The World Outside the T20 League

April, 2015

With the T20 League in full swing now, and with miracles occurring there every night (like Mumbai winning a game, and CSK losing one), it’s easy to lose track of the other happenings in current sport. 
Not much of it is surprising, what with Brit Lewis Hamilton winning yet another Grand Prix (Bahrain), leading the standings easily, and with Novak Djokovic having his best-ever year so far—which is saying quite a lot, considering he has won all 3 Masters events this year as well as the Australian Open. Could he win everything there is to win this year? Unprecedented, but not impossible, given that he just defeated Rafael Nadal on clay in Monte Carlo. Federer has been a bit patchy, losing to Monfils early in Monte Carlo, and Djokovic—easily the best player on the planet, and fast laying the claim for a most dominant era despite the presence of Murray and Nadal—cannot be stopped after becoming a daddy. 
Many would love to see others challenge the likes of Hamilton (3 out of 4 races this year) and Djokovic in their sport, but the fact is they are at the top of their game, in peak health and fitness, and will perhaps never be so much in the zone ever again. So maybe it’s time to appreciate such dominance instead of get bored by it—the latter of which happens very easily because of low patience and attention spans of viewers and fans alike. 
With Australia set to dominate cricket again, things look a bit unnerving for fans who thirst for competition and rivalry. Vettel, ironically, will carry the hopes of these neutrals, hoping to challenge the domination with a Ferrari that looks far more competitive than the last few years. Mercedes are still way ahead, but Brit athletes are known to choke when the going gets tough; it isn’t unheard of, just look at the English cricket team, who couldn’t bowl a second-string West Indies test side out at Antigua in the fourth innings, letting them bat for over 125 overs to save the test heroically. Anderson’s English record of overtaking Botham as their highest ever wicket taker didn’t seem as sweet as many would have liked. Holder announced his presence on the world stage, and put to rest doubts of his abilities leading the ODI side at such a tender age. His fighting century shone light onto the reckless seniors in the side. 
Things will heat up this week in the T20 League though, with Bangalore playing twice more—and Gayle looking to make up for perhaps his worst ever T20 innings (10 off 24) against Mumbai, which led them to their second defeat in 3 games. They need Starc to return badly, and Mumbai will look to build upon this win—the foundation laid by youngsters like Chand, Simmons, Bumrah and others. 

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