IPL 2012 has completed 4 matches so far. The fourth match finally brought smiles to the batsmen freeing the IPL from the rein of bowler’s domination. The high scoring match resulted in Rahane, who scored 98 runs, walking away with Player of the Match award. Ironically, in the first three matches where teams could not cross 112 runs, batsmen walked away with awards for scoring as less as 32 runs. Has IPL Committee decided to not reward bowler!!
First match saw Mumbai Indians bowlers bundling the two-time champion and almost undefeatable-at-home Chennai Super Kings on a very low score. A rare all out for CSK happened. The MI bowlers hunted as a team. They won the match comfortably without needing exceptional solo batting performance. But their opener Levi’s half-century on IPL debut saw him earning the player of the match award.
Second match was curtailed by rain to 12-overs. KKRs strong batting line-up and home support would have promised a run-rate of 10-per over. But Morkel’s 3 wicket and Merwe’s 2 wicket spell alongwith Umesh Yadav and other bowlers contribution saw KKR struggling to reach 97 runs. Again, no special batting effort was required. But Irfan Pathan’s 42 runs effort to help DD win was considered above bowler’s effort to decide Player of the Match award.
Third match saw strong Mumbai Indians playing at home against the weakest team Pune Warriors. MI bowlers restricted Pune to a gettable target of 130 runs. But Dinda and Murali Kartik dealt heavy blow. Dinda finished is speall with 4 very important wickets. MI could barely reach 100 runs and lost by 29 runs. Still, the committee decided to favor 32 runs by Steven Smith to select Player of the Match Award.
The fourth match saw Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI scoring high totals. Chasing Royals 192 runs, Kings XI scored 160 runs. The pitch was certainly supporting batsmen. Still 23-year old Kevon Cooper from Trinidad’s effort while bowling and fielding was commendable. He grabbed 4 wickets for Royals, grabbed 2 catches and effected a run out. But, 98 runs scored by Rahane was the clear winner for Player of the Match Award.
Even 4 wickets Are not Worth the Award
Even in low scoring matches (First three) bowlers were overlooked although none of the batsmen could score substantial runs. Even on batting pitch 98 runs was considered more important than the effort of Cooper that helped Royals grab 7 of the 9 wickets that Kings XI lost.
What is the Committee deciding the Player of the Award looking for?
Probably nothing. Bowlers are not in their list of probables for the award. They are just looking for run makers. If batsmen makes scores of even 30s in low matches, that is more exceptional performance than bowlers who grabbed 2,3 or even 4 wickets.
If batsmen score 50-plus even on a batting pitch, then also the bowlers grabbing 3 wickets or more are not considered worth even a thought.
Even in 2011 a bowler complained about lack of attention towards bowlers. Then, committee members agreed to including members of bowling background in the committee. As a result, later some awards went to bowlers too.
Appears, again some bowler must raise the question to help fellow bowlers earn their rights and get equality. Or else, probably the committee is awaiting a hattrick or 5-wicket haul, forgetting that it is T20, not ODI or test match.