Sports

ImProbabLe

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  🙂

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8 thoughts on “ImProbabLe

  1. A very interesting post indeed. Totally agree with the first 3 comparisons, but feel a lot of personal prejudice comes into place for the next ones.
    I mean Deccan and Portugal?! it should more be compared to the Barca team that delivered this year after finishing in the dumps last year. And royals are the Porto of Mourinho, a spectacular season followed by performances of future potential.

  2. jagdish says:

    comparison of teams is really nice…..but the introductory part is same stuff we see around in these days…but nice to stuck in at the end..

  3. Kaushik says:

    Frankly, the comparisons did not make much sense.

    “A well oiled unit led by a more than capable captain. Sound familiar” – no, it did not sound familiar at all, the Liverpool epithet. There can be a hundred football teams in the world that matches this description. Juventus under Del Piero and AC Milan under Maldini can be prime examples. Can be Germany under Ballack, can be Brazil under Ronladinho, can be any other team

    “Cant you almost smell Fabregas in Yuvi” – not really. Where exactly is the comparison? Flamboyance? Non-delivery after initial promises? huge talent? Perhaps somebody like Paul Gascoigne could have been a parallel, in contemporary times, may be Beckham. why Fabregas?

    KKR with Galacticos? Real Madrid!!!!!! – KKR doesnt have any home grown talent, unlike Galacticos, ZERO there. They don’t have the biggest names too, barring the over-hyped owner.

    The Red Devils are not only insanely talented, they know how to win, even from difficult or impossible situations. (disclaimer – I am not a Man U fan) – Difficult to see comparisons with Daredevils, other than in the name – they wilted under a challenge when it came up.

    Deccan Chargers, who, with their batting line up of Afridi,Sharma, Gibbs Symonds, Gilli and Styris can be the closest comparison to the Galactticos, if at all. Portugal – where are the superstars other than Ronaldo? Figo, Nuno Gomes and others, even at their peak, weren’t the biggest matchwinners.

    Mumbai Indians and Argentina – perhaps the only appropriate comparison. One man, and that man brings all the loyalty, and the fans, all the hype.

    Royals – Greece in Euro 2004 would have been a much more appropriate comparison, or South Korea in WC 2002 – winning while surprising everyone.

    However, I appreciate the author’s efforts in trying to bring out the hollowness behind the glitz and glamour of IPL. Mr. Modi, are you listening? Cricket fans, this is still a 10 country sport.

  4. AT_korvus says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with Kaushik. I guess the IPL/EPL bandwagon is a little overdone now.

    And Fabregas and Yuvi!!!!

    As a diehard gunner, I have only one comment:

    WTF were you smoking!!!!!!

  5. Meghbartma says:

    Hornet’s nest 🙂

    We’ll all have differing opinions when you pool together the 2 most polarizing elements in a society that has been given the K.O.D of sport.

    Thanks Pradeep, Porto does seem to be the better match for Royals than Ajax or even Greece for that matter.

    Appreciate your comments Kaushik, Greece does echo teamwork but they were dull as ditchwater to watch, something you cant pin against the Royals.

    Portugal have been the perennial underachievers on the bigger stage with all the big guns on paper (Figo ruled the footballing middle earth back then with Rui Costa being a talisman for the Rossoneri) and thus their analogy.

    And well, the Yuvi and Fabregas comparison seems to have raised hackles 😛 Well both of them are insanely talented with teams that rely on them too much and a distinct style to the substance that they bring on the pitch.

    Thank you Jagdish for your insights as well. Really appreciate you guys taking time out and trying to dissect a 3 am monologue.

  6. Kaushik says:

    ~megh, a monologue published for public doesn’t remain a monologue any longer dude.

    I totally agree with Abhiram – this EPL / IPL thingy has been done to death now – anyway, the most skillful football is on view in the South American leagues – EPL has been promoted so much due to vested interests of the media, the management (FA) etc – and we all know what the British Media thinks of their sporting heritage, culture and potential etc. So IPl, even EPL – are not so polarizing as you think.

    Deccan chragers are no longer underachievers – in fact they are the perfect examples when all the superstars realize their role in the team – something that Brazil has done time and again, Real Madrid did with Zidane as captain.

    As far as Yuvi / Fabregas and Arsenal/ Kings XI comparison is concerned, I think I know where that comparison came from. Once during a match, Bhogle mentioned that their jerseys are so similar that one can say that Kings XI are Arsenal in trousers. Perhaps you heard that, and built up the Fabregas story around it (come on, you can justify anything after you have said something – like both are insanely talented etc) – I could have understood if you have said this in the Thierry Henry era, but now????? Anyway Kings XI to a large extent also depend on Kumar Sangakkara, Brett Lee and missed Shaun Marsh – ask any fan of theirs, and they would mention these three players too. So your logic of their teams depending hugely on Yuvi as an individual does not really hold water.

    Anyways, views differ – but logic still rules

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