Mumbai Indians, who defeated Chennai Super Kings in the IPL final on May 12, have now turned into the most successful franchise in IPL. After not winning the IPL title for first five seasons, they have won four titles in the last seven seasons. Interestingly, Rohit Sharma has been Mumbai's captain in all these title wins. Now, Rohit has more IPL titles than even MS Dhoni.
According to the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, the turning point of the 2019 IPL final was MS Dhoni's run-out in the 13th over of CSK's chase. Dhoni could make just two runs off eight balls. Given his mastery in such chases, the run-out by Ishan Kishan can be said to be the most significant moment of the game.
Sachin said, "The key moment was to get Dhoni run-out. Also, in patches when Bumrah came and bowled those critical overs, especially after Malinga gave that expensive over. Even after that Krunal over that went for a lot of runs, Bumrah came in very hard. I think Malinga finished off really well, that was a beautiful over to finish off. The couple of finals that we have played here, we have finished it really well even defending a total like 120-odd. We have got a terrific team - (a blend of) experience and youth."
It was an IPL final for the ages. A final that was decided on the very last ball of the tournament. While the quality of cricket wasn’t the best, the IPL 2019 final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings was certainly entertaining and thrilling. Mumbai held their nerves to win the game by just 1 run and thus clinched their 4th IPL trophy – the most by any team yet.
In a way, it was fitting that Mumbai lifted the trophy despite not being at their best in the final. They had been the most well-balanced and strong side in the tournament and deserved to go all the way.
Under Rohit Sharma’s leadership, Mumbai have now won four three IPL titles and the captain deserves accolades for taking smart and brave calls and guiding his team superbly throughout. “Throughout the tournament we've played some good cricket. That's part of the reason why we qualified at the top,” Rohit was quoted as saying at the presentation ceremony after the final. “I think credit goes to the entire squad, not just the eleven players who were on the field today. We have a squad of 25 players, somebody came at some point, played a part, and even the support staff as well.”
In the past several seasons, Mumbai Indians had often started poorly and then came back strongly in the latter half of the tournament. This, year, though, Mumbai had all bases covered and looked the team to beat from the beginning.
Rohit Sharma (405 runs) and Quinton de Kock (529 runs) did a fantastic job as openers of the team this year. The middle-order was held together by Suryakumar Yadav (424 runs) who steadied the ship on more than one occasion. The biggest X-Factor for Mumbai this year, though, was the stunning form of their lower middle-order. Hardik Pandya (402 runs at a strike-rate of 191.42) and Kieron Pollard (279 runs at a strike-rate of 156.74) performed their role to perfection this season. Pandya, especially, was absolutely sensational and finished off games with a flurry of dazzling fours and sixes.
What really made the difference for Mumbai this year, however, was their bowling. History has shown that even T20 tournaments are won by sides having a good bowling attack and Mumbai had the best one in the tournament. Jasprit Bumrah has the leader of the pack with 19 wickets at a stunning economy rate of 6.63. Bumrah was absolutely incredible in the death overs and it was his precision and calmness that won Mumbai many games including the final.
Bumrah was ably supported by Lasith Malinga (16 wickets). Even though the senior Sri Lankan bowler wasn’t at his best and went at an economy of 9.76, he still did the job in tense situations. Another standout bowling star for Mumbai this season was leg-spinner Rahul Chahar. The 19-year-old grabbed 13 wickets and had a fabulous economy rate of just 6.55. The others like Krunal Pandya (12 wickets at 7.28) and Hardik Pandya (14 wickets at 9.17) offered good support as well.
On the whole, this was a clinical and comprehensive performance by Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019. They showed that having a well-balanced and all-bases-covered squad, while also having a mix of experience and youth, will reap dividends. They are now the most successful team in IPL history and deserve to be there.
The best thing about Mumbai Indians is that their core remains the same while they keep providing opportunities to young talents. Having set a tremendously successful base now, they will only fly higher in the seasons to come.
“My daughters are forbidden to play outdoor sports.”
For a moment we leave it there so that you read it, think about it, and then gauge the ridiculousness emanating from the statement. Such orthodoxies capsule us to medieval era, and force us to think how can a father decry such absurdity over his own daughters? Must be someone with limited understanding of the times we are living in, or someone not brought up with what we call the ‘modern lifestyle’ and is still not exposed to a world that runs on the principle of equal opportunity for all, irrespective of their caste, creed, gender or religion.
