Monday, 2 June 2008

Winners All

We may have received the runners-up trophy in the inaugural DLF IPL Trophy, but make no mistake, we played like winners and bowed out as winners should. Cricket was the ultimate winner in yesterday's heart-racing clash between two great teams led by the most charismatic leaders in the cricket world.

All said and done, Rajasthan Royals throughly deserved this victory. Theirs was the fairytale script - underdogs to the core, if ever there were any. But the fact that the match went to the last ball in such a tense finish was sufficient testimony to the fact that both teams were so evenly matched that only the tiniest of differences separated them on the given day.

We can be proud of our team and the way it represented Chennai on and off the field. Not only did we take the fight to the Royals till the very end, we also bagged the Kingfisher Fairplay Award. And we the fans deserve kudos too for several surveys showed that ours was the most cohesive and loyal fan-base out of all 8 teams.

Coming to the game itself, I back our captain when he said we played as a team throughout and lost the finals as a team. It would be easy to point out to certain individuals and certain moments - Balaji's wide ball, Parthiv's mess-up, dropped catch by Raina, Kapugedara failing to get going, but truly the fact of the matter is the entire team fell short by that tiny minuscule margin. It was so great to see the team forming the huddle and Dhoni delivering his few last words just as he had done after the victory in Bangalore at which point Hayden, Hussey and Oram had left the team.

I would say we weren't quite able to up the tempo when we needed it in the second half of the innings. Raina seemed like the guy who could do it, but Kapugedara failed to get going and Dhoni couldn't get too much of the strike. In hindsight, maybe it was the wrong decision to send Kapugedara ahead of Badrinath. With the ball I think we were quite good keeping the pressure on through, except that Balaji had a forgettable night and the pressure got to Murali too. Of course that dropped catch by Raina was a big moment. But after every setback, we fought back with the wicket and in the end it was only a matter of inches that the Royals beat us by.

For the Royals it has to be said that Yusuf was extraordinary. What can you say about such a fabulous all-round performance except that hope he goes on to translate it at the international level ?

The campaign in the inaugural DLF IPL is over. But we shall be back again next year - with a big BANG - and hopefully with that little extra to take us over the line. I am not sure where I shall be next year. It was just luck that I happened to be in Chennai at a time when the IPL came about. And it has been one joyful experience becoming a fan of this team of wonderful players, but more so getting to be a part of the fan club that includes great guys like you all. Through the year I shall keep in touch off and on if anything interesting comes by.

Cheers !

14 comments:

Manoharan said...

Nice review mate.."Manoranjan ka baap" slogan of the IPL.Yday nite it was fitting.I must mention that even though I was sad at the end it was heart warming to see the team get into the huddle and the way MSD spoke about losing as a team.what a wonderful captain..Not going back to all the mistakes we did in the final we have to sit back and relax for we finished the runner up.we have to support our team whole heartedly next year and hope MSD will bring the cup

Vijay Vishwanath said...

its a great fight from Chennai to match the Rajasthan during finals....:)

a couple of questions linger though...
1) In the last ball, why the field was not really encircling the pitch like the Ind-Pak league match in ICC T20 world cup or like the AUS-SA '99 world cup semifinal...that single was not made difficult for them to get, isnt it? Could have fought more on that single? Maybe chennai team itself felt that royals are the deserving team?!!! just couldnt understand...
2) ofcourse, as to why badrinath was not sent before kapugedera? i remember him not being able to go hard during the last overs in one of the league matches as well.

anyway, ofcourse rajasthan are the deserving team....and am happy that our team gave a good fight in the finals....but only a fight, not really threatened to take the game away from them at any point, though Rajasthan was not very strong with Smith absent etc.

vaibhav said...

Once again nice post... i think back to back matches took the energy levels of our players.. No wonder we misfielded on couple of occassions in the match whereas our fielding was very good in the semi match.. Just imagine the semi match got over at 12 previous night. By the time the players would ve hit the bed it would be around 2-3 in the morning.. i know ppl will say they were aware of the schedule but whatever it is one needs a good night sleep b4 a crunch game. (Even MSD pointed this out during presentation)

My heart went out for Balaji, bloke was having a real bad day.. hope he forgets this match as a bad dream. we really need him for Team India.. In the end lack of bowling options did us in..

But what took the cake away was the huddle by the team. One could really make out that MSD was giving some motivation to the players who were v dejected. Never seen such gesture by any captain after loosing. I hope it will be pointed out by media because there are ppl who think MSD is very arrogant and all such stuff.

Well, in the end its not CSK who lost but RR won!!

