There's no denying that IPL III has left a bad taste. Yet, the old school romantic in me prefers to turn its back on the cesspool of 'allegations and focus on the game we love; because it is bigger than any given individual, situation or tournament. So, at the end of this season, I'd like to look back at the moments that spelt cricket all the way.
David Hussey's catch:
There were quite a few inimitable catches taken in this tournament,, but the that most tried to repeat, unsuccessfully, was Hussey's effort to get rid of Collingwood. It is my favourite for a couple of reasons. 1. It was a flat shot that didn't give him too much time to balance. 2. At one point, both his feet were in air, outside the line, while he pushed the ball back into the playing field; incredible.
Uthappa’s Switch-Hit six: What an absolute visual delight it was to see Uthappa hit that six off Mendis. It's one thing hitting a reverse sweep with power behind the shot, but a switch-hit goes one step beyond. You need to completely reverse your guard and grip. It needs balance, strength and good connection; Uthappa had all three.
The most talked about innovation in modern cricket. The mongoose has an extremely short blade and a very long handle. The weight taken from the top is distributed to the remainder making it a lot thicker than normal. The toe is 3 times thicker too. This design increases the bat speed, gives more control and allows the batsman to hit yorkers and low full-tosses with brute force. Hayden unleashed it against DD at Kotla and wreaked havoc. Unfortunately the mongoose made only special appearances in the tournament.
Praveen Kumar's hat-trick: Since the batsmen go after the bowling regardless of what happened the previous ball, taking a hat-trick is a lot easier in the T20 format. But still it takes some special bowling to take three in three. Praveen did it beautifully against the Rajasthan Royals.
Vintage Sachin: This wasn’t limited to one innings or a particular moment, but an experince that lasted through the tournament. Sachin reinforced the importance of technique. He showed that you don't need to slog your way to big runs and that it's possible to perform consistently in this format too. He seemed to have achieved a higher state of consciousness, where he can either read the bowlers' minds or, even better; make them bowl where he wants, It took him a couple of years to crack the T20 code, but when he did, it was pure class.