The Best are… err… Out!
A look at the best Indian performers at IPL3 so far: Sachin Tendulkar (512 runs, 57 average, 4 MOM awards, leading captain as of now), Pragyan Ojha (16 wickets), Robin Uthappa (strike rate 181%), Anil Kumble (economy rate 6.11) and M Vijay (highest individual score, 127*). Guess what’s common to all of them? None have been picked for the T20 WC. Some coincidence!
The top performers of IPL are out, while the middle and bottom are in. The top three run-getters after Sachin are Sourav Ganguly (366), Naman Ojha (352) and Vijay (337). They are out too. It will be interesting to see how India will fare in the WC with the IPL B-team. One can only hope that the squad is saving its best for the West Indies.
Daredevils not looking too far ahead just yet
Momentum’s the Word
In this version of the IPL, “momentum” has been the key. Teams have either won in a bunch or lost in a bunch. Here’s a look at the “consecutive” wins or losses that all the teams have had in some part of the tournament. CSK: Lost 4 followed by won 3. DC: Won 3 followed by lost 5. DD: Lost 3 followed by won 4. RR: Lost 3 followed by won 4.
The only teams that haven’t lost 3 in a row are RCB and MI. Even KXIP lost 4 in a row and now have a chance at 3 straight wins if they win their next match. The “Middle 6” of IPL3 has been fluid and continues to be so.
Wanted: An IPL for Women
Why don’t we have an IPL for women? The highest T20 international score for women is 186. Aussie Rene Farrell, the top T20 woman batsman, has a career strike rate of 150%+. That’s pretty decent. The women’s T20 World Cup was interesting to watch. More than half of the “visible” management of the current IPL appears to be women. Female cricket reporters are everywhere and I’ve never seen so many women on and off the cricket field in my life.
Reports say that the owners of KXIP want to sell out but are being stalled by Preity Zinta. That’s woman power for you. The BCCI seems to be making thousands of thousands of crores which seem to go into some black hole. Why don’t they spend money for such initiatives?
IPL 2010: Full Coverage
New to the Party
India firmly seems to be such a T20 loving nation that it’s difficult to imagine that we were one of the first resistors and the last Test playing nation to play international T20. We were tenth to make a debut (even behind Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) and did it one-and-a-half years after Australia.
Even IPL is a sleepy late starter when it comes to T20 tournaments. While the English invented it in 2003, South Africa followed suit immediately thereafter. Australia started the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash in 2005 and New Zealand the HRV Cup in 2006. Even Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada and the US beat the IPL into hosting T20 tournaments.
Aussie Dean Jones joked that when India won the WC in 1983, ODIs became very popular. When India won the WC in 2007, T20s became very popular. All that was left for the ICC was to organize a Test World Cup which India should win in order for Tests to become very popular!
Fight and Reach the Bottom
In IPL1, RCB started washing their linen in public pretty early in the tournament. Vijay Mallya fumed and CEO Charu Sharma was shown the door and Rahul Dravid faced uncomfortable moments too. Then DC seemed to have problems with VVS Laxman and Adam Gilchrist took over amidst controversy. As a result both teams reached the bottom of the table.
In IPL2 an even bigger fight broke out between Shahrukh Khan, Sourav Ganguly and John Buchanan. Ganguly was sacked and KKR reached the bottom of the points table.
In IPL3, it was the turn of KXIP to kick up some dust. Yuvraj Singh was sacked and a clueless Kumar Sangakkara took over. There were reports that the management wanted to let Yuvraj go altogether and predictably, KXIP is at the bottom of the table. That’s a big lesson for IPL4. Don’t fight internally or you’re sure to reach the bottom.
The author is a Bangalore-based journalist, blogger and commentator