He guided the Royals to victory with his second half-century of the tournament.
Retired greats Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden were the batting stars of IPL-2 in South Africa. Under the captaincy of Gilchrist, Deccan Charges won the final at Johannesburg on Sunday, defeating India’s Anil Kumble-led Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs.
Although he made a third ball duck, Gilchrist was adjudged the Player of the Series. And justifiably so.
He scored the second highest number of runs in the tournament, 495 in 16 matches at an average of 30.93 and a strike rate (SR) of 152.30.
The highest run-getter was Hayden, 572 runs in 12 matches, averaging 52.00 (third highest) at a SR of 144.81. Gilchrist’s SR of 152.30 was the highest among those aggregating over 250 runs.
He also hit most sixes, 29, in the tournament, with Hayden coming next with 22. Gilly also dismissed most batsmen behind the stumps – 18 (10 caught, 8 stumped).
Apart from Andrew Symonds, other Australians did not shine.
The Australians bowlers – including Shane Warne – had a poor IPL. Kumble was the most successful bowler with two deadly hauls of 5-5 and 4-16.
As to why Glenn McGrath, an ideal Twenty20 bowler, was ignored by Delhi Daredevil skipper Virender Sehwag will remain a mystery to me.
Although I’m still anti-IPL, one has to accept that it has been popular, not only in cricket-mad India last year, but also in South Africa this time.
After resisting for some time and trying their best to ignore it, the Australian, English and South African Cricket Boards have accepted that IPL deserves a window in the Future Tours Programme (FTP), according to a report in Mid-Day India.
The heads of these Boards – Cricket Australia, ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and Cricket South Africa – had a long meeting with BCCI secretary N Srinivasan to discuss the FTP from 2012 to 2020 on the eve of the final in Johannesburg.
It appears that the Big Four have agreed to provide a window for the IPL.
Encouraged, the IPL chairman Lalit Modi predicts that in the near future, there will be two IPLs a year in different countries.
It’s about time that the ICC takes a firm step towards stopping this intrusion. Once every two years may be acceptable, but not every year and certainly not twice a year.
Entertainment is one thing and IPL provides entertainment. But encroachment is another.
Is this the beginning of the end of cricket as we know it?