IPL management teams started their warm-up sessions last week. The player auctions were an instant hit, with England’s Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff scoring big tons off the field. With the addition of Shilpa Shetty to the already crowded bandwagon of Bollywood Stars, the warm up sessions were hotter this year.
Interestingly, the Bangalore Royal Challengers are aggressive this season. They went on to bid for Kevin Pietersen and finally got him onboard.
In fact, the owner of Bangalore’s Royal Challengers, Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya was upset with his team’s performance last year. He openly accused his team manager Charu Sharma and Captain Rahul Dravid for misguiding him in bidding for the T20 kind of players. The Royal Challengers had a miserable series in the inaugural session of IPL 20-20. They had a team full of Test Players like Anil Kumble and Jacques Kallis. Indeed their Captain Rahul Dravid was dropped from the Indian Squad for one-days and T20s.
Vijay Mallya doesn’t accept defeat so easily. So, this time Bangalore Royal Challengers got Kevin Pietersen on board. They already lined up explosive opener Robin Uthappa (to be brought from Mumbai Indians). With these additions, Royal Challengers will definitely throw a challenge to the rest of the teams in the 2nd Season of IPL T20.
With these changes, Rahul Dravid may loose out on many things. Firstly, youngsters like Robin Uthappa who held the reins as a captain of Karnataka in Ranji Trophy, will compete for the captain’s role in the second season. With the addition of Kevin Pietersen, the race for captaincy heats up. Further, Rahul Dravid’s place in the team itself becomes doubtful, as he didn’t show any form that is required for T20 matches. Sources say that Rahul Dravid may not play in the second season of IPL, as he is expecting his baby and plans to accompany his wife.
Same is the story for his friend VVS Laxman, in the neighboring Hyderabad’s Deccan Chargers. The dismal performance of Deccan Chargers in the first season of IPL calls for a change at the helm. In fact Afridi, a team member Laxman, ridiculed Laxman’s captaincy in press. The team management may re-thing their choice for the captain this time and Adam Gilchrist may lead this time.
We will have to wait and see how the second season of IPL shapes up