IPL 2015 is finished, over, done with. The champions have been crowned. The champions are Mumbai Indians.
Three teams have now won the IPL twice. Chennai Superkings (of course), Kolkata Knightriders and Mumbai Indians. The other winners are Rajasthan Royals and Deccan Chargers (now defunct).
Is Rohit Sharma, on the basis of IPL results, a better skipper than Virat Kohli? Has captaincy led to a new-found maturity in the cavalier—yet immensely talented—Mumbai batter? Is Sharma a better candidate to lead the Indian Test side?
Recall that Saurav Ganguly was appointed skipper only after Sachin Tendulkar refused the crown of thorns for the second (and final) time. The rest, as they say, is history.
Meanwhile, the French Open beckons with a tantalising glimpse of possibly history in the making.
Can Novak Djokovic become only the fourth man in the Open era to claim a career Grand Slam?
For once, Nadal does not ride into Paris as the overwhelming favourite on his favoured surface—clay.
The Mallorcan has feet of (well, you said it, not me) clay.
In the women’s draw, the top two contenders are Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Both have claimed career Grand Slams and Sharapova—interestingly—has two French Open titles; it is her least liked surface.
(My cable operator is not televising the French Open; it is not among the default options offered. So I guess I’ll be following it mainly via the net or the print media.)
Have you been following IPL 8?
It’s not that cricket doesn’t excite me or that watching Chris Gayle or AB DeVilliers clobber bowlers to all parts of the ground and beyond isn’t a thrilling spectacle.
It’s just that it’s no longer interesting, it’s no longer fun.
It’s a surfeit of instant cricket following closely on the heels of the 2015 World Cup.
Yes, the cheerleaders are pleasing to look at; so are Archana Vijay and Shibani Dandekar.
However, it’s simply the same old package with very little changing.
The only positive change is the recruiting of former women cricketers as expert commentators.
I support Mumbai Indians.
But Rohit Sharma’s men simply don’t evoke the same passion that the Indian cricket team does.
What is the IPL then? A great Indian tamasha. Enjoy with bhel and popcorn and you won’t suffer from indigestion.
As for the genius who decided that the studio experts should have cheerleaders lauding their every soundbyte, he should have his head examined.
It’s obvious that advertisers have not deserted the Indian Premier League as yet.
But more of such hare-brained shenanigans and they surely will.
What he said:
“At that point of the game, we normally have a guy called Pollard coming in for us, but unfortunately he was playing for the other team.”
Somerset captain Alfonso Thomas harps on his wishbone—in vain—pointing out the unavailability of key players like Kieron Pollard when they are also part of IPL teams. Somerset succumbed to Mumbai Indians in the semis of the Champions League T20. Pollard turned out for the IPL side.
What he really meant:
“An arm and a leg (or a million or two) for Kieron Pollard in my squad.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Game-changers like Pollard are a dime-a-dozen.”