Unlike Samir Chopra, who recently posted his IPL loyalties, I didn’t have a dog in this season’s fight. I don’t know why; each time I think I could back a team as a reasonable fan, I found reasons to dislike it.
But each season, I’ve been relatively happy with the winners: the Rajasthan Royals were just too darn cute not to root for (what, with their knack of winning each game in the last over); the Deccan Chargers never hurt nobody (except V.V.S. Laxman) — and this year, the Chennai Super Kings proved themselves competent enough for the title (granted, the Mumbai Indians should have won given their performance in the round robins, but so what — it helps when you have a certain Sachin Tendulkar pushing the scales). In a perfect world, the Royal Challengers Bangalore would have taken the, uh, bottle, if only because Anil Kumble deserves all the limelight in the world.
As for player reviews: you have to be very, very happy with Suresh Raina, whom I think has clearly settled any dispute about whether or not he’s the leader of the next generation. Rohit Sharma didn’t do awfully (he finished in the top 10 batsmen with 400-odd runs), but Raina did spectacularly (461 at 46, a full 13 ahead of Sharma). No player review post of mine would be complete without a whoop-dee for Irfan Pathan, my one true love. One day, the cosmos will realign and do justice by this man; until then, I have to be satisfied with top 5 bowling statistics and not too bad with the ball either. If this guy played with a better team, he would be heading to the Caribbean (okay, okay, I exaggerate).
Speaking of which! Let’s move on to the real thing, the Twenty20 World Cup; the thing that got all of us interested in the format to begin with. I’m rooting for Bangladesh and Afghanistan. No, really!