• It was heartening to see the Chennai crowd get full value for
    their money. Everyone who had descended on the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium
    would have left satisfied. More than 400 runs and a result in favour of
    the home side, and the spectators could not have asked for more. There
    have been a few high scoring games in the IPL so far, but nothing comes
    close to this in terms of excitement provided.

    Whatever the
    format, the match stressed the importance of partnerships. Super Kings
    prospered on this count while the visitors failed to get a decent stand
    at the top, and that contributed to their loss. Mathew Hayden and
    Suresh Raina played a pivotal role in the win no doubt but what made
    the difference was Hayden's approach. The Australian was content giving
    the strike to Raina. It is not often we see a senior partner do this
    but to Hayden's credit he allowed Raina to flower in the partnership.
    It is important in Twenty20 for both batsmen to maintain momentum and
    that is precisely what the duo

    Read More »from Partnerships important even in T20
  • Not
    even the peripatetic Lalit Modi could have ordered the fireworks on the
    field. Brendon McCullum did the match commissioner's creative child,
    the Indian Premier League, a huge favour by setting the cricket on
    fire. And then came the Michael Hussey century in just the second game
    in a record number of balls, which meant two batsmen had instilled
    excitement at the very beginning to get the event off and running as if
    it were a sprinter on steroids.

    The
    IPL is here to stay. No doubt about that. It might be impossible to
    sustain such brilliance even within the narrow confines of Twenty20
    cricket. What the cricket on show has done so far is to captivate an
    audience with the fantastic possibilities of the format in a set of
    matches each of which has brought out so many different aspects, from
    the ball-bashing, sixer-hitting galacticos to the cerebral twists and
    turns given to a cricket ball by the genius of Shane Warne, the
    ultimate spin doctor.
     Those
    darkly predicting the death of spin

    Read More »from In many ways Warne is IPL’s ambassador
  • My heartiest congratulations to the Chennai Super Kings for having
    kicked off their IPL campaign in thunderous style. Cricketers thrive on
    confidence and a good start is of paramount importance to the finest
    players. 

    It would only be stating the obvious if I were to say
    Mike Hussey played a sensational innings. What stood out was the
    calmness with which he proceeded. Even after the fall of Dhoni he
    remained unperturbed and his clarity of thinking sets him apart from
    the rest. His shot selection was immaculate and he was able to hit
    through the line, not hitting across wildly. It was a devastating
    innings yet there was very little risk involved. 

    The only time
    I thought when the Super Kings dressing room, or should I call it
    dug-out, would have been shaken was when Dhoni was dismissed. At 62/3,
    no one would have envisaged a score in excess of 200. Suresh Raina
    looked like he was having a net while S. Badrinath made all the
    difference between a healthy total and one that could not be

    Read More »from Super Kings off to a royal beginning

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