The playoffs of the TNPL series have started and the first match has been completed. So, here’s an analysis of the four teams that have made it to the finals…
Laika Coimbatore Kings:
Laika Go was the first team to step into the playoffs, playing in top gear from the start of the series. Sai Sudarshan and Shahrukh Khan acted as the main pillars for the success of this series.
Sai continued the run chase that started in the IPL series in the TNPL as well, showing monster form and scoring 5 consecutive fifties. He is the leading run scorer with 371 runs. But the fact that Sai Sudarshan has been selected for the India A team for the Asia Cup will not play in the playoffs is a setback for the Laika team. However, all-rounder Shah Rukh Khan acts as the captain and is the hope of the entire team. Shah Rukh Khan is the 2nd highest wicket taker with 13 wickets. In batting too, he has shown mass by scoring the fastest half-century in 20 balls. Sujay and Suresh Kumar are giving hope in place of Sai Sudarshan in the batting.
Dindigul Dragons entered the playoffs under the leadership of Baba Indrajith despite Ashwin’s withdrawal from the team for the West Indies Test series. Indrajith is at the 2nd position in the list of highest run scorers with 283 runs in every match. After him Shivam Singh and Aditya Ganesh are the bastions in the batting.
Shivam Singh is 3rd in the list with 270 runs. If the top order starts well, the Dindigul team is likely to rain runs. Varun Chakraborty and Subodpathi are strong in bowling. Varun Chakraborty, who was not so good at the beginning of this series, has made a comeback in the last few games which gives Dindigul an extra boost in the playoffs.
Paddy Royal Kings:
Nellie Royal Kings have won 5 out of 7 matches and entered the playoffs as an active team. Ajitesh is the biggest strength in the team. Youngster Ajitesh scored a century against Laika Coimbatore to lead Nella to a thrilling victory. He also scored his first century of the season. Vlasi is 4th in the list of highest run scorers with 261 runs at a strike rate of 163.
Even in the last league game, he scored a half-century against Trichy to help Nellai win. If Ajitesh settles in at the start then expect a big innings from him. He will be supported by Arun Karthik, Sandeep Warrier and Nitish Rajagopal Aghior in the middle order. Sonu Yadav is playing well as an all-rounder. He will have great confidence in bowling. With the spinners also continuing their form, we can expect Nellie in the final.
Seagam Madurai Panthers:
Despite struggling at the start of the season, Seagam Madurai Panthers entered the playoffs with consecutive wins in the last few matches. Gurjapneet Singh is the bowling strength of the team. He is the top wicket taker with 13 wickets. Gurjapneet Singh, the left-arm fast bowler, has taken wickets on line and length with good timing.
He is also good at controlling runs in the death overs. Hopefully his form will continue in the playoffs as well. Murugan Ashwin’s spin is waiting to take wickets. Top order batsmen Lokesh, Nishant and Aditya are in good form. But the middle order is poor. However, Washington Sundar’s comeback in the last few games has given Madurai an extra boost in batting and bowling.
Tell us in the comments who will win the playoff battle and take the crown in the finals!