There’s a sudden void these days for old folk like me! The reason is not far to seek: the Indian Premier League (IPL) which kept us busy for the last two months is over! We have to wait for the next edition which they say may be in 4-5 months time! The Mumbai Indians (MI) were the worthy winners. I think they richly deserved the top honors. You may recall they had 9 wins out of the 14 matches they played in the league stage. In the knock outs, they first beat Delhi Capitals to go directly into the finals and a few days later defeated them once again in the finals!
The Mumbai Indians have the distinction of having won the tournament 5 times in the last 8 years: in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and now in 2020. Also they are only the second team after the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to have won two successive editions of the IPL.
To K L Rahul, captain of the Kings XI Punjab goes the credit of scoring the most runs in this tournament: 670, but his team finished 6th missing out on the knock outs. They say that every ball and every run is important in the IPL. Rahul was unlucky in that an umpiring error cost them one match versus Delhi early in the tournament.
If the Orange Cap for the most runs went to K L Rahul, the Purple Cap for the most number of wickets by a bowler in the tournament went to Kagiso Rabada of Delhi Capitals for his 30 wickets in 17 matches.
I was delighted to see the promising Devdutt Padikkal of Royal Challengers Bangalore ( RCB) get the coveted Emerging Player Award amongst tough competition. This young left handed opening batsman scored 473 runs in 15 matches and took some great catches too. Certainly this talented man is one for the future, for RCB if not for India, provided he keeps a steady head on his shoulders.
For the team I support, RCB it was another disappointing year in that we thought, like we do every year, that we may finally win the IPL title. However, the good news was that RCB finished 4th compared to 8, 6 and 8 in the last three years, so that’s progress.
As always the standards of catching and fielding were brilliant. A few catches and fielding efforts stood out, as captured in this article. You can see them again and again, that’s how great they were!
Hat’s off to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for doing what seemed the impossible! While the pandemic raged all over the world, the BCCI brought some cheer to cricket fans by pulling off this spectacular tournament in the UAE.
In the next year, 2021 again there will be changes, swaps, buys and sells in the teams. The managements will reflect on how they can improve. This year’s winners -the Mumbai Indians- will think what they need to do to keep the title for an unprecedented third year!