The Knights from Kolkata after a five year long wait finally brought the Indian Premier Trophy home much to the liking of the cricket lovers of the city. Kolkata Knight Riders, who started off as a serious contender, did make it to the finals on a convincing note and their pre-final hopes were pinned on their skipper Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine. These two were two of the most influential players of the Indian Premier League season V, but on the most important night of the IPL they could not contribute much and it was a lesser known Knight Manvinder Bisla who stood up to the occasion in a grand way.
Before the start of the match, KKR camp took a great gamble and made two major changes in the side. Injured Laxmipathy Balaji made away for Brett Lee and since only four foreign players could feature in the main XI,Brendon McCullum made way for Bisla as a wicket keeper and the opener.
Bisla knew that he had to fill in for McCullum, which was not going to be an easy task. But then he did not disappoint at all and justified his selection and headlined the IPL V final. Surrounded by stars, Bisla a lesser mortal, made a statement through his performance and his 89 of 48 deliveries proved that his earlier strike rate of 106 did not determine his class as a player.
This is one night would remain etched in his memory for a long time and the winning knock has earned him a reputation that would take him places. His brilliant 89 establishes a fact that he is a big match player and on his day can rip apart any bowling attack. He has been inconsistent but then he never got much time out there in the middle to prove much. And now since he has earned his respect, this might also change a lot of things around him. At least for now even if India call up looks like a far-off thing for him, he definitely would make the people at helm take keen notice of him from now on.
Bisla, who is from Himachal Pradesh, was without a Ranji Team last season and his innings did earn him repute and in all likelihood would find his domestic haven this season.
Bisla, who started his IPL journey with Deccan Chargers, now has the distinction of winning two IPL with two different teams along with Yusuf Pathan and Laxmipathy Balaji. Pathan and Balaji won it with Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, respectively.
Bisla on earlier occasions was part of the Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab but was never a regular feature. Even in KKR he was not the first choice but things are expected to change henceforth. After the match, Bisla said that he had a point to prove and his innings did prove it.
“"I cannot express my happiness. I am just speechless. It was a big occasion and I wanted to prove a point and I am glad my effort has helped the team win their first IPL title, said Bisla.
Bisla, who opened the innings with Gambhir, did get cold feet after Gambhir departed for cheap, but then he said that he held on to his ground and received immense support from Kallis. "I got tensed after Gauti got out but I did not lose heart. I was trying to play every ball on its merit but once I started hitting well, my confidence was up. Kallis is a legend. I got immense support from him while batting. He asked me to keep it simple and play my natural game," Bisla added.
Bisla’s innings last night is a perfect example of patience and he does set some sort of benchmark for players who are yet to receive their due. They should take example from this man and the only thing they could do is to keep on working hard and whenever an opportunity is thrown, they should grab it with both hands because once a chance is lost it becomes highly unlikely that it would come back.
By Indian Sports News