So, Sunrisers Hyderabad are the new IPL champions. On behalf of KKR and the entire cricket community I’d like to congratulate them.
At the cost of sounding biased, I will tell you that amongst the entire lot I am the most happy for Sunrisers mentor Laxman bhai, whom you all know as VVS Laxman. He is one of the finest cricketers in world cricket, but beyond that he is a fine human being as well. He can give an ultra-positive spin to the most horrendous situation.
This IPL win marks only the second such victory for him in a major multi-team tournament. He was part of the erstwhile Deccan Chargers as well who were crowned IPL champions in 2009. I am not a historian and, therefore, should be allowed a disclaimer here:
I have not accounted for Laxman bhai’s victories in BCCI’s domestic competitions. He is one of the rare cricketers who has played over a hundred Tests but not represented his country in a single World Cup. In one of his interviews, he had described his omission from the 2003 World Cup squad as the “lowest point” of his life. No amount of IPL wins can substitute for a World Cup victory for your country, but then Laxman bhai now has two major title wins to cherish.
I must admit that I was surprised that Hyderabad won the toss and batted first. I thought they were playing into RCB’s hands on a small Bangalore ground where most scores are chased. But in the end, I think the scoreboard pressure combined with Hyderabad’s potent bowling attack got them the title. I have maintained that whatever the format, it is the bowlers who win you the game. This was further emphasised on Sunday. Besides, I have always liked the way Hyderabad have gone about their business. No frills, no dramas, just professional and under-stated approach to the game.
A lot is being said about David Warner’s captaincy and his aggressive batting style. His run-charts are exemplary but as a rival leader, what I like about him is calmness. Each six or a four hit by Gayle and Virat must have felt like a stab, but he was calm. I think there is a lot to learn here as sometimes your teammate may just need your empathy rather than a tactical advice.
Like I said in my last column, it is only apt to repeat here that Australian cricket should thank IPL as it has helped discover Warner the leader of men.
I can imagine RCB’s state at the moment. Virat has a great desire to excel and a burning appetite to win. He must have been distraught as, I think, they lost a game they should have won. I’d say Virat’s dismissal was the turning point but then these things do happen. I think RCB too should be proud of themselves. I loved every bit of this IPL and hope you all did as well. Till next year, good bye and take care.