History never had a dearth of conspiracy theories. When every piece of news has had its share of controversy theories to it, how can a sensation be devoid of such theories? Detractors have never failed to sabotage success stories with these black stories. The unveiling of such tales can be very enthralling for readers. Most of your guesses would have been bang on target. I am talking about the cloud of conspiracy theories surrounding CSK’s cut to the finals of IPL V.
Having conceded a last over defeat to Mumbai Indians in the 49th league game, CSK faced the treacherous task of winning all of its last 4 fixtures. The fixtures included table toppers Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders. From all dimensions, it was an herculean task to win all the 4 games, given its shaky form. Nevertheless, CSK bull-dozed its way through beating RR comprehensively, taming the Delhi Daredevils and stealing a last ball victory against the KKR. Its final encounter against Punjab was lost and by quite a margin. Hence CSK was in the “mercy” of the other teams, i.e. Delhi had to win Punjab, MI overcome RR, and last but not least, the bottom placed DC steal a win against the mighty RCB. Interestingly, all three constraints were overcome and CSK made its way to the play-offs. Hence the million dollar questions:
- How can all the 3 results go in CSK’s favour?
- Having qualified for the play-offs, how is that Dhoni and Murali Vijay all of a sudden, out of the blue hit form?
- How come Delhi dropped the best bowler Morne Morkel in the qualifiers?
Here you go:
- In the DD vs KXIP flick, Morne Morkel, the purple cap holder returned with figures of 4-0-20-4 and David Warner, one of the best T20 batsmen hammered a 44-ball 79. Hence DD emerged victorious. Very obvious result and fixing of any sort is not called for.
- In the RR vs MI enounter, D Smith blasted a 58-ball 87. This thunderstorm turned the game by its head. The same Smith had struck 14 runs in the last 3 balls against CSK for MI less than a fortnight back. If that was fair and square, so is this.
- Arguably the most unbelievable result of the season with DC beating RCB. RCB displayed some sensational bowling by restricting DC to 132 (thanks to JP Duminy’s heroics). Wrecking RCB’s chase, the world’s best bowler Dale Steyn was at his fiery best and returned figures of 4-0-8-3. Earlier in the innings, Gayle was on a roll striking 24 runs of the second over. He tried carrying the same killer attitude to Steyn in the next over and employed a wild heave and was clean bowled. Such a dismissal is possible from all fronts given Gayle’s attitude, and any layman would understand Gayle’s psychology which made him a prey to Steyn. Having lost Gayle, Kohli tried to anchor the innings and looked dangerously settled with 40 runs in his kitty. Having struck a 4 and 6 that over, Kohli was not contended and lofted a length delivery only to find the long on fielder. That raised serious apprehensions about his temperament and resilience. This kind of dismissal of a settled batsman playing unwarranted shots has occurred on enumerous occasions in international cricket and there needn’t be any mystery in it. The other batsmen fell like 9 pins, which is quite a familiar sight under pressure. I, quite an ardent cricket follower quite like the millions in the country found no dubiousness in it.
The next point in case is the fixtures:
The very words like mercy, fluke and undeserving were ruthlessly slammed against the Super Kings only because of the way the fixtures were framed. After CSK lost its last game, there were 6 matches left to be played by the other teams. RCB, RR, DD, MI, DC played two games each after all the 16 league games of CSK were completed. If only the last 3 games of CSK had been sandwhiched between the aforementioned games, these talks would have found its way to the trash. The scenario would have changed fully and the final stages of the league would have got a whole new perspective.
Moreover, given the league format, if a team is placed at the numero uno position, the common straight meaning is that it has played better cricket than all the other teams in the league. A team shown the wooden spoon means that it has performed below par than all the other teams. The same logic stands to a team placed at no. 4 out of 9 teams. The team placed 4th has played better cricket than the other 5 teams beneath it at some point of time in the league. The ifs and buts would open a Pandora’s box. “If only the team at no.6 won three more matches, it would have been at no.4″. The list can go and on and on, but at some stage you need to come to terms with the harsh reality. There really can be no favours in a league format. One team’s loss means the other team’s gain, such is the nature of leagues in sports. Hence RCB’s loss, RR’s loss and KXIP’s loss meant CSK’s gain. Requires a kid’s IQ to understand such equations.
Coming to the Playoffs:
Murali Vijay, the centurion of the qualifiers has played a biggie only on 6-7 occasions throughout the history of IPL and is not the most consistent of opening batsmen. The qualifier was one such occasion. He is known to be a big match player. His knock in the IPL IV final was a prime example of it. His century against the Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 IPL never came under the scanner even though it was struck when he was nowhere close to being in form, then why this? MSD hit a lean patch throughout this season, but came to the fore when mattered the most. The same situation occurred in the 2011 World Cup. The same people who could digest that sudden raise to form, are unable to digest this sudden hit of form. Why?
The captaincy flaws:
Selection bloopers is never a new-comer in the game’s history. It is all a part of captaincy flaws. History can pop several examples like Sri Lanka making 4 changes to the squad in the WC 11 finals, Sourav choosing to field having won the toss in the 2003 WC finals. The very same Virendar Sehwag made a similar tactical error by promoting Negi above Ross Taylor in the previous game against KKR. When the authenticity of those games weren’t tested, why this?
All the three questions have a very simple and realistic answer tagged to it unless you wish to pave way for the conspiracy theories.
What can you see in the above picture? A common answer is a square with a dot. Another answer to it is, a square with a lot of free space in it.
Most of you out there prefer to take the former stand against CSK’s success. Just think about the latter.
Hence my dear friends, it all depends on how you view things. If Australia can win the WC 3 consecutive times, why can’t CSK reach the IPL final thrice in a row.