There have been some pretty awesome opening bat pairings – Sachin Tendulkar and Saneth Jayasuriya’s 137 runs for the first wicket at St Georges Park last night was breathtaking. Or Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs – also yesterday – I don’t think I’ve ever seen Gilly hit it so sweetly.
The old guys (read 35+) have been showing the young guys a clean pair of heels. Big performances by Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Saneth Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs – even Rahul Dravid has a strike rate of over 120!
Some of those who didn’t get paid 1.5 million USD, but who proving to be great bargains. AB de Villiers for the Dehli Daredevils at only 300K, or Yousuf Pathan for the Rajasthan Royals. Hayden and Gibbs too are proving great value for money – whatever they were paid.
The crowd support has been fantastic (Newlands, St Georges Park and Durban at least). These grounds now get a rest, and the IPL moves inland to Johannesburg and Centurion. Surprisingly, the atmosphere at St Georges Park has seemed to be the most lively and festive of all, even though the ground only holds about 13,000. Good on you Port Elizabeth, and your brass band!!!
The IPL’s HEAT initiative – providing funding and sponsorship to students and schools of South Africa – it’s an awesome initiative – a BIG THANK YOU – IPL!
The cheerleaders – need I say more?
Kevin Pieterson by now must surely be the only person left on the planet that thinks he’s seriously cool, a great cricketer and a team player. On the one occasion he didn’t get a duck, and with his team in trouble, one might have thought that he would put his team first, and play with some responsibility (granted it is still T20). But no – he just can’t resist being an irrepresible show-off, trying to play his sad little “switch-hit”. Its always just about you KP – and I really feel sorry for those who paid 1.5 million USD to have you in the team!!! This time let it be me that categorically states “you are NOT a South African!!!”.
Chris Gayle and Brendan McCullam on paper should be an awesome opening pairing for the Kolkata Knight Riders. But they just haven’t yet fired – and Gayle will be leaving soon.
A batting order with the top three containing Jaques Kallis and Rahul Dravid for the Royal Challengers Bangalore – although in fairness both have been adapting to this game, and are surprisingly both have strike rates above 120. But compared to the explosive performances that other opening combinations have – it is just not enough.
Apologies to the Royal Challengers Bangalore – this seems all about you. But its not surprising considering that you are holding the last place on the log, and unlikely to change it. The team just has no team spirit, no sense of unity, and certainly no will to win. They look like a bunch of guys who just have to pitch up and play in order to get their USD. And I blame a lot of this on Kevin Pieterson – he is just a one-man-show – and should NEVER be put in charge of other people – it is just not going to work!!! Prediction – when KP leaves and Jaques Kallis takes over as captain – it will be a changed team.
The Super Over is great in concept – but for heaven’s sakes – does it need to take as long to bowl two overs as it does to play an innings? The batsmen and bowlers need to be identified and nominated before the start of the game. In a sport where everything happens so quickly, where the batsmen sit in dugouts on the field so as to save time – can we not bowl two overs with “known” participants in under half an hour?
Interviews with people in the crowds – with responses limited to “yes”, or “no”. Not interesting enough for the viewers.
Even though it’s all about the sponsor DLF – it gets quite annoying hearing about “DLF Maximums” instead of “sixes” – especially when Tendulkar and Jayasuriya are batting.