April 3, 2013 will witness a new lead sponsor, a new team jersey and a new captain for most of the teams. So Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together and go ‘Jumping Jhapak Jampak Jampak Thamping Thapak Thampak Thampak Gilli Gilli aa’ as we witness a new IPL - Pepsi IPL.
A fresh new season of IPL will bring you something more than just cricketing action and entertainment, it will bring you something called the ‘Mahayudh of Amusement’. As the contest approaches closer, the excitement just keeps building.
So what is different about this year’s IPL?
New format? NO.
New rules? NO.
New captains and players to look out for? YES!
Two years ago, the IPL auction was hit by a storm when Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh ended up in the same team. This year, MI did it again. Yes, we are talking about the latest captain of the Mumbai Indians - Ricky Ponting. Now any Aussie or Indian would pay a million bucks to watch Ricky and Sachin in the centre, sharing the pitch; but the question arises why not Bhajji? Accepted that he hasn’t been in the greatest of form, but wasn’t he the same person who lead MI to victory during the Champions League a couple of years ago?
We also have to accept the fact that MI has been desperately looking for an IPL title. With the best team on paper, they have tried every permutation-combination possible but somehow never succeeded. Will they get it right this season?
Not far behind is the last year’s most popular IPL team. It was popular, thanks to then India’s Best Captain in Test Matches, Sourav Ganguly a.k.a Dada. Sahara Pune Warriors India definitely made their presence felt in the media. The team was led by Ganguly but still managed to finish last in the points tally. This year, with Ganguly gone, Yuvraj Singh back and Michael Clarke out of the squad due to injury, Angelo Mathews was announced as the PWI captain. As they say, change is always good, but will this change make a difference to the team and their IPL rankings?
If the change is good then it should definitely do wonders for the Sun Risers Hyderabad this season. With new owners and jersey, the team looks more confident and has a better team anthem for sure. But the team suffers with two major set-backs; 1) The team is almost the same and will still be led by Kumara Sangakara, and 2) No more Gayatri Reddy dancing near the boundary line; which means less of a focus on the stands, fewer tweets for Hyderabad and less media coverage. But this year, will this team rise from the darkness?
And finally some individual players to watch out for would be Unmukt Chand, as he marks his way into the Delhi Daredevils side after his remarkable performance at the U-19 World Cup. With Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder out of the DD squad, Unmukt will have a better chance to play up the order and make his presence felt.
Another uncapped player to watch out would be Sachin Baby. Sachin has been a consistent performer for Kerala and was among the top run-scorers in the Buchi Babu Tournament and Hazare Trophy. Will he make a dream debut when he plays for Rajasthan Royals?.
Speaking about debut, how can we forget Glen Maxwell? The man, who topped the bidding chart this year after being purchased by Mumbai Indians for a whopping 5.3 odd crores, is all set to make his debut in IPL. It is little stunning; especially after Sunil Narine hit Maxwell for 4 consecutive sixers in an over early this year. Let’s hope he doesn’t prove to be an expensive bid for MI this year.
Rest assured, we will see the likes of Irfan Pathan, Balaji, Robin Uthapa, Sehwag, Gambhir and more, play their heart and soul out to make a come-back to the international side.
So, with so much action around the corner, get ready to witness the extravaganza of cricketing because when it comes to IPL, ‘matches sirf dekhne ka nahin’.
Follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/dakshinadyanthaya and twitter @upsidedakshin