We are back once again, not with football overreaction this time but cricket, where everything has turned into heaven for the Indian fans in the last week while the Australians have gone underground. But more than India and Australia, we have had IPL retentions ruining the celebrations.
Ajinkya Rahane should be made the permanent Test skipper
Just after the historic Test win at the Gabba, the Indian fans flocked in numbers, more than sheep to suggest that Ajinkya Rahane is the way forward for India’s development in Test cricket.
SC’s Take: If it was any other country, they would have still been celebrating their victory and having a real merry time, but this is India. The greatest of victories are superseded by stuff that should be swept under the carpet, making overreactions every week. Post India’s marvellous 2-1 win against Australia, the Indian fans have called for Rahane to be made the skipper. Oops, it seems like a well-thought after agenda but this team isn’t really Rahane’s but rather the system built around Virat Kohli.
It might seem odd to break the bubble but Virat Kohli has contributed enough in India’s win over Australia, with the planning going on behind the sights. Now, this is where it gets tricky, Rahane is a great captain no doubt but this entire team is built on Kohli’s belief system and removing him from the post would create a round of doubt. On top of that if you actually look at it, all the decisions that apparently Rahane took on the fly, were well-thought-of in the dressing room. So much as we would like a new skipper, Kohli has built this team and deserves to take it forward in the unforeseeable future.
Uthappa comes as ‘Robin’ to CSK’s Dark Knight
Barring the pun and the memes, Robin Uthappa’s move to Chennai Super Kings has been sparkling and surprising, at the very best. But this move has been highly criticised, fair?
SC’s Take: For a moment, when I looked at my phone and saw the Instagram post from CSK, I was shocked and won’t lie about that. But that’s where the emotions get the better out of everyone. However, once you remove those blinders out of the equation and start thinking about it from a team’s perspective, you will realise the worth of it. Uthappa in simple terms is a very risky move; one that has a lot of potentials to succeed and equal potential to rip the team apart. CSK, being CSK chose the optimistic version of the story. The franchise, who didn’t ever believe in trades, went with the Uthappa chip as it’s first.
The reason - pretty darn simple, they let go of Murali Vijay and Shane Watson retired, forcing them to get an experienced back-up opener. Now in a market that is this closed, there weren’t going to be a lot of options for them to do their harakiri, which is why Uthappa was the best option. Uthappa might not be in his best form or shape but has shown over the last season at times that his timing of the ball is as sweet as it used to be. That coupled with the fact that he can provide the required experience - both at the top of the order and in the middle, has made him a good option for the franchise.
The ‘Smith’ sized royal treatment from Rajasthan
If Robin Uthappa came as a shock, this too arrived as a shocker even though fans were well aware of the franchise’s intentions.
SC’s Take: Now this is not that bad a move from the franchise but it certainly took the fans by surprise, who argued that the mega Auction was anyway not on the cards, why would you let go of your prized player. That’s a fair argument but the bigger picture that the franchise has always aimed at is building a sustainable culture for the future, which is why Sanju Samson stands as the skipper and not Ben Stokes. As painful as it was for the franchise to let go of their trusted star, it was a move that had to be done, in order to create an economic surplus for them to cash in on.
Rajasthan already have Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. They successfully spoilt both their forms in a bid to accommodate Smith. Smith didn’t work as an opener as well, which is why this move gives them enough leg-space for the future. If the franchise is indeed rambling on and about building for the future, this move makes entire sense and their treatment entirely justified. At the end of the day, this is about franchise cricket and not loyalty, Rajasthan have taken the right bold move forward.
Glenn Maxwell will seek no ‘bidder,’ says IPL experts (fans)
After two months of struggle, brutal one that too, Kings XI Punjab had to let go of Glenn Maxwell and put an end to the struggling relationship.
SC’s Take: While it was widely expected that Kings XI Punjab would get rid of Maxwell, the backlash that he received from the social media was terrible. People termed him everything during his stint, from a cheerleader to a club-level cricketer. And when he changed his fortunes around in the T20I series against India, they even called him ‘traitor’ which only seems to bamboozle. The reaction from the fans after the release was pretty salty, with them predicting that his days are gone and he will go unsold.
Wait, what? Go unsold and that too a player of Maxwell’s calibre? The same fans who wanted the franchise to gallop their opportunities for the Australian have turned on him. That’s franchise cricket culture and IPL, in short. More importantly, why would he go unsold? His performance since his painful Punjab days have been good and there is no reason to suggest that he doesn’t deserve a contract. But what he really deserves is a change of fortune and a change of franchise, where he will get to express himself better!