By the time you read this, the play-off spots would have been decided and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s anxious Sunday evening would have ended in joy or heartbreak.
For the teams that had already reached the play-offs — Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals — the stakes will be different.
For CSK, having won twice and the Champions League T20 too, it will be about using their experience. A successful team knows what to do when and undoubtedly CSK will be ready.
Finishing in the top two in the league will also help table toppers CSK and second-placed Mumbai Indians get two chances to make it to the final — ample reward for their consistency in the league.
Whether MI, having never won the league, will be hungrier is a question that will be answered soon enough. But when it comes to motivation, the tragedy that has befallen Rajasthan Royals may just be the ‘X’ factor.
Rahul Dravid’s team has gone through a lot in recent days but it could turn out to be the binding factor that inspires them to win three matches on the trot and regain the trophy. Adversity is known to bring out the best.
As far as the raging controversy goes, you can put all the systems you want in place but ultimately it boils down to personal integrity. These things have happened before and may well happen again but take it from me the game is tough and will survive. I just hope it serves as a great lesson for youngsters and they understand the consequences of such actions.
TCM / HAWKEYE
The writer is a former India pacer