Sachin Tendulkar of Mumbai Indians and Kallis of Kolkata Knight Riders were expected to be the front runner for Orance Cap. But, Valthaty of Kings XI has joined the race too. Three of them are improving their performances with every match and the Orange cap for best batsman of the tournament is changing heads among these three after every match that involves them.
Kallis acquired Orange Cap with his twin half-centuries in consecutive matches. Sachin looked like approaching him, but in came Valthaty’s century and to everyone’s amusement he grabbed the Orange Cap. Next day saw Kallis and Tendulkar playing. First Kallis took the Orange Cap back, and then Sachin hit his first century of IPL to take the Orange Cap for the first time in 2011.
With the third match of Kings XI over against Deccan Chargers, Valthaty equalled the total run scored by Sachin. Now, Kallis is set to play on Sunday and based on current form he does not have a mammoth task to get the Orange cap back.
Right now after 3 matches each, Sachin and valthaty has scored 201 runs, but Orange cap remains with Tendulkar as he has played 3 unbeaten knocks too.
While 2008 saw Shaun Marsh as clear runner for Shaun Marsh for most parts of the tournament, 2009 saw Hayden hijacking the Orange cap scoring 572 runs in 12 matches, as compared to 495 runs cored in 16 innings by Gilchrist of Deccan Chargers who finished second.
2010 saw a dual contest between the batting greats Kallis of RCB and Tendulkar of MI. Ultimately Sachin Tendulkar kept the Orange cap scoring 618 runs in 15 innings, while Kallis finished a close second with 572 runs in 16 knocks.
2011 is proving to be the first edition wehre there is a three-way contest. With ever match. Sachin and Valthaty are tied at 201 runs. Kallis is at 187, just 14 runs away from these two, which in his team’s second match match against Rajasthan Royals for season 2011, based on his current form, he will grab the Orange Cap any way. But Kallis can breath easy with the cap only for next two days. After that Mumbai Indians will play their next match and Cap may be transferred to Sachin again. But, that is not the end of hopes for a fresher. Gilchrist will surely guide him that very next day after MI’s match in the tough match against Rajasthan Royals on 21 April Valthat can play another special knock, and grab the Orange cup. Who will lose momentum first among these three!!
Kallis is set to play 3 matches by April 22, whereas Mumbai Indians will play 2 matches during the same team. Kallis and Sachin have good chances of making the lead bigger. They can feel relieved that Valthaty will be able to play next two matches only by April 23.
Botha of Rajasthan Royals have remained unbeaten and was starting to make the race of most runs by batsmen, but his team dropped his batting positon after arrival of Watson, a move that backfired badly. In the next matches with top order position he may be able to come close to these three.
AB de Villiers of Royal Challengers Bangalore is also taking big strieds. He has scored 157 runs in 4 matches and with his current form, there can be many more. Yet, Botha and de Villiers need a big inning to be part of the top trio.
In the long run anyone can win it, considering there are 60 odd matches still left in the Indian Premier League and although these three are the front runners after 3 matches each, it will not surprise anyone if someone else takes the lead.