Despite the double-header in the third edition of the Indian Premier League, selection was the buzzword in cricket circles on Thursday, the eve of the Indian team's selection for next month's World Twenty20.
So, as the Chennai Super Kings entered the Brabourne Stadium to face the in-form Mumbai Indians, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was out of action for more than a week due an elbow injury, walking out for the toss must have come as a relief for the national selectors as well as millions of Indian cricket fans.
Though Dhoni could not show his prowess with the bat, Suresh Raina and S. Badrinath made it a point with the highest partnership in IPL-III. While Raina's unbeaten 83 off 52 forced those who were doubting the southpaw's consistency to shut their mouths, Badri's 45-ball 55 not out was a reminder to those who have labelled him as one suited for the longest format.
But then came another gem by the one and only Sachin Tendulkar, who stole the show and sealed the game for his team. The MI skipper played second fiddle to Shikhar Dhawan who smashed the ball all over the park to register his first IPL fifty. But after Dhawan and Saurabh Tiwary perished in quick succession, Tendulkar took the charge. And even though the match was eventually sealed in the penultimate over, the result was clear at the end of the 13th over.