T20 LEAGUE UNPLUGGED: Fishy Decisions

 While Floyd Mayweather Jr. further demonstrates to the world why good things happen to bad people, and why people’s champions remain champions of the people, the league is moving in mysterious ways that only seem consistent with the people that decide to remake South Indian action dramas in every possible language with the same sensibilities.

There have been some bizarre decisions taken by captains/managements/franchise/coaches recently, that will only fire up the cynical minds hell bent on proving that “it’s all part of a plan.” It’s almost like most players have been hired with a clause in their contracts determining the number of games they absolutely must play in one season, irrespective of whether their team needs them or not.

Here are some examples:

· KKR drop their best bowler by a mile, Morne Morkel, for the lesser experienced Pat Cummins—who is definitely not a T20 bowler. Their inconsistency has only been fueled by their inability to choose a proper bowling attack, especially after the departure of Shakib and then Narine. Relying on Russell and Yadav isn’t the best plan. ‘Preserving’ Morkel for the latter stages isn’t smart either.

· DD drop their purple-cap hopeful Imran Tahir, the best T20 spinner in the tournament, for Australian bowler Gurinder Sandhu. They pay the price immediately for it as Rahane and co. flay the ineffective bowling to destroy the Daredevils.

· KXIP first retain Vohra for a record fee, don’t play him for half the tournament, and bring him back after the whole batting line-up is misfiring. They drop Maxwell for Marsh, then drop Marsh for Maxwell, while continuing to keep Miller low in the batting order for no real reason. They also drop Johnson in the middle, only further compounding their miseries—dead last in the table, and rightly so.

· RR drop best spinner Pravin Tambe for no real reason, only because they lost a few games and two were rained out. Clearly, they’re only banking on Watson and Smith to win them the title. At least dropping Faulkner proved to be smart, because when he came back in against DD, he produced a sterling bowling performance.

· KKR buy mystery spinner Cariappa for a record fee, and then play him only for a game before discarding him.

· KXIP refuse to retain their best batsman of last year Mandeep Singh, let him be bought by RCB—who further baffle by keeping him on the bench for the first 7 games before sense prevailed. Mandeep and Sarfaraz now form a young but dynamic middle order. Thankfully, their 3 best batsmen—Kohli, Gayle and AB, are now batting at 1,2 and 3.

It’s hard to look past these perplexing decisions, but as they say—it will all be forgotten once the knockouts commence. Narine may or may not be back by then, but regardless, we know that Mumbai Indians—under newly-engaged captain Rohit Sharma—will stage a last gasp surge to reach the final stages.

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