The story was way too similar to IPL 2008, RCB on a losing streak, looking down & beat. To cut the story short, ‘Hopeless’ is the single word.
Enter Abracadabra Anil Kumble as captain.
Retired Test Player, smirked the people who don’t know the man well.
But for those who know that behind that gentle emotionless face lies a competitor as fierce as you get, there was hope.
Throughout his career he hardly showed any emotion or sledged, but no one ever tried harder or played the game tougher.
The under celebrated, battle hardened, gentle giant rose to the challenge magnificently. As a captain and player, he lead from front.
The bunch of losers transformed into a team of winners.
And the smiling assassin was striking at will. It’s said that he always thought the batsmen out, reminder was the game against Panjab, Kumble vs Yuvaraj
And no one deserved to lift the trophy more than Kumble. Sad that RCB ended up one blow short. It's heartbreaking.(Yeah, it still hurts)
It was vintage Kumble with a captain's spell in the finals, that best epitomized what Kumble is all about.
Bowling the first over to Gilchrist (fresh from a 35 ball 85 assault in the semi final), and outsmarting him.
Taking the bull by horns and taming.
And then coming back to remove dangerous looking Symonds.
That's what spearheads of attacks do.
When the DC were about to accelerate, removing Rohit Sharma.
Delivering when it matters.
Wicket of Venugopal Rao to the last delivery of the spell was a bonus.
Well, I have memories of mostly hearing radio commentary when Kumble was in his pomp.
Here he was turning clock back, at his very best and it's a sight!
For this one reason, no great fan of IPL to start with, now I am a convert.
Thanks to Lalit Modi, decades from now, when I will be telling tales of Kumble to my grandchildren(:P), who may not be able to relate to test/one day match, I can always refer to the IPL-09 :-)
It's cliched, but let me say, 'Form of the game is temporary; Anil Kumble's class is permanent'