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Monday, May 11, 2009

Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals Match Preview

IPL Season 2 Match No.40 : Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals
Day, Date and Venue: Monday, 11th May, De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Team Positions so far:
Deccan Chargers: Played 9, Won 5, Lost 4, Points 10, Net Run Rate: +0.125, Position: 4th
Rajasthan Royals: Played 10, Won 5, Lost 4, No Result 1, Points 11, Net Run Rate: -0.114, Position: 3rd

The Rajasthan Royals are the biggest surprise package of the Indian Premier League. They were dismissed as too weak a team at the start of IPL 2008 and they ended up as champions. After a couple of early losses in the IPL 2009 season, the expert were back to their old whinings: A team is only as good as its captain et cetera, et cetera. Not when Shane Warne is the captain - and to understand this simple fact you don't need to be an expert. You just need to read up a little bit of history, recent past or older, whichever you prefer. Whoever was worried about the Mongols before Chengiz Khan arrived on the scene? Who was afraid of the full-strength Deccan Chargers before another man took charge of a weakened Deccan Chargers?
A captain who was the weakest link in his team's batting line-up stood up with resolve one fine morning in Brisbane, and changed for ever the way India played cricket in Australia. History is replete with several examples where men of strength and character have not just stood up themselves, but raised the morale and stock of an entire lot, in trying and the most difficult of circumstances. The IPL is nothing really, by way of comparison. Yet, the basic principles remain the same. Warnie is just smart enough to understand that, and doing his job well.
Cricket is quite unlike many a other sport in many ways. For one, it is a physical sport yet the mental aspect is as important as the physical. The scope for decisions is wide, and every decision you take can be crucial. If you win the toss, do you bat first or second? Should you play an extra spinner? Does this batsman warrant an extra slip? 3rd slip or 4th? And these are only very few examples. Even in a Twenty20 game, a captain would have to take no less than a 100 decisions! And in close games, which is more the rule than the exception in IPL, even the smallest decisions count. If Brendon Mc Cullum had employed a slip in the match today against Delhi, a 4th wicket would have fallen in the 12th over. Who knows how things would have turned out from there on? Delhi never lost a 4th wicket and went on to win the match comfortably.
Shane Warne is not god, may be he too may not have used a slip if he were in the place of the beleagured Kiwi. But what he assures you of is that he will take more decisions correct than most other guys around. He can think, and that is not such a commonly found characteristic amongst sportspersmen. And that's what makes him a very good captain. Most of these guys who are telling you on your television screens that a captain is only as good as his team are former sportsmen, and I have already pointed out a characteristic they lack.
Shane Warne is what makes tomorrow's contest against the Deccan Chargers interesting. Else, on paper you can safely see the chasm between the two teams and decide the result beforehand. But ask the bookies, and they will tell you what the odds are. Unlike the experts on TV, the bookies don't get a fixed check at the end of the tournament. That's why the betting odds on Will Hill are always a better indicator of the future than predictions of former cricketers.
Current Odds on William Hill:
Deccan Chargers: 10/11, Rajasthan Royals: 10/11, Now go have a look at the teams!

1 comment:

Minor In Possession said...

Deccan Chargers will be the winners.