Archive for IPL

Hussey to miss IPL!

Michael Hussey has opted out of the five games he was to remain available for the Chennai Superkings (i.e. MY TEAM!)

He has cited his poor form and need to recharge his batteries with a break as the reasons! However, he will be available for selection if Superkings make it to the final and semifinal…

My take: I think it will be not be that a major thing. I mean he was crucial to the team last year but given his current form and confidence he is doing both the team and himself a world of good!

Hussey scored just 3 in what will be ultimately a humiliating defeat for the Aussies in the second one day against SA. Aus was bowled out for 131 (after 6-40 at one stage). As I press this, SA look well on their way at 87/2 in 17 odd overs

Scorecard on cricinfo

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Ponting to miss IPL 2009!

Yes its official now. We wont be seeing him play for Kolkata Night riders. Ponting cited heavily loaded Aussie cricket year and wanting to have the 14 day break, by not playing in the IPL, as his reasons.

Seems fair and sensible enough. Sadly, I will have one less face to laugh at after my team (Chennai Superkings) smashes KKR once again! 😀

For full story >

N so will David Hussey too it seems! KKR are looking in trouble again…

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IPL 2009 update

As the most awaited cricketing event is coming closer, we can already feel the ripples. The first wound of auctioning is over and here are the results:

Who better to boost the Chennai Superkings than – take a breath – ANDREW FLINTOFF! (thats my team btw.. needless to say, we are going to be unbeatable this year.) Other new entrants are Thilan Thushara ( SL lower order) and George Bailey (Australia)

Kevin Pieterson was whisked off by Malliya’s Royal Challengers – an effort to prop up an ailing team.

Flintoff and Pieterson beat MSD to become the MVPs in IPL at Rs. 7.35 crore (1.35 crore more!)

In other notable transfers, SA’s star of the series Down Under – JP Duminy went to the Mumbai Indians. Kyle Mills, the Kiwi bowling spearhead too came to the Mumbai party with the stylish M. Ashraful from Bangladesh.

Shaun Tait was snatched by Rajasthan Royals – now that last season spearhead Tanvir looks unavailable. A comparatively unknown Tyron Henderson, an all rounder from SA too joined the Champions from last year. At a surprisingly high price!

Collingwood and Owais Shah joined the Daredevils gang.

Knight Riders picked up Bangla paceman M. Mortaza at 12 times his base price!(- to make up for Akhtar?)

Ravi Bopara, the English allrounder and Jerome Taylor, Windies express bowler were signed on board by King’s XI, Punjab.

Another West Indian pacer – Fidel Edwards and the dynamic Dwayne Smith joined the Deccan Chargers.

Some notable stars like Phil Jaques (Aussie Opener), Ashwel Prince (SA middle order star) and Stuart Clarke (the miserly quickie from Down Under), Nuwan Kulasekara (World No.2 ODI bowler) did not attract any takers in the first round.

Micheal Clarke seems to have withdrawn from the IPL which led to Lalit Modi commenting that he has fears of remaining unsold. Quite unnecessary I believe. Obviously, ‘Pup’ seems to have his platter full with Australia going down to NZ once again (by 6 wickets this time and more than an over to spare). This leaves Australia gaping at the Black Caps’ 2-0 lead in th five match series and extending the Aussie losing streak to 5 matches. More on that later.

With the Englishmen coming to the party, especially top guns like Freddie and KP,

we can expect more action in IPL 2.0!

(for the TOI article – click)

(for the entire list of transferred players – click)

Aditya and Aniket discuss first round here

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IPL – An Overview

The IPL ball is now in the middle of its innings and the shine has just started to fade. With I, not blogging about IPL for past few days, it certainly seems so. Even some of the matches were heavily one-sided. And with at least a match everyday, it is certainly taking its toll. It would have been so much better if each side were to play just 7 matches, 3 at home, 3 away and one match at a neutral venue, my home town Pune for instance!

However, at the end of the day, its Cricket and one cannot just let it stay away from you. Though I have not watched the matches entirely, I have completely followed the results and the performance of icon players and also the star performances. With my team, the Chennai Superkings losing two straight matches, it hasn’t been the most happy part of the tournament. Still, I decided to dish out an analysis of how the teams are performing.

Chennai Superkings:

They started brilliantly with four wins on the trot. The absence of Hayden and Hussey was felt in their fifth match. However, it was not quite huge as expected. The batting did reasonably well to get a formidable score but the bowling had no answer to Sehwag who stole the show. In the match against the Royals, Tanvir was the super performer. He got four wickets by himself, (the first two were a gift from umpire Asad Rauf), proving that his strange action is really hard to pick up.

So now MSD will have something to think about. Though the team is looking quite gelled it is missing some good players up the order. Fleming and Co. will have to deliver the goods if Chennai are to do well. Losing wickets at the beginning has brought down many great teams in all formats of the game and Chennai will be no exception to that. Gony deserves a mention here. He has bowled well and is a good prospect for the future. MSD will also like to focus on fielding and running between the wickets which has looked shoddy in the past couple of games.

Rajasthan Royals:

The surprise package of the IPL. They have emerged from being the written about underdogs to complete champions. With Shane Warne leading the pack both with ball and bat (he hit 16 off 3 balls to win the match!), the team has won five straight matches. Yousuf Pathan and Asnodkar have looked menacing at the top getting the team of to flying starts. Smith has made his presence felt and so has Tanvir (6-14 vs CSK) in a big way. Actually the entire team has performed and have given no headaches to Warne. Kaif, Jadeja, Watson, Munaf all deserve a mention here. RR are now favorites to reach the final if not win it. Aniket writes here on Warney.

Delhi Daredevils:

Look virtually unbeatable until their top order is firing. Once that fails, all is over. With a loss to KXI, another emerging team, they still looked pretty solid. However, the upset loss to MI has put focus back on their vulnerability. The middle order has not been tested and even the great McGrath and Asif have felt the heat of T20. They seem to have winning formula revolving Asif, McGrath and Sehwag, Gambhir. Once it is broken they can easily be defeated. However, it is not that easy as it sounds and thats why this team is 3rd.

Kings XI Punjab:

This team is on a roll. Having one five matches on the trot, the team is certainly living up to its expectations. Again, team is heavily based around the foreign players like Sangakkara, Hopes and Sarwan. Yuvi has done well in parts while Pathan is the leading wicket taker now. Good mix of experience and youth. They have looked good but certainly not unbeatable. They look all set to making it to the final four.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

After a glorious start, this team seems to have lost the ability to win. Brendon McCullum is being sorely missed. Ganguly is looking passe. With an under-performing captain and inexperienced side, the team is looking down the barrel. Ishant, too seems to have lost his venom. Hussey and keeper Saha have kept matches alive. It only seems a difficult task from here just to get into the final four.

Mumbai Indians:

After a disastrous start i.e. losing first four games, they seem to have found their ground at least for the moment. And an inspired win over then leaders Delhi will certainly boost their morale. Pollock has taken on the role of captain wonderfully well. Bravo and Nayyar have performed. Jayasuriya yet to play a long innings. Bhaji banned and Sachin yet to play means that MI has never fielded its best 11 players. Hopefully, the costliest team in the IPL will continue its good run.

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

The ‘test’ side never looked in contention and never will be. Winning just two matches, one a very close game, they have at least lived upto their reputation. And winning against the Deccan Chargers was I think the highest high they will have. Dravid is looking all lost and Kumble, incongrous. Players leaving has hurt their already less fire power. They will be playing for pride and the Kingfisher Fair Play Award. I have no hopes from them…

Deccan Chargers:

The DISAPPOINTMENT of the tournament. just proves that matches are not played on paper. Won just the one match which I got see live. They have all the big names: Gilly, Afridi, Symmo (now gone!), Gibbs, Vaas, Styris but its just not happening for them. VVS has got runs at the top but at an uninspiring pace. The only real good thing is the coming up of Rohit Sharma who has looked really good at the crease. Good for Team India. Overall, they have the strength on paper, just have to bring it into practice. Bowlers will have to perform well and batsman to play longer innings otherwise the DChragers (or Dischargers) wont stand a chance.

