May 22, 2012

Kolkata Knight Riders bowling coach, Wasim Akram, feels some jealous people are trying to show IPL in poor light. Controversies haven’t harmed the games.

The whimsies of T20 cricket have come to the fore as the chaff separated from the rice in the Indian Premier League season 5. The team with the best resources is not always an automatic winner and Royal Challengers Bangalore are a case in point. Sad but true that a team with super-hero batsmen like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers has failed to make the play-off cut.

It has been an extensive tournament and in a long race, teams with consistency prevail. Bangalore played good cricket but they made mistakes like they did against the Deccan Chargers on Sunday. In a short game, one or two mistakes can be decisive. Personally, and from a KKR point of view, I am happy that we will not bump into Gayle this year any more. He is a killer batsman!

Having said that, I am sure Chennai will now be a dangerous side. Having won a lucky ticket, CSK will understand the value of a win more than anyone else now. So, table-toppers Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders should beware of Mumbai Indians and the Super Kings.

Several factors have contributed to KKR doing well this season. Apart from being consistent, Gautam Gambhir has been the main reason for our success. He has been an inspirational leader and handled the side well. His attitude has rubbed on to the players and his bowling changes have been brilliant. Gambhir has been a classic example of how a captain should be. He leads by example and swears by his teammates.

West Indian spinner Sunil Narine has been KKR’s trump card for the season. Narine continues to be a mystery to many a batsman. Even the experienced Sachin Tendulkar failed to pick his deliveries. The presence of the experienced Jacques Kallis and Brendon McCullum has been invaluable. The variety in the bowling department also makes Kolkata a cut above the rest. From the young Iqbal Abdullah to the experienced Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan and Brett Lee, the Kolkata XI looks formidable.

I have heard a lot of criticism about Yusuf, but I feel that it is unwarranted. Yusuf and Manoj Tiwary are a different breed. They are game changers but they will also have their off days. Playing them is a gamble, but a gamble worth taking. It is difficult to expect consistency from a No.6 or No. 7 batsman in a T20 game. The important factor is that they have all worked hard. The results are showing. Cricket is team game and Kolkata are working like a well-oiled machine.

We will be playing Delhi on a “neutral” ground on Tuesday. The Pune wicket is not ideal for free-flowing batting. The track looks a bit dodgy. It has been low, slow and a turning track, but I believe they will play better and favour the batsmen. Whatever the conditions, it will be a level-playing field. I am hoping for a great contest and a packed house that will back good cricket.

Success makes many enemies and IPL is a glaring example. Only successful people have critics. In our culture, there is a tendency to run down a prosperous venture. Make no mistake, IPL is all about success. Every year it is making a positive statement and attracting the best in the world. We have had packed stadiums in almost every game. That’s just great.

Any big event always brings along its share of concerns. Controversies may have surfaced but they haven’t damped the spirit of cricket. Close matches have underlined the beauty of T20 cricket. IPL has been a great advertisement for pure entertainment. It is sad to see people protesting against IPL. These are jealous people and should be ignored. Let’s focus on the business end of the championship.

Courtesy: ESPN STAR



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *