Cricket

Redeeming themselves on the IPL stage

The annual carnival, Indian Premier League, will begin on March 23 with a heavyweight match between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The annual carnival, Indian Premier League, will begin on March 23 with a heavyweight match between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.   | Photo Credit: AP

Warner, Smith, Hardik Pandya and Rahul have gone through a tough time

March 31, 2018, Sydney. David Warner breaks down at a press conference and fears that he may never play for Australia again because of his role in the ball-tampering scandal.

March 31, 2019, Hyderabad. David Warner leaps into the air, perhaps higher than he ever did before, after reaching 100 off 54 balls for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

David Warner.

David Warner.  

 

Now, you have to be brave to bet against the dynamic opener’s return to the Australian squad for the World Cup.

How could you omit someone who has made 264 runs from four innings in the world’s most competitive white-ball cricket league?

Warner, though, isn’t the only man redeeming himself on the IPL stage.

Steve Smith.

Steve Smith.  

 

His teammate Steve Smith, who also served a one-year ban for his role in the ball-tampering incident, hasn’t done badly either for Rajathan Royals, with scores of 28 and 38.

On Wednesday night, Hardik Pandya — who was suspended and sent back mid-tour from Australia for making inappropriate comments on a chat show — won the match for Mumbai Indians against the unbeaten Chennai Super Kings.

Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya.  

 

The all-rounder made an eight-ball 25 and took three wickets, after making 31 and 32 not out in the previous matches.

K.L. Rahul, who was also on that plane back home three months ago, and had coffee with Karan Johar on the television programme, has had his night under the moon, too.

K.L. Rahul.

K.L. Rahul.  

 

His unbeaten 71 off 57 balls led Kings XI Punjab to victory against Mumbai Indians.

All the four men have shown character to fight their way back from trying circumstances. After collecting his Man-of-the-Match award, Hardik had said how difficult the past few months had been for him.

Responding well

Sujith Somasunder, coach and former India Test opener who is doing his Ph.D. in sports psychology, is impressed by the way Hardik and others have responded to the crisis.

“It is never easy for anyone to deal with such situations,” he told The Hindu. “Man is a social animal, who needs to be acknowledged, approved, appreciated and admired. So when he loses it because of some scandal — as has been the case with these four cricketers — it becomes a huge personal crisis.”

Sujith believes Warner handled it particularly well. “I think he has become an even better batsman after a year of self-introspection,” he said. “I liked the way he intelligently paced his hundred against RCB. I am sure he would have got some excellent counselling, an area Indian sport needs to focus.”

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 7:32:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/indian-premier-league-2019-redeeming-themselves-on-the-ipl-stage/article26749056.ece

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