The IPL 2008 is over. And what a finish it was? Two teams with a similar hard approach to game gave it all and in the end the sheer brut of Yusuf Pathan saw the Royals grab the glitter. There really was no loser in the game today. Chennai fully deserved to walk away with their head held high because they fought hard and pushed it right till the end. One could endlessly argue tactics, mistakes, and opportunities but if a game ends on the last ball there really is only one winner, the game of cricket. I, unfortunately, missed Chennai’s batting but for watching the highlights ( I will catch all of it in a repeat telecast) and therefore cannot comment much on the same. Maybe, maybe, Badrinath ahead of Kapugedara could have given Chennai 20 more runs. Everything looks different on hindsight, doesn’t it.
As Dhoni rightly said, Chennai has no reason to be unhappy because they played like champions in the last few games. Shane Warne was a gentleman and a winner in his comments sharing this victory with the people of Rajasthan. In the end it was all about two champion leaders. One, who according to Ian Chappell was the greatest captain that Australia never ahead and other who is on his way to becoming the greatest captain that India may ever have. Dhoni’s approach to the game as a player and as a leader is remarkably refreshing. His transparent, straightforward, and “keep it simple” methods combined with very little ego-interference is a great sign for the future of Indian cricket.
I will miss the IPL, miss all the fun and excitement, the intensity and tension, the synergy and bonding amongst players of different nationalities, races, sizes and shapes, and wonderful cricket that was played. I cannot wait for the trades and accquistions for next year, the plans and strategies, the coup by the English players and start of IPL 2009.