Past halfway stage, IPL-5 is proving to be the most open contest in IPL history

Indian Premier League has crossed its halfway stage and Season V till now has been the most open contest in IPL history. The tournament has been the toughest and has witnessed some of the most bizarre results. At this point in the previous four editions, it was almost clear as of which four teams will compete for the final spot. However, this time, things look a lot different.

Out of the nine teams participating in the tournament, only one team i.e. Deccan Chargers -- is looking as if it’s totally out of the reckoning in the playoffs. Apart from Hyderabad, all the other eight teams are in a tough fight.

Delhi Daredevils are sitting pretty well on top with 14 points from the nine matches that they have played so far and a couple of more wins will seal their position in the semis. Delhi have been one solid team and are having their best tournament so far. They have the most devastating batting line-up and their bowling looks good under the guidance of Morne Morkel.

Kolkata Knight Riders are at number two with 11 points from nine matches and they will be upbeat about their chances for making to the playoffs. Gautam Gambhir has been having a dream tournament and has been leading the team from the front. Knight Riders have had some good victories and have got the winning momentum behind them.

Mumbai Indians moved to number three on the points table after their emphatic victory over Deccan Chargers where they restricted their opponents to a score of 100. MI are on 10 points and will know that they will have to keep improving their cricket if they want to fight for the elusive title. MI have been very inconsistent and will be looking to get the touch which won them the Champions League last year.

Last year’s finalist, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore are tied at number four position with nine points to their name from nine matches. Defending champions, CSK have had a tough time and have not played up to the expectations. They have been involved in lots of one-sided affairs and have been on the losing side more often than not. Two-time champions Chennai will have to pull up their socks because there are other teams who are sniffing down their neck.

Royal Challengers Bangalore have had a similar story. One day they look the best team in the league and on the very next day they resort to playing some ordinary cricket. RCB depends on certain individuals far too much and that has reflected in their results. Bangalore team will be most disappointed with the performance of Virat Kohli and their bowling has been next to ordinary. RCB bowlers have been leaking runs and that has made the life of their batsmen more difficult. RCB have featured in two finals and will have to play out of their skin if they want to reserve a seat in the third final.

Three retired captains are tied at number six with eight points from the nine matches that their team has played. Rajasthan Royals which is being led by Rahul Dravid has dropped to number six after their disappointing loss against Delhi. The Royals have an ordinary team but they have played some good cricket. Ajinkya Rahane has been the find of this year’s IPL and he has blossomed under Dravid. Royals have always done better then what is expected from them and they will look to continue that.

Sourav Ganguly has been an inspiring leader for India and he has shown why he is considered to be one of the best Indian captains of all time. Pune Warriors have got some big wins to their names but have lost to some relatively easy opposition.  The Warriors had a terrific start in the tournament and their fate would have been a lot different if they would have stuck to their strength. They gave away some easy points and that might prove costly for them in the end.

Adam Gilchrist has been an inspirational captain and his team, Kings XI Punjab is also on eight points. Gilchrist has missed some matches because of injury and his team will be hoping that he recovers quickly. Kings XI had a bad start in the tournament and was looking down and out, but they have turned the tides in their favor and have performed quite well in the past few matches.

Deccan Chargers has been a disappointing team in this season. They have played some horrendous cricket and that is why they are reeling at the bottom of the table with only three points. Deccan Chargers are almost out of the competition and will be looking to spoil the part for some of the teams.

By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News