The Southee-and-Nair trick in Pune
Nagraj Gollapudi: Mumbai Indians practice session, Eden Gardens, May 23
Aa jaao, Aa jaao idhar (come, come here) urged a father to his two sons. We were sitting atop the dressing room at Eden Gardens in the lower tier of the Club House, watching Mumbai Indians train on the eve of the IPL final. The man, in his mid-30s, asked his kids to watch closely the three practising Mumbai Indians batsmen. "Look, do you notice anything? See how they are batting. Not one shot. Ek bhi shot koi cross bat se nahin khel raha hai (Not one batsman is playing a cross-batted shot)." The kids, eyes glued to the action, promptly acknowledged in awe and appreciation. IPL is crass entertainment, purists bemoan. True. But there is room for genuine cricket even in the IPL and it is some purists who acknowledge that.
Devashish Fuloria: Wankhede Stadium, anytime during the IPL
Sitting in the stands, one actually gets dazzled from time to time by the golden stripes on Mumbai Indians' shirts. Inadvertently, it fits well with the IPL machinery at Wankhede Stadium that is designed to assault spectators' senses and make them numb to the pitiful state of the venue that was made from scratch only four years ago. Exorbitant ticket prices almost at par with the world's iconic sporting arenas do not guarantee a comfortable seat, clean toilets, drinking water, a safe passage out of the ground in case of an emergency or, in a lot of cases, even a view of the match. Resource crunch cannot be the reason for the parties involved - the BCCI, the MCA, and the Mumbai Indians owners - which then points to the lack of intent. Mumbai Indians may have won their second IPL title, but their fans continue to get a raw deal.
Amol Karhadkar: Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, Pune, April 10
It is well past 11.30pm. With the match being all but over, many of those who had travelled at least 25 km to witness an IPL game started the half-hour walk to the parking lot. Suddenly, they came to a standstill, for they had witnessed one -two actually - of the most memorable catching pieces ever. George Bailey heaved James Faulkner towards wide long-on. Tim Southee bent backwards and managed to catch it, only to realize his momentum would take him over the boundary. So he threw it back in, perhaps aiming to pass it on to Karun Nair who had sprinted towards him from deep midwicket. While Southee tumbled over the rope, Nair dived low to his right to complete an astonishing catch. Two amazing takes in one piece of fielding. For those who watched it live at the stadium, it would certainly be an "I-was-there" moment for the rest of their lives.
Abhishek Purohit: Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai, April 12
Wankhede Stadium started to empty quickly after Kieron Pollard fell, making it 59 for 6 in the 14th over in a chase of 178. You could not blame the crowd, after the torture of watching Mumbai Indians sleepwalk through their innings. But those who remained were rewarded with some of the most incredible hitting you can see from a tail-ender. Harbhajan Singh can time the ball better than many batsmen when he is in the mood. And he was in some mood, belting sixes with ridiculous ease. Harbhajan faced 23 balls before he was eventually dismissed for 64. Eleven of those went for four or six. Even the ball he fell to, he timed so well it zoomed to deep point.
Karthik Krishnaswamy: Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Daredevils, Chennai, April 9
Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled a yorker, MS Dhoni jabbed it to midwicket. Dhoni had played out three straight dot balls in the 18th over of a T20 game. It was quality bowling; the Chennai crowd recognised it and showed their appreciation with a ripple of applause. Stadiums during the IPL are a carefully choreographed spectacle of home support, and the MA Chidambaram Stadium, which is almost uniformly decked in yellow on match days, is no different. Here, though, was evidence that the spirit of the fan who simply enjoys good cricket, no matter who it's from, still lurks below the surface.
Arun Venugopal: Royal Challengers v Delhi Daredevils, Bangalore, May 17
While most stadiums have the familiar cacophony of whistles and cheers, Bangalore took it upon itself to make its last match for IPL 2015, against Delhi Daredevils, a rumbling, ear-splitting dance party. Of course, nature had a hand with this being a rain-hit game. The DJ was trying his best to dial up the proceedings with an assortment of heart-pounding music. Honestly he needn't have even tried; the audience were anyway on their feet as the rain pelted down ferociously, daring them to defy it. With two groups of drummers on either side of the gallery producing alternating rhythms, the fans, with umbrellas or Royal Challengers Bangalore flags as props, had their own little dance competition. And then there were others who were happy just getting drenched. When the announcement finally came that the game was called off, not many seemed to mind it much.