The top and bottom
So IPL3 is reaching the half-way stage and Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have emerged as the clear leaders. Top tycoons Mukesh Ambani and Vijay Mallya must be grinning from ear to ear.
At the bottom of the table are Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. But that may not be such a bad thing. For then MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh will play their last match on April 18, giving them an extra week of rest for the much bigger prize, the T20 World Cup.
However, this IPL continues to be too close to call for the top 6. This was shown by Rajasthan Royals when they won four matches in a row. So a hat-trick of wins or losses by any team from now on could seriously upset the pecking order.
Selections – stranger than fiction!
T20 WC mode
When the squad for the T20 WC was announced, Vinay Kumar was the leading Indian bowler at IPL3, a factor that must have helped his selection. At that time, Robin Uthappa had made 175 runs in IPL3 at an average of 44 and a strike rate of 177. So he must have felt really left out and will continue to be in the wilderness for some more time. He’ll wonder what more he has to do to get into the team.
The only concern for the rest of the squad will be the healing of existing injuries and whether fresh injuries will come up. One effect of IPL3 is that no camp will be required. The IPL itself is a training camp for the WC, albeit a very long one.
Money, money, money
In the IPL, it’s all about more and more money and someone rightly called it the Indian Paisa League. In Bangalore when politicians were dished out Rs 49 tickets, they cried foul at being given such “low-value” tickets. They even demanded an enquiry on how the ticket price could be so low, alleging tax evasion (and one thought everyone was just complaining about high ticket prices leading to empty stands).
In other news, Mallya donated Rs 6 crores to Tirumala to seek blessings for his team’s victory. And seeing the price the Pune and Cochin franchises got, KXIP looks to be rethinking an exit strategy where it makes loads of money. Then Preity Zinta might get her career back as she hasn’t had a single big hit ever since IPL was announced.
IPL 2010: Full Coverage
Indian Ad League
IPL made it to the top 25 most innovative companies in the world in a survey recently. It made it past Reliance Industries. But it should also be declared the most innovative ad company. The IPL has shown how you can maximize ad revenues from maximum number of sources, in the process irritating viewers to the maximum.
Ads between balls, strategy break ads, multiple logos on players, sponsored shots and balls, blimps, YouTube, Third Umpire decision pending ads… Is there such a thing as too much advertising?
If Andrew Symonds plays in India, then he has to be in the news either for the right reasons or the wrong ones. While Harbhajan Singh has been desperately trying to play down his relationship with Symo, Rohit Sharma declared that he has learnt a lot from him.
Then Yusuf Pathan claimed that Symo’s sledging led him to play his brutal knock of 73 runs off 34 balls (as if Yusuf needed any inspiration in the first place!)
Symo didn’t keep quiet after that. First he told Yusuf that IPL wasn’t a schoolboy’s game and then he criticized Lalit Modi for the 2011 IPL, which would feature a whopping 94 matches, adding Modi was “driving and whipping his cattle”! DC won’t be complaining as Symo’s one of the top all-rounders of IPL3 so far: 166 runs, 6 wickets and 4 catches.
Let’s IPLize Tests
What if Tests were played in the spirit of the shorter versions of the game and IPL? Five days of day-night play could ensure full stadiums. Coloured clothing would totally change its serious look and be an advertising delight. The Free Hit rule would ensure higher scores. Wide ball rules would deter negative bowling. Cheerleaders could also dance at the end of maiden overs. Interesting?