These are thoughts of Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s one of the most celebrated all-rounders and a cricketer with huge fan following, not just in Pakistan but across the world. Afridi has recently released his autobiography that’s laced with controversies, defences and clarifications. But his decision to not allow his daughters in any public sporting activity also finds a mention in the book.
One wonders what makes him such a medieval person! He’s travelled the world, rubbed shoulders with the greats of the game. He must be aware there’s an active Pakistan Women’s cricket team – which has beaten India at the World Cup, unlike their male counterparts.
This is not the 1st time Afridi has shown how he feels about women rights. Way back in 2013, Afridi had said something ludicrous. On being asked does he think women should participate more in sports, his response was: “Well, our women cook very well.”
Cut to present, Afridi’s statements did not go well down with the social media and people lambasted him for having such views. However, Lala was quick to respond and added that he did not care what feminists had to say about his decision.
The mainstream media has not criticized him enough on the subject. And that is wrong at so many levels. Afridi is a celebrated cricketer and when media refuses to ask him questions and criticize him vehemently over something so relevant, it gives a silent approval to the absurdity.
For crying out loud it’s the 21st century, women have reached the space and are doing everything that men do – often only better. Like we said Pakistan women’s cricket team has defeated India’s women’s team – which continues to be a dream for their men.
Afridi would do well to remember that women taking up sports is not just about laurels at the international level. It’s also about a family accepting the sporting culture. Only a mother who understands the value of sports will encourage her kids to go and conquer the world.
We wonder how many Afridis are there in the Pakistan team. While a society can be wretched and continue to live in Stone Age due to the policies of those who govern it, a cricketer who should rise above such petty mind-set because, among other things, the game also exposes him to different cultures and widens his understanding. Makes him a better human and teaches him empathy, equality and all the virtues that an orthodox society never inculcated in him.
It’s a pity Afridi thinks what he has written in his book. It’s all the more disheartening that there are not enough vocal critics in of his thoughts in the cricketing fraternity – especially Pakistan.
By the way, good luck with winning Olympics medals. How many did Pakistan win last time? 0. Maybe girls would have helped!
Mumbai Indians won a thrilling final against Chennai at Hyderabad. Rohit Sharma gave the final over to Lasith Malinga, who was having a poor day in the lead up to that over. But, Malinga turned Rohit's decision into a masterstroke by not allowing Chennai to cross the line. With two runs needed off the final delivery, the odds were stacked up against Mumbai but Malinga bowled a slower delivery, which trapped Shardul Thakur plumb infront and Mumbai won by a run.
Rohit revealed how he had pitted the downfall of Shardul Thakur. "The idea was to get the batsman out. So I know Shardul really well. I kind of understand where he wants to hit, so we decided together (Malinga and him) that we’ll go for that slower option, because knowing Shardul, he would try to play a big shot and there might be a chance that he might just sky it. Again, it could have gone either way,” said Rohit.
He added, “When the decision comes off, it looks all nice. It can backfire also. At that stage, I wanted to go with experience, with somebody who has been in such situation before. And Malinga has been in that situation a million times. So we backed him to do that.”
Before the start of IPL 2019, Delhi Capitals wasn’t even in consideration for the top four spot. No one expected them to do well. And rightly so. Season after season, the Delhi franchise had messed it up – either through bizarre selection policies or through poor performances of the players selected. The shoddy exploits of the Delhi franchise had, in fact, become a running joke amongst fans of the tournament.
After rebranding their franchise name from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals and changing the jersey, the owners also and brought in Sourav Ganguly to the management this year and hoped that this would transform their fortunes. Ganguly, along with Ricky Ponting, as the head coach, were determined to change the tide for Delhi.
And they did, against all odds.
Delhi Capitals ended the league stage with 18 points, exactly as many as finalists Mumbai Indian and Chennai Super Kings had managed. Delhi then defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator but then lost the Qualifier 2 against the Chennai Super Kings. Despite that loss, though, Delhi Capitals would be proud of their stunning journey in IPL 2019. Of how they defied odds, produced the best out of their core Indian base, had a fresh look about them and almost made it to the very end.
"It's been a dream season for us and it's just the start," captain Shreyas Iyer was quoted as saying to the host broadcaster after the end of Qualifier 2. "We've got a lot more to come next season and yes, we have gelled as a team and we've found the pace and now it's time to grow from here on. I am really of proud the way [Capitals] played this season. Last season was really disappointing for us and the way we came out this year, everybody took that initiative and responsibility till this game."
