June 02, 2008

Australia wins IPL.

As Saurav Ganguly and Shane Warne locked horns in the middle, teammate Yusuf Pathan looked on furiously.

That was an earlier game, but the image stays with you.

The Aussiefication of Rajasthan Royals if not complete, was truly underway then.

It harked back to earlier images of the Symonds, Hayden, Clarke trio taking on Bhajji Down Under.

The Aussies hunt in pairs; if not more, but rarely less.

When they take on the elusive ball hurtling downstream towards the boundary, chances are, there will be a pack of Aussie wolves chasing it down –never a lone wolf but a pack.

One for the slide, one for the throw. One for God knows what eventuality.

Rajasthan Royals took this groupism to a new art form in the finals when Kaif and Kamran Akmal caught a ball and a collision simultaneously.

And when they chased down balls there was an almost Aussielike certainty to them.

None of those all in vain escort service runs alongside the ball.

There were few, if any glaring missfields from erstwhile misfit Munaf Patel. There were even fewer criticisms on air of Munaf – till only the last India game that Patel played, Patel bashing had an ever greater following than Tendulkar adulation.

Patel bowled his trademark albeit repetitive short-of-length fare, game after game. He even snorted at the odd batsman. Here was a guy whose shoulders had fallen beyond drooping while wearing the India cap. A guy who withdrew to his village, only to snap back, unhinged through the press. A guy who his captain claimed “does not think”.

What did his new captain think of him?

And then there were the nameless “two lefthanders” – Ravindra Jadeja and Niraj Patel, who in true Aussie back-from- the- brink batsmanship beat the smiles off Mumbai. By now Tendulkar would know their names.

As would everybody know Asnodkar’s. It’s Asnodkar, right?

And Pathan will no longer mean Irfan Pathan. If anything, it could be big bro Yusuf –whose first international sighting was in the T20 World Cup finals as opener –where he smashed a six, and out soon after. Guts then, and glory now.

And what about Kamran Akmal, who played a few, didn’t come off, sat out, and then came back, sat out for the semis, and returned yet again for the finals. Not a rollercoaster but a joyride, it seemed. Little man Akmal smashed sixes, appealed, and even ran himself out with the enthusiasm of a player on whom the collective fortunes of the Royals depended. A Royal Guard, almost like Amitabh Bachchan’s character in Eklavaya, as the Royal Guard. Only here there was no asking, who’s your Daddy? It was Shane Warne.

Akmal aside, every player in the team was a Royal Guard – and the Jaipur Fort was not going to be breached. No way.

Not before you got past Graeme Smith, Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan, Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal, Ravindra Jadeja, Swapnil Asnodkar, Pankaj Singh, Munaf Patel, Niraj Patel, Siddharth Trivedi, Mohammed Kaif

And even if you got past them, you’d run into another player, a captain, a coach.

You’d run into Shane Warne.

Chances are, you would have run out of steam by then.

And he would run over you.

Here’s to Warne and his team:

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.

(The text used in the introductory “Think Different” commercial created by Chiat/Day)

37 comments:

Ottayan said...

Cheers.

Naked Cricket said...

cheers ottayan.
take it you are not one happy bunny

Ottayan said...

Not at all. Great game last night isn't it?

Straight Point said...

another cracker gaurav!!

the aussification was there but without 'hard and fair' cricket they claim to play today...

Naked Cricket said...

It had one crazy plot. Right up with the t20 wc finals. and tanvir at the crease again.
best, csk never really lost it.

Naked Cricket said...

Cheers SP!
"Hard and fair" is Ponting's preserve, this was Warne's bunch
Clearly a smarter media man

Som said...

NC, for once MSD didn't have Jogi the Golden Arm and Balaji, despite his disarming smile, was not destined to do a JOginder. But in the end, UI don't think anyone can really complain.

Naked Cricket said...

som,
for a condemned man, balaji did well to take it to the last ball. Jogi had a bad few games, and then didn't play for the last 6-7 games, right? Is it true that MSD said it was Wessels call to send Kapu before Badri?
No complaints whatsoever. But a bowl out would have been...

Straight Point said...

it is as if hierarchy was maintained in the IPL...dhoni was second best captain...

infact i liked his post match comments in which i refused to single out any moment and said its team which lost and have you every seen loosing finalist team huddling...

he is learning fast from warne on how to be media savvy...he says and shows exactly what they want...

