The crucial starting period of the tournament which shapes up the teams and their momentum have also fallen in the favour of Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) – the current table-toppers. They have played a match extra than all the remaining nine teams but have emerged as favourites to qualify for the play-offs.
With GT at second and PBKS at third, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) complete the the top five list. Both the teams have won and lost a match each.
IPL 2023: LSG GT and PBKS take early lead
LSG have their tone set for the IPL 2023 with two wins in three matches. In the absence of Quinton de Kock Kyle Mayers have beautifully taken up the responsibility of opening. KL Rahul is slowly getting back his mojo, while the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi have started to deliver for the team already. Veteran spinner Amit Mishra also chipped in with two wickets for 23 runs against SRH on Friday. Pacer Mark Wood has also emerged as a major threat to the opposition.
GT maintained a clean slate by comprehensively winning their first two matches against CSK and Delhi Capitals (DC) respectively. The side has carried from where they left each other. Players have taken responsibility and they look clear in their head about their roles. The Hardik Pandya-led side most importantly look very relaxed in all the three departments.
Same is the case with PBKS. Their new captain Shikhar Dhawan has led them to two wins in two matches. The captain is firing and has got a 22-year-old aggressive opening partner in Prabhsimran Singh. Bhanuka Rajapaksa has also taken the onus of the batting department on his. The bowling unit looks well covered as Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis and Rahul Chahar have risen to the occasion.
IPL 2023: RCB and RR mark themselves as favourites
All is good for RCB in the batting department. They did collapse against CSK but those things don’t happen quite usually. However, the concern for the team is injuries of their players. Josh Hazlewood is yet to join, Reece Topley has departed after injury and Rajat Patidar is out. Harshal Patel has leaked runs in both the matches.
However, David Willey and Mohammed Siraj are very likely to take over the responsibilities of the pace unit. Left-arm pacer Wayne Parnell is also set to join the squad as Topley’s replacement. Some top performances can be expected from Faf du Plessis’ team in the second week.
Rajasthan Royals will be one team to watchout for. Once they solve their middle-order problem, they will rise as top contenders for the title. The top-order of Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson has scored runs. Shimron Hetmyer and Riyan Parag have been fearless in the end moments of the match and the bowling unit consisting of Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult and Jason Holder looks well set.
IPL 2023: Tough times ahead for CSK and KKR
Kolkata Knight Riders flunked big time in their first match before Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh lifted their spirits against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with a 103-run partnership off 47 balls for the sixth wicket. Spinners Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Suyash Sharma wreaked havoc later to hand KKR a 81-run win.
However, the top-order failure remains a big concern for the team. Journey ahead would not be easy for them if they don’t fix it.
Chennai Super Kings managed to win their second match against LSG but the win wasn’t comprehensive. A 12-run win after posting 217 raises serious bowling concerns. There is no overseas pacer to add to the X-factor, and Ben Stokes is hardly bowling.
Ravindra Jadeja is yet to deliver with the ball and bat. The batting unit has ridden on the brilliance of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway but once they fail, the side will be in trouble.
IPL 2023: Trouble, trouble and trouble for DC, MI and SRH
Two losses in two matches for both Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad speak volumes about their devastating start to the tournament. DC’s David Warner has scored runs as captain but has got no support from other top-order batters. Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh and Rilee Rossouw have failed in both their Tests.
SRH’s batting unit was also in shambles in week one. After the failure of the first match, a lot was expected from newly-appointed captain Aiden Markram in the second match but he was dismissed for a first ball duck. The hype around Harry Brook has also fallen flat. They have a talented bowling unit but the team would benefit only with runs on the board.
Mumbai Indians finished at the bottom last year and the first week of IPL 2023 hasn’t been different for them. They are occupying the ninth spot after losing their first match. The brilliance of Tilak Varma was the only positive for them in their first match.
Rohit Sharma failed, Ishan Kishan’s and Suryakumar Yadav’s bad run continued, Cameron Green did not bring his international form to the IPL. Jofra Archer and Jason Behrendorff were taken to the cleaners by the Bangalore batters. Though just one match, it was only trouble for Mumbai in the first week.
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