Well begun is half the battle won. The saying has never been more true than in the current season of the Indian Premier League. A look at some of the top-order batsmen who have ignited the innings with fierce strokeplay right at the onset.
Jesse Ryder: The Kiwi opener for Pune Warriors smashed 60 off 27 balls to nearly humiliate an already demoralised Delhi bowling attack at the DY Patil stadium. His armoury of shots was studded with five boundaries and an equal number of sixes. That's 50 runs in shots beyond the boundary alone.
Ryder's knock against the Kings XI Punjab was equally damaging as six boundaries took him to 31 off 17 balls before uncharactersetically edging one to Adam Gilchrist behind the stumps.
Jacques Kallis: The Protean all-rounder has been one of the most unforgiving batsman in the current tournament, so far. Switching positions repeatedly in the list of top run getters from all sides, Kallis smashed 54 in the opening game against CSK and has repeatedly given his side a solid foundation.
The fact that he has rolled his arms over as well, is an added bonus for the Knight Riders. He bowled his full quota of overs against the Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur and followed it up with an unbeaten 80.
Paul Valthaty: This 27-year-old found no mention when the tournament began and nothing about him seems to have not been told since that mammoth 120 against CSK at Mohali. Its but obvious that he would have shot to limelight considering his knock came off just 63 balls and had 19 boundaries in it.
Valthaty followed his knock with an equally impressive all round performance against the Deccan Charger when he claimed four wickets and came back to open, smash and finish on 75 runs off 47 balls with five sixes.
Adam Gilchrist: He chose to walk after edging the second ball of his team's first match. A rather quiet second match against CSK with 19 off 15 perhaps hinted at a loss in form to go big. The former Aussie wicket-keeper though lashed out against his former side, the Deccan Chargers, with 61 runs picked off just 46 balls to announce his return to his former aggressive self.
His partnership of 136 runs with Valthaty for the opneing match helped his side register a convincing 8 wicket win with as many as 14 balls to spare. That the target was a decent 166 makes the achievement stand out further.
Johan Botha: He batted at the number three spot in two of the three matches for Rajasthan Royals. Perhpas its a co-incidence of sorts that the team lost the third match. The South African has been prolific nonetheless, smashing his way to this thirties with ferocity that would put the biggest hitters to shame.
The all rounder scored 67 off 47 and an unbeaten 39 off 32 in his first two matches besides bowling his off-break. A vital part in the Royals line up, watch out for many more to come.
David Warner: Another batsman who is coming into his groove after a slow start is David Warner. He failed to start for the Daredevils in the first match when he managed all of 1 against the Mumbai Indians. He has since scored 54 off 44 against the Rajasthan Royals and a blinding 46 which was cut short by a run out aganist the Pune Warriors.
With a partner like Virender Sehwag, Warner makes for an opening pair that can send shockwave in the new ball bowling line up. Though the team has just one win, Warners form augers well for his side.
|1||royal challengers bangalore||14||9||4||19|
|2||chennai super kings||14||9||5||18|
|4||kolkata knight riders||14||8||6||16|
|5||kings xi punjab||14||7||7||14|
|8||kochi tuskers kerala||14||6||8||12|
|9||pune warriors india||14||4||9||9|
May 28 2011,20:00 (IST)
May 27 2011,20:00 (IST)
May 25 2011,20:00 (IST)
May 24 2011,20:00 (IST)
May 22 2011,20:00 (IST)