37 days of non-stop action, it came and went like a flash. There we were sitting together on Saturday, April 18th ’09 at a friend’s place in Mumbai. Started the campaign was with Mumbai’s win over Chennai and since then it seemed as if the country came to a stand still. The event when shifted to South Africa had drawn many criticisms but with the way it went on not a single critic could stand up to his/her words. What an event it was???
It began with 8 equally talented teams, thanks to the bowler friendly conditions in South Africa and gradually we saw weaker teams making way for better ones. However, it would be really harsh for the teams Rajasthan, Punjab, Mumbai, Kolkata to be called as weaker ones. Just that they could not handle the pressure situations or else they always were in capacity of the other four; Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and the Hyderabad Chargers.
My heart goes out to the Knight Riders and especially to a certain Mr. Ganguly. They, it seems forgot their lady luck back at India while leaving for SA. I always loved them as a unit for the talent they had but was always wary of their performance after looking at the players individually.
Mumbai Indians were and will always be my favorite team. The Master Blaster has been and till the end of mine will be the best player seen in this game but for his captaincy. They really started well but again could not sustain in pressure cooker situations. It’s quite surprising to see a team ranked 2nd from bottom with a +ve net run rate. This tells us that they were good, yaa…. just good but not better than their opponents.
Poor Punjab was hard done by rain in two matches. Though, they goofed up against Chennai while chasing small target of 116. I think they forgot that if they could defend 119 so could other teams, especially with the ranks of Murali to be faced.
Rajasthan……Don’t know why but I love this team. Least in talent off all other teams but way ahead of all in grit, determination and well led by one of the most charismatic player ever; Shane Warne. I wish they do better next time.
Delhi was the team to look out for according to me, but it seemed they got a bit complacent after qualifying for semis. It was apparent in their performances. I really missed seeing Mr McGrath in action. Though, his replacement Dirk Nannes really impresses the cricket fans.
Chennai picked up well after experiencing certain hiccups at the beginning of the tournament though with the kind of team they had, they managed to pull things back and make it to semis. Mr Hayden certainly was the player to watch for and my “Player of the tournament” as well.
Bangalore, I think were the surprise package of the competition that heavily relied on specialists. They hardly used bits and pieces bowlers and were ably led the wily old customer and a terrific leader; Anil Kumble. Thanks to Mr. Dravid, we have found yet another power house in the young lad, Manish Pandey. I am sure Mr Mallya has gone out on a long trip and might be relaxing somewhere on this planet after seeing a fitting performance from his lads.
Finally, coming down to supposedly the most deserving team of the year, Hyderabad aka Deccan Chargers. Undoubtedly the most devastating team to play against had some amazing power players like Andrew Symonds, Dwayne Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Rohit Sharma and Adam Gilchrist with good bowler inRPSingh.