Mr. Lalit Modi is a freaking dynamite. His brain is explosively brilliant. The game of cricket has reached a phase where enough doubts about its survival/future is being questioned. The CLT20 couldn't have come at a better time. It has definitely kept the tempo up and has increased the viewership across the globe. Kudos to to the herculean effort from all the cricket boards and people who have made this spectacular event possible. Not better place to start with than India. Everything about the event was special, the kick-off, the franchises, the players etc.
Personally I was disappointed that there was no team from the T20 world champions, Pakistan. They were the ICC T20 winners recently and were runners up in the event before. Apparently, the Sailkot "SILKY" Stallions are the team to beat. I would urge the two governments to resolve their differences quickly so the event could be even more exciting.
NSW were crowned the champions in the inaugural event. Definitely, a fairy tale ending for the biggest under-dogs of the tournament. A Cinderella story if I must say. The biggest shock/surprise was that there was no real hero that came out of this tournament. There were some scintillating performances from JP Duminy, K Pollard, Ross Taylor but I couldn't pick a stand out. My opinion, NSW blues got lucky with an easy first round draw and capitalized on the advantage with some splendid bowling from their experienced bowling attack down the lane. Batting improved as the event progressed and they were always expected to hold their nerves in the grand finale.
The IPL2 champions, Deccan Chargers, failed to break the jinx and remained cursed at a beautiful home ground. The South Africans lived up to their, "CHOKERS", expectations. The English teams buried themselves with abysmal performances. The Wayambas & the Otagos just never showed up. The Delhi Daredevils, with such a high profile offense, were bogged down by a horrible home ground pitch. With all that being said, the Aussies remained intimidating and left the other teams wonder how are they so good in all forms of the game. Only the Royal Challengers came close to competing with the other world teams and showed why their such a well knit group with a perfect blend of aggression and experience. T&T were the only team that looked like winning it all the way, right from the start (KUDOS!).
In short, loved the event and I am already looking forward to the next year...
Well, let's talk about the Royal Challengers a little bit. Fantastic team and can't wait to see more from them.
Why din't we make it?
Time and again, how crucial have these opening matches been for all the teams now. In the opening game, RCB did not come to the party having posted a score that was way over their expectations. They were quickly exposed. The captaincy and the bowling became one-dimensional when Duminy was showing his class. RCB did not realize the importance of the match. I think RCB dug themselves real deep in the very first game and could never recover from that defeat. They should have capitalized with a home ground advantage and playing a rather tense unpopular side. They were not prepared for a win that day.
We did not use swing to our advantage. I would have opened the game with Steyn and Praveen turning it on. The aggression was missing. Fifth bowler was a definite weakling in the team and that was one other thing that proved costly for the team. In the opening game, times when Virat was giving the match away were too awful to watch.
Also, one other most important thing, even though we were picking up wickets I couldn’t fail to notice that RCB was giving boundaries away. An experienced bowler, even in a T20 game, should be able to hold of a tail-ender to singles or dots but I could see Kumble and many others give away fours/sixes after taking a wicket.
Last but not the least, the batters did not bat well the day when we had to win with a margin. The team selection never looked right for a day. We were relying on our batsmen to do the job, which they did very well but never spared a thought for our weak fifth bowler. The day when specialist bowlers were having an off day we were hammered. Don't you think that is why we lost games even when we put real high totals on the board?
RCB's performance: A MIXED BAG. There were many interesting performances across the board. Kallis, Uthappa, Virat, Dravid, Anil, Roelof, Ross & many others. But the captaincy looked one-dimensional in cruch games. I'm sure Anil will work on it and so will the other members of the team. This team is the only team that has a great blend of passion and poise and will definitely be the team to beat in the future.
Who our star players were?
Undoubtedly, Ross and Roelof were the pick. There were some good performances from Kallis, Dravid, Uthappa but these guys did not show up when it mattered. We definitely used spin bowling to our advantage with Anil and Roelof showing why they are the best. Especially the aggression from Roelof was too pleasing to ignore.
With that, I rest my case...A fantastic end to a splendid event is now A NEW BEGINNING to the game of cricket.
draidus a.k.a zzyxx