The internet usage in the world is at an all time high and the 2020 edition of the IPL is on course to be the most watched T20 tournament in history. You know what it means? Oh yes, a lot of opinions; a lot of ‘interesting’ opinions. And what do we do when we get interesting opinions? Overreact.
Strike rate? What is that?
According to Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul, who has scored at a SR of 134.84 in IPL 2020, Strike Rates are ‘very, very overrated’.
SC Take: To give more/better context to Rahul’s statement, let me just include his follow-up quote. "For me, it's only about how I can win games for my team. And if on a certain day I think a strike-rate of 120 can win the game for my team, I will do that. This is how I bat and I would like to take responsibility as a leader.” Now I have no problem with any batsman saying this, Rahul included, for there is an element of truth attached to the statement. But as a batsman and a captain, you really cannot be giving out statements like this when your team has lost 6/7 matches, with your strike rate being one of the primary culprits for the defeats.
If Rahul says this after winning or finishing matches with the bat, great, I have absolutely no issues with it. But when it has become crystal clear that his abysmally slow batting, coupled with his inability to finish games, has hurt the side immeasurably, it is arrogant and immature on Rahul’s part to be pretending like he’s doing well. It would be so much better if Rahul owns up to his approach and admits that he needs to do better. I’ve already gone through this via the satire; I’m not willing to do it again.
We might get an Asia XI vs World XI series in……..Bangladesh
Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury has revealed that the BCB are still optimistic about hosting the Asia XI vs World XI series in Bangladesh in the near future.
SC Take: What world are we living in, again? Pre-Covid or Post-Covid? Nevermind, I was just curious. I mean, I do like the BCB’s optimism - them still ‘wanting’ to host the once-scheduled series is great and it would be fantastic if they could indeed pull it off. But let’s get realistic, folks. There is not even a one in a million chance of this series happening, not even in the case of everyone in the world magically getting vaccinated tomorrow.
The BCB struggled - and I mean STRUGGLED - to get hold of the players pre-pandemic and were not even sure as to who they will rope in to represent the two sides; what makes them feel now, all of a sudden, that they could pull it off in the midst of a pandemic, one wonders. Even ignoring the tedious schedules all countries have, could you imagine the logistical challenges the board will face, on top of the fact that Bangladesh, like every South Asian country in the world right now, is a walking Covid hotspot? The sooner BCB think pragmatically and drop this idea, the better.
‘Poor’ Ajinkya Rahane deserves a place in the Delhi side
Hardcore cricket fans, until yesterday, were left heartbroken seeing Ajinkya Rahane spend time in the Delhi Capitals bench
SC Take: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or unless you’re someone who loathes social media, chances are that you would have come across this meme: “Admit it. No matter which team you support, you feel bad seeing this man (Rahane) carry drinks.” Particularly with Dhawan failing to get going until yesterday, social media had poured in their sympathy for Rahane, who they felt ‘deserved’ to get a game. Talk about an overreaction, eh? No denying Rahane is a quality batsman, but come on, there is a reason he sat out, even when Dhawan was having a stinker. And well, his knock yesterday all but proved it - a run a ball 15 despite striking three fours; basically, minus his dismissal ball, he played 11 dots.
There are far better T20 cricketers than Rahane warming the bench, you know? Imran Tahir, Chris Lynn, David Miller and Chris Gayle, to name a few. That’s just how T20 cricket works - you won’t make the cut unless you belong to the top 1% and, surprise surprise, Rahane does not belong to the top 1% in T20s and never has. The only reason he played yesterday? An injury to Rishabh Pant. Dot. It is also funny how people are crying out for a mid-season transfer like it’s gonna happen. One, it is not necessary for franchises to ‘trade’ all eligible players, two, there is no way that Delhi would want to make one of the seven other teams stronger by trading Rahane and three, DC’s batting depth is paper-thin, due to which they *will* retain Rahane. The only 'poor' person here is the neutral, who, after listening to Rahane fans whine for two weeks, will now have to get ready to watch them gloat over their 'elegant' superstar.
Rahul Tripathi for WT20 2021?
Virender Sehwag believes that Rahul Tripathi, with his 81 versus CSK, has started to put pressure on Shikhar Dhawan’s opening slot in T20Is.
SC Take: For all the cricketing brain he had as a player, Virender Sehwag was not the shrewdest of coaches and well, going by some of his comments, it does look like he’s no better as a pundit, either. This is the classic knee-jerk overreaction, isn’t it? X talented player plays a world-class knock and boooom, experts are storming the internet claiming for him to be picked in the national side ahead of incumbents. However, while some opinions - like calling for Sanju to be picked for India - make sense, this statement, even by Sehwag’s low standards, is ludicrous.
Since the start of 2018, Tripathi, prior to the start of this season, had opened the batting in the IPL just six times and his innings versus Chennai was his first dig in the IPL as an opener in a year and a half. Bet he wishes nailing an Indian spot would be as easy as just firing in one game versus a side teetering at the bottom of the table. I wonder what makes Viru Bhai think that Tripathi is ‘putting pressure’ on Dhawan with one knock, when KL Rahul hasn’t been able to take the southpaw’s place at the top despite being the best T20 opener in the world for three years running.