Monday, June 2, 2014

KKR Wins, Punjab Loses, IPL 7 Ends

The IPL 7 went by without affecting me too much. I saw little of it. A few games were interesting in parts. Maxwell was refreshing, de Villiers too. But overall it was jaded. The faces perhaps, the players, the inconsistencies and lack of thought and application one expects to see while watching professional sport, the spectacle, the commentary, everything contributed to the staleness. Compare it to the Harlem Globe Trotters and the like and the wonder they filled you with.

KKR won IPL 7 but only just. I'd say Punjab lost it more than KKR winning because Punjab had the whole thing sealed almost. Why they changed their combination, their batting order (though Saha and Vohra played well) and why they stumble through the tough periods without getting their thoughts together I cannot understand. Why bring in an out of form Balaji, why play a final without getting the two best hitters of the cricket ball into the game, are all things one cannot fathom. Why did Mitchell Johnson bowl that fatal short ball at Piyush Chawla which the combative youngster pulled over the line is something one cannot understand. I would have liked Bailey to have calmed things down and slowed it up that ball since only a boundary would have swung it the other side that ball. (Having watched that footage again, I can see Bailey having a chat with Johnson and I wonder if it was him who gave the idea of the short ball. Johnson was bowling it full and doing a good job until then. If Bailey did that, its a lesson for Johnson - don't change your winning formula.)

Everytime the bowlers bowled in the blockhole they were good. then they started second guessing themselves and bowled short or wide. What kind of thinking is this? Even if the batsmen moves in the crease, the full ball is still your best bet. For the first time I heard someone in the commentary box lament the lack of use of yorkers, and even better, Rameez Raja was scathing in his accurate analysis that the inconsistent variation in bowlers line and length cannot be due to a plan, it is because they don't know how to pitch it in a given area. I agree with him, the process is missing, and teams must go back to basics where bowling is concerned. Bowl and bowl and bowl and bowl until you get it right. Look at Akshar Patel and you know he knows what he is doing, no one else gives you that confidence.

One feels for Priety. She has been Punjab's one woman supporter all through. But she stuck it out for her team till the end and one could see the tears of disappointment when they lost. Cricket is a hard game Priety and there are these times when you feel its so unfair. You've given it your all. Your side has given it its all. You have had a gallant side that did everything right and knocked over the biggest names and sides. You must be proud of them and their smiling, amiable and completely non-Aussie-like skipper Bailey. They are a young side and will do great stuff in the future for you. It's just that overall KKR had that little extra experience and depth. One cannot ignore the combative attitude of Piyush Chawla who played an unbelievable cameo and swung it across. Nor can one forget Saha and Vohra rising to the big occassion like young lions.

Over to soccer now.

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