The decision of the Delhi management to frame the playing eleven with an Indian base was a masterstroke. Four Indian top-order batsmen – Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant – formed the crux of the Delhi batting unit. And it paid off brilliantly as Dhawan (521 runs), Iyer (463 runs) and Pant (488 runs) did the bulk of the scoring for them all the way through. While Iyer and Dhawan held the fort in the middle, Pant, with his swashbuckling strokeplay, finished games and came of age in this season even while having a strike rate of 162.66.
In the bowling department, the surprise inclusion of Ishant Sharma worked well as he ended the season with 13 wickets and bowled brilliantly in the Power Play overs. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra too showed his experience and class and went on to capture 11 wickets at an economy of just 6.75.
The star of the Delhi’s bowling unit, however, was Kasigo Rabada. The South African pacer was spectacular this season, snaring 25 wickets and troubling the best with his pace and guile. In fact, had Rabada been available for the playoff stage for Delhi, they might well have scripted history.
While a lot of things clicked for Delhi this season, a few things didn’t go their way as well. Their overseas players couldn’t put much of an impression this season. The likes of Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Colin Munro, Chris Morris and Keemo Paul were patchy and struggled at different points during the season. This is something the Delhi management would have to reflect on and take the necessary course correction for it for the next season.
Regardless, this was a monumental season for Delhi Capitals, possibly a transformational one for their franchise’s future. They made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Under young captain Shreyas Iyer, and a top-class management that understands the team’s pulse, they look like a team to beat and will surely scale bigger heights going ahead.
In the end, it seemed to matter little as far as the Indian Premier League was concerned which of the two teams – the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians - won the tournament in 2019. While it speaks to the important subjects of continuity and consistency, values on which tournaments and seasons are built, a little bit of viewer fatigue might have set in with the usual suspects.
If formula matters, then one need to look no further than the two of the strongest teams in the IPL who made it to the final. Both teams have been big spenders on their core, often manipulating auction numbers to ensure even those players they released beyond retention rules, they won back. Two of the most prominent teams when it came to player retention and auction strategy found themselves on Sunday pitching for yet another IPL trophy to add to their burgeoning kitty.
While the Chennai Super Kings entered an impressive eighth IPL final, it was the fifth for the Mumbai Indians although both were squared at three trophies apiece ahead of it. In many ways, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad flattered to deceive when push came to shove – notwithstanding the fact that they lost their premier batsmen, Australia’s David Warner and England’s Jonny Bairstow, the Delhi Capitals provided the valuable piece of suspense and excitement in what was turning into a rather predictable line up of the final four at the business end of the tournament.
Having predictably strong teams at the end stages of the tournament speaks not only to the business’s recurring revenue for the organizers but also, speaks of the quality of the big league players that consistently finish at the top and ensures a top quality climax to a tournament that has often been criticized as being too long and almost, tedious to the point of exasperation. While it is good business, any sport benefits from uncertainties.
It is why when other teams fall behind, it is either a case of some teams being simply too powerful or the other teams having their quality fall away. While there seemed the danger of that as the Kolkata Knight Riders appeared to implode, the refreshing youthful performances in the rejuvenated Delhi Capitals team (formerly the Delhi Daredevils) brought about excitement and encouragement as far as the tournament was concerned.
It is credit to the IPL and its sustainable brand building that while the Chennai Super Kings have lived up to their strong team label from the start of the tournament, the Mumbai Indians have made the last half a dozen theirs for all practical purposes. In the end, it appeared that the franchisees that had held a long term vision for their teams have proved to be repeat match winners as far as the IPL are concerned.
In a sign that the old guard may be up for a change, while the Mumbai Indians are finding a couple of core players on the fringe of having to reselect themselves by the end of the season, the Chennai Super Kings team showed some vulnerability when their skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, skipped a couple of matches. With age on the wrong side as far as the Chennai team is concerned, this was perhaps one of the last times the core of the Chennai team took the field in its entirety. All this made it a rather special event but also, left the feeling that the IPL could use not only a reset but also, a refresh button as well.
So another edition of the IPL is now part of cricketing history. And what a fitting finale it was to IPL – 12. One cannot get a narrower finish than a one-run margin and that the finalists were without doubt the two best sides in the tournament and the most successful teams in the competition’s history added spice to the flavour.
As has been the case since the inaugural IPL in 2008 there was plenty of drama and excitement along with controversies that marked this year’s event too. The preliminary stage was so hotly contested that the last of the four qualifiers was only spotted on the final day of the league. Also the fact that only one point separated the fourth placed team and the bottom placed team illustrated the keenness of the competition.
