The Indian Premier League has truly turned the boring Indian summers into carnivals for cricket enthusiasts. The two hottest months of the year, hitherto considered unfit for cricket in India, are now witnessing the shortest version of the game prosper like never before.
Last year it was ‘Bulava Aaya Hai’. This year it is ‘India Ka Tyohaar’. Such catchy phrases have endeared the IPL to a cricket crazy nation like India even more. The first week of this year’s IPL extravaganza has produced glimpses of what is expected to come our way in the next one month.
KKR, CSK, RR start IPL 2015 confidently
IPL 2015 proceedings began at Eden Gardens, on April 8, when defending champions KKR took on a star-studded Mumbai Indians side. Rohit Sharma continued his dream run at Eden Gardens with a breezy 98*(65) but could not prevent KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav from running away with the game. A thumping 7 wicket victory for the hosts was the eventual result.
Chennai Super Kings escaped with a narrow 1 run win against a revamped Delhi Daredevils side at home, in their opening game. A marathon effort from Delhi’s Albie Morkel could not help him get his current team home against his former franchise. Chennai did make amends for their batting flaws in the next game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. They rode on Brendon McCullum’s fluent ton to post 209/4, and won the game comprehensively by 45 runs.
Rajasthan Royals began in convincing fashion, against Kings XI Punjab at the MCA International Stadium in Pune. James Faulkner’s all round performance proved to be too good for the Punjab outfit, who were clearly outplayed in all departments of the game.
The Rajasthan Royals backed their first win with a last ball win against Delhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla. Little known Deepak Hooda starred for RR with a 27 ball 54 that was instrumental to their tense win. Steven Smith was the undisputed star for the Royals at the Motera in Ahemdabad, when they beat Mumbai by 7 wickets. Rajasthan now sits pretty at the top of the table, looking good to go the distance this time around.
Problems for MI, DD, RCB
Mumbai Indians are in a soup right now, with three consecutive losses to start the season. The Rohit Sharma led unit has failed to produce results commensurate with the expectations invested on them. In all the three games played by MI so far, there have only been individual performances to talk about. The collective team effort has been largely missing. However, they would like to take solace from the fact that in 2014 they had qualified for the play-offs even after losing the first five games of the season.
Delhi Daredevils were apparently unable to drive home the periodic advantages that they had wrested in their first games. Their batting failed to click against Chennai, while it was the errant bowling that did them in against Rajasthan. However, they managed to win their first match after a hiatus of 11 consecutive defeats since last season, against Kings XI Punjab at Pune. Yuvraj Singh and Mayank Agarwal powered their team to victory with fine half centuries.
Royal Challengers Bangalore earned a hard fought win against KKR at Eden Gardens to start their campaign this year. However, it was Chris Gayle’s herculean effort that was solely responsible for taking them home against Gambhir and Co. RCB were then unable to defend a total of 166 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at home, and ultimately lost the game by 8 wickets.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were below par against Chennai, and looked completely out of sorts in the bowling department. A few changes did help them trounce RCB in the next match. That win is sure to boost their morale in coming days.
The ‘Tyohaar’ has just begun
A total of 50 exhilarating games are still left to be played in the tournament this year. And, as always, you are surely going to want more of it with every passing day in the calendar!