The league stage of the Indian T20 league winds down this weekend and the stage for the knockouts will be set by the end of today’s games. While two teams, Delhi and Pune, never got into the tournament from the start, the tussle for a place in the knockouts was quite intense with the other teams.
Pune and Delhi will play for the dubious honour of which team finishes last. They have played party poopers in a few games after it became clear
that they would not qualify for the knockouts and dented the net run rate of some of the aspirants to the knockouts.
The Kings XI were in the running till Rajasthan succumbed to the Hyderabad team, and the owners will now have to put their thinking caps on and take some hard calls. One of them could well be whether Adam Gilchrist should continue playing for them.
The Australian, who is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, hardly plays any competitive cricket other than this tournament, and so found the going tough at the start of the event. His natural talent meant that after a brief break from the team and more fitness training, he has come back stronger and has played quite superbly to show that even at this age he can play to a high standard.
The question is whether there will be motivation for him to continue. He has already led his previous team, the now defunct Deccan Chargers, to the championship in season two, and so he has nothing left to achieve and more importantly to prove to anybody.
The T20 format is a young man’s game especially as far as the fielding and running between the wickets is concerned, and while natural ability will get you so far, it can’t take you further which is the need of the format.
Being a wicket keeper too means a lot more physical exertion, and with all fielders in this format throwing at the stumps whether there is a chance of a run out or not, means that despite the big gloves, the fingers do take a battering.
There have been some outstanding deeds in the last week. Virat Kohli’s sublime batting, Shane Watson's consistency with bat and ball, Kieron
Pollard's awesome big hitting and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s batting and keeping. These have given the supporters plenty to cheer and rejoice as
their teams have progressed through the league stage.
They were all in the frame for the accolade, but it is the veteran Adam Gilchrist, with his deeds in front and behind the stumps who is the Ceat International cricketer of the week.
Professional Management Group