I am now back home after a fantastic few weeks commentating on the IPL out in the UAE.
The efforts of everybody to get the competition going have been fabulous.
Everybody from the players, the coaching staff, the production companies, the commentators and the sponsors have dealt with it magnificently. There haven’t been any hiccups in any of the processes.
Everything put in place has allowed us to enjoy an exhibition in quality cricket.
The bowlers are fighting back
I wrote a fortnight ago that I hadn’t been impressed with the death bowling, but there is no doubt that the balance between bat and ball is starting to be redressed.
The wickets have started to change, too, which is allowing the bowlers to bowl better.
Yes, it’s been spectacular to watch the guys hit the ball as far as they can – which, by the way, is consistently out of the stadium.
But it’s great to see that the bowlers are starting to catch up.
We’ve seen some awesome pace from Anrich Nortje and Jofra Archer, and some skilful death bowling – particularly from Tushar Deshpande on debut for Delhi Capitals.
The wickets have started to change, too, which is allowing the bowlers to bowl better. I am not predicting too many huge scores – such as totals of 220 and chases of more than 200 – in the second half of the tournament.
We’re seeing more yorkers, which is something that I was particularly keen on. The bowlers are really hitting their straps.
It’s a three-horse race
Even though they narrowly lost to KXIP on Thursday, Royal Challengers Bangalore are playing some very good cricket now. They went close to pulling off a miracle victory there.
Their bowling is coming up trumps more often. They have a spin combination that is starting to work and produce results, alongside a batting line-up that we know all about.
I think RCB are one of the runners in a three-horse race to win the competition.
The Delhi Capitals are another. They have got an all-round team that is really good. I’m still happy to be behind them.
Clearly, the Mumbai Indians are firing big time, too. They have a formidable line-up in all departments.
For me, they are the three teams that can win it.
Chennai Super Kings are back in the tournament after their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad, but I still don’t think they can win games consistently. Their bowling attack just doesn’t feel right.
It will be interesting to see how the Kolkata Knight Riders go after replacing Dinesh Karthik as captain.
I wrote previously that I felt Shubman Gill should be KKR’s skipper, but they’ve gone for Eoin Morgan, who is obviously fantastic, instead.
I still don’t think they can touch the big three, though.