Saturday, April 19, 2008

HOW WAS THAT?

Pakistan played Bangladesh today in the 5th and final ODI of the series.

But everyone I know, including myself, were watching the Chennai Super Kings take on Kings XI Punjab, and later Rajhastan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils.

Salman Butt was playing a magnificent innings, but Micheal Hussey was playing a better one.

Would it have been different had Pakistan been playing Australia? Probably not. ODIs are a dieing form of the game. The fact that the 2 Indian Premier League matches had more TV viewership than an international one day match is an indication of cricket's future.

I'm not going delve into why ODI cricket has become increasingly uninteresting, but following are some the reasons why the first 2 days of the IPL have been appealing to me.
  • Ganguly informing McCullum to be careful against Praveen Kumar as he nips the ball sharply.
  • Boucher's stares at Kumar and Noffke when they bowled wide ones down leg.
  • Zaheer subtly showing Ganguly the way and celebrating with Kallis.
  • BRENDON MCCULLUM !!! 158 of 73 balls in any form of the game against whatever opposition is a remarkable achievement. As is 13 sixes.
  • David Hussey c White b Noffke. An Aussie Threesome.
  • SRK, Gauri Khan, Juhi Chawla, Karan Johar, and Arjun Rampal in the Knight Riders' kit supporting their team.
  • SRK and Rampal bowing down when McCullum got to his 150.
  • Ishant Sharma uprooting Dravid's stumps.
  • Ganguly getting his revenge and bowling Zaheer and celebrating with Ponting.
  • AB DINDA. Only the name would send shivers down the batsmen's spines.
  • Greg Chappell at the toss with Dhoni and Yuvraj.
  • Hayden thumping Lee for 4 straight down the ground.
  • Lee going through Hayden's defences (didn't get the wicket though, it was a FREE hit).
  • Hayden hitting his Queensland team mate James Hope for a 6 and a 4.
  • MICHEAL HUSSEY !!! Lee, Sreesanth, Pathan, and Hopes is nothing less of an international quality pace attack. Hussey ripped them apart.
  • Yuvraj hugging Hopes after he trapped Dhoni right in front.
  • Suresh Raina's strokeplay - it was the same form that he displayed when he first played for India.
  • Hayden back slapping Murali after the Sri Lankan made an amazing attempt at a catch at mid off.
  • Priety Zinta cheering her team on.
  • Murali bowling to Sangakkara. Dhoni keeping. Hayden at 1st slip.
  • James Hopes - What power play!
  • Delhi Daredevils uniform - Red and Black by Adidas!
  • Daniel Vettori and Glen McGrath chatting before McGrath's first delivery.
  • McGrath's 1st ball - Doesn't look like he's been retired from internationals for a year.
  • Taruwar Kohli, India's U19 world cup winning opener, charging McGrath on the 4th ball of the innings and being beaten for the 4th time. Kohli must have been in his diapers when McGrath made his international cricket debut.
  • Kohli smashing McGrath for 6 over the covers of the final ball of the same over. McGrath getting Kohli 3 balls later.
  • McGrath smiling at Watson after he leaves his 1st ball to him. McGrath doing the same when Watson hits him for 4.
  • The look on Watson's face after being hit for 3 consecutive 4s by Sehwag.
  • Shane Warne - the oohs and aahs and the deliveries. Its all there. Great to see him bowl again.
  • None of the 6 high profile captains in the 3 games played made any impression.
Great batting, power hitting, good bowling, sharp fielding, 200+ scores, capacity crowds, international cricketers, Indian stars, Bollywood stars, cheerleaders, mascots, its all been there. The IPL is underway, and its looking great to me.

I didn't like Lalit Modi being chummy with Priety Zinta but then not everything about an event can appeal to everyone.

I'm still unsure about the loyalties of the Indian fans to their city teams, but for the global audience the interesting pairings and match ups the IPL promises between cricketers is its USP in my opinion.

This is exactly what has appealed to me besides the exciting cricket.

Has it appealed to you?

Make your pitch on this post...



