Monday, April 21, 2008

Warne spins his magic

I have been following the Indian Premier League with a lot of interest and I feel that Rajasthan Royals may have got a sweet deal with Shane Warne in their camp acting as captain and coach. His bowling skill is undisputed and his aura remains undiminished post retirement.

Of all the premier league teams, Rajasthan Royals appear the weakest despite the presence of Warne, Graeme Smith, Younus Khan and Shane Watson. It would be interesting to see how Shane Warne moulds this team into a team of repute and considerable strength. In his first match as captain against Delhi Daredevils, there wasn't much on display as the batting effort was undercooked and their bowlers performed quite badly. Shane warne himself bowled only a few overs and took himself off the attack. There wasn't much spin or drift in his bowling as he is renowned for. His performance as a bowler was understandable given his lack of match practice.

However against Punjab Kings XI, he threw his hat into the ring and created the kind of havoc that he is known for. His bowling still appears a little rough but given his experience and tactical nous, he put all the batsmen under pressure and showed enough variation (which is interesting given that he wasn't spinning big or getting any drift) to bamboozle them and keep them tied up and fox them occasionally. He ended up with 3 wickets going at less than 6 an over. He would have also had the wicket of Yuvraj Singh, had Darren Lehman not messed up a simple chance.

After watching all the teams play at least once, I have decided to support Chennai Superkings (given that's my home town) and Rajasthan Royals (just to watch with pleasure the skill and tactical nous of Shane Warne). What this tournament really needs at the moment is for some of the unknown Indian players to step up and go blazing. All the appreciable performances have come from the usual big names, especially overseas ones (such as Mccullum, Hussey, Watson). If the public needs to identify with a team and wholeheartedly support the team, a local player needs to come to the party given that overseas players may come and go and may also end up playing for a rival team down the line. If the remaining matches promise atleast half the entertainment displayed so far, it going to be a wonderful tournament.

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