DC Edit | IPL crowns a worthy champion

There was not an iota of doubt that the best team won the IPL this season. Unbeaten for nearly a month after losing three league games and traipsing through the playoffs and final with not a thought of defeat, Kolkata Knight Riders had a dream run Bollywood style for its popular part owner Shah Rukh Khan.

The final was a damp squib after what was a very competitive league phase in which even the patently aggressive style of T20 cricket was reinvented to add steroids to the concept of going full throttle against the new ball. The runner-up Sunrisers Hyderabad had also starred in this redefinition of ultra-positive opening gambit until the swinging new ball bowled by Mitchell Starc exposed their top-heavy batting line-up twice in the playoffs.
At Rs 24 crore a season, the league’s most expensive purchase ever, Mitchell Starc had been taken to the cleaners around the grounds of India until the champion showed the stuff he is made of in the decisive matches. KKR’s bowlers, making a fair combination of seamers and spinners, demonstrated how a team rolls on all three cylinders of batting, bowling, and fielding.
There were heartaches for the likes of RR, RCB and CSK who finished in that order. They were playing XIs that had shown many deficiencies in a team game as cricket is defined as one in which all players must pull in one direction in a team cause. Great individual performances from batters like Virat Kohli and Ruturaj Gaekwad came to nought as other cogs that were not up to providing smooth turns of the wheel.
Another season of IPL had done its bit in contributing to Indian cricket’s ecosystem with plenty of fans’ support for the franchises, besides the millions that the players reaped as their reward. Curiously, not a single player from the Team India squad for the T20 World Cup was in the four teams that made it to the playoffs. That was, perhaps, a reflection of the fact not all individual performances add up to a winning combination in a demanding and frenetic format.
The umpiring, especially by the ones behind the TV referral system, was found to be lacking and the debate around the ‘Impact Player’ that virtually makes it a 12-a-side match pronounced the verdict on how it was ruining the prospect of nurturing all rounders and utility players.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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