What if RCB had won the IPL trophy in 2011??
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
May 28, 2011 – It was a hot, humid evening with two teams fighting for the IPL title – The Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore at M.A Chidambaram Stadium. After almost two months of exciting cricket action, CSK being the defending champions, had the advantage of playing on their home turf on the big night. They were the favorites as they had beaten RCB in the first Qualifier held at Wankhede, sealing a direct spot in the finals. On the other hand, RCB was in the finals for the second time after the failed attempt in 2009. The top order was firing in all cylinders thanks to Chris Gayle, who was the Orange Cap holder then and King Kohli rising to the scene amassing more than 500 runs.
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Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first. The CSK openers Hussey and Vijay played spectacularly and took the team beyond 200. The target for RCB was 206. In came Christopher Henry Gayle along with Mayank Agarwal. The entire cricket fraternity was awaiting what MSD had in store for Gayle. He gave the ball to the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin the very first over. It was a challenge thrown towards Gayle with the ball spinning away from him. He had earlier dismissed Gayle in the playoff, coming as a one-change in the 4th over of the innings.
Agarwal gets off the mark on the first delivery, and Gayle takes strike. Gayle attempted a pull shot but withdrew at the last minute and let the ball settle in Dhoni’s gloves. The next ball was similar and went past the edge of Gayle’s bat. The fourth delivery was again back off length moving away from the southpaw. Gayle tried to cut it off the back foot but nicked, and Dhoni grasped it, and Cheapuk erupted. The rest is history, and CSK won their second IPL title that night.
What if Dhoni hadn’t given to the ball to Ashwin in the first over!! What if Gaylestrom struck Chepauk that night!! The then-emerging Virat Kohli and the future Mr.360 ABD got RCB past the line and led to their first-ever IPL trophy!! Daniel Vettori holding the IPL trophy in front of a silenced crowd at Chepauk, would have been one hell of a sight to behold.
Vijay Mallya, along with his son Siddharth would have thrown the best party in the world for his players and the team management. Mallya would have got one of the islands in Oceania for Daniel Vettori as a gift for leading RCB to victory. Sreenath Aravind, who grabbed 21 wickets in that season, would have gone on to become Zaheer Khan’s successor in the Indian cricket team. Mayank Agarwal would have grabbed the opening spot in the Indian team sooner. Saurabh Tiwary could have become a mainstay in the Indian middle order, and the woes of No.4 would have never been felt. Mallya wouldn’t have fled the nation and stayed on giving a fierce competition for Mukesh for the top ranks among the Indian business tycoons.
The IPL then would have been dominated by the Gayle-Kohli-ABD trio for the next decade, and the RCB would have been the most successful team in the competition. The captaincy would have been handed to Kohli after Vettori decides to hang up his T20 boots to prolong the international career for his World Cup quest. The city of Bengaluru would have adopted Kohli as their son, and the M Chinnaswamy stadium would become the red fortress that the opponent team could never breach. The Ee sala cup namde chant would have never arrived onto the scene, and the meme creators will be preying on some other IPL team for their trolling business.
The RCB coach Ray Jennings would have become a national head coach, preferably for South Africa or New Zealand. Vettori’s captaincy skills would have sharpened in the international stage in addition to his all-round abilities as well. He would lead his team to first-ever World Cup victory over the neighbor Aussies in the 2015 CWC. What a night it would have been for him to say goodbye to international cricket. Vettori being carried on the shoulders by the fellow teammates all around the MCG, like Sachin at Wankhede in 2011, would have grabbed headlines on the next day’s newspapers across the globe.
But these were never meant to be. We are in 2020. Still, the World cup glory awaits the New Zealand cricket team, so does the IPL with RCB. Hopefully, the cricket action resumes sooner, and these two teams taste their long awaiting dues soon. Cheers!
About the Author
The post is written by Aravind . Aravind is a graduate from IIM Visakhapatnam and an avid cricket enthusiast. He follows the game with great passion. More than mere watching, he likes to analyze the game deeply and write blogs.