Posted by: tootingtrumpet | April 17, 2011

Deccan Chargers vs Kings XI Punjab – The Final Over of the Day

Not cars.

Ball One – Good to see Ryan Harris back on a cricket field, since he was one of the few Aussies to enhance his reputation in The Ashes. He’s a big lad and not a natural athlete, whose pace is the product of driving through the crease with a lot of energy. Like fellow countryman, Shaun Tait, it’s always a bit of a surprise when he gets through an over without calling for the physio. The contrast with Dale Steyn, who will open the bowling for DC, is marked, but cricket has room for both.

Ball Two – Adam Gilchrist goes up to the stumps then retreats back for the medium pace of Vikramjeet Malik. Wicketkeepers never seem to stand, say, three yards back, in order to give themselves a better sight of an edge, but close enough to make the batsman nervous of going down the track. The classy stumping wouldn’t be on, but a quick flick at the stumps would see off the batsman giving it the charge. Might work,  might not – but I’d like to see it tried, especially in the late slog.

Ball Three – Kumar Sangakkara plays a hideous hoick to a full toss and gets away with it, the ball dropping between fielders. For a batsman as elegant as Sanga to play a shot like that is perfectly reasonable in the context of the match, but it’s like Duchamp’s moustache on the Mona Lisa – ugly.

Ball Four – Camera picks out three cheerleaders in a car – “That’s the prize that you get,” says Sunil Gavaskar. “The car I mean.” No further comment required.

Ball Five – Okay, it’s not a big sample, but on this evidence, I’d say that county cricket’s T20 competition is played at a marginally higher standard than the IPL. The overseas players aren’t much different in ability and the domestic players look better in England. There’s a Steyn, Sehwag and Tendulkar at the very top of the IPL with no players at their level in the English competition, but the middle ranking IPL players are pretty ordinary. Doesn’t look a complete surprise that England hold the World Twenty20.

Ball Six – Dale Steyn is the best wicket-taking bowler since Malcolm Marshall, so why not give him three slips and a gully? The ball is as likely to flash there as anywhere else and in powerplay cricket, you can’t protect the boundaries anyway. In the same way that a top order batsman is designated a pinch hitter (or at least a batsman with licence to go after just about anything), why not use an opening bowler as a wicket-taker?

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999

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Responses

  1. Do Punjab still play in that replica Arsenal kit ? That’s about all I can remember about last year’s IPL, seeing Brett Lee run in to bowl and having to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t watching Niklas Bendtner…

    I haven’t watched any of this year but an Indian friend of mine says that it’s been a bit of a damp squib, with half empty stadia and lack of enthusiasm all round. Obviously I can’t verify that since I haven’t been watching it, but it wouldn’t surprise me too much. Seemed like a strange decision to have it starting right after the World Cup.

  2. It is summer holiday time for the schools in India, and thanks to the WC win, I can see more children than ever take up the great game on streets and play grounds. Whilst my 18-month old has picked up the skill of bowling straight at the stumps( a chair) with his plastic ball, the 6 year old daughter has been allowed to do fielding duties, when the neighborhood boys try their helicopter shots and upper cuts. I have no answer to her question about Girls’ IPL or Girls’ WC. I ask her if she wants us all to move to England so that she can play proper cricket too.But she doesn’t want to leave her current school and classmates !

    I am walking back home with a bag ful of groceries, but I can’t help stopping and watching an over or two. I try to tell the boys the virtues of playing with a straight bat, but the look in their eyes tells me they haven’t seen much of that on the telly in recent months.

    Cricket coaching classes have suddenly mushroomed, and summer camps now advertise former first class cricketers as coaches.

    People are watching the IPL from home, the TV ratings would show that, but the country on the whole is still basking from the warm glory of April 2, 2011.

    For some people (like me), the IPL’s utility lies in giving glimpses of up and coming talent in Indian cricket, and some dream match-ups (Zaheer Vs Sachin/Dhoni, or Steyn Vs DeVilliers). So far, it has only been Paul Valthaty. If I stretch it, I can count the resurgence of Ravindra Jadeja as a batsman. Local boys Venugopal Rao and Rayudu are doing well for their respective franchises.

    After watching Rayudu bat well for two matches in succession, my wife asked me why he is not playing for India. I can understand why he is not playing for India, but I wish he plays for India some day. In Test Cricket.

    Again, the IPL’s utility for me is its ability to bring such thoughts to mind.

  3. I stopped watching the English t20 comp when I realised that boundary ropes were at times 55 yards away from the pitch. Not even metres, but yards. I couldn’t be bothered with it at all after that. It’s not even a spectacle.


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