This is in retrospective of 2 well fought games that yielded comprehensive results. And sterling performances from two giants made the outcome look effortless.
The first game I am talking about is the clash between KKR & RCB. KKR have been performing inconsistently throughout and their performance has been patchy. RCB on the other hand, have slowly started regaining momentum under the able leadership of ‘Jumbo’. And when we all were raving about Uthappa’s exploits, that took RCB home, we just missed to acknowledge the effort of a player who has been a class apart in his own ways. For me, this match was all about the greatness of one man, ‘Rahul Dravid’. Unlike ‘The Master’ and ‘Dada’, Dravid has never been acknowledged as an accomplished player in the shorter version of the game, even though statistics draw a different picture. Inarguably, he is one of the legends of the game but one day cricket has never adored him. And in this match, Dravid showed why he is regarded as one of the most impeccable stroke-makers in the game of cricket. The elegance was visible, the style was evident and to watch one of the most prolific scorers in test history whacking bowlers in a 20-20 game yielded immense satisfaction. The cover drive, the on drive, the cut, the agile footwork: they all reminded me of the champion Dravid that we all knew. Folks, for somebody who was rejected in the fraternity of a 50 over match and was widely touted as a player born for the longer version of the game , this is the fruit of endearing patience and ominous calibre. Rahul, I salute you! I have always felt that for some reason, this man has never got his due. It’s time we give him what we owe.
Next, I would talk about the game between MI & RR. Mumbai needed a win to seal a semis spot and RR looked to strengthen its position and inch ahead towards a semi final berth. But ‘The Maestro’ tarnished all such hopes of a RR win. The champion batsman once again delivered for Mumbai and bailed them out of trouble when they were tottering at 30 for 3. And that is where, Sachin played like a man possessed and held on to his array of strokes. But once they managed to preserve some wickets till the 15th over and the drop catch by Dole notwithstanding, he played another gem to take Mumbai to safety. The way he dispatched Shane Watson to all corners displayed vintage Sachin at his best and the disciplined bowling performance took Mumbai home in a comprehensive fashion. And, as Sachin’s phenomenal accumulation of runs continued in this season, Mumbai became the first team to storm in to the semi finals of the IPL 3. Quite deserving!