The second week of IPL, which got over on Saturday, surprised one and all with the two big teams Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the bottom of the table with four loses and no wins under their belt. On the other hand, new team Gujarat Titans, who had three wins from three games, showed that you don’t need big names to get your team the right results.
Mumbai Indians lost both their games this week comprehensively to Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Firstly, they were not able to put a big total and then unable to pick wickets when defending the target. Their average score in this tournament has been 160 and in the four games they have lost, Mumbai have picked four wickets per game, which is hurting them. They are heavily dependent on Jasprit Bumrah, who barring the match against Rajasthan Royals, have not been able to get them the desired breakthroughs. Moreover, they lack a quality spinner who can run through the side and will have to find a way to get their first win of the tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have been clinical by winning their last three games after the first loss to Punjab Kings. They beat Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals and are looking good as a team under Faf du Plessis. Their bowling has been spearheaded by Harshal Patel, who has gone at just 5.50 overs in the four games and has picked six wickets. He has been ably supported by Hasaranga, who has picked eight wickets.
But the team who surprised one and all has been Gujarat Titans, who won their first three games beating Lucknow Giants, Delhi Capital and Punjab Kings. Not many had given them any chances as barring Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan, they did not have any big names. But every player has performed for the debutants. Pandya has carried all the experience of playing under a champion Mumbai Indians side and has been a very proactive as a captain.
In the game against Delhi Capitals, which was running away from them, he brought on Lockie Ferguson and broke the back of Delhi and won that game. Also he has been bowling his four overs very tightly and leading from the front. So far everything seems to be going well and the momentum is with them and look the team to make it to the playoffs.
Out of the 20 games played in two weeks, 12 games have gone to the wire and the team which has held its nerves has been able to cross the line. We need to see which would be that team next week.