DD vs RCB: Collingwood makes the difference
Why Steyn was rested, White opened, and we didn't get back in the game after the first 10 overs.And how it felt to watch it all from the rooftop at Kotla.
RCB team strategy
Stifle the batsmen by taking off the pace and unleashing the deep batting line-up on the opposition.
Dale Steyn left out on a slow pitch to accommodate the spinning all-rounder in Cameron White. Manish Pandey rested as Ross Taylor came into the side, and Praveen Kumar replaced by Abhimanyu Mithun.
Maybe it was debatable to send White to open, but the team's confidence came from his awesome boundary hitting in practise and recent form. Maybe Dravid should have batted higher up, but so should we have restricted the Daredevils to 160 after having them at 92-4 in 11 overs.
In the end, some poor bowling at the death and a slow start to the chase cost the game.
The silence in the dressing room after the match said much, but the spirit in the camp is still strong, evident from the camaraderie on the journey back to Bangalore.
Paul Collingwood. He batted much like how the Australian middle order did in ODI's in the mid-2000s, unfazed by the fall of wickets, focus only on pumping up the run rate. Taking a leaf out of Murali Vijay's book, he disowned the fours, and dealt only in the good old tonk over the ropes. The swipes beat the drives by 7 hits to 3, and the Daredevils posted enough to be able to defend.
Fantastic. I guess it had to do more with the low expectations I had from the Kotla, but boy was I delighted.
The North East rooftop stand (four storeys high) from where we watched offered several novelties: The view which you'd almost associate with the blimp cam (which weirdly no one in the stand could find, but still kept popping up on TV. Conspiracy theories?!); the chance to stretch your hand and touch the floodlights (no. seriously.); the opportunity to take a run and jump over the 2 foot tall railing into the abyss if your team wasn't doing well (Scary. Not funny).
But food and drink was easily accessible (decent too) and the restrooms were clean. Good stuff.
What I would have loved to watch..
Dravid do a Mahela. After the classy centuries of the last two days in the IPL, the heart yearned for another silken cameo. He began promisingly with a delicious cut past cover for a boundary, but 66 to get off 4 overs would prove to be too much in the end.
What is it with this IPL and Australians doing the boundary-rope-gymnastics-catch? David Warner bounced around all evening with energy and nearly pulled off a 'Hussey-Bollinger'.It was ruled six, but the effort was spectacular. Later at the IPL party, the DJ looked on in appreciation as he mixed some groovy tunes as well. Complete entertainment package, this fella.
An excited Delhi Daredevils cheerleader going the extra mile and doing somersaults on stage. I'm not sure how many in the crowd followed the two balls that were bowled in the meantime.
RCB Fan group of the day
The trio of Pranav Malhotra (Sukhdev Singh College), Neha Gupta and Zeni Arora (Lady Shri Ram's College) (L-R in pic below)kept support going for RCB in a partisan roof top stand. Neha, a huge Rahul fan, came in carrying a banner and with 'Dravid' written on her cheeks, was rewarded with one classy stroke, but that was about it.
Great atmosphere, but a disappointing chase and loss for RCB. B