The Chennai Super Kings showed that they were the best team again by winning the DLF IPL for the second year in succession. The hallmark of a champion team is to be able to raise the level of their game when the big occasion arrives and there is no bigger occasion than the finals of the tournament.
If Dhoni feels that he is not very lucky with the spin of the coin, then Daniel Vettori must despair of ever calling correctly. Both wanted to win the toss because of the history of results at the M A Chidambaram stadium; of teams batting first invariably winning the game. The Super Kings openers found their best form in the finals and the massive partnership they had put paid to the hopes of the Challengers.
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In the T20 format chasing anything over 130 is not easy especially in a knockout game since a few quiet overs at the start or loss of early wickets puts enormous pressure on the chasing team and unless someone plays a blinder it is hard to catch up with the asking rate. Once Gayle was out for a duck it was over for the Challengers and what it proved was that the Challengers despite having some pretty formidable players depended heavily on the big Jamaican.
Chennai Super Kings were also the team that got full value from the players it retained and those they repurchased. Since most of the squad was pretty much the same as the previous three years they were a settled team and did not have to get to know each other or come to terms with the new surroundings and the cricketing culture of a new franchise.
The team that got most from its new purchases was the Kolkata Knight Riders for whom Gautam Gambhir strove every sinew and got them in the playoffs for the first time. The other franchises were not as lucky with the expensive buys though Warne, Watson, Tendulkar and Malinga did everything that was expected of them. The two new franchises Pune Warriors and the Kochi Tuskers did better than expected and would certainly have done more if the mindset at the auction had been a cricketing one.
IPL 4 Statistics
The biggest disappointments were the Delhi Daredevils and the Deccan Chargers. The Chargers who won the tournament in South Africa were patchy and hopeless in fielding dropping some of the simplest of chances. They had a great attack but sloppy fielding did not help them. The Delhi Daredevils were over-reliant on Virender Sehwag and by the time he realized that unless he himself batted for at least 15 overs, his team was not going to score big, the tournament was over for them.
The tournament is over but some big calls will have to be made by the owners about the skippers, coaches and support staff. Under Carlo Ancelotti the Chelsea team won the double last year yet he was sacked when Chelsea finished second in the English Premier League this year. Maybe there is a clue there for the next season.
Professional Management Group