Friday, May 16, 2008

IPL: A confession

I have started watching the IPL matches. I watch more matches than I thought I will. Travelling and staying in hotels could be a reason, as you get to do nothing otherwise. As a consequence, my reading has come down drastically. I do fervently hope the matches will be over quickly, so I can get back to my routine life.

Though I have watched a lot of IPL matches, it is the bowler-friendly matches that have grabbed my attention. Watching Shoaib Akhtar steaming in to bowl those three overs in which he destroyed Sehwag, Gambhir and AB de Villiers was amazing. I am waiting to watch, what he is going to do to Tendulkar, Jayasuriya and Uthappa today. Akhtar is a pest. Most difficult person to manage. Full of ego. But what a bowler!

Jayasuriya made Chennai bowlers look like little kids. They had no clue whatsoever. And he kept going on and on, with sixes all over the place. Tendulkar looks totally out of sorts. He will be ruthlessly exposed by good bowlers, and probably even by average bowlers.

I thought the semi-final line-up will be straightforward. Rajasthan, Delhi, Chennai and Punjab. Now, Kolkata and Mumbai too have a chance of squeezing in. Bangalore and Hyderabad are the only total losers. Chennai looks weaker by the day while Rajasthan, surprisingly strong.

There are a few things I hate about the telecast. Wiring of players in particular and the commentators attempting to make some kind of a conversation. I quickly reach for the remote and press the mute button. Commentators are by and large boring. The cricketers have adapted themselves to this form of cricket. The commentators are yet to do that. Whenever they gush at Lalit Modi, I cringe. No great insights from Gavaskar or Shastri. Tony Cozier is the best of the lot. Ian Bishop next. When even Greg Chappel offers nothing insightful, one can pardon Arun Lal and others.

In general commentators suck up needlessly to the sponsors. We are suddenly told, "it is a Citi moment of success". It is nothing of that kind, simply a possible twist to the match. "DLF maximum sixes" is easy to understand while "Kingfisher fair play award" seems difficult to follow.

Red cap for a top scoring batsman and pink cap for the highest wicket taker are great, but poor Gambhir most of the times bats with a helmet on. I saw him wearing the cap only for a short duration. By the way, do they use the same cap and pass it on to the next player? Won't it stink of sweat? :-) I have not seen any one wearing a pink cap yet, though Ian Bishop kept praising Lalit Modi. Now, we need a Blue cap for maximum catches, a Green cap for maximum dismissals for a wicket keeper and an Yellow cap for fantastic fielding saving more runs in the outfield. And also a Black cap for most muffed chances?

There should also be a special cap awarded to Dr. Vijay Mallya.

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