These heated days and nights of summer, one finds, are very conducive to thinking. Normally one could desist by asserting that over-taxing the brain is never a good idea. But in this heat what is half a degree more? So when I lie awake between dusk and dawn awaiting that precious half-hour when the old day’s heat has abated and the new day's heat is yet unborn, I ponder, dear people, upon life’s important questions.
Naturally then, I wonder what the factors are for success in IPL.
The bookies must have had something in mind when they went with the Deccan Chargers as favourites and gave the Rajasthan Royals the longest odds during the pre-tournament buzz. The light of bitter hindsight makes one wonder piteously what it could have been. But whatever potential or lack of it these teams had is of no consequence now. One must objectively analyse the Present Truth. The Rajasthan Royals top the tally and the unfortunate DCs and the even more pathetic Bangalore Royal Challengers are going “pehle aap” for the bottom slot in near Awadhi style.
So what makes a team tick? The mother has a theory. She thinks success at IPL is indirectly propotional to the level of bravado in the teams slogan. The unstoppables – indeed, what’s to stop? Duniya hila denge- definitely it is a shaky little world the Mumbaikars inhabit. And let us not even get started about the wretched professors of Jeeteinge hum shaan se.
All in all the theory sounds good, but is it rational? No, I’ll give you mine.
I think it is about back support. Not some spinal appendage but about how much your backers Chadao you. See , I’ll give you empirical evidence. Opening match – SRK turns up amidst the greatest hoopla we’ve witnessed since the Abhi-Ash wedding. To New Zealander Brendon McCullum who is probably unused to such herds of humans it must have seemed like the whole nation was there with the king in attendance. He must have felt like a gladiator performing for some roman emperor, because his glaze-eyed innings of 158* was definitely 90% charged by the adrenalin pulsing through his veins. Then SRK goes off to view his wax statue and guest-edit the Delhi Hindustan Times supplement and the team experiences a slump without their shahi patron.
Ms. Zinta’s team is performing consistently under the warm gaze of her approval, her beatific smiles and possibility of a hug. All well there.
The Mumbai Indians (what a silly name!) started off with injuries, ill-tempered outbursts and dismal performances. I hate to give him credit for anything, but ever since that terrible Ambani man has started turning up in a show of supercilious solidarity, the teams seems to be jumping through hoops to please the big man.
And the leaders- The Rajasthan Royals- the team that can do no wrong- what inspires them? I say blue and beige nylex saris. (or I suppose they are pure chiffon or something, but you know what I mean) Surely if the Maharanis of your host-land would condescended to wear uniform saris with your team colours, and come cheer with regality intact, that should give you an exalted opinion of your own importance? Not to mention the palace tours, the Rajasthani hospitality, photo-sessions in Rajput warrior ensemble, sword and all.
Basically I am saying, treat them nice, tell them they matter; works for children, works for cricketers.
And on the other side of the spectrum is an ace idiot like that intolerable Vijay Mallaya. Hasn’t the sense or the thaheraav to appear gracious. No sooner had they lost a couple of matches his whining and whinging began to be heard. A few more, heads had to roll. Now he has the gall to criticise Dravid. The stupid man would have been better served to just grin and bear it. At least could have salvaged some dignity all round. But no! Had to have his toys or a pound of flesh. Has single handedly destroyed every vestige of morale! Right now, I don't care if they don't win a single other match. Sometimes the face has got to be spited.
Again I find Swati Muthyam provides the theme song-
Andaa-dandaa untaadani aa vijaya malyanu nammu kunte
Gunde lenee manishalle ninnu kondakonalaku vadilesada?