IPL 2019 saw a record number of Indian captains losing their cool. Maybe because they’ve come after a long international tour in Australia and New Zealand or maybe it’s because the World Cup is coming up. Either way, fans saw some unusual leadership behaviour on the field.
Now Indian patriarch and stalwart MS Dhoni is probably one of the coolest captains in the history of cricket, especially considering the amount of matches he’s led his team, the victories he has been involved with and the amount of pressure situations he’s been in. However that wasn’t so in his 100th match as captain in IPL history.
In Chennai Super King’s match with Rajasthan Royals, the latter set a victory target of 152. Dhoni got out in the third ball of the 19 th over, leaving 8 runs to get off 3 balls. Then the next ball was a no ball. Or was it? The umpire said it was, but the square leg umpire over-ruled it!
How many times have you seen such a thing?
And how many times have you seen Dhoni charging from the dugout to argue with the umpires? Two rare events! However Dhoni had the last laugh. He had already set the platform with a fine 58 off 43. Then Mitchell Santner did a Dhoni to hit a 6 off the last ball and clinch the match.
To think that CSK was 24-4 at one stage! But with Dhoni and his team, you can never count him out! Later Dhoni was rightly docked 50% of his match fees, though.
RCB’s bad luck and bad performance continues
Dhoni wasn’t the only captain having problems with no balls. We had Virat Kohli too, who’s generally been quite frustrated with the lacklustre performance of a highly talented Royal Challengers Bangalore team year after year.
In the match with Mumbai Indians, RCB needed 7 runs off the last ball, 6 runs for a super over. The only thing that could have won the match for RCB was a no ball and the highly temperamental Lasith Malinga obliged. He gave a no ball! Six runs off the last ball with a free hit!
OK, take that back. The umpire didn’t even notice and signal for it. Kohli was absolutely fuming and couldn’t control himself even at the match presentation ceremony with gems like “That’s just a ridiculous call off the last ball” and “We’re playing at the IPL level, not club cricket!”
Then in the match with Sunrisers Hyderabad, the opponents were 147/7 at the end of the 19th over. RCB thought they had a decent target to chase, Umesh Yadav went rogue and leaked 28 runs in the last over! However count only 5 bad balls, 1 wrong no ball call and hence an extra ball that shouldn’t have been.
Kohli was livid again. First a no ball that wasn’t and then a no ball that wasn’t called! And RCB was at the receiving end on both occasions. However despite that this time RCB ended with a bang.
8 runs required off the last over and Umesh on strike. He simply hit two straight fours and got his sweet revenge in the game!
However RCB’s luck did not change in this tournament and they still are out of it.
Ashwin is all over the place
Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin also clashed with Kohli, at least virtually. When RCB and KXIP met—the latter needed 27 runs off the last over to win. Ashwin hit a six off the very first ball and they were on track.
But Kohli took his catch off the very next ball and celebrated in a manner which maybe was too over the top for Ashwin’s liking. The KXIP captain threw down his gloves in anger when he stepped off the field.
Earlier Ashwin was in the spotlight thanks to his Mankading, which always leads to controversy no matter what the format, cricketing age or venue. KXIP set a formidable target of 185 for RR, but the latter seemed to be taking it down with ease thanks to 69 off 43 by wicket keeper Jos Buttler. Then in the thirteenth over, Ashwin hit the stumps before his delivery and Buttler was out of the crease.
“Technically correct, but against the spirit of the game” is a cliché that is always used and it was no different this time. International cricketers blasted Ashwin as it was déjà vu for Buttler, who had been Mankaded earlier in a match with Sri Lanka.
Karthik joins the rage party
Then during a strategic time out with Ashwin’s KXIP, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik started lashing out at his players out of the blue. That was totally uncharacteristic of Karthik and he later admitted during the match presentation, “It is rare, not many people have seen me angry. If I feel I need to be angry to get the best out of the boys, then maybe.”
So Dhoni wasn’t the only cool Indian wicket-keeper captain who lost it!
Rohit hits the stumps—after being given out!
Another Indian IPL captain who had a problem with the umpires is Rohit Sharma of the Mumbai Indians. In a match with KKR, he was given out LBW. He reviewed the decision and the replays showed that it was a very close call and had the umpire given him the benefit of doubt, he would have stayed if KKR had decided to review a not out decision.
Rohit simply couldn’t hide his frustration and hit the stumps and knocked down the bails on his way out. For that misdemeanour, he was fined 15% of his match fees.