A bit of Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell and everything else we wish for
That time of the year is back when the T20 extravaganza returns, and in a much more grand fashion this time. It’s not the Indian Premier League, the Big Bash League, or the Carribean Premier League, but it’s the Champions League T20 (CLT20). A tournament where the best clubs from all over the world compete for the ultimate glory.
Top three IPL teams, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, and Chennai Super Kings have qualified for the tournament. Mumbai Indians too can be a part of the tournament if they manage to go through the qualifiers.
Most teams look great on paper, but one team that stands out is Kings XI Punjab. Although they did not manage to win the IPL trophy, their performance throughout the tournament was splendid, and their aggressive and positive approach towards the game won hearts of many.
One can say that explosive batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, and George Bailey form one of the most destructive batting line-ups in T20 cricket. And with youngsters like Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha doing well, it won’t be wrong to say that Kings XI have one of the best batting line-ups for the upcoming CLT20.
The team’s IPL season was fantastic. Glenn Maxwell and Virender Sehwag, the two top scorers for the team lifted Kings Xi with their individual performances. Maxwell was fantastic in the first half of the tournament, whereas Sehwag kept chipping in with several crucial 30s and 40s giving the much needed momentum a team needs at the start.
It was time when Sehwag had to convert his promising starts into a big one, and there was no better day than a ‘do-or-die’ game against the arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings.
The match was at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, and I was present in the stadium. Chennai Super Kings won the toss and elected to field first. The crowd went berserk on seeing Virender Sehwag come out to bat. Sehwag, as expectedly, started off his innings well, going all guns blazing since the start.
For us as spectators, it was a treat to watch vintage Virender Sehwag back. After hammering the seamers, he decided to go after the experienced spin-duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja too. He was easily clearing the fence as and when he wished to. Such a treat to watch!
Prior to this knock, the seventh edition of the IPL saw just one ton, and that was from the willow of Lendl Simmons. Sehwag’s ton was the second in IPL 7, and the highest individual score of the season. He reached his century off just 50 deliveries, and eventually ended up on 122, ensuring Kings XI have much more than a winning score.
The crowd cheered up Sehwag in grand fashion, giving him a standing ovation. The chants of ‘Viru Viru’ and ‘Sehwag Sehwag’ brought back old memories. Also, it was heart-warming to see Kings XI Punjab’s co-owner, Preity Zinta celebrate Sehwag’s 100. Her expressions clearly portrayed every Indian cricket fan’s reaction who were waiting to see the vintage Virender Sehwag back.
Later, Chennai Super Kings gave a good fight-back, with a major contribution by Suresh Raina. A wonderful run-out by George Bailey to dismiss Raina turned the match on its head in the favor of the Kings XI again.
The experience of watching the match in the stadium was wonderful. Me and my friends had taken a poster along, featuring Virender Sehwag and Glenn Maxwell. The poster read, “If cricket is a religion, Sehwag is my God”. I do not think I could have found a better day to have taken this poster to the ground as Sehwag’s performance was Godly indeed.
And now, the Kings XI Punjab are back and will take on the Hobart Hurricanes on September 18. All a fan can expect is that Kings XI Punjab continue their good form, and win the tournament this year. At the same time, all eyes will be on Sehwag, who has certainly made a strong statement for himself after a wonderful IPL season. If the Champions League goes well for him, there is a huge possibility of his comeback in the Indian team. Seeing Sehwag back in Indian colors is what every cricket fan wishes for, and I hope that we will not be left disappointed.