From the two back-to-back wins against the Rajasthan Royals, some memories stand out. In the home game, the Daredevils barely crossed the line to win a game which, actually, the Royals refused to win.
Post game, the grim look on Dravid’s face showed the hurt but, ever the gentleman, he was the first out of the dugout to offer a congratulatory handshake to the victors.
The heart-stopping last-ball finish was witnessed by a sellout Kotla, remarkable, as this was a 4pm game when most stands are exposed to the sun. Among the interested spectators watching the compelling action was Laxmi Mittal. Though more a football than cricket buff, he was visibly impressed with the Kotla fanfare.
Another equally impressed visitor was golfer Shiv Kapur, a hardcore Daredevils’ fan, who came to support the team straight after getting off a plane that morning from Korea. Shiv follows cricket irrespective of where he is, and after a short break in India is Europe-bound for a four-month tour.
The IPL is a high intensity six-week whirl but for pro golfers like Shiv, being on the road constantly to compete every other week is one tough challenge.
Compared to Delhi, the return game in Jaipur was one- sided, thanks to Viru’s brutal bat. When in a destructive mood, Viru is unstoppable, the ball and bowler don’t matter, neither is he restricted by the pitch or state of the game. He simply imposes his will on the proceedings, slaughtering the attack in a free-spirited manner.
Interestingly, the RR-DD games were a face-off between Dravid and Sehwag, two great players, who use the square cut to great effect, though in different styles.
For Sehwag, the square cut is a spectacular weapon, anything remotely short or wide is sent flying to the fence or over it. Dravid’s square cut is no less lethal but more orthodox, more calculated. He too gives it a solid crack but is careful to hit it into the ground.
The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official