“You can’t win anything with kids” said Alan Hansen when Manchester United were comprehensively beaten by Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995-96 Premier League season. Sir Alex had fielded a team comprising of Gary Neville (aged 20), Paul Scholes (20), Ryan Giggs (21), Phil Neville (18), Nicky Butt (20), with substitute appearances from David Beckham (20) and John O’Kane (20). At that instant it did seem like Hansen was making some very valid arguments, but it all came back to haunt him 9 months later when United won the league, with kids.
On the face of it, it was very easy to understand the point Hansen was driving. To compete at the highest level, you do need a good mixture of youth and experience. United din’t have much of that and now 22 years later something similar is brewing in the IPL.
Rahul Dravid’s fledglings are finally sprouting and the fruits are for everyone to see. Nair, Samson, Pant and Iyer have been given the onus of bearing the flag for Delhi’s top order, and while it may seem as a barbarous act at first, things might just be looking upwards for Dravid’s investment in the future of Indian Cricket.
While it may be difficult to emulate what Ferguson did with United back in 95-96, at least there is someone in Indian cricket brave enough to take that route, to take the road less travelled. It might not work out at all, but credit to the Delhi management to Dravid for using the IPL as a forum to give confidence and opportunities to youngsters, and keeping results as the last thing on the priority list.
The Delhi Daredevils were always up for an uphill battle, after conceding 185 against one of the best bowling line ups of this competition. But the fearlessness of youth took over in the second half.
Nair, Samson, Pant and Iyer romped to quick starts, each of them contributing a decent 30-40 odd runs to the team’s score. Corey Anderson then came in an knocked off the last bit with his brute force.
Sunrisers wouldn’t worry too much about this loss though, as they got Yuvi firing in this game, something that would immensely help them in their bid to finish in the top 2. They do need to draft Nehra into the side though, if they want to strengthen that bowling department a little further, as right now there is a little too much pressure on Bhuvi, and he is bound to have an off day.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiant
The Million dollar baby has truly come off age now. He did deliver a sublime bowling performance a few days back, but with his under pressure hundred in the last game, he truly has justified his worth. Scoring a hundred, in a T20 game, while chasing is a display of character, and Stokes has plentiful of it. RPS look a far more balanced side with him in the mix, but he needs to fire with the ball consistently, and not only in short bursts.
Kolkata Knight Riders have most things sorted, except maybe the inclusion of Colin De Grandhomme. Except taking those 3 wickets in that famous RCB mauling, de Grandhomme hasn’t done anything of note until now, and could be replaced by Shakib, but I think Gambhir will pursue with Grandhomme, as Shakib leaves for England after tonight’s game and Grandhomme’s bowling could be useful on this seaming Eden track.
Let’s get to business now!
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