Twenty20 fails to create spark at Kotla

April 20th, 2008 - 7:32 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Cricket sends the country into a tizzy and if it is Twenty20, it goes into frenzy. But Saturday night the fans felt let down at the Feroze Shah Kotla when they came to have their first feel of the Indian Premier League (IPL). There was little suspense and much less excitement. The stage was perfect as Delhi Daredevils dared Rajasthan Royals in their opening game. But the fans had to make do with an action stunt by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and the imported cheerleaders. Even the sideshow could not really spice up the evening as the main component cricket was insipid as it was one-sided.

Only four sixes flying into the stands to entertain 35,000 crowd after what Bangalore had seen the opening night.

The hosts had to chase just 130 runs and romped home in style, but that was not the only thing the spectators came for. Thy wanted another shower of sixes and fours if not a thunderstorm. Understandably, the galleries had little to cheer.

“It looked as if they were playing a one-day match and not a Twenty20. Where are all the big hitters,” asked a disappointed spectator.

The batsmen of both the teams failed to come anywhere near what Brendon McCullum did for Kolkata Knight Riders or Mike Hussey for Chennai Super Kings.

The format is taylor-made for the batsmen but Rajasthan Royals simply could not get into the act as Glenn McGrath gave little room for them manoeuvre. It was left to the Daredevils to salvage something, but they were not in a mood to entertain the fans as the target was too small for them to go on blitzkrieg. Even Virender Sehwag could not do much.

Spectators were left to cheering older boys McGrath and Shane Warne. And they didn’t disappoint and, importantly, they did not look pensioners.

Fielding in the deep, McGrath kept the spectators amusing by acknowledging their cheers.

“The Twenty20 is said to be for fresh legs. Now, there is scope for older guys to come out of retirement and take on the youngsters,” commented another.

Then there seemed a semblance of order and cleanliness in the new stadium. That’s something unthinkable at the Kotla not long ago. IPL seems to be helping the makeover.

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