Chennai: Big picture
If India hadn't done well in the World Cup, would it have led to viewer fatigue ahead of the IPL? And since they won, will it translate to an enthusiastic fan base, and even creation of new fans for the game? This IPL will answer that question. There is another question that has been hovering around since the creation of IPL. Have the teams succeeded in creating loyal fan bases? This is the fourth edition and one should ideally see the early signs of loyalty but many teams, barring Chennai Super Kings, have changed their personnel so much that it will be interesting to see how the fans respond. Is fans' parochial affection to the region/city bigger than their love for the players?
For what it's worth, this IPL starts off with a lovely battle within a battle, an ad writer's dream. MS Dhoni, the man who led India to the World cup win, v Gautam Gambhir, the man who played a big hand in that final. It's not as big as the Dhoni v Tendulkar contest, but it's a mouth-watering prospect nevertheless. Chennai have showcased a winning ethos while Kolkata have provided pathos. From seeking glory in the first season and searching for redemption in the second, Kolkata were fighting to avoid humiliation in the last edition. Will this season offer the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel?