Congrats Royals – on winning the royally fought battle

So.. Rajasthan Royals have finally won the IPL. The team full of no-names and have-beens emerged from their antechamber to write a new script. Who would have thought at the beginning of the tournament, amongst the fanfare and a blazing 150-odd from Brendon McCullum that it will be Rajasthan who will be riding the waves like Hercules. Congrats to the team!!

This is my summary rejoinder on IPL.

In their first outing, RajRoyale’s drubbing was soo expected. Delhi Daredevils were the flavor of the season. Even before it started everyone wanted to wet.. sorry bet.. their pants on Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers. Royal Challengers got stuck between a Mughal and history, each struggling to understand – what’s in the game? And beyond all this, King Khan was creating his own empire – I hate all these guys, but I hate losing more – Connecting People.… Somewhere, Chennai Kings were rollicking, while King’s XI fought back after losing a couple.

Mumbai Indians – of the one who counts as ten – dull was their karma as sachin never took the field in the first couple of weeks. They were handed a second hand leader in the form of a turban wearing ape going around giving others physical lectures about being cultured. Thankfully, session resumed and Pollock brought the team back. Sanath became the sentinel dispatching the king’s-men to their posts. But they ran outta luck and became famous for what the indian team has been known – CHOK – ed India(that’s Chok Three – 1, 2 and 3).

Royal Challengers – the immovable – playing a game full of passion and adrenaline rushes, never acknowledged what was missing – the “team”. Lost it in the head much before they lost it in the field. A sacked CEO, a player going rowdy, the wall holding on, and a valiant warrior, and winning 4 of 14, the “expensive” kingfisher soda lost its fizz.

Deccan Chargers – The name is a misnomer, with their leader resigned to the fact that he is not very charged about the idea of playing this short high intensity commercialized game. With due respect to the man with a long name, long career, several long innings, and a long face,Lakshman could have done better. At least he could have avoided wastage. When you have an Afridi, Gibbs, Symond and Gilly in your team, you dont play for hope. You play for complete demolition of your opposition. And here he was, leading from the front in the most un-leader like way. And that, to me, was the sign of things to come. Null. And nothing came.
Kolkata Knightriders – A typical Ganguly outfit, full of internal strife without any reason. Typical SRK team, a lot of hype and a successful commercial product, but visible lack of substance but for the occasional flashes. A very unlike John Buchanan outfit which did not go out to the field to give its best. Where the onus to perform fell on the young-uns. I am glad they did not make it too far. It would have been cricket’s failure to see a media mogul sitting atop a cricket cup.

Delhi Daredevils – Ah! Paradise Lost. What do you do when you get a semi-final berth after hanging by your teeth for the last several days. You rejoice. You celebrate. And then you get drunk.And you get screwed while you were not in your senses. What a shabby performance in the semi-finals where there were three contenders for the man of the series tournament – Pidgeon, Viru and Gauti! If you want to shoot yourself in the foot.. Heavens be praised.

Punjab Kings XI – but for the semi final, I think they did well. They had fire. They tried. And they got tangible and intangible rewards (playing in your nearest you-tube theater -who get hugged?). Yuvi flew to impress, but failed to! Brett Lee was dangerous when he was around. Shaun Marsh was poetry in motion, and Sangakkara, et al added a lot of positives. Sreesanth was still controlling his emotions, while VRV Singh looks just about right to be never picked for the Indian team. Alas, it didnt quite play out that well in the semi.

Chennai SuperKings – The Third Kingly team (after KKR and KXI), was considered a Hayden-Hussey team as they start losing towards the middle. But Captain cool kept his mane steady. His men struggled, fought, created opportunities and gave each other a chance. On the days they did not play well, they went back and reprimanded themselves. And when they lost the close final, they did not cry. They huddled together as a team and praised each other for having tried their best, and agreed that they lost as a team. I Love that spirit. Thats sportsmanship! Agree that your opposition was better or did something better!

Rajasthan Royals- Rooting for the underdogs is a school of philosophy in itself. But Rajasthan team was that poor guy with oodles of talents that every dame falls in love with. It fits the story perfectly – there is capitalism as you promote the trier, talented guy. There is socialism as you try to get the underdog to your social level. And there is poetic justice when the ignored remind you of their performance, not through words, but through actions! I am not sure if Yusuf Pathan or Asnodkar will ever make it big in the bigger version. However, they are cut out for this imaginative version and they have taken their chances. Now, the board needs to give them a real chance. Good show guys.

IPL – Thank you for giving us such nice clean fun filled month!

IPL – Hi PL- High PL

Everyone’s writing about IPL. Any blogger worth his sitemeter writes something about Bhaaji.. oops Bhajji on the beach, Cheergirls and short pants, Imported vs. Local talent, death of cricket and the emergence of shorts (short form of cricket, that is), etc etc etc.

Its my turn now. And rant, I will!

IPL’s biggest benefit – Slapgate would have shot the TRPs as much as K..k.k.k.Khan’s histrionics. If Mohali’s performance was not setting the stage on fire, probably Lalit Modi’s disappointment at not being hugged tightly by Preity Zinta was. While Katrina Kaif is cheering the royal losers/challengers, Akshay Khanna Kumar is showing his daredevilry elsewhere. Net net, the TRPs have been high. So much so that King Khan’s struggling to balance Fifth Graders (Paanchvi Pass) with Night Fallers/Riders.The initial questions about the IPL investments being worthwhile and the revenue being limited are surely out of the window now..

Biggest beneficiaries of IPL – Everyone wrote about the big money that a lot of good for nothing cricketers earned because of IPL. However, very few wrote about the opportunity it has created for youngsters in India, who would have tried to make a carrier out of the otherwise mediocre Indian Domestic Cricket. I hope everyone’s watching youngsters like Ravindra Jadeja (19 Years, Jaipur), Shikhar Dhawan (22 Years, Delhi), Abhishek Nayar (24 Years, Mumbai), Gony (24 Years, Chennai), Dinda (24 Years, Kolkata). Given a chance to play alongside the best that cricketing world has to offer, even if its in an unconventional format, these young guns are trying to elevate their game to the next level. At the end of the first couple of weeks, while there are some exemplary knocks from the established biggies like Hayden, Gilly, Sehwag, there are some equally significant performances from some youngsters as well.

Side benefits – Barring what Sreesanth did to Bhajji (with Bhajji doing Sreesanth in return and paying the price for it), this is a perfect platform for cricketers from different nations to be a little more amicable to each other. I have monkey’s idea of what was happening on the ground, but the feeling I had was that these two are not just from different countries, but probably from a different planet! When you share the dressing room, you share a lot of common jokes too. And it helps ease the tension when international sides play


Also, there is a lot of competitive information that suddenly starts flowing hither wither. Imagine a Kallis sharing the fine points of Dada’s batting weakness (based on what he might have heard in strategy discussions with Dravid) during a south African team meeting! Nice!!

Yummm.. I’m loving it!

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