Strat.in welcomes yet another new blogger. Meghbartma Gautam is a 10 month old newbie in the corporate world as an SDE with Microsoft India. He graduated from NIT D in 2008 and is a passionate writer. He has been writing since he was 4 years old and loves poetry, parody and poco stories (poco being Spanish for Small). He speaks 5 languages and has been involved in all iterary activities even chairing the Clubs in School and College. He will be writing on all eclectic things under the Sun with a healthy dose of humour to boot. His current blog is under development at meghbartma.com.
There has always been a steady feeling of familiarity whenever I sat down to watch IPL. I knew the teams, the players, their jerseys, even “Fly Emirates” had a ring to it. Déjà vu all over again for IPL’s second coming. This time however Mr. Modi helped clear my confusion.
“FIFA has been working here for eight years, we have been here for 22 days” – And with that immortal and p(r)etty immoral comment he made me see what I had been missing for so long. The IPL is not really a Cricket Tournament, we all know that. T 20 is as golden as the goose gets and the IPL is the summit. There are people, and a sizeable amount at that who are willing to shell out good money to watch IPL, people, kids who are willing to sacrifice play time for IPL. Housewives are willing to forego the 337th episode of their Saas Bahu conundrum for IPL. Working professionals are willing to pledge evenings in front of the Telly and countless water-cooler discussions for the love of IPL. And here is where you start seeing the light of the elephant sitting in the room all along. Football has always been the sport of choice for most of the planet. And we really can’t compare the reach of Football to that of Cricket. Plus the ease of one rotund ball as compared with the paraphernalia of bats/wickets and a ball is enough to make most of us realize why the beautiful game is a wanderlust as compared to poor old sedentary Cricket. Just the fact that the T-20 World Cup is being held in the Premier League Off season is a testament to that.
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado let me introduce you to the players of this soap opera that is IPL.
Kings XI Punjab – Or was it Arsenal? A stunningly talented team led out by the mercurial presence of Yuvi. The team does, in all fairness seem irresistible in full flow. They do play the most awesome cricket at most times and seem almost sublime. Of course, they are never quite there in terms of challenging for top honors. The old Arsenal habit of almost passing the ball into the net instead of going for the kill has translated to a languid team that is not willing to take out the sword when it matters most. Cant you almost smell Fabregas in Yuvi?
Daredevils – Pre-tournament favorites who are too dependent on players and scenarios heading their way. Invite comparisons with the Red Devils thanks to the brutality of play and the efficacy on the pitch.
KKR – Yes, well they did fall flat on their face. With publicity as virulent as it gets, their exit was unwarranted and at most times unbearable. Appalling Cricket on the field was interjected with nonsensical commercials and gazillions of endorsements thrown into the tournament. Indian Cricket Team of yore? Galacticos of Spain when they were hammered in the past 2 seasons both in Europe and at home? France exiting in the group stages of the World Cup? Take your pick.
Chennai Super Kings – A well oiled unit led by a more than capable captain. Sound familiar? Well it should. The only difference is that, and we all agree, is that the captain is an icon for his skills and not for his talent, the difference between a Sachin and a Steve Waugh. Liverpool under Gerrard anyone?
Deccan Chargers – An underachieving team that finally got it right and put 2+2 together to win IPL 2. The team that had the goods but fell short because everyone let them down collectively. The team that, on paper at least, looked set to do a lot of damage and eventually did. Portugal, had they won the Euro in their Home turf would be this.
RCB – The undisputed Real Madrid. Spend as much as you can to get the best. If only Pieterson the galactico had justified his multi million price tag.
Mumbai Indians – Or was it Argentina? Surely, even you were cheering for them when Sachin was in full flight. Take out any fan from the generation of the Maradona and you’ll know what I am talking about when I spell fanatic. The blue strips don’t hurt with the comparisons either. Of course, the fact that the team will always be the emotional favorite is down to one man and one man alone. Too bad the 1986 WC deed wasn’t repeated this time.
Royals – Ajax under the watchful eye of a player coach who has been there, done that. A tremendously talented team with a lot of potential. Can’t help but marvel at the sheer teamwork and camaraderie on offer.
So, all in all an eclectic look at a roadshow that takes no prisoners, looks you in the eye and tells you where the next 3 hours of your time are going to go. Sure, I may have twisted and turned a few details and warped through the space time continuum to make my point seem coherent but hey, that’s for you to spot and comment on. Also, mashups, come up with something better than the comparisons. I left out Germany, France and Italy (mostly). Feel free to mash me up so I can recycle 🙂