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Something isn't 'Right' about the IPL

May 13, 2009 12:25 IST

Something isn't 'Right' about the IPL

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Bikash Mohapatra and Harish Kotian
They made their mark in the inaugural Indian Premier League.

And the impact they had on the competition was something that couldn't be ignored.

So while Shaun Marsh (Kings XI Punjab), Gautam Gambhir (Delhi Daredevils) and Sanath Jayasuriya (Mumbai Indians) finished as the top three scorers in season one with 616, 534 and 514 runs respectively, Graeme Smith (Rajasthan Royals, 441), Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers, 436) and Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings, 421) also finished among the top 10 batsmen.

Among the bowlers, Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals) took the purple cap for the most wickets in the competition with 22 dismissals.

Nothing much has changed in the IPL's second season.

On one hand we have Matthew Hayden (Chennai Super Kings, 426), Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings, 309), J P Duminy (Mumbai Indians, 297) and Yuvraj Singh (Kings XI Punjab, 296) as the top four batsmen. Gilchrist again features in the top 10 list with an aggregate of 265 from 10 games so far.

On the other hand, we have bowlers like R P Singh (Deccan Chargers), Ashish Nehra (Delhi Daredevils), Yusuf Abdulla (Kings XI Punjab), Shadab Jakati (Chennai Super Kings) and Pragyan Ojha (Deccan Chargers) featuring among the top bowlers in the competition.

If you haven't guessed it as yet, we are referring to the army of left-handers, the southpaws, who have made such a big impact in the competition.

With more than half the tournament concluded, rediff.com analyses the performances of the top 'lefties' in the IPL who happen to be very much on the right track.


Image: Top 'lefties' in the IPL
Photographs: Reuters
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Matthew Hayden

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Matches: 9
Runs: 426
Highest: 89
Average: 47.33
Strike Rate: 151.60

Australia's loss has been a huge gain for the Chennai Super Kings. He may have quit international cricket but the hunger for runs remains.

If bowlers thought Matthew Hayden make take it just a bit easy in the IPL, they were in for a rude shock. The left-hander has been virtually unstoppable in the tournament and has taken every bowling attack to the cleaners.

Last year, he didn't play the full IPL due to international commitments, but this year he is taking part in the full tournament and following a big break has given full value for money.

His most dangerous shot has been the one when he calmly walks down the wicket and dismisses the bowler, whether a pacer or spinner, high into the stands.

At 37, the left-hander can put to shame many of the young fielders around the world. His power-packed batting has been a major influence on the Chennai Super Kings who, after a slow start, are looking one of the top favourites for the title.

So far, he leads the batting charts with 426 runs from nine matches at 47.33, with three half-centuries; the next best batsman is team-mate Suresh Raina, but he trails by more than 100 runs.

Not surprisingly, he has hit the most sixes and boundaries so far in the tournament -- 17 sixes and 49 boundaries and boasts the highest strike rate too.


Image: Matthew Hayden

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Suresh Raina

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Matches: 9
Runs: 309
Highest: 98
Average: 34.33
Strike Rate: 147.14

The 22-year-old has matched team-mate Matthew Hayden stroke for stroke. When the two left-handers have got going together, the Chennai Super Kings have looked on a different planet altogether.

Suresh Raina was unlucky to miss out on a century when he fell for 98 against the Rajasthan Royals, an innings which comprised 10 boundaries and five sixes in 55 deliveries.

He stands behind Hayden in the orange cap standings with 309 runs in nine matches at 34.33.


Image: Suresh Raina

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J P Duminy

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Matches: 10
Runs: 297
Highest: 59*
Average: 49.50
Strike Rate: 114.23

Jean Paul Duminy has been Mumbai's saviour.

Everytime Mumbai has been in trouble, the South African has come to his team's rescue. The left-hander has hit four half-centuries, the most in the tournament.

Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya have been patchy at best and Duminy has had to anchor Mumbai's ship in turbulent weather.

His 297 runs have played a big part in keeping Mumbai's hopes alive.


Image: J P Duminy

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Yuvraj Singh

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Matches: 11
Runs: 296
Highest: 58*
Average: 32.88
Strike Rate: 130.39

There is no doubting that Yuvraj Singh is India's Twenty20 man. It only takes him a few overs to change the course of a game with his big-hitting, especially those h-u-g-e sixes.

He has been rather subdued this IPL season though he has come up with a decent 284 runs to be ranked fourth in the batsmen's roster so far. He has hit two half-centuries, both, alas, in a losing cause.

Kings XI Punjab languish at seventh place and must hope their captain can fire on all cylinders if they have to make any headway.


Image: Yuvraj Singh

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R P Singh

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Matches: 10
Wickets: 16
Best Bowling: 4 for 22
Economy Rate: 6.54

In the inaugural Indian Premier League season, Rudra Pratap Singh returned with an impressive haul of 15 wickets in 14 matches (@ 8.61).

His team, the Deccan Chargers, finished last which meant that his achievements were quickly forgotten.

However, his encore has been spectacular.

In the first 10 matches this season, RP has already snared 15 wickets (@ 6.54) to take possession of the purple cap, given to the bowler with the most wickets in the tournament.

The left-arm seamer's tally is the best by any bowler not only in this IPL edition but overall as well (31 wickets). His splendid has helped the Hyderabad side improve beyond recognition.


Image: R P Singh

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Ashish Nehra

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Matches: 8
Wickets: 14
Best Bowling: 4 for 22
Economy Rate: 7.06

He had a credible 12 wickets in 14 matches (@ 7.76) playing for the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural Indian Premier League.

His team failed to qualify for the last four last year and the lanky Dilliwallah's display was forgotten.

The Mumbai Indians swapped him with Delhi Daredevils batsman Shikar Dhawan. Playing for Delhi this year, Nehra has notched up 14 wickets in just eight matches.

With 2 for 30 against the Deccan Chargers at the Centurion, Nehra recorded his best bowling figures, surpassing his 2 for 34 against the Royal Challengers at Port Elizabeth in an earlier match.

A few days later, with 3 for 27 against the Chennai Super Kings, Nehra bettered his best bowling performance yet again.


Yusuf Abdulla

Matches: 9
Wickets: 14
Best Bowling: 4 for 31
Economy Rate: 8.60

The left-arm bowler was added to the Kings XI Punjab squad following West Indian Jerome Taylor's injury.

The South African, who made his international debut against Australia in the 2nd Twenty20 international at the Centurion getting Ricky Ponting as his first wicket, seized the opportunity with both hands.

Abdulla first took 4 for 31 against the Royal Challengers at Durban and had figures of 4 for 36 against the same opposition a few days later to register his second four-wicket haul in the second edition.

Shadab Jakati of the Chennai Super Kings is the only other bowler with two four-wicket hauls this season.


Image: Ashish Nehra

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Shadab Jakati

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Matches:: 5
Wickets: 11
Best Bowling: 4 for 22
Economy: 7.21

He has been the surprise package of the tournament, overshadowing his celebrated team-mate Muthiah Muralitharan. Shadab Jakati took 4 for 24 against the Delhi Daredevils, playing what was only his second IPL game. He eclipsed it with 4 for 22 against the Deccan Chargers, his best bowling performance.

The left-arm orthodox spinner has accumulated an outstanding record, claiming 14 wickets in only eight games at an average of 11.57.

If Chennai plans to go one up on its runner-up finish last year, this man will play a crucial role.


Image: Shadab Jakati

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