So Delhi lost, which means not even one of the four IPL teams reached the final of this year's Champions League T20. Tongues were already wagging and after the first semifinal, critics will find another reason to crucify IPL teams and the IPL as a tournament. But, I think, it will be unjust to look at dry numbers and judge the IPL as a tournament.
I'm the last one to look for excuses, and people who know me would vouch that I am the first one to accept the blame if my team doesn't do well. All I am saying is that the dynamics of an IPL team and a state or a provincial team are completely different.
While these teams stay together, play together, travel together for a good part of the year, the IPL teams meet once a year for roughly two months. This is not a pivotal factor but sometimes can play a role.
While I'd never say that conditions in South Africa are tough, the ball does nip around. But I do maintain that IPL teams rely on Indian talent. This means that sometimes our local talent, exposed only to Ranji Trophy games, may need a bit more experience to succeed in conditions like that in South Africa.
In KKR's case, I can say that our local talent like Debabrata Das and Pradeep Sangwan did reasonably well. None of them lacked technique. Just that, we didn't play some of the important moments well.
It will also be unfair to blame the IPL as a tournament for any of this. IPL is a domestic tournament with a bit of foreign dash, so it is unreasonable to expect fast, bouncy tracks for the competition.
The tracks on which the IPL is played --- from Dharamsala to Chennai --- are just right, as it exhibits the character of Indian cricket. You don't find Mexican spices in an Indian restaurant.
Dress it up
I am also a big fan of some of the dresses foreign teams wear. I am not sure if I will give a nine out of 10 to Sydney's 'pink', but surely the Titans' 'blue' is quite close to what I'd say is a nice design. I especially like the design at the back of the trouser leg; it is a kind of first for me. In all these years, I have also secretly admired the gold and electric blue of the Mumbai Indians. I think it looks fairly dynamic and slick.
But don't think I am being biased when I say that KKR's purple and gold is the best as I can reason that out. I am not a fashion designer but the combination gives us a unique look and feel on the field where the teams largely use different shades of blue. The gold on the back, to illustrate name and numbers, is quite dynamic. Stepping out for a meal, but will keep an eye on Sydney's 'pink' and Titans' 'blue'. See you.
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The writer is KKR skipper