Monday, April 20, 2009

A weekend of the cricket veterans

The South African pitches and conditions will expose the batsmen's limitations in the 2009 IPL. The four games on the weekend underlined the fact that even in T20 format, there is no substitute besides class and experience. It was the veterans who showed the way and set the trend for the competition.

The best moments over the weekend matches were Dravid's six, Sachin's shot over cover, Vetteori's spell and Warne's guile that mocked at the batsmen. Never mind that Warne's Rajasthan Royals lost, but in those four overs, he provided salvation from the boring sixes and boundaries, the same was for Kumble and Vettori. Of course, there was the slinging Malinga making a statement for the quick bowlers, but frankly this IPL is likely to show a lot of surprises.

The point is that if you take a simplistic perspective of cricket as it being just a sport and there is more to life, then you might enjoy the offerings, though it is only in between the commercials on the television. Most people i know have strong reservations over the break after 10 overs, for it takes away the momentum and continuity. The organizers can justify the gimmick saying they would like to earn as much as they spend.

Watching the likes of Sachin and Dravid was indeed a pleasure. While a big innings from Sachin is always to be expected in any format, Dravid was revelation to those who believed that he is a misfit for T20 cricket.

Dravid was intent on making a strong statement to his detractors as this was so evident in his celebration on reaching 50. It is a pity that Dravid would soon be flying back home to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The other two veterans who batted, Kumble could barely hide his blushes after the performance.

All the eight teams were not prepared for the very English conditions in Cape Town with all the rain and the moisture, and hence the pronounced movement off the deck. There was something for the spinners too.

Of the eight teams on the weekend,Royal Challengers, Mumbai Indians and the Deccan Chargers were the most improved lot whereas these same teams were at the receiving end last year.

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