This is the sixth season (year) of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Each year, the exquisiteness of the league has just grown. The people associated with the league, especially the celebrities from different walks of life have added to the splendor of IPL. IPL is the pinnacle of entertainment in cricket, where the sport is already a religion.

Each year the entertainment quotient has just got bigger and better. In the last season of IPL, there were numerous matches that went down to the wire. Many of them were last-ball finishes. Thrillers had become the order of the day for many team and even the spectators had got used to it.

This season has also showed glimpses of the last one, during the second match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. If on one hand the Bangalore team had a steady and a slow start, even when a batsman like Chris Gayle was at the crease, on the other was the same batsman plundering runs at will towards the end of the innings.

In Test cricket it takes a couple of sessions for any team to be thrown out of the match if they play bad cricket. In T20 cricket and especially in the IPL, just one solitary over is enough. It was proved by Dinesh Kartik who pillaged as many as 24 runs from Dan Christian’s one over, which was also his last over.

When Bangalore started their batting, it looked they would not be able to score even 125 runs. But the way Gayle batted once again reminded us all of those long sixes that he hit last year as well. When he gets going, no ground is big for him to send the ball 20 rows back or on the second tier.

Mumbai was looking set for a comprehensive finish with a win when Dinesh Kartik was going berserk. When he was batting, it looked a walk in the park for the Mumbai team. However, the last over from Vinay Kumar made sure that Mumbai does not score those 10 runs for a win, and not even 9 runs to tie the match.

He picked up two wickets in that over which proved to be the final nail in the coffin.

IPL is also a learning curve when it comes to captaincy training. There has been lots of talk about Virat Kohli taking over from M S Dhoni to lead the Indian side. Matches like this one make a captain think of strategy and plan things out impromptu. One cannot have any plan when a player like Gayle or Kartik hits almost every ball out of the park.

This is where a captain has to take quick decisions and Kohli has been going through that. He has been leading the Bangalore side well and the good thing is that it is not affecting his batting. However, he has to learn the secrets of the trade still. If he has to lead India at the highest level, then leading a team in the IPL can give a lot of valuable experience.

And let us not see the IPL only a platform for a batsman to hit the ball around and score runs. There are bowlers like Brett Lee who took the wicket of Unmukt Chand on the very first ball of the tournament and Jasprit Bumrah, who became an overnight hero. He was known only to a handful of people. Even the commentators saw him the first time when he came in the side.

We have seen a lot of spectacular catches taken on the field. The catches on the boundary, especially by David Hussey will never be forgotten when he stepped out of the boundary with the ball in the air and came back again to take a breathtaking catch. Excellent fielding have accounted for quite a few run outs too.

One can get to see all this only in the Indian Premier League!

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