Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Tragedy of the Deccan Chargers

Once again the Deccan Chargers threw away a match that they had completely in their control. Once again I hold their captain Sangakarra fully responsible. He said in the post match interview that all he can do is hold, hold, hold and hope things change. They won't. Because when you have a bowler like Steyn you don't hold. You go all over the opponents and get them on the backfoot early. By the last six overs, no batsman cares who is bowling - as they are with their backs to the wall. And as AB showed, no one, not even Steyn can be expected to deliver in the last six. How can you hold and hold and let the opponents back into a game they have almost lost? How can you bowl Steyn for only three overs instead of four after you have a total of 180 plus? Though he was better than in the previous games and showed more earnestness, Sangakarra is too defensive and unfortunately the wrong captain for a team that has the Steyn's, the White's, the Dhawan's. I sincerely wish they had continued with Cameron White as their captain. He would have won this match. I am certain White would have bowled 3 of Steyn's four in the first 15 overs and inflicted maximum damage by then. One over could have been held back if needed.

As for AB de Villiers, aaahhh, he was in the zone. The first flat six off Steyn was a wake up call but the second six off Steyn over extra cover sealed it. You knew that this guy cannot be stopped after that. Some of the cleanest, most incredible hitting followed and RCB finished with an over to spare! AB's batting was scintillating. But due credit ought to go to young Mayank Agarwal who revived the run rate with that fabulous 18 - two super sixes and an almost six - in some 7-8 balls. It was he who set a flagging, rather tired looking chase right on track and brought things back in control. Before AB electrified everyone.

Overall I loved the way the two games went. Hilfenhaus short of answers as Smith swung a clean and straight blade and went for 6,4,4 and handed Mumbai an unexpected win. Can't they bowl good yorkers? Or slower ones? The Decan Chargers kid, Ashish Reddy is bowling some of the best slower ones in the tournament and the veterans can learn something from him. I also loved the comeback ball of Rajan to clean up Gayle who hit him out of the park the previous ball. Good stuff youngsters - Mayank, Rajan, Ashish. A lot of thinking to be done for the Chargers as they wind up at the bottom - something that does not reflect in the potential of that team at all.

 While on the games I am amazed at the energy and passion the celebrities have for the game as they sing and dance and cheer for their sides. I saw Siddharth all animated at the Chargers match in the DC box along with former Andhra Ranji player and captain, Chamundeswaranath, a good friend of Sachin Tendulkar's, and some other known faces around Hyderabad. I am also amazed at the energy and passion that commentators have as they talk and talk and talk and analyse the games and players. And that of the fans who are so animated and take their teams fortunes personally as they dress out in team colours, carry and wave banners and shout and scream themselves hoarse. All's well for the IPL now and so be it.

No comments: