Against MI, Pune-skipper Sourav looked the leader of old : Harsha Bhogle
They are not quite in fully retro mode yet but there is something about watching Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly now that leaves me with an air of wistfulness; almost like it is my last opportunity to partake of their riches. You never say never in sport, how many of us thought we had seen the last of Ganguly when he wasn’t picked in the auction for IPL4, but sentiment, that so defines us, wills them on everytime they step on the field. As captains they showed their class with lesser fancied teams to call their own and now they take the field again. They are, quite unsurprisingly, my prime Sunday viewing.
Dravid’s Team Jaipur take on the formidable, but seemingly anxious, Team Kolkata who must get over that 12-over-game as quickly as possible. They play at Jaipur where the track is unrecognisable from the one on which Warne conjured up wins over the last few years. This one is full of runs and it will test Jaipur who have traditionally been at their best in games that are built around a score of 130. And I will be watching every ball that Ajinkya Rahane plays for there was such smoothness and style to his 98 against Punjab.
Meanwhile, Ganguly comes to his new home ground—a stylish looking structure just off the expressway to Mumbai that might test the Pune-kars’ love for cricket. On a strange track at the Wankhede, Ganguly was the leader of old, goading young guns on and skilfully using his older spinners. We don’t know how the track at the new stadium will play but if it is like the one at Jaipur, with a lot of runs in it, he may have a challenge on his hands. It’s not something he doesn’t know! It is a long tournament that has, at its core, unpredictability. On that score it has begun well.
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