Robin Uthappa or Glenn Maxwell? Predicting the Winner of the 2014 IPL Orange Cap

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Robin Uthappa or Glenn Maxwell? Predicting the Winner of the 2014 IPL Orange Cap
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The fight for the IPL Orange Cap looks to be a two-horse race with Robin Uthappa and Glenn Maxwell battling it out to be the competition's leading run scorer.

Kolkata's star man edged into pole position following an unbeaten 83 against Bangalore on Thursday.

The Aussie powerhouse is just 39 runs behind though, and has played one game fewer than his Indian rival.

So who will be wearing the coveted headgear by the end of the competition? We put the batsmen head-to-head looking at form, style, team support and future opposition.

 

Form

Robin Uthappa has been the "Mr. Consistency" of the 2014 IPL, reaching double figures every time he has made it to the middle.

The 28-year-old's last eight innings have been 47, 65, 47, 46, 80, 40, 67 and 83 not out, a remarkable run considering the nature of the T20 game.

Glenn Maxwell's IPL got off to a spectacular start, bludgeoning 95 against Chennai, 89 against Rajasthan and another 95 against Hyderabad in his first three innings.

Maintaining that scorching pace was always going to be nigh on impossible, and so it has proved with the Aussie passing 40 in just three of his next nine innings.

Edge: Consistency favours Uthappa.

 

Style

Scoring his runs at a strike rate of 137.50, Robin Uthappa could in no way be described as a slouch at the crease.

His figures look Boycott-esque compared to Maxwell though, who has scored his runs at an eye-popping strike rate of 193.81.

Maxwell's style is certainly the riskier of the two, but when the Aussie all-rounder does get it right the rewards are that much higher.

Edge: Both are fine batsmen to watch, but an on-song Maxwell is one of the most impressive sights in world cricket.

 

Team Support

A look at the IPL standings shows that both Maxwell and Uthappa are surrounded by top-class talent.

The Punjab batting looks especially tasty, with big hitters Virender Sehwag and David Miller joining Maxwell at the top of the order. With a trio of potential match winners in the line-up, Maxwell has licence to tee off without worry.

The Kolkata side may lack the firepower of the Kings XI, but there are plenty of canny operators to complement Uthappa's skills. Manish Pandey has been a consistent presence in the middle order and skipper Gautam Gambhir has shown signs of form after a torrid start. The big bonus has been Shakib Al Hasan, who has impressed with both bat and ball.

Edge: A plethora of clean strikers at the top of the Punjab order gives Maxwell the freedom to attack.

 

Future Opposition

Maxwell has power to add to his impressive 2014 IPL run tally, facing off against the mid-table Rajasthan Royals and the struggling Delhi Daredevils in his final two matches.

Uthappa's last outing before the play-offs will be against Hyderabad, where he will face the competition's leading wicket-taker Bhuvneshwar Kumar and South African paceman Dale Steyn.

Edge: Maxwell should fill his boots against Delhi.

 

Prediction

Uthappa has a 39-run head start on Maxwell, but that could be wiped out in the space of a few overs given the Aussie's penchant for hitting sixes (35 so far and counting).

The final tally is likely to be extremely close, but given the extra game, we're tipping Glenn Maxwell to be donning the Orange Cap come the end of the 2014 IPL.

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