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A place in the Sun

A place in the Sun
Highlights

It’s celebration time for everyone at Sunrisers Hyderabad. The euphoria is understandable because, although technically this is the second title triumph for Hyderabad, Sunrisers have just about announced their entry into the big league. It has been a rollicking ride to the summit for a team that was not even among the contenders in the initial stages. 

It’s celebration time for everyone at Sunrisers Hyderabad. The euphoria is understandable because, although technically this is the second title triumph for Hyderabad, Sunrisers have just about announced their entry into the big league. It has been a rollicking ride to the summit for a team that was not even among the contenders in the initial stages.

What makes the ninth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) that much more memorable is that the grand finale lived up to the hype and expectations of any T20 game because it was electrifying from start to finish! In a welcome change, the event also demonstrated that though essentially a batsman’s sport, the bowlers can change the fortunes and win matches of their own.

Some batsmen flattered to deceive. The sad part of the edition was Virat Kohli, whose belligerence failed to break the jinx that haunts the otherwise richly-talented Royal Challengers Bangalore. In contrast, Hyderabad ought to remain indebted to skipper David Warner, whose breathtaking exploits were the game-changers for the team. He succeeded where the Indian ODI captain failed.

One is sure that Cricket Australia will be particularly happy at the manner Warner peaked and also his abilities as a master tactician who could marshal his resources with aplomb. The odd contributions from others, notwithstanding, SRH found a match-winner in Bangladesh's left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who is already tipped to be the next big thing in world cricket.

His bagging 17 wickets was less compared to the psychological advantage he provided to the team. Mustafizur was given admirable support at the other end by Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneswar Kumar, whose showing comes as a breather for Team India as it gets ready for the season ahead.

In fact, in several games where the batsmen came a cropper they delivered, particularly in the death overs. A major disappointment this time round was Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Pune was clueless on most occasions. One will not be surprised if there is pressure on the man with the Midas touch to hang up his boots, irrespective of what happens in Zimbabwe and West Indies next.

Although, the season was a clean one, the 50-day extravaganza was not without its dose of ups and downs. The most controversial had to do with the drought conditions and the nationwide debate on whether the event was required to continue. It is still a point to ponder, although the promoters of the sport will stick to their guns that shifting some of the matches away from Maharashtra served the purpose on both counts.

Although, away from the IPL, there was a change of guard at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) even as there was no talk about the Justice Lodha Panel report and its suggestions. Anurag Thakur took over as the Board chief and straightaway stated that they would honour most of the recommendations and contest some of the suggestions. This is one topic that may resurface again and again!

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