Mumbai against Bangalore, a game full of characters

  Mumbai Indians against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede stadium was one of the most awaited matches of the IPL. Both the teams are very similar, consist some of the modern greats and some of the greatest characters. It ended up being a one sided affair, but there’s a lot to talk about.   First and foremost, the pitch was lively with a lot of bounce but was excellent to bat on. Mumbai winning the toss took it to their advantage and posted a good total but no total is too good when Chris Gayle gets going. They had to bowl very well, and they just did that with Mitchell Johnson and Lasith Malinga bowling brilliant length to start the proceedings.

Talking of characters, one of the moments of the match was the ‘Bhajji Gangnam style’ after the off spinner dismissed Gayle. The RCB batting looked over reliant on Gayle, and it seemed the contest was between Mumbai against the RCB opener. The Jamaican giant looked like the King Kong fighting helplessly against the US air force, who eventually succeed in bringing him down.   Dilshan reputed for big hitting needs to realise his role and take some load off Gayle. I think Dilshan hasn’t really done his job for RCB and maybe at this juncture of the tournament I would prefer someone like Moises Henriques or Daniel Vettori. For Mumbai, I always felt Dhawal Kulkarni should be playing more matches than he usually plays. Given the opportunity he made the most of it by dismissing Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers, the two dangerous players who could have still chased down the total.   Coming to the other characters, I was very disappointed when I saw an upset Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma throwing his bat around after being run out. It’s the bat that has given him the fame and you don’t treat it like that for your own mistake. Over the years, having shared the dressing room with Sachin Tendulkar for Mumbai, West Zone, Mumbai Indians and India, you expect one to learn, choose better vocabulary and behave better. It’s also something one associates with Mumbai cricket. Maybe Rohit as a captain is having a lot of think, something you don’t associate much with him, and also learning is not something you would not associate with him either.   From Mumbai’s skipper to Bangalore’s, Kohli was jeered by the Wankhede crowd, which was wrong, but he could have won a few hearts if he wanted. The Ambati Rayadu run out wasn’t a fault of the bowler Vinay Kumar and neither was it Rayadu’s. The collision was unintentional and for the sake of good sportsmanship, he had the option of calling Rayadu back. However good sportsmanship isn’t something you associate with Kohli. He plays it tough, perhaps a bit too hard. Whatever he did was well within the rules, but cricket was once called ‘gentleman’s game’. The behaviour of the likes of Rohit and Kohli makes people think again.   The Mumbai crowd is passionate, they support their team, understand the game, but they certainly aren’t the most respectful. Having watched matches in many venues, Wankhede and Brabourne are the venues where I don’t enjoy watching games because of their lack of respect for the oppositions and remember it was the same venue where a section booed local hero Tendulkar in 2006 and Yuvraj in 2008. Kohli was at the receiving end on Saturday but that’s a part of the game.   The masterstroke however turned out to be Tendulkar’s decision to take the charge early on. Dwayne Smith took it on from there and Kieron Pollard added some final touches, and Mumbai Indians prevailed.   Brief Scores   MI 194 for 7 in 20 overs [D Smith 50(36), D Karthik 43(33)*, K Pollard 34(16)] beat RCB 136 for 7 in 20 overs [D Kulkarni 4-0-19-3, Harbhajan 4-0-21-2, D Smith 2-0-20-2)] by 58 runs