Chennai found out that the Pune Warriors were not in the mood for any gifts like RP Singh of the Bangalore team was when he bowled that huge no ball off what was the final delivery of that game.
Despite the forced absence of their skipper Angelo Mathews, the Pune team turned the form book upside down by beating the Chennai team at their home, the Chidambaram stadium. Going by the way they had crumbled in earlier games this season, it was expected that Pune in the absence of Mathews and Yuvraj, would be easy fodder for the Chennai team.
But their absence turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Steve Smith played an extraordinary innings and Aaron Finch continued his good form. With Uthappa, who along with his weight shedding seems to have lost some power too, stitching a decent score, the Pune team got off to a flier with Finch in particular being very aggressive.
But then ‘sir’ Jadeja struck by getting Finch stumped as the ball ricocheted off the batsman’s body for Dhoni to whip the bails off with time to spare. With this kind of lady luck, it is hard to imagine any other team winning than the Chennai franchise. Yes, they lost to Pune but there still are a lot of games left.
That win will hopefully galvanise the Pune team as they take on the Hyderabad team, who as expected made heavy weather of chasing the Kolkata team’s total and lost for the second time. It is hard to imagine that there is such a paucity of talent in the famed city that has given Indian cricket the likes of Ghulam Ahmed, Jaisimha, Pataudi, Abbas Baig, Azharuddin and the one and only VVS Laxman.
The batting is particularly disappointing, and if there are no good prospects there, then surely the net can be spread wider to look for those who are good enough but cannot get into their city franchises squads. This is where franchises miss out on the Indian experience to guide them while picking their squads.
It is all well and good to have overseas coaches but they do not see Indian domestic cricket and so have no idea who is good enough. That is why an assistant Indian coach is a must for all the franchises to get an insight as to the domestic talent available.
The Rajasthan and Mumbai game should be a good one as both teams are on a winning roll and are looking good to go further. If Mumbai has a formidable batting line-up, then the Rajasthan boys are pretty good at the bowling side. As yet the Mumbai team have not been tested under the pressure of chasing a healthy total, so it could well be a mouth-watering contest if the Royals put up a 150 plus total.
Professional Management Group