The IPL is back, sorry I meant Indian T20 League. We have a bizarre re-branding of the popular IPL name and also we have two teams who’s official names have changed. Who am I to advise these expert marketers but most people will still call this the IPL.
Stupid Name Changes:
The worst of the three name changes has to be the competition its self. Over the last few years the IPL has built up a brand, in my opinion it will always be known as the IPL now. As for Rajesthan and Punjab it seems there are a few reasons for the name changes.
I am not sure if the new name have been forced onto the sides, so that all the teams are city based and not state based. This could be true because the sides are listed as Mohali and Jaipur in the league table on the official site but still called by the old names on other parts of the site. Other reasons I can think of are that Kings XI Punjab was an unlucky name and Rajesthan Royals are desperate to shift the spot fixing name.
The First Two Games:
The two favourites for the tournament Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have been in action over the first two games, to differing results. Mumbai were blown out of the water but Kallis and his KKR side. The veteran allrounder showed that their is still life in the old dog. The break from international cricket seems to have refreshed him. The same didn’t seem to apply for Mike Hussey on the opposing side, who had a début to forget. as with all good players I am sure he will come good. Looking at Mumbai’s players they should be relaxed to know they can esily turn this loss around. KKR showed enough in this game to be ranked as one of the top sides.
Royal Challengers Bangalore are my favourites to win this year. They showed exactly why in their first game. Unfortunately for me they did it against the side I have allegiances to Delhi Daredevils. The north Indian side lacked their leader Kevin Pietersen. The whole side was changed including the coaching set up, but on the field not much has changed. They are still ultra reliant on KP and do not have the quality in their batting. Their opponents today left out Chris Gayle, yet they still eased to victory.
A batting line up that includes Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB Devilliers and Albie Morkel will always be considered favourites for T20 competitions. Their biggest issue is if Kohli can keep a lid on his erratic captaincy and if they can convert their strong home form away from home.