BANGALORE: There will be no local team in the final. But there will be plenty of local players for the crowds to cheer. The tournament’s leading run-getter Robin Uthappa leads the charge of home heroes as they return to their favourite hunting grounds, their home from where they learnt their ropes.
His Kolkata Knight Riders’ teammates Manish Pandey and state team skipper Vinay Kumar will be keen to prove their worth in the final.
All there have played most of their cricket, in all formats, at the Chinnaswamy Stadium and have first hand knowledge of the pitch and weather conditions. Added to it will be the fact that they will play for the prize in front of adoring fans. The focus will be on them as their opponents lack the local touch.
They turned up in large numbers for RCB’s games but the team put up a pathetic show. Not just that, despite Karnataka winning three major domestic trophies, they did not bid for a single state player and paid the penalty. Yet, the sporting crowd came for every game, day or night, rain or shine to walk back home in sheer disappointment.
Now, Robin, selected for the three ODIs in Bangladesh, Manish and Vinay Kumar can fulfill some of their aspirations. If not the team, at least some locals can lay hands on the trophy. That must be sufficient cause for them to strain their vocal cords in their support.
Robin has been in devastating form. Of course he hasn’t really done well in the IPL at home. But then with more than 600 runs to his name, Robin can hit the nests’ under the roof with awesome power.
Manish Pandey has also done appreciably and has been among the runs with 300 plus to his name. Vinay Kumar has struck when he has had the chance or else has curtailed the flow with his flawless line and length.
All roads will lead to the stadium no doubt. The purple and gold hue will be the local favourite for sure.