IPL a Pressure Cooker

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IPL is all about MOMENTUM . . .

There was an extraordinary moment in the match between Kolkota and Rajasthan the other night. Sourav Ganguly was batting with the Indian youngster Yapshal Singh.

They had put on an incredibly brave partnership. After being 5/94 with Gayle, McCullum and Hodge back in the pavilion, Ganguly and Singh had put on a stellar partnership.

What many thought would be the defining moment came when Ganguly (back to his best) smacked a six off a Munaf Patel no-ball. The proceeding ‘Free Hit’ resulted in a towering six over long on. Kolkota had captured that most important entity…momentum.

This was no mean feat for a struggling Kolkota side. Laden with international superstars, there is something that is not right about the Knight Riders. They seem to lack a sense of togetherness. With their batting line-up, along with Ishant Sharma, and former Indian representatives Ajit Agarkar and Murali Kartik, they should be one of the top contenders. But they just don’t have a collective spirit; in a word they struggle for momentum. But, Ganguly had got it for them, and they seemed to be coasting to an easy win against Shane Warne’s defending champions.

This is when the actual defining moment of the game happened, and shifted the momentum squarely back to the Royals. The Knight Riders needed a paltry run-a-ball, and were coasting until Singh lost his head.

He hit an impressive four off Warne’s last over and then went for a wild swing over midwicket. He mistimed and survived, and at this point Ganguly stormed down the pitch and let the young batsmen know that all he needed to do was push singles. Surely Ganguly also let the youngster know that Warne’s last over was the Royals last spin of the dice, and yet…

After blocking away one ball, which drew the applause of his esteemed batting partner, Singh then went for a completely ridiculous spank over cover. He, of course, mistimes, and sent the ball flying into the hands of an outfielder. Ganguly’s response was extraordinary. He walked away slashing his bat in the air and screaming as if it was he that had been dismissed.

Some of the commentators joked at Ganguly’s expense “He’s not even the one out!!” But they were missing the vital point. Ganguly knew that this slip had let in the opposition. Warne and his side now had their tales up.

The momentum was lost, and so was the game.

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