Bangalore Royal Challengers v Rajasthan Royals, IPL April 26, 2008

Hero to zero, out to six

Cricinfo staff

Shane Watson: the new Flintoff? (file photo) © Getty Images

Hero to zero: A huge cheer greets Rahul Dravid before he faced his first ball. It turned out to be the only delivery he faced too, as his miscued pull went straight to deep square leg. His international record in Bangalore is a wretched one, and there's been no reversal of fortune in the IPL either.

No pulling power: The Bangalore boys were on the pull as eagerly as bachelors on a Friday night, and most of them met the same fate - dejection. Dravid was followed by Jacques Kallis and Ross Taylor in perishing to the cross-bat swish across the line. No, those pristine cheerleaders weren't impressed either.

Six or out?: In backyard games, six-and-out is a popular form of dismissal, and the source of much argument. There was a similar situation at the Chinnaswamy Stadium after Virat Kohli walloped a delivery from Siddharth Trivedi to deep midwicket. His Under-19 team-mate, Ravindra Jadeja, made ground to his left before a big leap, grab and acrobatic roll near the boundary. Though he made the catch his hand just brushed the plastic that covered the rope. After all that effort, it was a six.

Praveen the spoiler: Shane Warne had immaculate figures of 2-1-2-1 at one stage, but a streaky straight six and a huge biff over midwicket ruined them somewhat. But for Praveen's big hitting, the Royal Challengers' embarrassment would have been as acute as it was on the opening day.

Home leggie turns it on: After missing the first two games, Anil Kumble finally played his first IPL game. A huge roar went up when Dravid gave him the ball after the seventh over, and though Shane Watson clubbed his first two balls for four, what followed was typical Kumble. Accurate and persistent, he was the only consolation in another poor effort from the home side.

Is Manpower the new Flintoff?: In Kuala Lampur 18 months ago, Matthew Hayden jokingly suggested that Watson could be part of Manpower. It appears though that the man himself as loftier ambitions. "I'd love to be the next Flintoff," he said before his last injury crisis and a superb unbeaten 61 to follow a tidy spell of 2 for 20 was a good way to reinforce his status as the IPL's bargain of the season ($125,000).