I haven't posted one of these for a bit now. A combination of 'no time' and 'frustration' kept me away from my blog, but since the IPL is about to end, I feel obliged to expose you to my cricketing brain once more.
It's been a great IPL, lots of close matches, some amazing spin bowling - thanks to the end-of-season worn-out South African pitches. Kumble's 5-5 and some Murali magic come to mind. Fantastic innings - be it the biggies from AB deVilliers, Suresh Raina and Manish Pandey (he's my age!), or the short and sweet ones like Rohit Sharma's or Abhishek Nayar's. And of course, there was that one absolute stunner from Gilchrist that had the Daredevils peeing in their pants and yelling "Uncle!" Which he probably is to some of them, age-wise.
The Mumbai Indians failed to get to the semis again. Befuddling captaincy and side-selection from Sachin and losing from impossible-to-lose situations did them in yet again. They experimented throughout their campaign, and my analysis is that Jayasuriya has to go. The middle and lower order kept struggling in his not-so-long shadow after repeated failures, as wickets slow down the run-rate. Mumbai needs to bring in someone fearsome. Someone who will bat with a brain, yet is able to accelerate when needed. All fingers (10, or more if you're a freak) point to an Aussie. Can they nick someone like a Hussey in the transfer window next season? Time will tell.
I've gotten ahead of myself, thinking of next season. So then, about tomorrow's match. The final, that is. Last year's winner and runner-up of the wooden spoon have made the finals. Don't know why, don't know how. They didn't even change their teams! (I'm not counting Pietersen and Jesse, zero impact). This should be entertaining, though.
Prediction - Can't. This IPL has numbed my clairvoyance. I'm gonna be brave though, and root for Kumble's disciplined bunch. And I declare that Gilchrist will (gasp) fall early.
Also, Fake IPL Player has a hilarious bunch of awards to give out. Read here.
Until next year (for IPL, I'm still here).