In an earlier post I wrote about the support for the IPL teams from outside India has tended to be cast towards the individual rather than actual teams, when I watch the Chennai Super Kings I tend to be indifferent as to whether or not they actual win or lose, but rather am just waiting for Albie Morkel to get into the action and hoping that he does well. While this sort of support has gained momentum throughout the cricket watching world, even in India i’m told, it does take something away from the actual enjoyment of supporting a team.
Whether or not your domestic team are challenging for the title, or languishing far behind, you support them through thick and thin, because they are your team, and that’s what supporting a team means. The individualistic approach may make sense but it does leave a certain empty feel to the whole process, with little emotion behind the results.
It is for this reason that I think all cricket watchers from outside India (and those in India who have not done so) should adopt an IPL team and make them their team, just as you would for an soccer team in England, Italy or Spain, when you don’t hail from that country.
We’re past half way in the round robin stage and are approaching the semi finals so we’ve all had time to get to know the various teams, their players, their approach, and various other aspects we may be interested in, such as the likes of Priety Zinta and Katrina Kaif being the faces of the Kings II Punjab and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. So chose a team and make them yours for the remainder of this series and future IPL series that are sure to come.
I have adopted the the Mumbai Indians as my team. Shaun Pollock has always been my hero and thus it is obvious that I would gravitate towards his team. The Mumbai Indians have, in my view, had the best team spirit in the IPL. They started off losing their first 4 games, have had their captain, and most expensive player, Tendulkar, out injured for the opening 7 games, then had Harbajan Singh banned for the rest of the tournament after their 2nd game, when he slapped Sreesanth. After all that has gone wrong Shaun Pollock took over as captain and has pulled the team together and they are not winning, having won 3 in a row. Even through the losses you could see that the players generally get along and enjoy each other. A lot of other teams have seen players gravitate towards who they are most comfortable with, the Australians stick together, the Sri Lankans and Pakistani’s and so on. When you watch the Mumbai Indians you see them as a team and this makes a huge difference. It probably helps that Shaun Pollock comes from Durban in South Africa, which has the highest density of Indians outside India, and he has managed to keep the spirit and teamwork high. When wickets fall and you see Pollock, Bravo, Jayasuriya, Uthappa and Nehra jumping on each other, you can see the joy and pleasure they feel. The older players have been great role models and points of reference and knowledge for the young Indian players in their squad.
With Tendulkar back they can only get stronger. Hopefully my Mumbai Indians will continue their winning way and get to the semi’s and then have every chance of winning. I’ll be supporting them all the way.