The slam-bang event, a brainchild of BCCI, has more bouquets than the brickbats. A hoard of upcoming cricketers made most of the god-sent nee Modi-sent opportunity.
The biggest gift of IPL to the Indian cricket was Yusuf Pathan. The elder brother of Irfan was lost in the three-day lacklustre domestic events. Also we have very few domestic tourneys in the shorter version - 50-over games. IPL provided him the platform and the big-hitting Baroda all-rounder grabbed it with both the hands with a series of fine shows both with the bat and ball. He along with the left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (Deccan Chargers) made it to Team India fold sheerly on their exploits in the event.
Swapnil Asnodkar impressed one and all with his innovative and inventive batting. Asnodkar, rising barely 5 ft from the ground, played a crucial role in Rajasthan Royals' success. He gave Royals the explosive starts and did it consistently. And most importantly he relieved the pressure on his partner Smith by taking extra risks in the early overs. The compact right-handed batsman from Goa carried his form from Ranji Trophy 2007-08 season (640 runs at 71.11) to IPL over 300 runs in 13 games.
India Colts' wicketkeeper-batsman Sreevats Goswami though played only three matches for Bangalore Royal Challengers showed he has in him to perform on big stages. He crafted a fine half-century in his debut match against Daredevils and did an exceptional job doning the big gloves in the losing cause. He along with his fellow U-19 players Ravinder Jadeja, Virat Kohli and Pradeep Sangwan can become future stars of Indian cricket.
The fringe players made a statement of intent with some consistent show. These players made selectors sit back and take note of their talent. The prolific run-scorer in domestic circuit Badri (Chennai), seamer Yomahesh (Delhi), right-hand middle-order batsman
Venugopal (Hyderabad), left-handed batsman Dhawan (Delhi), the young wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, bowling all-rounder Vinaykumar (Bangalore), attacking left-handed batsman Abhishek Nayar (Mumbai) among others only goes to say that Indian have a strong bench strength.
India regulars Irfan Pathan, Rohit Sharma, Sreesanth, Sehwag, Gambhir et al did no harm to their reputation.
Even the overseas players used this platform to further their cause with national sides. The Australia-discard Shane Watson came up with the top class effort with both bat and ball. He amassed a staggering 472 runs, plucked 17 wickets and earned four
Man-of-the-Match awards in 15 games. It is to early to bracket the 26-year-old Queenslander in the golden league of all-rounders studded with Kapil, Botham, Imran and Sir Richard Hadlee but he surely has the makings of what these legends had.
Shaun Marsh, son of the former Aussie Test opener Geoff Marsh, staked a claim for a spot in Australia Test and ODI teams. The chip off the old block is compact, has wide range of shots in his armoury, possesses sound temperament and above all has an insatiable appitite for runs. Marsh, joined Mohali for a paltry $ 33,000 as a cover for his compatriot Katich, scored over 600 runs in 13 games to win the 'Orange Cap' (given for top run-getter in the event). Shaun Geoff Marsh is the future face of Australia.
The seasoned Graeme Smith, Sanath Jayasuriya, Pollock, Sangakkara, Mahela, Gilly lived up to their reputation.
However India's fab four Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman failed to inspire their sides. The ageing golden quartet of India should give a thought over their ODI careers. These batting maestros are still good enough for the longer version of the sport.