The Mumbai Indians did lose their close IPL encounter with the Rajasthan Royals but not before we caught a tiny glimpse of the vintage Sachin - few of his strokes past the bowler - especially in the Ravindra Jadeja over - were a treat to watch! And Abhishek's heroics at the fag end deserve every accolade - this lad is a humble assassin - one of MI's best talents - may his tribe grow - within Mumbai Indians and among Indians.
The MI team management continued on its wayward track - busy making things more difficult than they were - helping the opponents with the "extra" thrust to outshine them. Jayasurya in the middle order (worse than dropping him), Duminy wasted (worse than forcing him to open)... And what was Harbhajan doing, stealing a single when he could have taken it upon himself. The blunders were many..the less discussed, the better!
Nevertheless,this was not a shameful defeat, they had almost reached the shore...unlike some of the early encounters where they gave up even before taking on the challenge.
One of the worst tortures of IPL, especially in the context of such poignant defeats, is to suffer the needless C-grade melodrama in the name of "extraa innings" that surrounds it.
We had two cheerleaders of the puke brigade - the plastic Shilpa Shetty faking the "prayer" act and the highly intimidating Mandira Bedi exposing her cricket "gyan" laced in her repulsive curves.
It's pathetic how Ms. Bedi is allowed to torture some of the living legends with the most pathetic of questions - and when she runs out of gas, she's quick to bank on her friends - back in the studio - coupled with animated, jaded gestures of the highest order.
So very nauseating is the fake environment (maybe, that's what inspired the Fake IPL blog) that it's now begun to affect the pros as well -
Our Harsha Bhogle is busy showering mindless sermons all the while - he has no time for good old plain commentary any more. Consider these expert comments (read enactments) in his inimitable (and now irritating) style:
"Now, somebody, somebody of the two, needs to take charge... someone needs to fire, else the situation will just get worse from here",
"it's so difficult for a batsman to change gears - imagine one saying, now I have been hitting singles so far, never mind, now I'll start hitting all over the park"
"This is the second over, that's 10 percent of the innings, remember"
"Now, that's only a single, Warne won't mind that, he won't for sure! What he'll say - hey, take as many singles as you can, but no boundaries and sixes, mate!"
Mr. Bhogle, will you stop analyzing simple facts that all know...we know you are an MBA but only a commentator, and not an expert at that!
And our dear friend Arun Lal, suffered some hangover as well last night -
Commenting on the Mumbai management, he erroneously "crowned" the Deccan Chargers' Darren Lehmann as the coach of the Mumbai Indians - much to host Gaurav Kapur's delight - the highly over-rated compere was more than happy to correct his guest with ruthless and insensitive authority.
Victories and defeats are part of the game - but the nuisance value of the IPL carnival is truly unnerving. The players on the field have to hold their nerves to win matches, we off the field have to do that only to stay tuned.
The Mumbai Indians have two more encounters - both against proven heavyweights
led by two of Sachin's most illustrious successors - Sehwag and Dhoni.
Perhaps all is not lost yet, but the Mumbai Indians look yet lost!