Nothing is much more relieving than watching IPL matches being played on Indian grounds again, with supporters donning the home jersey and forming a colored brigade. As UAE bid adieu to the IPL, the tournament is back to where it belongs. But it should not be said that IPL has left UAE without having any sort of lasting impact. The crowds there thronged the stadium consistently in every match and they witnessed everything that they wanted to. Last but not the least, the East India spectators also enjoyed the very tensed super over which resulted from a tied match between KKR and Rajasthan Royals.
So, as the previous editions, here also we review the week which coincided both with the 1st Leg and the 2nd one!
Players who Rocked!
Ravindra Jadeja: – After putting the yellow jersey on, Jadeja is looking a different bowler altogether. His typical arm delivery which skids on to the batsman, which was looking quite ineffective for the past two months, were all in effect and as IPL has shifted to its birthplace, it’s of no doubt that Ravindra Jadeja will become more and more dangerous!
Steve Smith: – He is that guy who can prove to be a game changer in two ways- firstly by donning the pads on and secondly while fielding. The temperament which he showed in the super over will always remain in everyone’s hearts. In the one over eliminator, where batsman look to hit only fours and sixes, he was content in taking singles and couples and this was the strategy that won the game for the Rajasthan Royals.
Even while fielding, he has the capability of covering a lot of ground before taking a catch. He has taken some crucial catches thus far and as the IPL progress further, don’t be surprised if his no. of catches column increases to new heights!
Sandeep Sharma: – Sandeep has been the surprise package as he is bowling consistently and more importantly taking wickets at regular intervals. His wicket to wicket deliveries is proving to be quite effective by which he has also been successful in taking important wickets of Kohli and Gayle in the same match.
Players who Flopped!
Rohit Sharma : – Captain’s form is very important for any team and in this case too, Mumbai Indians need Rohit’s form to sparkle if they want to qualify for the playoffs. Losing 5 from the 6 matches played so far, the defending champions now don’t want any chance begging. For that, Rohit’s bat has to fire!
Coming back to India, Rohit seems to have found form again and so do Mumbai Indians.
Amit Mishra: – After conceding 50 runs in his allotted four overs and going for above twenty a couple of times in this edition, Amit Mishra, who was looking to be a game changer,has qualified for this category!
It is quite possible that pitches in UAE didn’t help him but as the IPL is back to India, he will look to deliver again the remarkable performances that he showed in the recently concluded T20 world cup.
Helmet back in work: – Seven runs were conceded in a Malinga delivery, thanks to the helmet which gave five of those. Malinga bowled a wide delivery down the leg side to which Dinesh Karhik, the wicket keeper, got his gloves on the ball which finally stroke the helmet. By this time, the batsmen also had scampered for a quick single.
Birthday boy did the job: – James Faulkner proved to be the match winner in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders which also involved the super over.
KKR required just 16 off the last two overs before birthday boy came with the slower deliveries which resulted in the fall of 3 wickets. In the super over too, Faulkner restricted the Knights to just 11 runs which won them the game as Smith and Watson had no trouble facing Narine.
3 minutes of Gayle Storm: – Chris Gayle played his 1st match against Kings XI and he was looking to break his own record of 175 the way he was swinging the bat at every delivery. The 1st over, bowled by Glenn Maxwell went for 20 as Gayle hit two fours and deposited the deliveries into the stands a couple of times. But the storm was short-lived as Gayle was castled by new sensation Sandeep Sharma as he went for another big heap.
Honesty is the Best Policy: – When Jacques Kallis knicked a Shane Watson delivery to the keeper, he started walking back to the pavilion even before the umpire pointed the finger upwards. But he was rewarded for this honesty as not only he was called back, as Watson overstepped, but also some points were added to KKR in race for the fair play award!
Warner’s switch hit: – Executing a switch-hit against the most fearsome bowler in the world is a colossal job to do. David Warner tried this to Lasith Malinga. He became a right-hander in expectation of a Yorker but Malinga bowled a bit shorter to which Warner executed a square cut just as a typical right-handed batsman.
The superb timing: – From the last ball of the one over eliminator, Royals needed at least two to win as they had hit more boundaries. All Steve Smith did was pushing the ball into the off-side region and by the time the fielder could throw, the batsmen comfortably completed the couple. Such shots under pressure are amazing to watch and it was Smith who won everybody’s hearts that day in the Sharjah Stadium.
So now as the IPL is back to its birthplace, familiar venues will be back and teams will be tough to beat on their home grounds. Competition will increase to a new level which will also do the same favour to our entertainment.