Coaching the IPL: Opening weekend | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Coaching the IPL: Opening weekend

This is the first in a regular series of articles looking at the techniques and tactics used in IPL 3.

The 2010 IPL got off to a rip-roaring start with all the franchises playing over the opening weekend. We watched every game and picked out a few choice cuts that you can take into your games this season.

So here are the first tips, separated by team:

Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders: Games can turn fast

In the opening match Deccan Chargers seemed to have it sewn up with Kolkata at 31-4 after 5.1 overs. Even with a recovery, the final score was a gettable 161. At 99-1 after 11 overs it was Deccan's game.

But the game turned again with 4 wickets taking the score to 128-5. The Knight Riders took the psychological momentum and ran away with it, winning with ease.

The Chargers had the game but let it go because they reacted badly to falling wickets.

KKR, personified by a highly focused Ganguly, kept control with good bowling and fielding and ended up cruising home.

A team skilled in making the most of their opportunities will win more games than a team who don't know what to do when momentum shifts and they feel under pressure.

Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals: It's all about the fielding

Yusuf Pathan's hundred in a vain run chase took the headlines in this match, but the secret to Mumbai's success was that they were the better fielders.

Fielding becomes crucial in high scoring games and Mumbai didn't give an inch after racking up 212 in their innings, including a direct hit run out. Then when R. Sathish ended Yusuf with an outstanding caught and bowled the one slim Royals hope died.

If that is not reason enough for you to get out of the nets and practice hitting stumps, catching and throwing, I don't know what is.

Fielding is the difference at every level.

Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils: It doesn't have to rain sixes

Gautam Gambhir, the Delhi skipper, showed how it's possible to win games without needing to smash the ball into the stands. He played a technically sound 72, batting from first to last over taking the high percentage route and keeping the chase in hand at all times.

It shows that even in Twenty20, chasing a target is as much about keeping your head as it is playing big shots. In any run chase, the key is to take responsibility and aim to finish the match rather than leave it to someone else.

Many sides collapse in low scoring chases because everyone leaves the responsibility to everyone else. Be like Gambhir and be clinical rather than showy.

More updates as the tournament goes on. Get the free newsletter to stay up to date.

image credit: ravages


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