Extended lease: On IPL 2020

The Indian Premier League that concluded in Dubai on Tuesday night, reiterated Mumbai Indians’ (MI) dominance over the last decade while also granting a hat-tip to the latest challenger — Delhi Capitals (DC). MI won its fifth title, a record that is well ahead of Chennai Super Kings’ share of three trophies. As finals go, the summit clash was underwhelming. Reduced to 22 for three in 3.3 overs, DC had to play catch-up all through the contest despite the rugged efforts of skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, who both scored a fifty each. DC’s 156 for seven in 20 overs hardly tested the eventual champion as Rohit Sharma’s men coasted to a five-wicket victory in 18.4 overs. Rohit himself played the lead hand through a measured 68. There are whispers lingering about his strained hamstring, but it should heal by the time he reaches Australia for the Test series that commences on December 17. MI thrived on its overall supremacy: Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, veteran Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, and the final’s surprise packet Jayant Yadav, all contributed to the team’s cause. Meanwhile, DC qualified for its maiden final and largely rode on Shikhar Dhawan (618 runs) and this edition’s highest wicket-taker, South African spearhead Kagiso Rabada, who dismissed 30 batsmen.

Among the rest, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Royal Challengers Bangalore made it to the play-offs while the bottom-half featured Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR). CSK’s failure was a rare blip for a franchise that previously always made the last four. With a core group of seniors nearing the finish-line, the Chennai outfit under M.S. Dhoni has to rebuild with an infusion of youth. Hosted in West Asia while the coronavirus pandemic lurked in the background, the IPL’s 13th edition was a pure television spectacle with social-distancing norms and the bio-bubble. Hearteningly, the league continued to shine a light on unsung heroes be it SRH’s T. Natarajan or RR’s Rahul Tewatia with the former, a left-arm pacer, gaining a berth in India’s Twenty20 unit. Even regulars such as Kings XI captain K.L. Rahul, who topped the aggregate with 670 runs, relished their hits in the park after the COVID-19 lock-downs were gradually lifted. But, the desert sands weren’t entirely about the men lofting a six or castling stumps, as towards the end, the Women’s T20 Challenge was held with Trailblazers prevailing over Supernovas in a tense final. This might seem as tokenism for now but a start has been made and women’s cricket needs more of this fare as it strikes roots and slowly acquires commercial heft.


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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:36:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/extended-lease-the-hindu-editorial-on-ipl-2020/article33087264.ece

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