Over the years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) shaped realities that seemed a mere fantasy pre-2008. That remains one of the major reasons behind why the T20 franchise cricket formula has received the kind of love and acceptance it has and why the IPL remains the biggest T20 extravaganza anywhere in the world. Not anywhere else would it have been possible for Sachin Tendulkar to bat alongside Ricky Ponting or for AB de Villiers to make a mockery of Dale Steyn in front of packed stadiums, if not for the IPL?
But fantasies feed fantasies! And now in the relatively short history of the tournament which has already seen so much, fans have their own sets of aspirations, dreams and "what ifs" because, of course, Dil Maange More! Dwelling into one such What if, here is imagining what it would be like if some of the popular IPL captains did not lead the teams they are (or were) famous for leading but for some other side in the competition.
Ekdum se waqat badal dia, jazbaat badal die, zindagi bidal di?
Yes indeed, let's play with the time, emotions and probably the lives of some of the possessive cricket lovers. Here is what might have happened if IPL captains led different franchises.
1. Gautam Gambhir- Rajasthan Royals
Given how Rajasthan Royals have performed over the years, one can sense that they perhaps need a fighter, an angry young man, a leader who could back the player he believed in and perhaps give his life for him on the field and all of those qualities shaped only one face, that of the highly successful IPL captain Gautam Gambhir.
Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles and interestingly his reign came in after nothing seemed to be going Kolkata's way in the initial years- a testimony to his ability to turn things around.
And with Rajasthan, you get the same feeling year after year after the inaugural season- they need to turn things around, they need a Gambhir-like leader to wave his magic wand and make them a formidable unit. Had Gambhir been part of the RR camp, probably the Pink City could have boasted of a few more IPL titles and surely he would have fought for the inclusion of some of his trusted men.
Given his reputation of backing domestic talent and gauging by how he sent someone like Sunil Narine at the top of the order, who knows perhaps Rahul Tewatia could have been opening with a license to go after the bowling, had GG been at the helm of RR. Too late now for that to happen as Gambhir has already hung up his cricketing boots,