The IPL is half way through to its league stages, and although it can be criticized for some inane things, cricket has taken the centre-stage once again. So I try to capture some thoughtful moments, according to me, by way of a photo blog.
The change of jersey color seems to have resulted in a temporary change of hearts. At the end of the Test series, Smith apologised but Kohli, like a schoolboy who was promised but wasn’t given a chance to bat in a school game, stormed saying they are not friends anymore. White generally represents peace, but if these two wear their respective Whites, then probably they wouldn’t even see each other.
The owner of Rising Pune Supergiants, sorry Supergiant, may not have enough respect for MS Dhoni, but Rahul Dravid does not forget to pay enough respect to the man under whom he played for a few years. People who criticize Dhoni usually eat their own words after sometime, just like the RPS owner who is now laying low for a while in the Twitter world.
Rishabh Pant in his fighting knock of 36-ball 57 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. This was just a day after his father’s funeral. The only blemish to his innings was he could not take his side home, but he could have well made his father proud. He is just a teenager, but he batted like a man on this day while all the other Delhi batsmen batted like inexperienced teenagers. Pant drew parallel with Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli when they overcame tragic loss of their fathers and returned immediately to cricket. I sincerely hope that this talented young batsman continues to draw parallel with careers of these two great batsmen.
The “kung fu” Pandya 1 and 2. Although he looks like a young Gulshan Grover, Krunal Pandya was one of the heroes for Mumbai Indians last season. His more famous younger brother Hardik had a wretched season and eventually was dropped. So it’s very heartening to see both of them chipping in with runs, taking wickets apart from saving crucial runs on the field. Hardik has already secured a place for himself in the ODI and T20I squads and if Krunal continues to perform, then we might see one more pair of brothers from Baroda winning matches for India.
Yes, Rashid Khan has well and truly arrived in the IPL. It is this year’s success story of IPL putting a spotlight on an unknown talent. Even though Rashid Khan had played in BPL and PSL, the world really came to know about him after his debut for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Rashid took to IPL like a penguin to water. The 18-year-old has taken 10 wickets from 7 matches so far. The amazing part is that 9 out of the 10 dismissals are either bowled or LBW (5 bowled and 4 LBWs). It means that the batsmen are failing to pick him off his hands so are trying to pick him off the pitch and in the process are getting hit on the pads in front or getting bowled.
This incident gave a whole new meaning to the word “hat-trick”. Brendon McCullum would not have thought before the match that his floppy hat would provide one of the best moments of the IPL. A baseball cap would have ensured Chris Gayle was sent on his way. Unfortunately, the outermost thinnest fabric of the round hat touched the rope and it became a six instead of catch of the IPL. Some ardent fans might point out that if it was just the boundary rope without any sponsor cushions, it would have been out. McCullum was game enough to take it lightly and shake hands with Gayle and providing a frenzied moment for everyone on social media.
Spare a thought for Ambati Rayudu. He has been a consistent batsman for the Mumbai Indians over 7 seasons. The only inconsistencies in his career are his batting positions and opportunities in India ODI and T20 squads. Rayudu got injured in Mumbai’s very first match and Nitish Rana’s sizzling form meant that he is warming benches even after getting fit. Rayudu is one of those cricketers who is on trial for every single innings he plays. So he needs every opportunity he gets to remind the selectors that he is there too. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be this IPL. “So near yet so far” will be a perfect tagline for a movie with Ambati Rayudu in the lead role.
This is 50 shades of Yuvraj celebrations. Yuvraj Singh seems to be enjoying this IPL to no end. He is not the player he once was and has not exactly set the IPL on fire yet this season either. He has only made 96 runs in 6 matches with highest score of 62 and has bowled only one over and taken one wicket. With a cracking century against England in ODI earlier this year, the southpaw might just sneak into the Champions Trophy squad. But he will need to perform consistently if he wants to keep other youngsters like Manish Pandey and Rishabh Pant at bay. At the moment, he seems to enjoy every moment he is been getting and we enjoy seeing him hale and happy too.
David Warner always wears his expressions on his sleeve whether he is batting or fielding, or sledging. Some may make a valid case that after being appointed as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad, the pugnacious left hander has curbed his abrasive attitude in general. Here he exults after taking Glenn Maxwell’s catch but rather gives an expression similar to Dr. Bruce Banner about to go green. Green or no, he seems to be in a bit of a purple patch with 282 in 7 matches and fourth highest run scorer at the moment. It will be interesting to see whether he leads Sunrisers to back-to-back IPL titles.
What Supreme Court order, eh? Niranjan Shah seems to be least bothered by the fact that the Supreme Court has debarred all administrators above age 70 from the BCCI. Yet he hogs the limelight in one of the Gujarat Lions matches played at Rajkot. It just shows how power hungry this previous BCCI administration has been and there is a long road ahead for the Committee of Administrators to pick off the weeds.
At the opening ceremony of Mumbai Indians, the golf cart carrying Rohit Sharma sprayed sparks all over him. His expressions encapsulate our expressions viewing these lavish but foolish extravaganzas planned by the organizers of IPL
Last but not least, this is one sorry scorecard that will be hard to forget for every Royal Challengers Bangalore fan. With Gayle, Kohli, ABD, Kedar Jadhav in your team, being all out for 49 inside 10 overs won’t even be your worst nightmare. Not even Stuart Binny could save RCB that day. RCB was always an odds-on favorite to score the highest team total of the IPL history, but unfortunately it also became the team with lowest total score in IPL history – against all odds. It looks like Vijay Mallya’s (mis)fortune is rubbing off. The RCB and Arsenal fans should get together and form a therapy group to share their grief with each other.
So, these are my favorite moments of the IPL. I originally tried to do a top ten but ended up in top 12. Depending on the success and views on this photo blog, I may come up with another one for the second half of the IPL. Till then enjoy the moments!