The Betway ambassador praises the IPL's leading run-scorer, discusses a terrible start for Mumbai Indians and reveals why some star names are struggling.
It’s amazing to be back in India
Being back in India, covering the games on the ground, is beautiful.
The atmosphere from the fans brings an energy that the players are clearly benefitting from. And the crowds, in turn, are certainly enjoying the cricket that’s being served up.
The cricket is certainly all the better for the brilliance of the wickets that have been produced. I know they’re not the best for the bowlers, but the flow of runs is really what T20 cricket is all about.
The batters are able to show off all of the tricks that they have up their sleeves and it’s making for an amazing tournament.
Mumbai Indians are having a nightmare
The IPL has been a catastrophe for Mumbai.
They say that batters win you sponsorships and bowlers win you premierships. I just can’t understand why Mumbai have weakened their bowling so much by using up a spot on an injured Jofra Archer and letting Trent Boult go elsewhere.
Left-arm seamers are such a valuable commodity in the shorter form of the game because of the different angle and Boult is as good as it gets. He’s world class.
I think he’s their biggest loss, ahead of Quinton de Kock and the Pandya brothers, but they are all fabulous, match-winning players.
Mumbai seem to have had their soul ripped out at the mega auction. Lots of the star players that made them what they are have left and they have made a horrible start to the competition.
Mahela Jayawardene must be wondering what’s going on.
Jos Buttler is the best in the world
Jos Buttler has made a fabulous start to the IPL. He’s the best T20 batter in the world at the moment, by a mile.
His array of shots and his execution of shots is unmatched, but I also love his calmness and his presence of mind in the middle. KL Rahul is another who has those skills.
That’s what sets these guys apart. They are very calm and very calculated, and then have the phenomenal shot-making and ball-striking.
David Warner is another who is going really well. He’s an emotional person, and we saw that when he struggled in his last season at Sunrisers Hyderabad last year.
But when you make him happy off the field he’ll reward you on the field, and that’s what’s happening at Delhi.
Three-format players need a break
There are several guys who look totally burnt out at the moment.
Whereas Jos Buttler benefitted from a break during England’s Test series in the West Indies, you’ve had the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jonny Bairstow playing all formats and living in bubbles for months on end.
That is not anyway to maximise world-class talent.
They’ve churned out money for their boards by fulfilling most matches in every format in the last couple of years and, as star players, they are under constant pressure with millions of people watching them.
The cricket schedule is crazy. Even as a commentator, I’m working flat out. But, clearly, I’m not under the pressure that these guys are.
Honestly, I think these guys need a six-month break. Get away to the US, to London, to wherever else where travel is unrestricted. Clear your head, come back and rack up the runs again.
It’s unrealistic, but it would do some of these guys the world of good.
The expanded competition is working well
The two new teams, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, are going really nicely.
They’ve added plenty to the competition because they are a breath of fresh air. Whereas most franchises have some old players trying to accommodate some new ones, these two teams are just a bunch of new players with fresh energy.
Everybody is in the same boat and they seem to be really enjoying themselves. It wouldn’t surprise me to see either of them lifting the title in a few weeks’ time.
Visit Betway’s cricket betting page.