For me the feel good factor works like a galvanising force. Chandigarh is one of the top cities for me in India. The lavish spread of greens on both sides of the roads is so soothing. I have always commended the visionary idea of houses not opening on the main roads here ensuring safety for the residents. I love the positivity and the slow pace of the city beautiful. We generally stay at the Marriott or the Taj here and both properties are well-served. I prefer Taj a little more as it is quieter of the two as certain sectors of Chandigarh have got busier over the years. Besides, I love the IS Bindra Cricket Stadium – good pitch, fast outfield, a great curator in Mr Daljit Singh and a Club House seeped in history.
All of the above combine well to present me the upbeat vibes that I have more often than not taken into the game. Tuesday’s game against Kings XI Punjab was no different. Besides the soothing Chandigarh canvas I was also buoyed by the presence of my two young cousins Ekansh and Arhaan. They are absolute bundle of joys for me. The elder Ekansh plays cricket for Delhi and the younger Arhaan too is an absolute sports junkie. Me and Ekansh are fierce competitors on Play Station. More often than not it is football for us. Till the initial few years I use to be a ‘consistent’ winner. But of late, an older and more mature Ekansh has been setting the record straight with me. I try not to sulk but I am a terrible loser.
Young Arhaan is great fun. I know he is intimidated by my presence and is never his usual self in front of me. I was told that he mimics bowling actions of his favourite cricketers Morne Morkel and Sunil Narine really well but he is too shy to do it in my presence. He doesn’t know that once when he was doing it I had positioned myself behind the curtains and saw 3 feet 10 inches rendition of the South African giant. My little bro does a circle at the top of the run up a la Mr Morkel and then hustles into his run up with those tiny steps. So cute!
Arhaan would be one of many KKR fans who’d have been proud of Morkel’s bowling show against Punjab. The 11 dot balls that he bowled to the Punjab batsmen were gold. An economy rate of 6.75 highlighted his experience. I think once again our faster men had laid basis for our victory in this game. Arhaan’s other favourite Sunil had a second consecutive good game. He pegged Glenn Maxwell back before removing him and his 22 runs off the 4 overs didn’t seem to be that of a spinner who was playing only his second game with a remodelled action.
One of my favourite moments of the game was when Piyush Chawla penetrated the defences of Murali Vijay. Till then the Punjab opener was not only hitting the ball well but had nonchalance about his game too. Chawla’s googly that bowled Vijay was a pearl. The other moment that stayed with me was Robin Uthappa’s pull shot off Mohit Sharma in the fifth over. I could have paid truckloads to go and watch that stroke from Robin.
For KKR it was another good day at work. I am back home and planning to position behind the curtains once again. I am told Arhaan can do a Robin as well.
Dinesh Chopra Media
Matchbox gujarat vs hyderabad
Unbeaten in all three games so far, Gujarat Lions would want to maintain momentum, when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Rajkot on Thursday. The hosts would also be boosted by the availability of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the previous game due to his wedding. Opener Aaron Finch, with three fifties in three games, will hold the key once again for Gujarat. But captain Suresh Raina is yet to come up with big scores. Meanwhile, Sunrisers appear too reliant on captain and opener David Warner, and have won just one out of three games so far. The middle-order looks shaky, and the likes of Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda and Eoin Morgan haven’t been consistent.
Pitch & Conditions
Rajkot is known for flat surfaces, but bowlers too got assistance in the last game here. Dew won’t be a factor.