One of the plus points of this IPL version is that its taking place in South Africa, and therefore it provides us a nice way of evaluating the cricketing quality of non-internationals (Dhoni himself has played very little here). The pitches are more balanced, with mishits seldom going for a six, unlike the Indian edition of IPL last year. The number of skiers have been astonishing and the percentage of high catches that have been dropped, even more so.
The young Indian spinners look good, what with the spin-friendly pitches that seem to abound. On the other hand, the fast bowling department looks a mixed bag. The rookie Kamran Khan probably needs to work on his action. One is hoping for a comeback from the smiling Balaji (he appears to be among the wickets again), while RP Singh looks adequate. Malinga and Nannes appear to be streets ahead, and the Aussies are on international duty and havent played yet. In terms of batting, Raina in particular looks awesome, and should be picked for Test cricket right away. Rohit Sharma showed that he can bat well anywhere in the world if he puts his mind to it, while Yusuf Pathan is only limited by the air density and the boundary distance. Dhoni will improve his batting, keeping, and captaincy skills from this experience and this will only help India in the long run. The rest of the young guns have been inconsistent and haven't made much of an impact so far.
The most embarrassing aspect of Indian cricket continues to be the fielding. We are unfit for 21st century sport! Ravi Jadeja and Raina are the stand-outs here. The BCCI needs to do some serious remedial work here.
Let's hope that as the IPL progresses, some of the Indian colts can put up their hands and shine, but for now, there are few test match prospects besides Ojha (spin) and Raina (batting).
A couple of other notes - The umpiring has been poor in a few of games last week.. As predicted earlier on this tab, the ego-ride for the Kolkata team-owner is coming close to its natural end. Hopefully he will sell it off asap to a better owner and walk off with the profits and stay away from cricket forever.