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Pace bowlers have made CSK an even stronger team in 2013: James Alter

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May 01, 2013 at 05:06pm IST

How are the IPL 6 play-offs shaping up? Who are the players to watch out for as the league enters its decisive phase? Cricketnext and IBNLive sports editor Jamie Alter joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the matter.

Q. Don't you think KKR have been very unlucky this time? I do admit.. they not playing upto the mark.. but.. unlucky because... there are injury problems... most of their matches were afternoon matches... and now... their homes matches are gonna be in Ranchi.... so clearly... luck is not on their side. Asked by: saurabh

Pace bowlers have made CSK an even stronger team in 2013: James Alter

How are the IPL 6 play-offs shaping up?

A. Hi Saurabh, I don't think they have really been unlucky. You have to play whatever and wherever the IPL puts you. The big problem was getting starts with the bat. Bisla only clicked in two late matches which meant that Gambhir was always lacking a partner. Persisting with Yusuf was a mistake, Kallis has not done anything with the bat, and the absence of a proper fast bowler has also been a factor.

Q. Do you think Chennai stand the best chance? Asked by: Asokan

A. You can never discount the team which has made the play-offs every year and won the CLT20. Purchasing a stock of pace bowlers has made CSK an even stronger team in 2013. And had Murali Vijay been clicking, imagine how much stronger they could have been. CSK will sail into the play-offs, which they have not done for a couple seasons, and considering they turn it up a notch in the knockouts, I would put them as favorites.

Q. How are the IPL 6 play-offs shaping up? Asked by: Sachin

A. CSK are certain, but if Hyderabad and KXIP manage to put together winning streaks it could get tricky for Mumbai and Rajasthan.

Q. KKR missing shakib's presence? Also Balaji is not delivering what he did last year? Asked by: saurabh

A. Shakib is an impact player, so he could have easily come in place of Senanayake. A non-performing Balaji only makes it worse for KKR.

Q. How do you rate the chances of RCB or are they too dependent on Gayle? Asked by: Deepak Krishnamurthy

A. Gayle is no doubt their biggest player. He scores, they win. He has been a bit inconsistent this season, but RCB look good to make the play-offs. What they really need then is for Gayle to click and Kohli, de Villiers and the bowlers to make a big impact. Gayle's failures in previous knock-out matches resulted in defeats.

Q. Who are the players to watch out for as the league enters its decisive phase? Asked by: kapil

A. Plenty - Gayle, Watson, Kohli, Steyn, Mishra, Faulkner, Rohit, Karthik, Rahane, Hussey, Raina, Ashwin, to name a few.

Q. I believe the CSK is winning the cup? are they really playing good cricket? Asked by: Ram Nagesh

A. I have not heard anything to that effect, Ram. Is that the word on the street? Jokes aside, they are playing some excellent cricket.

Q. Do you think most IPL teams except maybe CSK & RR still haven't figured out their ideal combination? Asked by: Gaurav

A. I would agree. Mumbai look far better now that they have made Rohit captain and got in Smith for Ponting. The rest are still struggling.

Q. What do you thinks about are chance? lack of bowlers is their major concern and including shah is better or a full time bowler like hogg can make difference as we know lack of domestic quality create troubles? Asked by: raghav

A. They are a fighting team, which gets them by where they lack in star power. So much depends on Watson. They don't seem to have a set fourth overseas player which is a problem.

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