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22 Pitched:

  1. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    Contrary to my thoughts the overseas players seem as much involved as the players in the catchment area.

    I dont agree with you about the fielding. There were misfields galore.

    I disliked SRK behaving like a groupie.

    I disliked Modi chumming up Priety.

    Yes I like the IPL.

  2. Q said...
     

    Yes OTT all the international players were totally committed. The best example of that was when Jayawardene in the dressing room was watching intensely and clapping every hit by Hopes and Sanga.

    They're definitely involved full time.

  3. Trideep said...
     

    Q,

    Amazing post!!!

    But i disagree with u tht ODI's are dying. If the two teams playing were India-Australia or Australia-SA, etc.. the viewership would have surely been huge.. Even before IPL I don't think many people here were watching the series in Bangladesh.

    But surely IPL n T20 is here to stay...

  4. nestaquin said...
     

    I think if there were no Aussies in the IPL few Australian viewers would bother.

    It's free on telly in Oz and that alone has generated interest.

    As far as I can tell in Oz no-one cares who wins and that most people are following the battles between players rather than the battles between teams.

    One thing that is becoming clearer by the day is the poor fielding, especially throwing, and the running between wickets of the lesser known locals.

    Also the imports are dominating even though each team only has four. I'd like it to be six imports a team. I hated seeing jayawardene and Fleming on the bench last night.

    Great list Q but you forgot Rudi Koertzen and Asif Rauf's cowboy hats. They carried their walkie-talkies like gunslingers. They were special and I'd like to see more and more silly hats by the umps.

    Also the Dehli mascots at the toss dressed as M & Ms prancing around behind Sehwag had me rolling around in laughter!

  5. Q said...
     

    Trideep - ODIs have become meaningless. Too predictable, boring cricket in the middle overs, and meaningless series of 5 and 7 matches. I honestly dont enjoy them anymore. Haven't for a few years now.

  6. Trideep said...
     

    True Q, but what sets apart an ODI from T20 is the competition. In ODI's there are matches which go down to the wire. By that i mean matches which are close right from the last 15 overs or so, if not since the last 50 overs. In T20 just 2-3 good overs and the result of the match is decided.

    But i also think that unless some help is provided to the bowlers in ODI's ICC will find it hard to retain viewers for ODI's.

  7. Q said...
     

    Nesta - I agree. Even the Indian fan I believe are unsure of their loyalties. Will a Delhi-ite cheer if Glen McGrath bowls Sachin? I don't know. So even they would be watching more for individual battles than for a team they support.

    Some people have come to me and said that the novelty of individual battles will die down. But I beg to differ. It will always be intriguing to see how a Lee or Warne or a McGrath does against Hayden or Ponting or Hussey or Gilchrist.

    I'm supporting KKR only cos I'm a huge fan of the owner. But at the end of the day if KKR loses to the DDDs or Chargers, it wont be a disappointment.

    Your right abt the cowboy hats. And the skin tight shirts? Haha.. the umpires def looked strange.. thank god Aleem Dar saved face and came out in a baseball cap.

    Cheerleaders, mascots, pom poms, music - never thought these things will be associated with cricket. But its great entertainment.

  8. Q said...
     

    Trideep I think there have been more close T20 matches than ODIs.

    How many close ODIs have there been recently? During the 2007 world cup, I think maybe 2-3 matches were close..the rest were all one sided.

    With T20, its very unpredictable.

  9. Trideep said...
     

    Q,

    Its the culture that has been prevelant in India which makes it difficult for Indian crowd to support a team in IPL. Thats what i have written in my blog "Will IPL work?". For IPL to work i feel the Indian crowd will have to start supporting teams rather than players. And i belive the player craze will slowly die down.

  10. Trideep said...
     

    Q,

    We can leave the CWC07. That was a disaster compared to the earlier editions. But there are matches like the last CB series final between India and Australia, the ODI between Srilanka and WI. In all these matches the interest was there for a longer time. In T20, its just one over or one wicket which decides the match. For eg, yesterdays match between Punjab n Chennai, With the departure of Yuvi, I thought the match ended.