I am proud to be a CSK fan!!!

Krish said...

MSD, truly a champion. I was bowled out by his post match interview. We can go on thinking and writing 'If that had happened' scenarios but players put up a good show and we must be proud that they have taken themselves to this position and to the last ball. We were worthy opponents to a great team! All in all i think Team India is a big winner here. I would love to see Yusuf and Raina being match winners in for a change rather than the old guns.

praveen said...

Rajasthan really deserved this victory..
and chennai.. u made us really proud. dhoni said "we have made it to finals. and now we are gonna enjoy in our hotel".
Yes chennai haven't lost the match like delhi and punjab. we have fought, till the last ball. and the beaten us by just 1 run ahead.

ipl08 said...

Well said!

Meera said...

All credit goes to CSK and esp dhoni...

Just after the match, when Royals were congratulating each other, Dhoni was seen with his team mates INSIDE the ground, forming themselves a ring, and congratulating the team for the effort. I presume, he said the players that they rose up to the challenge and it was not their fault that they missed the match, and thus boosting their morale once again.

Any other captain would have hid himself inside the dressing room, running away from cameras to avoid shame, and also thinking about what to say at the presentation ceremony.

Danesh said...

Thanks Gaurav and Robin for setting up and updating this site regularly. It was a great forum to voice opinions, vent out anger and compliment performances.

CSK's performance through the tournament was commendable and through this blog, sharing with others made it all the more enjoyable. Great work!

Kannan said...

A fantastic final to end the first edition of IPL. Though we lost the match, I think, we played like “Super Kings” and lost like “Super Kings”. It was heartening to see a losing team in a huddle and during presentation standing in a human chain, should by shoulder. That shows that how successful and enjoyable they are as a team. Those were the moments I felt very proud to being a fan of Super Kings. It is that gracefulness that going to be talked about by people more that Rajastan’s victory in the days to come. As one of the commentator said the team haven’t failed anyone, certainly not the fans. Good job “SUPER KINGS”. We love you.

Thanks for Robin and Gaurav for this fan site. Keep posting any news on CSK now and then.

midwest mylaporean said...

mate ! you have just mirrored the quintessential chennaiite in showing your love for the team and the game ! win or lose we always appreciate good cricket. after all we are the only people in the world to applaud our enemies for their win in the midst of a war(kargil '98). our chennai boys were unimpressive in this edition and with extra effort could've won it but they should use this as a learning curve for next year. what more can you say about MSD, he is fast getting close to that other addiction 'LSD' !! the more we see him the more we are reminded about the other eternal chennai favorite, a small town man who goes by the name of Kapil Dev !!
thanks for all your blogs and see you all next year !

Anonymous said...

Great run Chennai Superkings...Being the runner up is no small achivement. I wish the runner-status for SuperKings is publicised more....And everyone feels more proud of the achivements than they do currently....Great Outcome in reaching the finals.....Both the finalists are winners.....

BTW, Chennai you have fans all over ....

Gopalakrishnan C said...

Excellent analysis. You have not given any room for anybody else to do a post mortem analysis of the match- like promoting Kar... ahead of badri.. or the dropped catch or Balaji's night marish experience etc. Let the past be burried.

Yet, I can not accept Shane warne as a great captain. A scheming captain may be more appropriate. He employed all non-cricketing actions to win this match. His, time wasting tactics to unsettle the batsman, by re arranging the field after every Ball, or talking to the Bowler for every ball was absolutely unsportsman like.The batsman had to concntrate these gimmics of ShaMe warne, than concentrating on his batting.

If Ganguly could be fined for slow over rate, where has Srinath gone in monitoring the over rate of the Rajasthan royal. When are we going get the assertiveness to call the wanton acts of overseas players? Are the Australians above reprimand? The no-ball rule above the shoulder level is being applied differently to different teams.

My heart goes out to the Chennai captain and his team. However, he must be unbiased when evaluating the talents of Badri. May be when Balaji and Murali were erring he could have tried Vidyut.

The only recommendation to MSD is to get acquainted wth every player by being with them for one full month before IPL 2009.

Robin said...

hi.. we even dont have to wait until the next edition.. Remember our team has qualified for the world championship.. So i am personally expecting CSK would be rightly crowned as world champions in it.. (since i expect there would be no four overseas player rule and also hayden, hussey and oram would return to the squad.. though i m not sure about morkel since he was also a part of the south african T20 champion side.. ) so CSK.. u might have lost this finals. but be sure that we would win the world championship...

Kannan said...

Good news Robin. Where can I find more info on this World Championship?