It’s a 50-50 IPL
When Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday night, they not only leapfrogged to the second position, but also became the fifth team to play 12 matches and win six of them.
How’s that for closeness?
This IPL has really been too close to call till now. Mumbai Indians was the first team to qualify and King’s XI Punjab was the first to be kicked out.
The fate of most of the other teams will be decided down to the very last match and some of them could be even dubbed as quarter-finals.
The net run rate will also be a huge factor, something where CSK sits pretty after the way they thrashed KKR while Deccan Chargers have the going really tough as they have the worst Net Run Rate among the hopefuls.
Controversies beat the game
It’s funny how the off-field controversies get more coverage in sports.
Not many people follow golf or Tiger Woods in India, but everyone reads about his controversies.
Sania Mirza has never made it to the quarter-finals of a grand slam but has got more media coverage than even the legendary Vijay Amritraj.
Shoiab Malik, after his ban, is becoming irrelevant to cricket in his home country but is emerging as the most famous Pakistani cricketer in India.
Then what of the IPL?
Does a single week go by where a new controversy doesn’t come up?
If IPL3 started with the Pak cricket controversy (which seems ancient history by now), it threatens to end with one of the biggest of them all: The Modi-Tharoor spat.
Are the Rain Gods Watching IPL?
One regular feature of cricket has been missing: Rains.
Makes you wonder whether even the cricketing Gods are watching IPL.
The IPL has been blessed in that respect. The first 49 matches have gone on without major interruptions.
But now the rains have begun in Bangalore and RCB have one more match to play at home. After that Bangalore also hosts the two semi-finals.
Rajasthan Royals also must be pretty apprehensive as on the day they play their final match with KKR, isolated thunderstorms are predicted in Kolkata.
Thus Spake Modi
Lalit Modi’s Twitter account is probably the most happening in international cricket right now. There’s never a dull moment. Apart from the countless allegations that are flying back and forth, there are other interesting Tweets:
Its not the money that matters but the growth and quality of entertainment that IPL provides to its fans
(Really? Then why was Kochi sold at thrice the price of Mumbai, something that makes no business sense. Why is the ad lemon being squeezed dry irritating the viewers no end? One thing we have learnt is that when it comes to the IPL, it’s all about money.)
we would love to take cricket to the whole world and make IPL the biggest and bestest league in the world
(As if it isn’t big and controversial enough already!) My team and RR officials harassed by state officials.
Is this the way to hold matches in a state.That is why I have boycotted Jaipur matches
Please email me on email@example.com if you have been forced to buy tickets in the black market. And at what price. (Didn’t know that even the great Modi could be a victim!)
Some new talent
After the beginning of IPL had the usual suspects as star performers, the second half saw some new talent flourishing - one of the objectives of the IPL in the first place.
Leading the pack is Murli Vijay who has hit 387 runs in just 241 balls in IPL4. His team-mate Ravichandran Ashwin rocked the top KKR order to set up an emphatic victory.
T L Suman of Deccan Chargers is also peaking at the right time and has scored more than 250 runs so far.
Another new find who continues to impress is RCB’s Vinay Kumar. But only Vinay has a chance to carry his form into the T:20 World Cup as the others aren’t even picked.
The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.