Ahhh ... so April 4 2012, it is, tomorrow! Indian Premier League Season 5 will kick start tomorrow with an inaugural session and a match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram stadium, Chennai. Nine teams battle it out with each team playing against the other - 9x8 = 72 T 20 games in the league session itself barring qualifiers, semis and finals ... that's a whooping big total.
1. With MS Dhoni steering Chennai Super Kings this time too, from the front, no surprises if a repeat of 2010 and 2011 years happens.
2. I think Sachin really got tired of all media reports, tons of questions and speculation of his calling it quits from cricket, so he decided to pacify press folks by handing over captaincy of Mumbai Indians to relatively younger Bhajji.
3. Sehwag will get to make his own rules and run his own empire, no Dhonism to hamper his progress, no injury will now come his way, he will fight like many kings history has seen from times of Hastinapur to Shahjahanabad and conquer it all for the Delhi Daredevils.
4. What is Kolkata Knight Riders without Dada? Though we are now used to his absence, Gambhir with equal bouts of fiery temper, arrogance and attitude like Dada may work hard and harder to Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbho! Still somewhere, the positive passion that emanates from fury and attitude as in case of Dada will go amiss.
5. Pune Warriors India will miss a true warrior, Yuvraj Singh, who is waging an even more critical battle than cricket itself. To not have the swashbuckler play the format he excels at creates quite a loss. It is a little absurd to see Dada - Saurav Ganguly head Pune Warriors India, even more absurd to learn from the newspaper that he insists on opening. The only Bong connection that is evident is that the team is headed by Subrata Roy. Hope this Poorab Poschim connection works.
6. Kings X1 Punjab don't have any Chak De Phatte effect. This season, even rumor mills will fall quiet as Preity's pretty guy Brett Lee does not figure in the squad.
7. Loyalty changes and so does royalty... may not make sense but it does rhyme well. The Wall - Rahul Dravid who recently became more of a Wailing Wall after retiring from cricket will have his hands full as the coach and captain of Rajasthan Royals.
8. Royal Challengers Bangalore can earn back all fortunes lost, save many a sinking ships or more aptly said save many a drowning planes if two things are tightly adhered to, one keep Deepika Padukone out of all matches and never issue her a ticket and secondly keep Virat Kohli just happy (not too much or too little) and more focused so that centuries rain down heavily without stoppage.
9. Deccan Chargers.. ahha ..there's something in the air of this team, they are like students who prepare extremely well for their exams, so well, yet flunk on d-day.
Not too many reasons in favor to kindle and sustain interest in this season, yet I am sure I will keep a good eye on most, if not all matches :) After all, for really long, have I waited to break free from endless news debates on NDTV, CNN-IBN and Times Now channels .. so long, so long ....