Kolkata: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had rubbed Eden Gardens curator Prabir Mukherjee the wrong way with his famous "ugly wicket" remark back in 2011. And on Sunday, he may earned Mukherjee's wrath again by suggesting the wicket for Sunday's IPL-8 final hadn't been watered adequately.
MS Dhoni walks off after Lasith Malinga takes his wicket. Pic/ PTI
"Maybe they thought it'll rain," said the CSK skipper at the toss, and followed it up with a vote of no-confidence opting to bowl first. Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma though said he'd bat first had he won the toss, and lived up to his belief that it was a good batting track with a blistering start.
Eden Gardens roars in support of MI
Going by the decibel meter, there was certainly more support for MI as Eden Gardens played neutral hosts on Sunday, packing the terraces to show they're willing to support the game even in the absence of home team KKR. MS Dhoni's personal following and the proximity of his home town Ranchi from here have always had CSK supporters making their way to the Eden. They may have been conspicuous in their canary yellow jerseys, but the manner in which MI's fours and sixes were cheered left little doubt that they were outnumbered.
Too few Bollywood stars turn up
Star dust, so common at the 'cricketainment' called IPL was conspicuous by its absence on the big day of IPL-8. The Dil Dharak Ne Do promotion before the match did compensate a bit. Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar and Ranbir Singh had a blast with fans.
Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar and Ranveer Singh at Eden Gardens yesterday for the IPL-8 finale. Pic/PTI
KKR, most followed team on Twitter
Home team Kolkata Knight Riders didn't make the playoffs, but they certainly did not disappear from the fans' minds. Twitter Audience Index from Week 1 to Week 6 (till before the Ranchi Qualifier) suggested they're the most discussed team, with CSK and MI follow. The total number of live impressions for IPL as on May 21 was 345.3 million
Leading run scorer: David Warner (562 runs)
Leading wicket taker: Dwayne Bravo (24 wickets)