Q said...

Aussiefication! I love it.

Great post NC... and well said!

Naked Cricket said...

SP, But MSD on a roll sure can give some killer ones. Ask Rohit Sharma and Rav Shastri.

In the circumstances, lotta dignity in his comments -tho he was itching to let loose on Raina's drop and Patel's miss, that's the nature of the beast.
Btw was the Badri demotion empty Wessel's idea?

Naked Cricket said...

Thank you Q!

vmminerva said...

Beautifully said, Gaurav. Amen!

Arun M said...

Great piece NC! Right through the tournament one aspect about the RR's was very obvious - they were enjoying each moment of being together, on the field, something which the RC's and DC's couldn't fathom!

Naked Cricket said...

Thank you Vmminerva!
RR, from boys to Amen, eh?

Naked Cricket said...

AM,
Yr blog is bustling with inactivity, post it sir!

Come to think of it, RR was the only team, the others were motley groups. RC and DC were worse - singles; next IPL a couples rule should apply.

So at least you'll have Gibbs and Afridi, VVS and Venugopal, Dravid and Jammy.

ipl08 said...

On the decision to send Chamara Kapugedera ahead of S Badrinath, Dhoni said, "The decision was taken by the coach, because I was batting at that time. But I don't think there was anything wrong. He's a capable cricketer and it only did not click today."

http://ipl.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/News/News/articleshow/3091895.cms

And Warne on Munaf

" Every now and then, we have to give him a rocket and then later put my arm around him and say ‘well done.’ "
http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article§id=59&contentid=2008060120080601023740154cb72be59

Naked Cricket said...

ipl08,
seeing MSD came in a few overs before Kapu, and it's only T20, coach and captain could've thought the scenarios and batting orders thru before hand. Collective responsibility then?

Or
t20's highly dynamic, and you have to react NOW, so coach took the Kapu call. Still, not the first time Badri has been belittled. Doubt it'll be the last.

Re Munaf, the rocket's expected, that arm isn't.

UTP said...

shane warne...shane warne...shane warne...thats what it was all about...just great captaincy...through out...

Naked Cricket said...

play it again sam

Faizan Rasool said...

Hi

I want to link exchange with u i am adding ur blog in my blog in blog roll.
http://www.cricketone.blogspot.com

please u also add my link to ur blog

Cricket one

Please inform me!

Email : MianFaizanRasool@gmail.com

Naked Cricket said...

Faizan, you've been added.

scorpicity said...

looks that entire aussie group clam mered back into their national team :)...

anyway... am missing a hell-a-lot of blogging action... hope to be back by this weekend... cheers

Naked Cricket said...

scorpi, if ever there was a time for a cricket holiday, now.
Pity Bangladesh are back to ways of old, and Pak to new. Phew.

UTP said...

Pak to new? heheh...same old same old...beat Bangladesh be happy...get beaten badly by India..still reach final and win? I hope ....hehe...

Naked Cricket said...

utp, for pak to win, malik must not be captain. or for once, be captain.

Cricket freak said...

Quite right. The Aussies have proved that they are the best. And Shane Warne has turned the locals into a winning pack and injected an ounce of Aussie spirit. The result? The so called "weakest team" in the tournament, quashed all barriers and emerged deserving winners. Its a lesson on team building for everyone.

Naked Cricket said...

good to see you cricketfreak, but is anyone taking lessons?

Straight Point said...

nothing gaurav...just waiting for another 'cracker' from you...

Naked Cricket said...

sp, with the cricket these days, it'll take a crackpot

scorpicity said...

Ah... looks like all the usual suspects have done the disappearing act... dude we want a post and a naughty one at that.

Naked Cricket said...

scorpi, in the fullness of time, but not in the emptiness of cricket

scorpicity said...

you are right... its bloody boring all the cricket... I'm going to watch some nude pics.

Big Money Trove Team said...

Hi we are looking to build up our incoming links for our blog Big Treasure Trove.
Would you like to exchange blogroll links with us?
If yes, please visit: http://bigmoneytrove.blogspot.com/
and leave your URL for your blog there, as comment under latest post. We'll link to you within hours. You are expected to link to Big Treasure Trove as well. Thanks.

UTP said...

I think its time for a new post sir...heheh...

Neno Cricket said...

yes UTP correct :)

time for new post :)

Naked Cricket said...

Guys,
You asked for it. A new one's on.