Kochi Signed off from IPL 4 with some hope of a better future. The individual performances does not give much hope. Yet, the team performances that led them to be in contention of knockout position for some time, does raise the hope of a better show from them next year, considering first year anywhere is just a new experience that can be used for better results in future. It should have reached the knocked out if Mahela had used captaincy as a skill rather than experimenting field.
Captain – The Biggest Weakness
Mahela Jayawardene and Parthiv captained Kochi. While Parthiv was the captain in the lasst match of Kochi Tuskers against his ex-team Chennai Super Kings at old home ground Chennai, Mahela captained for remaining 13 matches. Except the captaincy against KKR at Kolkata in successfully defending a low total, he never showed why he was considered a good captain of Sri Lanka.
Brendum McCullum could have done better, yet he is the best Tusker batsmen. RP Singh took only 13 wickets but he is the leading wicket taker.
Sreesanth has the best economy rate, still he played only half the matches.
In 14 matches Kochi could get only one 100-plus partnerships. In fact they have only 3 75-plus partnerships in 14 innings. Only 5 batsmen could reach 100-plus tally of runs. Only two bowlers crossed the 10-wicket tally overall. Batting and captaincy is the biggest weakness.
The bowling academy as it was touted initially, did show impressive bowling performance. It bowled a team below 100. It also did not let any team score more than 182 against it. On an average teams could score around 150 against Kochi.
Mahela’s decision to open with McCullum, to persist with RP Singh and introduce Parmeswaran worked.
What Did Not Work
Mahela’s decision to shuffle the order, including his stepping down as opener, misuse of Jadeja, making Murali sit on bench for 9 matches and many onfield baffling decisions led to the downfall.
Dropping off Muralitharan at home (Kochi), on spinning tracks and everywhere was the biggest mystery. Murali gave a statement against SL Board’s decision to ask SL players to return early from IPL. It was just a coincidence that after that mostly Murali was warming the bench. He overall played only 5 matches taking 2 wickets.
Jadeja Coming at Number 6
Jadeja took the IPL by surprise by hitting massive sixes and scoring quick runs in the initial matches. For 5-6 matches he batted with fire whenever he got the opportunity. But for some reason despite the failure of topr order and middle order he was always sent at number 6 and slowly he lost his touch.
Promises for Next IPL
Overall the bowlers impressed, although they managed only 62 runs in 14 matches. The poor captaincy never let anyone settle in the team. If captaincy can be improved and batsmen can play with more responsibility, the likes of Jadeja, Hodge and bowlers can help Mahela and McCullum take Kochi to the knockout next year.