Most people often wonder about those that follow the IPL closely. Which is to say, I often wonder about myself.
While we slide into the 12th season, is it a bit too much to look for reason? Should it be played? That is still being asked. Should it be played so close to a World Cup – be it before one or after one?
Try as I may, putting that 2011 season behind me is not easy. Should it be? Please don’t say what happened in 2011. If you’re still wondering, please stop reading. So, you know, Sri Lanka lost the World Cup that year. The only way you can lose the World Cup is if you make the finals.
But India went a step further, and lost it too. Not the World Cup, but in the IPL that followed. They followed that with marathon Test losses in England and Australia.
Who won the IPL in 2011? Remember that one? Did you have to google that?Dhoni did.
Who won the World Cup in 2011?Dhoni did.
Who lost those Test series in 2011-12?Dhoni did.
So, here we are in 2019. And there will be fresh answers. Can Virat be the answer?
Can he win the IPL in 2019? Looks unlikely. But back in 2008, when Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals couldn’t get the ball beyond the square in their IPL opener, they looked unlikely winners too.
Warne possibly had more belief in winning the IPL then than Lalit Modi had in winning it with the IPL. And that says a lot.Warne’s belief superseded his skills back then. And possibly those of his team. With that thought, he rubbed so much belief into that bunch that they ended up doing what they did.
RCB’s greatest strength, that works in unison, is the crowd chant at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy stadium.
Yesterday, as for many seasons now, Kohli has failed to believe that he is RCB’s greatest strength. He believes, as do many that watch, that AB de Villiers is their greatest strength.
Whether those are appearances or fandom giving in to a spectacle, is of little consequence.
In spite of ABd’s spectacular 70*(41) vs MI, RCB lost. In spite of five wickets in hand. In spite of this and in spite of that.After three matches and three defeats, RCB are at the bottom. Silver lining, they lost to the best three teams. The first defeat, more against a surface than a team.
Perhaps, it’s time for Kohli to adopt an approach that has served him well in Test cricket. Perhaps, it’s time for all of Kohli to be switched on.Whether this means he opens or Parthiv doesn’t, it’s up to him. In sport, it’s tiresome to keep losing because of the same old mistakes.
So far RCB has opened with Kohli/Patel, Patel/Ali, Patel/Hetmyer. Fourth match, Hetmyer/ Grandhomme?To stop worrying about Moeen and Parthiv's utility down the order, could be a start. Once you’re not bothered about your No. 6 and 7’s batting, you’re already living in the moment.
And isn’t that what T20 cricket is about?