The recent IPL 9 final involving the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Bengaluru never had the hall marks of one. None of the RCB players looked serious enough given the enormity of the occasion. The best example was that of Chris Gayle bowling and fielding with gay abandon during the first SRH innings which indicated that RCB had taken a win for granted. By the looks of it, Virat Kohli’s team took SRH a bit too lightly, the prize for which they paid in the very end.
Even in that Qualifier 1 victory over the Gujarat Lions (GL), Kohli was all aggression as was evident by his constant chirping and displays of dissent at the umpire. But then if it were not for AB De Villiers’ sensation effort in that game probably Virat and RCB may have not even made it to the grand finale. That win against GL brought out the bad side of Virat with his behavior being unsporting to say the least.
Also it probably made Virat and his gang all too complacent believing, that the final was already won even before a ball had been bowled. Also due credit must be given to SRH skipper David Warner who played a captain’s knock with the bat in the finale and steered his team to a huge first innings total. And not to forget even Yuvraj Singh and Ben Cutting chipped in wonderfully for Warner’s team with Shikhar Dhawan (despite a flop show in the final) also proving to be a stand out performer throughout (At least for the sake of his famous moustache twirl!).
But then in the end if Virat and co. would indeed have taken this final a bit too seriously then we probably could have seen a different outcome. Indian cricket needs players like Virat who may go on to achieve greater heights like the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Despite Indian cricket fans already touting Virat to overtake Sachin’s illustrious accomplishments still it must be remembered that the Master Blaster played in an era when T20 cricket was non-existent to say the least.
Of course it would be blatantly unfair to compare the two era’s as Sachin could have piled on even more runs (if T20 was introduced in the 1990’s that is!) and could have even set the bar a bit too high to climb for Virat.
Virat still has a long way to go when it comes to achieving World Cup glory with this writer wishing him all the best for what may prove to be another glorious chapter in India’s cricket history.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)