IPL-5 knockouts: Get ready for nail-biters
There has been so much of distraction from the main cricketing action over the last week or so thanks to ugly episodes. But, the dust has to settle down at some stage. With knockout stage commencing in IPL tonight, this could well be the best opportunity for the organizers and players to show us more cricketing action. Well, talking about knockouts, the four teams in action, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai ensure the four corners of India are adequately covered and we can be in for some rip-roaring action over the next few days. Let us take a look at where these four teams stand going into qualifiers and eliminators and how far they can go
The team from the national capital has been the team to beat in the ongoing edition. With a complete T20 unit, Delhi have largely stuck to their game plan and never really allowed opposition to get on top of them. They started off their campaign on a bright note by thrashing Kolkata in their home ground and never really looked back after that. There were a few defeats here and there but for large parts Delhi have looked the most dominant side of IPL-5. Season 2012 has seen the team notch up the maximum number of wins during group stages. 11 wins in 16 matches is also better than their previous best of 10 wins from 15 outings in the 2009 edition that was played in South Africa.
Solid aggressive batting at the top, very shrewd brain in Eric Simmons and Match-winning fast bowlers. Delhi has in many ways been the ‘foreign’ team of IPL-5. Not very often teams win in India using fast bowling as a potent weapon. Delhi has been doing just that. Great exhibition of fielding and tremendous team effort have only added to their strengths.
Never seriously tested. They have largely been on cruise mode this edition. Although DD have grown beyond Kevin Pietersen’s non-availability due to national commitments for England, the factor could still hurt the team in big knockout fixtures.
This will be Delhi’s best opportunity to win their maiden title. Their previous opportunities had come in the first two seasons, where they lost in the semis. They will be hoping for better luck this time around and with the team they have, it certainly is within the realms of possibility.
Kolkata will be a big threat first-up and even if they do make it to the final, either Chennai or Mumbai or even Kolkata will never be easy to beat on big match days. DD’s poor record in knockout fixtures in earlier editions could well haunt them.
Players who hold the key