Sports


Beyond the Boundary: Three for two, and five for one



IF 'impossible' is what's generally deemed 'not able to occur, exist or be done', it's safe to assume that Yuvraj Singh has now left-handedly made the impossible possible, but when such history and common belief defying efforts aren't enough to stop the inexplicable run of shame and horror making the angry young man at the helm of RCB more frustrated than he was in the game before, you doubt even Napoleon sort of nothing is impossible courage could help the Bangalore franchise.

If we want to see positive even in an Everest of gloom, we better be happy that there's possibly no further way down for Virat Kohli after hitting rock-bottom in terms of personal form and team success.

This, incidentally, was perhaps what worked for Yuvraj in the match against Rajasthan on Sunday.

After trying to play himself in until getting out in almost all the nine games, he seemed to have gained confidence from the fact that there's no further lows for him to hit anew. That, plus the top order failure, was the opportunity he seemed to have stumbled upon to rediscover his natural touch which transformed Yuvi to produce glimpses of his blasts from the past. 

It's still too early to believe that what we witnessed on Sunday is going to be the new Yuvi norm. It takes a few more similar things happening in a row for that kind of trust to build even in the die-hard Yuvi fans who have been rooting for the Singh in all his fights, both personal and professional, these past few months.

After season seven getting entertainingly past the half way mark, the battle lines have been clearly drawn. We now get more than a glimpse of the real kings and the knights and the royals.

The fact is that some kings are kings just in name, and that some royals lack so much the blue blood they think they are either born with or acquired in the passage of the six-plus seasons. The kings who have proved their pedigree are now sitting pretty at the top of the table, having won an equal number of matches (seven out of nine) and separated by nothing more than a thin line of excellence in terms of better batting averages.

So, it's now what looks like a two-way fight:  a group of three fighting for the top two slots that will  ensure a place for one in the final and lend a lifeline for the other to still make it to the final.  Nothing is final as yet, yet it's safe to assume that Kings XI Punjab (14 points) and Chennai Superkings (14) and Rajasthan Royals (12) are the franchises trying to snatch the two top spots, with the third team obviously taking one of the two remaining playoff spots.

When that happens, the one slot left will have to be filled in by one of the five in the pack and, as things stand now, it's going to be anybody's ticket, except perhaps Delhi Daredevils' for whom the cause seems to be almost lost, having gained just 4 points from 9 outings. Theoretically speaking, DD and Mumbai Indians, who have 4 points from 8 games, are still in the race, but the real fight for the single slot is going to be among Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore.

With the miracle for the possible or the impossible to happen or not to happen getting thinner, today's battle royal between Rajasthan and Chennai will define clarity for the top slots, and the one between Bangalore and Delhi could almost make or break RCB's prospects.

What's visible for now is the line that separates the kings and the commoners.


The writer is a freelance contributor based in India. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman

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