Today is a great day for IPL fans, especially those of CSK. MS Dhoni, who has been their main man since the first IPL, is back again to the side after two years. It’s a pity that the fans of great teams like CSK and RR had to suffer because some of their officials were involved in match-fixing. That said, sports fans don’t like to live in the past (unless they’re Liverpool supporters) and everyone is happy to see CSK return with MS Dhoni back, and Rajasthan Royals return with Steven Smith back.
In other news, Virat Kohli became the most expensive player ever in IPL history after RCB retained him for Rs 17 crores. Dhoni was retained for Rs 15 crores by CSK, whereas Rohit Sharma too cost the same amount for Mumbai Indians. Steven Smith was retained by Rajasthan Royals for Rs. 12 crores (the highest for an overseas player).
To see the two teams back gives me a lot of joy even though I am a Mumbai Indians fan. They played a crackerjack of a final in 2008, where RR became the first IPL champions in an absolute nail-biter.
A closely contested game that warranted a last ball finish, this one will still give you goosebumps if you watch the highlights. Led superbly by Shane Warne, RR were an absolute machine as a unit dismantling opposition at will. “I don’t think there’s been too many better teams that I’ve played in during my career,” he said at the end of the finals.
At one point, RR were cruising with just 25 needed from the last three overs with Yusuf Pathan still on strike. However, Albie Morkel bowled a superb 18th over which saw the dismissals of both Ravindra Jadeja and Pathan. The equation came down to 6 needed from 3 balls after that, but Lakshmipathy Balaji bowled a wide (and a run was taken) and that really sealed the deal for Shane Warne’s men.
Hopefully, 2018 IPL final will be 3/4th as exciting. If not as much.