IPL: A platform for young and old to dispel all notions and bust all myths

Since its existence in 2008, Indian Premier League (IPL) has not only become a platform for young players to hog the limelight and attract the attention of those who matters, it’s also a place for the old and retired crusaders to show that they still have it in them to give young players the run for their money.

According to Ravi Shastri, IPL Season won’t be different as many have a lot to prove and will use this as an opportunity to do the same. “MS Dhoni hasn’t won a lot lately. Gautam Gambhir has been put out of captaincy race. Virender Sehwag’s bat hasn’t boomed for a while now. Suresh Raina isn’t in the thick of things which is his preferred instinct. Rohit Sharma is still only a promise. Harbhajan Singh would love to remind everyone he’s still around. Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla are slow bowlers with a common mission,” writes Shastri in The Times Of India, adding that a few young bullies are straining under the leash.

“Virat Kohli has virtually been unstoppable in recent months. A few young colts would look to further their profiles. Rahul Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Vinay Kumar want their careers to be in cruise mode. Ravindra Jadeja would look to be worth his price. Praveen Kumar has a chance to prove his fitness.”

Meanwhile an article in Hindustan Times says if MS Dhoni, who has had a tough last year, would be able to change his fortunes with IPL. “When he powered Chennai Super Kings to their second successive IPL crown in May 2011, he was the emperor of all he surveyed. As he prepares to defend the crown, he's a man weighed down by the expectations and the leader of a battered team. Last May, Dhoni was well on his way to becoming the best captain world cricket has seen. In a fantastic year, he led India to World Cup glory and his side was on top of the Test rankings, and CSK had won the IPL twice. Essentially he had won everything there is to win in cricket,” says the article, adding that at the end of the season, however, he can well consider himself lucky he's still holding the India captaincy after his reputation was torn to shreds by a marauding England in the summer and a ruthless Australia.

“He's back playing his favourite tournament and will be hoping it brings a change in luck,” adds HT.

An article in HT says that the move of Sachin Tendulkar stepping down as MI skipper may prove the masterstroke for Mumbai Indians and a nightmare for their opponents, for it gives Tendulkar the freedom to focus solely on his batting, and Harbhajan a chance to replicate his Champions League success.

And the Chennai Super Kings, their opponents in the opener, are quick to take note of the danger. “Harbhajan is a good captain, he's a fighter. It's going to be an exciting contest,” said Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni.

But no matter what, the defending champions will be a tough nut to crack, especially at home where they have been almost invincible.  Add to the script the urge Dhoni must have to find his Midas touch again after suffering several reversals in international cricket, the contest gets even more intriguing.

Meanwhile Royal Challengers Bangalore paceman R Vinay Kumar said having world-class bowlers like Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Muttiah Muralitharan and Daniel Vettori in their ranks would make his job easier in the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"We have Zaheer, Daniel, Praveen and Murali, which makes my job much easier to put up a good show in this year's IPL," Vinay said, according to a report in Indian Express.

Meanwhile the proposed move to ‘sell off’ the Rajasthan IPL team has not come to pass. The team’s chairman Ranjit Barthakur told Times of india on Monday that the deadline to seal the deal was over, with the parties having failed to reach any agreement over the hotlyspeculated ‘sale’.

“I can confirm to you that a Kolkata-based businessman did approach us to pick up stakes in our franchise,” he said. “I can also confirm that the date by which the owners of the franchise were supposed to revert back is past. The deal is not happening.” The deadline expired about two weeks back.