  11. Q said...
     

    I've been reading ur posts on the IPL Trideep.

    I agree with you that the Indian public will have to associate to a team to keep the interest alive and thats why the BCCI has gone with city based team names rather than just any team.

    It will take time though. A Delhi-ite will take time getting used to Ishant Sharma playing for Kolkata. Same for a Punjabi seeing Bhajji play for Mumbai.

    I still think most Indian fans have pleaded their allegiance to their city teams but they still remain divided.

    Lets see how it goes. I think it will work.

  12. Q said...
     

    CWC03 was also a disaster. No team matched India or Australia. And in the final India didn't match Australia.

    I still say T20s are more close contests than ODIs. We'll see during the next 40 days :-)

  13. Q said...
     

    Nesta - I also didn't like Jaywardene and Fleming clapping from the stands but the Indians have to safeguard what is essentially their competition.

    Maybe overtime the allowance would increase from 4-6 but right now I think 4 is about right. With 4 internationals and 2-3 Indian internationals per team it gives the outfit a neat look.

    Even with 4 foreigners the Indians are having a hard time picking the team to support. With 6 it woudl have been impossible.

  14. SAM said...
     

    If it was Pak Vs Australia I would have certainly preferred it over an IPL match, T20 despite all the side Masala and all the the efforts to make it look more entertaining will rarely entertain a serious cricket fan,its too short to employ and implement any strategy,with shortened boundaries it looks too childish,its just like a bollywood movie item # devoid of any class,it might entertain you but might not carry any artistic value.You may call it the vulgar form of cricket,
    there will be no substitute of test cricket or ODIS for a hard core cricket fan.

  15. Q said...
     

    SAM - Test cricket is the ultimate form, no doubt about that. I'd watch a test match over any other form any day.

    But the ODIs are a different case. I haven't enjoyed watching them for a long time now. They have become too predictable, boring, and meaningless.

    Plus I hate what the increasing number of ODIs have done to test cricket. 7 match ODI Series, 2 match Test series, its really become pointless.

    The last 2 ODI world cups have been drags. No competition whatsoever.

    T20 cricket is full on entertainment but its exciting cricket.

    And I'm hoping for a future where there are a number of IPL / ICL type leagues running year round - what that would do is that meaningless ODI tours would be scrapped to fit in these T20 leagues and the country exchange tours would involve only tests and hopefully 5 test series will become fashionable again.

  16. Obaid said...
     

    Good discussion ppl. I agree with Q that I lost interest in ODI a while bakc. For me it ended when two thins happened

    a) We always get batsmen friendly pitches - theres absolutely nothing for th bowlers. Now even the old ball gets changed so there is no excitement of "waiting for the old ball to swing". You know its just going to get progressively worse for the bowling side... so I just watch the first 10-25 overs.. leave , do more useful stuff, come back t watch the first few of the other innings

    2) Its sort of tied to a) but I stopped watching many ODIs after Waqar and Wasim retired. I guess I got spoilt like other cricket fans but to me ODIs were never the same after them...

  17. Trideep said...
     

    Q,
    I agree that it will take time for the Indian crowd to have any loyalty to a team. As of now its the players. But for IPL to work this to come sooner rather than later.

  18. Q said...
     

    I think it will happen soon Trideep. Actually according to some of the comments I've posted, even if it doesn't happen the public will enjoy the entertainment.

  19. Trideep said...
     

    But looking at some of the matches i feel it might happed much sooner than everybody expected. Look at the game at Edens and Wankhede. The crowds were supporting the Home team. There was no player loyalty there.. Only a team loyalty..

  20. Q said...
     

    As I said Trideep, it will happen soon.

    Dravid said he felt strange that no one cheered for him when he hit a 4 at the Wankhede.

    Its amazing I say.

  21. Trideep said...
     

    Yes, and Jaffer for the first time had sit at the away dressing room. Its changing the way cricket has been played over time.. I frankly didnt expect it to happen so soon.

  22. Q said...
     

    I've been saying it Trideep - It will change the way we have known cricket :-)

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