need to accept the challenges of dew and deal with them. Dew is not in anyone’s control and they need to practise the art of bowling with the wet ball. The yorkers become ineffective if you miss your length and bowlers have to find a way.
With most of the matches played in Mumbai, dew is going to play a big part because of the humidity. It needs to be seen how teams cope up when defending a target and teams which can deal with it can hope to lay their hands on the glittering IPL trophy.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group