The general consensus is that this year’s avatar of the Indian Premier League would be the most closely fought so far. All the teams bought players to create a well-balanced side. Big names did not matter. The number of years a person spent in the team, their seniority or even if they were a captain had no bearing. If the first game is anything to go by then we are set for a great competition.
The loss of early wickets followed by a good recovery by Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya. The icing on the cake was the bowling of Dwayne Bravo in the last over. There was the last ball injury of Hardik Pandya too.
Chennai Super Kings started well. Then they had an absolute brain freeze in the middle order. Mayank Markande and Hardik Pandya bowled beautifully. I am looking forward to seeing more of Markande. Dwayne Bravo came in and brought CSK within touching distance of victory before he got out. Seven runs needed off six balls. They were nine down. Kedar Jadhav who had retired hurt earlier came back to bat. He did not score anything in the first three balls but then followed it with a six and four. CSK won by one wicket with one ball to spare. Joy Bhattacharya who was the former team director of Kolkata Knight Riders compared CSK to The Expendables at the show on Cricbuzz. It was so refreshing to hear their commentary.
My index indicates that Mumbai Indians outperformed Chennai Super Kings in each and every area. The difference between the two sides was clearly Bravo. His score was 50% more than the next highest player who was Krunal Pandya. Hardin Pandya just edged past Markande as the best bowler.
At the end of the day the best all-round performance by an individual in a team with nothing to lose and who had to prove their critics wrong deservedly won.