IPL 2018: Dear Sir/Ma'am - feedback time, IPL style
Now that the dust has settled on the 2018 edition of the IPL, it’s time to send some (imaginary) fan mail to each of the eight franchises.
To whom it may concern at Delhi Daredevils,
With utmost respect to the team and the support staff – bearing in mind that Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris were injured – I must mention that I have lost track of the number of TV sets I have shattered thanks to your repeated bungling.
Persisting with Glenn Maxwell for 12 games this season? Giving Abhishek Sharma and Sandeep Lamichhane only three games apiece? Are you kidding me? Even my evil ex didn’t batter my hopes for 11 straight years!
Well, be that as it may, here is the good news: rarely before have I been so excited about the team’s prospects.
Something tells me that you will finally stop being the butt of all jokes and – let’s whisper it at this stage – perhaps even make the playoffs.
Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Vijay Shankar and Abhishek represent the future. And in Sandeep and Amit Mishra you have the ideal spin duo for home games. So go forth and dream the impossible dream. Our terrified TV sets are counting on you.
To whom it may concern at Kings XI Punjab,
Just one question for you, dear sir/ma’am: what exactly happened at the midway point of the IPL? Was there indeed a decision taken, as rumour has it, that KL Rahul would be given exclusive rights to run-making? And that the rest of the line-up would be shuffled around at random?
Did someone tell our dear captain – who started so well in April – that he needed to be even more radical with his tactics and experimentation? All I can say, sir/ma’am, as a long-time fan of your franchise is this: please sort out that middle-order for next season and, while you’re at it, try and find someone (David Miller maybe?) who can erupt towards the finish.
Oh, and an Indian seamer who can bowl at the death will be an added bonus.
To whom it may concern at Royal Challengers Bangalore,
First things first. Please take the first flight out to South Africa and, once you are at AB de Villiers’ front door, kneel down and, palms folded, tell him you are looking forward to seeing him at the IPL next year.
If he looks you in the eye and says he is fed up of carrying so much of the middle-order burden – or even if he doesn’t say so, because a man like AB would never be so blunt – assure him that you will be smarter with your off-season scouting and that you will never again need to go through ten games to get your XI right.
Convey to him how much he is adored in his adopted hometown (we know he already knows this but now that you have gone all the way there, it is important you make it doubly clear) and assure him that you will do everything possible to give him a shot at an IPL title.
To whom it may concern at Mumbai Indians,
Tough luck, chaps. You got the job done in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Perhaps you need some rest in the even years, so we aren’t going to take this personally.
Yes, you couldn’t chase 119 in your home ground against Sunrisers. Yes, your death bowlers let K Gowtham steal a game from under their noses. Yes, your captain scored fewer runs in 14 innings than Sunil Narine did for Kolkata Knight Riders.
But everything will be forgiven if (and when) you reclaim the title next year. And we’ll be there, screaming our heads off.
To whom it may concern at Rajasthan Royals,
Middle order. Middle order. Middle order. You may think I have lost my head, dear owner/CEO/coach/captain, but I am disheartened by how feeble your middle order was through the tournament.
Everything seemed hunky-dory when Jos Buttler was smashing it to all parts. Everything was swell when Rahane and Samson were caressing drives and steering the ball past the wicketkeeper.
Everything was perfect when the spinners were running rings around the opposition. But what happened when it fell to Nos. 4, 5 and 6 to win a game? What happened when Stuart Binny was left to get 15 runs an over in a knockout?
To whom it may concern at Kolkata Knight Riders,
Dear sir/ma'am: Back in March, if anyone had told me that we would come within one good over of entering the final, I would have laughed my head off.
Karthik and Co might have had the thinnest squad (with 19 players) but they have found men who can pull them through challenging situations. What's more: we now have a core of young Indian talent that can prop us up through the next two seasons.
Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti (when fit), Rinku Singh (when selected)… the future is so promising, so purple, so golden.
To whom it may concern at Sunrisers Hyderabad,
To Bhuvi and Sid and Rashid and Sandeep and Shakib and Carlos and Yusuf and Basil and Nabi …. to the exceptional fielders who backed them up… to Kane Williamson… to the coaches… to the mentors and analysts… a big thank you.
You backed our bowlers to defend the low ones. You dared to defend 118, 132, 146 and 151. You went through the season without Warner and managed for most games without Billy Stanlake.
With a more consistent middle-order and a genuinely quick bowler, you could well be a favourite next year as well.
To whom it may concern at Chennai Super Kings,
Keep calm. And carry on.