IPL has become predictable over the past few years with the top teams Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings winning the tournaments. CSK scripted comeback victories after ban and after abysmal season. Mumbai Indians just dominated every other franchise. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals showcased improvement over past seasons but never looked like threat to win the cup from the giants.
But this season, the new entrants have flipped the fortunes. Both CSK and MI on reeling at the bottom of the table while Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants have been the toppers. GT have been dominating every other team with limited resources. The players in the team are raising to the occasion, whenever the team needs them to do so.
Rashid Khan did not top the wicket takers list but is among the top wicket takers and even won few matches for the team with his bat. Shubman Gill has come good on a tricky pitch against Lucknow and David Miller has been consistent in giving big finishes. Rahul Tewatia managed to finish matches.
Hardik Pandya, the captain, is not bowling at his best but his batting form as improved over the tournament. Without many superstars, the new franchise management as managed to compile a team full of motivated youngsters who are itching to do well along with few veterans. Hence, they qualified by winning 9 out of 12 matches they have played.
Even KL Rahul’s Lucknow Super Giants is looking like a strong contender and they have won 8 matches out of 12 they played. New franchises just need to hold their nerve in playoffs as the other teams will try to bring in their seniors to help them cross the playoff hurdle, once they qualify. New franchises need to take one step at a time to ensure their success story to continue, mainly, Gujarat Titans.