However the overall image of the IPL that is the Teflon event is as strong as ever. Nothing seems to stick to it even if it has had more than its share of controversies, scandals and unseemly incidents on and off the field. Every year it is the focus of much attention. Discussions at homes and offices, at bars or on the streets centre only round which of the eight franchisee teams will win the title. TRP ratings continue to go up, sponsors, advertisers and franchisee owners are all too ready to pour in astronomical amounts of money into anything associated with the IPL. The razzmatazz, the technical wizardry and shameless, almost nauseating hype are all part of the showpiece event. But cricket fans, particularly the young, lap it all up and most of them are fierce supporters of their franchisee teams.
The IPL has divided the cricketing fraternity. Some, especially the elderly who swear by the age old traditions of the game dismiss it as not really cricket. But to many others it is cricketainment – the phrase coined when the inaugural IPL was held in 2008. The fact that some of the owners are showbiz people or major industrialists gives the event that extra touch of glamour.
But there is no doubt that the cricket played is a very serious matter. Each and every member of the franchisee teams wants to win the trophy badly for there is a lot of prestige involved. The huge amount of prize money of course is the additional motivator. For many young cricketers the IPL is the perfect platform to showcase one’s talent and many unknowns have become household names overnight
Like it or lump it there is no doubt that the IPL is here to stay. Every year the cynics predict that the event will not be the same, that interest will decline, that the TRP’s will go down. How long will cricket followers tolerate the same kind of fare day in and day out for six to seven weeks, they question. But every year there is the same frenzied following.
Mumbai Indians became the most successful team in the IPL after they defeated Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 finale by 1 run. Now, no team have won more IPL titles (4) than Rohit Sharma and his side. It was the fourth time when Chennai lost out against Mumbai this season.
"It was quite a funny game, we were passing the trophy to each other. Both committed mistakes, and eventually the winning team was the one that committed one mistake less," MS Dhoni said.
"Our bowlers did really well. It was not a 150 wicket, but the bowlers kept us in the hunt. They kept getting wickets when it was really needed. Batting, someone kept chipping in and we kept winning," he said.
"As a team we had a good season. But I think we need to go back and reflect as to how we reached the finals, and I don't think it was one of those years where we played very good cricket and we got into the finals. I think there was plenty that could have been done from our side, especially in the middle-order batting, it never really clicked for us from the start, but somehow we were able to manage.
Rishabh Pant is one of the rising stars of Indian cricket. He enhanced his reputation with his exploits in 2019 IPL. The Delhi southpaw finished the 12th edition of the IPL as the highest run-getter for his team. He made 488 runs in 16 innings at an average of 37.53 and his strike-rate was 162.66.
Notably, Pant had a phenomenal IPL season last year as well. He had hammered 684 runs at an average of 52.61 and had a strike-rate of 173.60. Pant played a crucial knock of 49 runs off 21 deliveries against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator game. The youngster was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match.
Laxman, who is mentor Hyderabad team was at the receiving end of Pant's batting in the eliminator game.
“The dangerous Rishabh Pant was still around, and he showcased his ability with a savage assault on Basil Thampi. As painful as it was to be at the receiving end, it was also exhilarating to see Rishabh take on the bowlers. He is clearly the future of Indian cricket, and it pleased me no end to witness the maturity he showed, though he will be disappointed that he wasn’t around to finish off the job,” VVS Laxman was quoted as saying by Timesnownews.com.
Harbhajan Singh, who could take just 7 wickets in 13 games last year has made a strong comeback in IPL this season. The veteran off-spinner has taken 16 wickets in 10 games and has an economy of 7.12. He has turned out to be a match-winner for his team, Chennai.
Harbhajan ended with figures of 2/31 in Qualifier 2 on Friday night against the Delhi Capitals and helped restrict DC's innings to 147/9. The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings went on to win the game quite easily. The offie is one of three Indians to claim 150 wickets in the cash-rich T20 league.
Former Australian speedster, Brett Lee has applauded Harbhajan Singh.“He exactly knows where to bowl for certain batsmen. His bowling was outstanding, he got some beautiful shape on the ball again. I love the revolutions of the ball,” Lee said.
“That tells us that he has good control on the ball. He is bowling with confidence,” the former quick added.
“His stand is basically right-handers vs left-handers. Just shows how good a bowler he is. He can bring in the LBW both against the left and the right-handers,” Kings XI Punjab coach Mike Hesson observed.
Film actor Kamaal R Khan, who is renowned for movie reviews, will cheer for Chennai Super Kings in the finale of the Indian Premier League. He has clearly stated that CSK will lift the trophy in Hyderabad.
