4 Days of IPL is over today. I have seen all the teams play atleast one game. Just thought of writing my initial thoughts from the IPL
1. Wheat & Chaff: IPL Governing Council(Modi) has increased the team number from 8 to 10 too soon. Indian domestic structure does not have 100 quality cricketers to support 10 teams. That means, we will be seeing a lot of poor cricket in this IPL. (This is a bigger problem to TV viewer-ship than world cup fatigue)
Also this year's IPL has a few really strong teams and a few really weak teams. (unlike earlier IPL, more or less most of the teams were equally strong). So predicting a huge number of one-sided matches.
Strong Teams: MI, RCB, CSK, KKR (They will move from mid-tier to strong once Lee, Shakib Al Hasan & Brad Haddin joins them)
Mid-Tier: PSW & RR(Just because of Watson's form & Warne's captaincy)
Weak Teams: DC, KXIP, DD and KTK
2. No Recovery from a poor run: Unlike earlier year's IPL, the possibility of recovering from a poor run and reaching IPL semifinals is very negligible. This is because a team needs to win atleast 9 matches to have some hope of reaching semifinals. To be perfectly safe, the team needs to win 11 matches. Except for mathematical possiblities, 10 matches with a good run rate will surely take a team to the semi-finals. This means no team can afford to lose more than 4 matches
3. Deja Vu: Season 4 seems like a deja-vu of season 1. This is because of the clueless captains(Who gives the crucial18th over to Gomez) and idiot decisions all round(Gambhir waiting for Kallis to get out). Somehow it gives me the feeling that a lot of teams have forgotten about T20 format and learning everything from scratch.
4. Where is the local player: I think it is time, IPL Governing council mandated the IPL teams to play atleast 2 players from the catchment area. How will a Hyderabad fan turn up when they don't see not even one of Hyderabad/AP player in the team?. Thankfully, CSK have proven to be the only outlier - 5 out of their 7 players are from the catchment areas. (Goa is a catchment area for CSK).
What are your observations from the initial days of IPL - Season 4?