Well, it took an inspiring Laxmipathy Balaji comeback to break my slumber on this blog. To be honest, for all these day (or months..) I havnt had an inclination to write up anything worthwhile. Not that this is going to be an enlightning post.
So, IPL is in full flow.. and IMO losing some of its inital interest levels. The games are too closely pack to even remember who defeated who.. Actually thats a challenge for the IPL organizers..lets see how they can achieve this.
Anyway, coming back to IPL and L Balaji, it was heartening to see him back and bowling again. Even if it was more than a few yards slower than what he used to.. but he still managed to strike 5 blows to .......hmm... Punjab XI ( there, I forgot the opponents for a minute..). Bowling slow medium, but with a lot of control and variety, it was a treat of a different kind. Being a fan of the smiling assassin (or something of the kind, that he was called in his previous tenure), I was rooting for him to strike big and he did. Though, one shouldnt be carried away by his hat-trick in the last over, which doesnt mean much IMO, his overall approach to bowling was smart.
Another interesting snippet to share is, that immediately after the win, as the Chennai team was heading towards the dressing room, everyone congratulaing Balaji, I saw Joginder Sharma (the bowler Balaji presumely replaced in the lineup 2 matches back) came from behind and jumped on Balaji's back in a congratulatory manner... yeah, he jumped on his back.. the same back that has kept Balaji out of action for nearly 2.5 years... Feel free to read between the lines..
Another interesting sight in last nights match between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils was Munaf Patel, the I-shan't-field-nor-bat Munaf who has frustrated the ****s of regular cricket followers by his lethargy and dont-care-a-damn attitude on the field. With Warne at helm, I thought Munaf was not only bowling to a certain plan, but also was trying 'his' best to field and even back up throws to the stumps. Warne seems to have found a new field position for him - Covers. Now, usually that sounds foolish to place a man of Munaf's talents on such an imminent position as covers, but with T20, where giving away 'only' a single is smart bowling (specially in the last few overs), I thought it worked well. Warne had his best fields - Watson, Kaif in the outfield saving boundaries while Munaf was actually trying his best in the covers. Damn smart of Warne in my opinion.
Another striking thing in RR camp is the way the juniors, read non-stars seem to gel with the team. They seem to have the gall to go upto Warne or Watson and pat on their backs and like. Now, I dont imagine Punjab XI's Tanmay Srivastava to do that with Yuvraj Singh, incidentally who gave the youngster a major verbal thrashing in one of the earlier games, on being refused a single. I think its the same story with Bangalore RC as well.
Anyway, for my moneys worth, there are only three teams out there playing allround quality criket - RR, DD and CSK. If I were in the business of predicting results I would imagine CSK taking on RR in the finals, with the final going either way.