The Chennai Super Kings demolished Punjab Kings X1 in what ended up being a one sided game, not unlike the other semi-final. The underdogs that represent the most fair, the most cool, and yet the most authorative team in the competition are on a roll and ready to take on the Royals. A test of two captains awaits the final. Their performance today was nothing but brilliant, reminding me a lot of how the Australians have played their cricket in recent times. Their bowling up front was thoughtful keeping in mind the nature of the wicket, their fielding led by the scintillating Muralitharan was sharp, and Dhoni’s captaincy simply magical. Manpreet Gony cannot be ignored anymore, the selectors will have to fit him in the side. He bowls hard, hits the deck, moves the ball of the wicket and keeps improving by the day. Suresh Raina has proved again why he is the man for the future for Indian cricket. His batting is sheer class and you combine that with his fielding and you’ve got a winner.
While I do not intend to spoil the mood, the Super Kings do have one problem to solve. The Chennai players on the side barrring Badrinath (and Balaji in one game) have been nothing but ordinary. The Tamilnadu opening batting syndrome continues. Take a look at history; K. Srikkanth, WV Raman, S. Ramesh, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Anirudha Srikkanth…All supposedly talented players but fairly ordinary careers. I sincerely hope that Abhinav Mukund does not go their way. I also hope that the attitudes and approach to the game from the more successful players on the side is rubbing off on the TN wing of the team. It may also not be a bad idea for VB and his team to try and recruit some oneYo Mahesh for the next season.
Having said all that, the more immediate expectation and excitement surrounds tomorrow’s game. As VB and Dhoni pointed out today, one cannot simply look at the previous performances and go into the game. It is how the teams perform on that day. On that count, it is extremely difficult to predict the result for tomorrow. Rajasthan Royals are certainly a beatable team, and my bet is on Chennai expectedly…
Go Super Kings!!!