Chennai takes on Punjab in its opening game today. Am all keyed up. The previews highlight the fact that Chennai is batting heavy while Punjab is the bowling team to watch. Am not comfortable with 2 wicketkeepers playing but if Dhoni is not fit enough to keep what the heck! Watch out for a couple of overs of tight off spin from Badrinath. If Hayden clicks early then we should canter home.
If anyone believed that the IPL and the “Cricket ka Karmayudh” was all hype and nothing else, then all they had to do was watch the inaugural game between the Kolkatta Knight Riders and the Bangalore Royal Challengers to see how wrong they were. And why wouldn’t it be a big success? Throw in a lot of money, bring in the best players, and play the most entertaining format of the game in front of a cricket crazy crowd and you just can’t go wrong.
The Inaugural game
Granted, the names of some of the teams in the IPL sound a bit corny and the inaugural game itself was one sided, but what a game it was.
In just the first game, McCullum broke the record for the highest individual score in the game’s short history with a score of 158*. And when Ishant Sharma, the new Indian bowling sensation took out Rahul Dravid’s stump with his first ball, any “challenge” the Royal Challengers had left wilted away.
Cricket set for change
IMHO, the tournament itself is going to change the way cricket is played across the world. Test cricket may not be under threat from T20 cricket, but I feel that One Day cricket is under serious threat. Why would you want to play 50 over a side game, when you can get much better entertainment value playing just 20 overs a side? I asked the same question after the success of the T20 World cup and I am asking the question again – Why would you want to continue playing One day cricket? It is only a matter of time, when the 50 over game is relegated to just 1 or 2 matches in a series.
It is still early days for the tournament and I am sure people across India are still trying to chose their favourite stars and teams. I for one, am still undecided. I naturally gravitate towards the Chennai Superstars, as Chennai is where I grew up. But sometimes, where you live may not decide which team you root for. Have any of you decided which team you are going to support?