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IPL: The demon that consumed Pune and Gujarat

Morning shows the days- Pune and Gujarat’s endeavour in their second season ran parallel to the phrase.

Washington Sundar of Rising Pune Supergiant celebrates fall of Rohit Sharma's wicket
Rising Pune Supergiant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Mired in illusion
Lost in the masters game
Silenced by the idea of time
Nurtured with lies and deceit

Shagrath and his Norwegian band Dimmu Borgir stormed back following a break of seven years. Maybe they screeched their frustration out during the excruciating phase when they didn’t, or couldn’t weave magic as a metal orchestra. The mind is at unrest all throughout when it strolls into sleep only to realize that it has gone under the stranglehold of time from which it might never recover.

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The above preamble is somewhat aligned to Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions’ journey in the Indian Premier League. However, while Dimmu Borgir has reinstated their authority with their album Eonian, Pune and Gujarat have entered slumber, something which might have brought the curtains down on their future in the prestigious tournament.

The illusive existence

Pune and Gujarat saw the daylight in 2015, however, did their existence see a future? Or were they masqueraded as Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals? The franchises were nothing, but an illusion which came into being only to fade into oblivion. They were born with a disease, something which aroused from Chennai and Rajasthan’s suspension.

In an era of globalization, time canters away without our knowledge. The seconds, minutes and hours remain the same, but fast-paced lifestyle ensures that they pass away in a whisker. Pune and Gujarat strolled along, but they were gradually consumed by the ailment and were steadfastly engulfed by time. Their presence was a lie, unjustly, yet a reality.

The Satan showered its blessing on Shagrath’s Dimmu Borgir, but it spewed venom on Pune and Gujarat. They generated a fan-base, strained every muscle in an effort to defy the inevitable. They captured the imaginations of the fans but were forced to succumb after a couple of memorable seasons. The metal band can drool over their presence, the dissolved teams cannot.

The contrasting debut season  

Before the start of the ninth season, speculations surrounding the movement of the Chennai and Rajasthan cricketers flooded the internet. There were marquee players from both sides who honed their skills for either team ever since the inaugural season. However, they were routed to other franchises in the auction. Nevertheless, the glaring one surfaced during the sixth game between Pune and Gujarat.

MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have been fulcrums of the Super Kings, however, were pitted against each other on that day. Moreover, they led their respective teams which spiced up the contest. Raina’s Lions turned out to be insurmountable for Dhoni’s Supergiants and Pune were slapped with their maiden defeat in the event. Both teams experienced contrasting fortunes thereafter.

The Lions roared atop the league table while the Giants stumbled to finish one place above cellar dweller Kings XI Punjab. Change in the franchise also turned out MSDs fortunes in as he failed to shepherd his team to the playoffs for the first time in his career and horror of horrors, he lost the captaincy for the tenth season as well. Meanwhile, Raina guided his team to the playoffs only to stumble at the penultimate hurdle in the second qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Fortunes reversed  

Gujarat Lions IPL
Gujarat Lions. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Morning shows the days- Pune and Gujarat’s endeavour in their second season ran parallel to the phrase. Steve Smith was crowned as the leader of the Pune franchise and it immediately paid dividends. They comprehensively brushed aside Mumbai Indians, the eventual champions, to kick-start their campaign. They experienced hiccups but marched along with authority.

A bunch of vibrant youngsters along with the experienced heads combined well for the Supergiant. While Smith wielded his magic as a skipper, MS Dhoni also brought forth his experience and dished out some priceless knocks. The team eventually stormed to their maiden final, however, tantalizingly missed out in the heart-racing thriller against Rohit Sharma’s men.

On the contrary, Gujarat huffed and puffed, and stumbled frantically throughout the season. Chris Lynn’s onslaught in their opening match against the Kolkata Knight Riders exposed their lacklustre bowling. Their explosive batting bailed them out of jail in some games, however, couldn’t fetch more than four victories for the Lions. Consequently, they finished seventh in the table.

The conclusion     

Every movie comes with an intermission after which we anxiously wait for the climax. The fact that Pune garnered a significant fan-base after their spirited performance last time around can’t be dismissed. Meanwhile, Gujarat Lions, which boasted of cricketers like Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Raina and Dwayne Bravo, had also conjured roars from the audience.

Fans can afford to take solace by drawing comparisons of their journey with movies and hope for their comeback in due course. Meanwhile, the demons have consumed Pune and Gujarat and only the future will decide their extrication from the grasp of the monster, which we refer to as ‘Time’.

Joe Wenteworth, in his comedy-flick Simon Birch, has rightly said- “Time is a monster that cannot be reasoned. It responds like a snail to our impatience, then it races like a gazelle when you can’t catch a breath”

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