Wednesday, May 7, 2008

IPL - First Impressions

I watched the first round matches of IPL's T20 show. Some of the impressions I am left with are as follows:
1) Teams must be young. Old teams like Royal Challengers have no hope.
2) Teams need good, solid leadership, captains with a tactical mind and the ability to rally the team together. Warne, Dhoni, Sehwag, Yuvraj are doing well. Laxman, Dravid, Saurav, Harbhajan/Pollock are struggling.
3) The difference between your international 'stars' and the younger lot in the country is not much - infact some youngsters look better than the 'stars'.
4) The best names do not make succesful teams. Deccan Chargers, Kolkata Night Riders and Royal Challengers to some degree are cases in point.
5) Not many bowlers seem to be able to bowl yorkers consistently, or for that matter even a consistent line and length.
6) I have no personal stake with any team, not even my local Hyderabad team. I root for the underdogs because they provide drama and they are doing well - Rajasthan Royals.
7) The filmi and corporate franchise owners are probably wondering how anything gets done with cricketers, whether there is any logic in anything at all. And that in sport, you don't jump up and down after one match-you can afford to do that after the tournament - else you look rather silly.
8) Harbhajan suspension and Sreesanth's crybaby act left me shaking my head; grow up boys. Gawd! Counsel them please someone-they are such terrible examples to young cricketers.
9) After a while, the matches are getting to be a bit like the WWF matches; watch it because there is nothing else to do.
10) Having CEOs, Chief and Assistant Coaches, team songs, logos and team ads, designer wear, brand ambassadors, models and actors - do not maketh the team. You are better off planning a better team. The Rajasthan Royals got it right there.
It's sad that the Royal Challengers reacted to their bad team selection and uninspiring leadership by sacking Charu Sharma, the CEO, for no fault of his. The first of many scapegoats I am sure. If someone had to be sacked, it should have been Rahul Dravid as captain. Rahul is playing well but sadly lacks the dynamism of an inspiring leader.
Mon these issues in future blogs.

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