Mumbai Indians are Champion Indians
Millions of viewers who were following Indian Premier League 2010 knew that only one thing stood between Sachin Tendulkar and the DLF IPL Trophy at Mumbai on 25th April 2010. What stood in between SachinTendulkar and the trophy was not the injured finger which had five stitches but the toss on a pitch where chasing even a reasonable total was considered impossible. On expected lines once M S Dhoni won the toss it was confirmed that Chennai Super Kings are to be crowned winners of the IPL 2010.
It was really a tragedy that Mumbai Indians who stormed through to the finals booking their Champions League slot in the process had to ultimately bow down to a factor beyond them in the form of toss. Once Sachin Tendulkar had stitches on his right arm on 21st April 2010, it was known to all that those 5 stitches would be removed 4 days after the final. Tendulkar, the genius known for his tremendous mental strength decided to lead from the front by playing in the final when he was not good enough to even hold a bat. It was really tragic to see Sachin the eternal optimist sporting a dejected look after losing the toss for he knew the fact that Mumbai Indians had lost the match even before a single ball was bowled.
Sachin though can take personal pride in the fact that he was rewarded with the Orange Cap for his outstanding batting in IPL 2010 where he finished as the highest run getter overtaking Kallis. Sachin's 618 runs in this edition is a new record breaking the earlier record of 616 set by Shaun Marsh in the inaugural edition of 2008. Sachin proved yet again why he is the best batsman in the world by top scoring for his team in the final. Sachins 48 in the final is the only instance of a 40 plus score in the final. Sachin's stunning performance in this year won him the Player of the Series a just reward for his extra ordinary consistency in this tournament though his team Mumbai Indians had to bow down to Dhonis famous luck.
Dhonis luck as captain once again came to the fore in this edition of IPL and this time around his cause was helped by former Indian medium paper Irfan Pathan in the semi finals and in the finals by Zaheer Khan. When Irfan Pathan came to bowl the last over for Punjab, the match was as good as over for Dhoni with Chennai needing 16 of the final over but some poor bowling by the former Indian medium pacer saw Chennai win in style scoring 18 runs of a mere 4 deliveries. In the final when Mumbai Indians were already on the backfoot after losing the toss, Zaheer Khan with more than a decade of international experience dropped a skier which should have been taken considering he had lot of time to get into position and judge the catch.
On the pitch in which the final was played a target of around 140 was more than enough, but some good hitting by Raina and poor bowling by Zaheer ensured that Chennai had assured themselves of the tophy. Sachin's tactic of sending Harbhajan early and Pollard too late was disputed by many, but then those tactics were forced by the situation and were right but unfortunately did not click for Sachin. With stitches on his hand, Sachin probably felt he was not as at ease in forcing the pace as he was accustomed to in earlier matches and felt that he would play around the others who would go out for runs and therefore Harbhajan was promoted. It may also be noted that Harbhajan had batted decently in the longer formats of the game in the last couple of years and therefore had the requisite skills to play the role of selective pinch hitter. In Pollards case it was seen that he was winning matches for Mumbai Indians very late down in the order and therefore was persisted with as he was producing the results.
If you consider winning percentages of team, Mumbai Indians have the best success percentage Mumbai Indians have won 11 matches for 68.75% success rate which could have been higher had they not fielded a second string team in their last league match against Kolkatta. On the other hand, Chennai the eventual winners with 9 wins and 7 losses have a poor record of 56.25%.
On the record Chennai are IPL Champions but one must say Mumbai Indians are the team of the tournament and should rightly be called as "Champion Indians"
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