Friday, June 2, 2023

IPL 2023: The Afterthoughts

After a gap of few seasons returning to this blog with a post on the IPL After-thoughts (A name inspired by the times when IPL After-party was as important a feature of the tournament as the games itself!)

So what will we remember this season for? Lets see
  1. The battle of the eyeballs: the biggest matchup was not between the teams on the field but between Star Sports and JioCinema. One product on two different media with different broadcasters for the first time. Not sure about whose numbers to believe, but in the end the viewer was the winner!
  2. The circle of Life: Gujarat Titans played against Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad to kick start the tournament. Almost a couple of months down the line, the same two teams were at the same venue fighting for the title!
  3. Performance of the tournament: Rinku Singh clobbering 5 sixes off the final 5 balls to win KKR a seemingly lost game. And this wasn’t the only heist he pulled off.
  4. The Yellove: Or rather it was just the love for MS Dhoni which turned almost every single away stadium into a sea of yellow! End result, this was one of the more popular CSK tournament wins ever.
  5. Six: That’s the number of IPL titles Ambati Rayudu has, as he walks away into the sunset. A career which could be qualified as a success and as well as leaving you wondering, “what could have been”.
  6. Tales of Redemption: Like phoenix they rose from the ashes – Mohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra. A series of feel-good stories.
  7. The Rise of the Young Uncapped Indian Batters: Rinku Singh, Sai Sudarshan, Tilak Varma, Prabhsimran Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Nehal Wadhera, Dhruv Jurel, Jitesh Sharma – what a wonderful crop of talent. Unlike the previous lot, they are not all top order run-accumulators.
  8. On the flip side, where are the new Indian bowlers?
  9. Impact Player Rule: Gave something more for the team strategists to mull over, but has it diluted the role of some players. Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia hardly bowled. Gill, Jaiswal, Rayudu. SKY mostly did not even have to field. From the need for multi-dimensional players, we may swing the other way to single skilled specialists.
  10. Game of Small Margins: If Sandeep Sharma’s last delivery against SRH had been legal, Rajasthan Royals would have been in the play-offs. Instead, it was a no-ball and the subsequent delivery was deposited in the stands.
  11. And finally on the raging debate: running out the non-striker. At least, now it can be safely said, it does require skill. Just ask Harshal Patel. And is probably the only mechanism to keep batters within the line. 
And so it was, an action packed tournament concludes and more “serious” cricket returns.

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