I am an absolute cricket junkie. Wife permitting, I can watch even club teams playing. Sunday was an aberration, when I found it a real challenge to watch the IPL final. One part of me said organise nachos and soft drinks and settle down in front of TV at 7 pm. The more emotional part was pulling me back. It kept yelling in my head I should have been in Hyderabad.
Around 1 PM I decided what I needed to do.
I booked myself for a 5.40 pm show of Sarkar 3. Plan was to watch the final as well, if I had the urge. Otherwise, early dinner and good night. As the movie was reaching climax, I was itching to know who won the toss, the line-ups and how the pitch looked. Despite Mr Bachchan, I was thinking of leaving midway and head home for cricket. Left alone, I’d have picked cricket over the movie.
The movie is extremely engaging. It is my own muddle which first forced me away from the final and was now urging to follow the game. Thanks to Internet I managed both. Contrary to my formula, Mumbai elected to bat. I think they wanted to put scoreboard pressure on the opposition.
Anyway, the movie finished and it was ‘The End’ to my inhibitions too. Thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic. When I reached home, Mumbai were 56/4 in 11th over. In the end, 129 wasn’t a bad score. Mumbai are fortunate to have the Pandyas. Like against us in the last game, Krunal was creating angles while batting. His bottom-handed grip, high backlift has him favouring leg-side.
The brothers may not agree but I sense a healthy competition between them. Krunal would soon want to join Hardik in the Indian setup.
Pune’s steady reply was the need of the hour. The stage was set for Rahane and he recognised that. For most of it, they looked set to win. But perhaps destiny demanded Mumbai. Mitchell Johnson bowled a clever last over. At 35, having retired from international cricket, this was one mega moment.
Till Steve Smith was in, there was hope for Pune.
His unconventional technique makes it difficult to set fields. That switch-hit over point can leave oppositions in a tizzy. He needed MS Dhoni for support, but perhaps there was one shot too many from my former India teammate. It won’t be exaggerating to say Jasprit Bumrah is among the top five fast bowlers in world cricket and it’s difficult to hit him. Dhoni and Pune may have realised it in a tough way as Bumrah had him caught behind.
I am a Rohit Sharma fan. He’s a wonderful teammate, one of the purest hearts I’ve met. We exchanged texts. If anyone deserves generosity from God, it’s him. I’m happy to note that a nice guy like Rohit can finish first.