The Stars & Flops of IPL 7

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As IPL 7 draws to a conclusion Simply Cricket Blog takes a look back at some of the best performers and those who have not lived up to their high expectations. The biggest surprise has to be Mumbai Indians going from champions to a bottom side. Conversely Delhi Daredevils form has not been a surprise at all.

The stars of IPL 7:

The undoubted star of this IPl has to be Glenn Maxwell. Before this tournament started he was considered a player with a good track record at domestic level, but not anything of note in international cricket. I now feel he has taken his profile to be considered in the top bracket of T20 players now. The IPL can be considered on par with international T20’s due to the vast number of international players competing. Kings X1 Punjab have a number of players who could be in this list.

20 year old Akshar Patel is another who has impressed for Kings X1, a relatively unknown player before this competition started. He is now on the minds of the selectors who will undoubtedly monitor his performances over the coming year. He is officially listed as an allrounder but we have only seen the best of his bowling as yet. Could he be a long term successor to Ashwin?

Dwayne Smith has been the best player so far for Chennai Super Kings. His new partnership with Brendan Mcullum has been pretty successful. It is ironic that he was part of the winning squad last season and his former side now lay at the bottom of the league. Mike Hussey went the other way and he has totally flopped.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar currently holds the purple cap and is now showing that he is capable of playing all forms of the game. I believe him to be the natural heir to Zaheer Khan’s throne and this could be a big few months for him with the England tour coming up. He is part of the fierce Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack, also containing Dale Stein amongst others.

Others who make a list of IPL 2014 stars are JP Duminy, who is fighting on his own for Delhi. Miller and Bailey again from Punjab. New Rajesthan captain Shane Watson who looks to have remembered that he is an allrounder again. Talking of resurgences Robin Uthappa looks to have found some of his best form again, just in time to give Indian selectors a slight headache.

The Flops of IPL 7:

If it were possible I would list the whole Mumbai Indians squad in the list as well as Delhi Daredevills minus JP Duminy. His captain Kevin Pietersen has made the list purely on reputation, much was expected from him at Delhi and he has just not lived up to this.

Rohit Sharma makes this list, everything he did last season turned to gold, this season is another story. His squad have let him down and the pressure of managing a team on poor form has affected his own game. Another Indian who makes this list is Parthiv Patel. He used to be a fluent batsman and a brilliant wicket keeper, so far for RCB he has not shown this. A former world star Mike Hussey, has been woeful during the competition. His retirement from cricket seems to have hindered his performances.

The IPL finishes up on Sunday 1st June, I would love to see Punjab take the title this season.

Delhi need KP and RCB show why they are favourites!

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.

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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.