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Article by Janam Joshi

The sport of Cricket has undergone a deep quiescence since a couple of months because of the pandemic. Since we live in a country where the devotion to the sport is at another level. IPL for sure has returned with a bang and has lived upto all the hype and expectations flourishing around. The stage was set, it was the Mumbai Indians taking on the Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the league. It was the battle between the powerhouses who are also considered as the most promising teams in the tournament and it turned out to be a close match. The Mumbai Indians ended up on the losing side, credits to the CSK batsmen Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis. They hammered the Mumbai Indians bowlers all around the park and Sam Curran who is known as a hard hitter proved the same. He played his part well as he was sent above by the captain MS Dhoni who would ideally walk out to finish the game for the team.

The following match was a nail biting finish as the audience witnessed a super over in 2nd game of the league itself. It was the Kings of Punjab facing the young bloods, the Delhi Capitals.Mayank Agarwal played his heart out and almost chased the game for his team but the match went into a super over following some blunders by Punjab. It would have been an easy chase at the first place but Marcus Stoinis’s cameo helped the Capitals to post a defendable target. The tables turned around yet again in the super over as the Capitals held their nerves and ended up on the winning side. The next game was a big one as the Royal Challengers Bangalore led by King Kohli himself were facing the Sunrisers Hyderabad. There was a lot of hype about a very young and talented player named Devdatt Padikkal who dominated the domestic platform and was ready to take on first class players. He lived upto everyone’s expectation and delivered it on the big platform. It was a very fiery knock by the young lad. Another great performance in that match was by Yuzvendra Chahal as he was a go to bowler for wickets.Sanju Samson also played a fantastic knock in his match against the Super Kings followed with a blasty innings by Jofra Archer.The Super kings’ innings was dominated by Faf du Plessis but he could take his team through the finish line. Talking about the Rajasthan Royals, Rahul Tewatia smashed 5 sixes in an over while his team was chasing a big target set by the Kings XI Punjab.Mayank Agarwal scored a century for the kings but yet again ended up on the losing side. Tewatia was being criticized for playing a slow innings but he did his part when it was needed the most. Another exciting match was the battle between Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers. It went into a super over as Pollard finished the innings well for the Mumbai Indians. The Royal Challengers needed 8 off the super over when Mr.360 i.e. AB de Villiers and King Kohli walked out to face Jasprit Bumrah in the super over. Kohli sealed the game with hitting his first boundary of the tournament and that turned out to be the breakthrough he needed in the league.

Virat Kohli has been the best batsman in the world over the years and he was facing a dry patch in getting runs. But we all know him and we can never write him off in any game. He is known as the chase master and he proved it by scoring a half century while chasing for his team. The moment was a chilling one as seeing his classic cover drives and breathtaking cricketing shots after almost 6 months brought cricket back to life for me.There was sudden lightning and thunderstorms back here in Mumbai when the King started destroying the bowlers no matter how classy they are. All of this was just a signal for the return of the best batsman. It just made me realize that the saying, “Jungle main sher bohot hote hain lekin Raja sirf ek hota hai” made complete sense.He then scored 42 while chasing in the next match but to no avail as the other batsman failed their day at batting.
This year IPL has been a quiet one for the experienced players as most of the big names are struggling at their game. But on the brighter side the young talents are showing up and proving their worth. Being a cricket fan we are still missing a great finish by MS Dhoni, a cracking opening partnership between Jonathan Bairstow and David Warner, destructive innings by Jos Butler and Hardik Pandya, a century from Virat Kohli and the Hitman (Rohit Sharma) and the list goes on. The initial part of the tournament didn’t fail to surprise as there were nail biting finish every now and then and we hope for the big names to gear up and also the young lads to be consistent and play their heart out. Onwards and Upwards!
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