So I tortured myself again tonight by submitting myself to watch the final 5 overs of the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.
And what a big mistake it was.
KKR have restructured the team, thrown out an egotistical, megalomaniac icon, roped in some real effects players, but no matter what they do, they just cannot catch a break. Chasing a paltry score of 154, the KKR folded like origami under pressure applied by the Captain Cool, MSD, who just a few days ago, lifted the World Cup.
To be honest, this KKR team looks much better poised than the rag tag team of the past, but yet, they are a long way from being a winning team. From a position of command, they managed to screw up so badly, that you have to watch it to believe it.
Despite the major changes being rung in at the rate of knots, KKR looked really poor under pressure in the final 7 overs. Granted, they have some of the best grafters in Gambhir and Kallis, some of the best hitters in Yusuf and Eoin Morgan, and some of the best allrounders in Kallis (again!) and Ryan ten Doeschate (who I saw wasn’t played for the match, don’t know why, because he is apparently a specialist T20 player), but they really need to get their act together. In Dav Whatmore they have a great coach, who has seen it all. He led the rising Sri Lankan team to their sole World Cup victory, and is known for making teams realize their best potentials.
I know it is very early days yet, and making a call now, especially given the competitive new circuit for IPL-2011, is only going to make me look like an idiot if the team turns on its head. But one thing I can assure you, if KKR fails to deliver a better performance this time, the ire of Kolkata over the dethroning of their Prince, Saurav Ganguly, will be felt well and truly by the owners…