April 26, 2010

Indian Premier League

Five for keeps

Aakash Chopra
David Hussey pulls off one of the best catches on the boundary's edge, Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Delhi, March 29, 2010
David Hussey pulls off one of the best catches on the boundary's edge  © Indian Premier League
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There's no denying that IPL 2010 has indeed left a bad taste in one's mouth. Still, the old school romantic in me prefers to turn its back on the cesspool of 'alleged' dirty dealings the tournament has got mixed up with. For me, the game is still intact because it is bigger than any given individual, situation or a particular tournament. And so, at the end of this season, I choose to draw my attention to those bits that spelled cricket all the way. While there were a lot more moments but I'd stick to my top five.

David Hussey's catch: There were quite a few inimitable catches taken in this tournament, but Hussey's catch to dismiss Paul Collingwood was my favourite for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was a flat shot that didn't give him too much time to balance himself or react. Second, at one point of time both his feet were in air while pushing the ball back into the playing field. Since both feet were outside the line, had he touched one foot, it would have been a six.

Robin Uthappa's switch-hit six: What an absolute visual marvel it was to see to Uthappa hit that six off Ajantha Mendis. It's one thing hitting a reverse-sweep with power behind the shot, but a switch-hit goes one step ahead. You need to change your guard and grip completely and then play like a southpaw. It needed balance, strength and good connection. And it had all three.

Hayden's Mongoose: The most awaited innovation in modern cricket. The Mongoose has an extremely short blade and a very long handle. The weight taken from the top is distributed in the remainder of the bat which makes it a lot thicker than the normal bat. The toe is three times thicker too. This design increases the bat speed, gives more control and allows the batsman to hit yorkers and low full-tosses with brute force. Hayden unleashed it against Delhi Daredevils at the Kotla and wrecked havoc. But unfortunately the Mongoose made only special appearances in the tournament. Perhaps the old fashioned bat is a better bet especially when you're not in form.

Praveen Kumar's hat-trick: Since the batsmen go after the bowling regardless of what happened on the previous ball, taking a hat-trick is a lot easier in this format as compared to the rest. But still it takes some good bowling to take three in three. Praveen did it beautifully against Rajasthan Royals. The highlight of the hat-trick was the juggling act of Manish Pandey to dismiss Sumit Narwal.

Vintage Sachin: This was not an event or a moment, it was an ongoing experience. Sachin reinforced the importance of technique once again. He showed that you don't need to slog your way to big runs and that it's possible to perform consistently in this format too. He seemed to have reached the state of Nirvana where he's reading the bowlers mind or even better; he's making them bowl where he wants them to. It took him a couple of years to crack the Twenty20 code but voila! When he did, it was pure class.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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Posted by ranjith on (August 27, 2010, 22:41 GMT)

Aadipiran: Ha ha... what's wrong with you? Sachin was boring! ha ha.. good one dude "He took advantage of field restrictions well against seamers" that;s what you said and that's what is called cricket and that;'s what a batsman's supposed to do. or to put it simpler, batsman are supposed to play like the god does. and you know who the god is. All this because you called him boring and I have no idea what entertains you!!? maybe a little bashing with shut eyes! nice

Posted by Ron on (May 1, 2010, 6:22 GMT)

The best part of not only this IPL but also future IPLs will be the gift of watching Tendulkar bat-even after he has retired from International duties. What more could a cricket fan ask for?

Posted by Al on (April 30, 2010, 5:02 GMT)

The BEST part of the IPL was SACHIN!!!

As Akaash rightly says "Pure Class"!...... AH! Like watching a Rolls Royce... as compared to the other power Tractor types slogging away)

Posted by Rohan on (April 30, 2010, 4:54 GMT)

The Best part of the IPL is actually afterwards. When the true cricket fans realise that whatever the format Sachin is the Best...and certain "fans" from certain "other places" are totally consumed with jealousy.

Posted by Prashant on (April 30, 2010, 4:23 GMT)

The pathetic and constant jealousy of certain ppl (from a particular place) towards Sachin Tendulkar (The Greatest Batsman of all time)...is amazing.

Posted by Bharathi on (April 29, 2010, 16:37 GMT)

i think kallis or symonds might be given golden player they have played allround and the under 23 should be given ti p.ojha he had an excellent tour

Posted by Prashant on (April 29, 2010, 8:18 GMT)

Notices some "Ps" posting their typical jealous comments about the Greatest Batsman of all time- Sachin Tendulkar (In what is the IPL -"Indian.P.L"?

Posted by ravi on (April 28, 2010, 20:40 GMT)

Bhajji picking up Mrs. Ambani for me was the msot memorable moment of IPL3. Such glee in her face!

Posted by richie on (April 28, 2010, 2:14 GMT)

i think one of the best moment in this ipl was in the match between rajasthan royals & deccan chargers, in which shane warne picked 4 wickets. later on, a magnificant final over by siddarth trivedi, picking 3 wickets including the magnificant rohit sharma who was on fire. it can be called as the match of the season.

Posted by Satya on (April 27, 2010, 16:41 GMT)

It is disgraceful that Sachin refused to go in the final against CSK after being caught behind. Is this what he is teaching youngsters. This shows that he plays for himself. On the other hand, Dhoni, never made it an issue though all the CSK players knew Sachin gloved.Sorry Sachin , you are national disgrace, the television replay exposed this. Had you gone at that time , I would have continued to be your Fan and Mumbai would have won

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for India in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He currently plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy; his book Beyond the Blues was an account of the 2007-08 season. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after Eknath Solkar.

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