“Sunday is little bit far but I am in support of #CSK! #CSKvsMI will be a fantastic match and #CSK will win the final to lift the trophy of #IPL2019!”
Earlier, Half centuries by Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson led Chennai Super Kings to their eighth Indian Premier League final with a convincing six-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals.
Du Plessis and Watson both scored 50 runs each as Chennai romped to 151-4 in 19 overs. Delhi had earlier struggled to reach 147-9 after Chennai skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field.
Chennai will meet Mumbai Indians in the final on Sunday.
"It's the usual route, last year was the exception. The kind of response from the boys today was brilliant. The way we batted to get 140-plus runs was very nice," said Dhoni.
"The crucial part was to keep getting wickets. The credit needs to go to the bowlers. Thanks to the bowling department for where we are this season."
Virat Kohli is one of the most followed cricketers in the world. The Indian skipper is also the highest earning cricketer at the moment. He is minting a lot money by promoting brands on his social media handles.
He recently took to Instagram to post some humble words but was brutally trolled by Harbhajan Singh. Virat posted a picture with a caption: “Everyday is an opportunity to learn and grow. Stay humble.”
The off-spinner poked fun at the Indian captain, stating: “Everyday, there is an opportunity for you to make more and more $£.”
Virat was recently awarded with the Instagram award for being the most engaging celebrity.
The 30-year old player will lead India in the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales.
Chennai Super Kings, who had seemingly lost momentum in the last few games made a roaring comeback in IPL by defeating Delhi Capitals in the qualifier 2 at Vizag. CSK had tasted defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in the qualifier 1. Now, they will face their arch-nemesis, Mumbai Indians in the grand finale of the IPL on May 12.
Harbhajan Singh and Dwayne Bravo, who were once Mumbai players opened up on the finale against their former franchise. "We are playing Mumbai Indians, one of the first franchises we played together. What are your thoughts on that?," Harbhajan asked Bravo.
"I think we are the two best teams in the tournament and we deserve to be in the final. I personally was looking forward to the clash. Obviously, both teams played very well throughout the season. I don't think there can be a better final than Mumbai and Chennai," Bravo responded.
Bravo then asked Harbhajan about his bowling in the game and the veteran spinner went on to reveal how the all-rounder's advice helped him bowl better this season. "How was your bowling today?" asked Bravo.
"My bowling, I was quite happy the way I bowled. I would like to share something with all of you. When I started bowling in the nets in Chennai, Bravo told me you are bowling to slow, he told me to push a little more and that was the right kind of advice. Obviously, you play a lot of cricket and I didn't play throughout the year. So Thank you for the advice it really worked for me," replied Harbhajan.
Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh are close buddies. However, when they met first, it was not a pleasant sight. The duo recently recounted their first meeting in a video posted on Twitter.
“Yuvi (Yuvraj) to me has always been like a big brother. Although the first few experiences were not good. So, Yuvi has a spot in the bus where he goes and sits. And I was sitting there. That’s where me and Yuvi had sort of.. I will not say argument but we had an eye to eye contact,” the MI skipper said in the video.
“Not that he is arrogant but he is Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj Singh means attitude and all that,” he added.
Yuvraj Singh was not ready to accept Rohit's take on their first meeting.
“I remember when he came into the team and I shook his hand. He tells this story with too much extra spice,” he said.
The left hand batsman, who is a part of Mumbai Indians in the ongoing season of the league, was dropped from the side after failing in few games.
The three-time champions will take on Chennai Super Kings in the finale of the tournament in Hyderabad.
Aggressive Mumbai all-rounder, Shivam Dube might not have got many games under his belt in 2019 IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore but it was a great learning curve for him to rub shoulders with legends like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. He got to play just four games throughout the season and didn't too well in those games. He was bought by RCB for a whopping price of Rs. 5 crores.
"Virat (bhaiya) is undoubtedly the best player we have in our team (RCB) at the moment. It's a great opportunity to be mentored by him and playing under him,” Dube told IANS.
"I think every young cricketer wants to play with him at least once, sharing the crease with him is something that goes a long way in helping you learn. I was lucky to have been able to play under him in this IPL," he added.
"ABD always told me to keep a positive attitude in any situation and it has really helped solve my problems in tough situations. He's a great team player and even as a senior, he always motivated me in practice as well as in the matches," Dube said.
It was surprising to see RCB's lack of belief in Dube's abilities given the way they went after him in the auctions. Also, the fact that he is a youngster and an Indian player, he was expected to fit in the team well.
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