POINTS TABLE IN BRIEF: as of 06-05-08

  1. Rajasthan Royals – 10 points off 6 games
  2. Kings XI Punjab – 10 points off 7 games
  3. Delhi Daredevils – 8 points off 6 games
  4. Chennai SuperKings – 8 points off 6 games
  5. Kolkata Knight Riders – 4 points off 6 games
  6. Mumbai Indians – 4 points off 6 games
  7. Royal Challengers Bangalore – 4 points off 7 games
  8. Deccan Chargers – 10 points off 6 games

For latest point table on Cricinfo

As of now, the top four teams in the table are the ones which are looking good. With a 4 point gap in between the top four and bottom four, it will be difficult for the bottom guys to fill it up. Still lots more cricket to be played. And one thing that is emerging is that Any team can beat any other team on their Day. Thus, their is no reason for any team to lose heart. And after the final four are decided, it wont be wrong to say that every team will have equal chance of taking the title.

Also,

Star Performances in IPL

Performance of Icon Players in IPL

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Players leaving the IPL

Was thinking of writing a blog when I found this comprehensive post.

My analysis:

RCB: Bowling attack looks good now with Steyn , ZK and Pravin K. Will miss Taylor and Chanderpaul as already short of firepower.

CSK: Will sorely miss batting of Hussey and Hayden. Batting responsibility will shift on Patel, Dhoni, Raina and Badrinath. Bowling department will be strengthened by Ntini and Morkel. Fleming is here to stay.

DD: Not much difference. Existing players are performing. Daniel Vettori is leaving who did not play.

DC: One aggressive player gone (Symmo), one in (Gibbs). No difference. Gilly will be of course playing the entire series.

RR: Complete Strengthening of already emerging fine team. All incoming players (Smith, Y.Khan, Tanvir, Mascerenhas) are exciting.

KKR: Will be hit by Gayle and McCullum leaving. Butt will fill in as opener. Good thing Ponting is going. He was not playing well and they were not affording keeping him out.

KXI: Will miss Lee, and Katich who was MoM in last game.

MI: Exit of allrounder Dwayne Bravo will hit their team composition later in the season.

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IPL Match Review: Chennai Vs Royal Challengers

Bash of the South” as Ajay Jadeja was continuously referring to, took place yesterday at the home venue of the Royal Challengers i.e Chinnaswamy Stadium. Bangalore. With the Superkings being unbeaten yet, they were always the favorites going into the match. MS won the toss and chose to bat first on a decent batting pitch. However, the Royal Challengers were not going to give away the match so easily. Boosted by the inclusion of Dale Steyn, their pace attack looked more than ominous with Pravin Kumar and Zaheer Khan. The first 5 overs yielded just 22 runs for CSK with the loss of Hayden’s wicket. The consolidation and semi-acceleration was provided by Raina (28 off 17) with Hussey playing anchor role (47 off 38). CSK managed to reach 100-3 in 15 overs. And just when it seemed that RCB had done a brilliant job, Dhoni decided to script a story of his own. He fired 65 off 30 balls, after a slow start even milking 24 off a single over from Steyn. Eventually CSK ended at 178-5 losing Dhoni and Hussey off the lost two balls of their innings. They had amassed 78 runs off the last 5 overs, the same as in the middle 10! That was some acceleration!

The lost ground was easily recovered by Ross Taylor (53 off 34) and the unlikely hero W. Jaffer (50 off 33) for RCB as they smashed the Superkings’ bowling to all parts of the ground (One six from Taylor) measured 119m!). RCB raced to 127-2 in just 14 overs. Again Dhoni to the rescue. With quick bowling changes and good field placing, he inspired a collapse. His bowlers responded (Amarnath and Sharma) and so did his fielders (2 run outs). RCB slumped from a match winning 127-2 in 14 overs to 149-7 in 17.2 ov. After that it was almost over. CSK had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and held on to their superb unbeaten record leaving the Royal Challengers to despair.

With this victory, Superkings proved that they did not rely only on their international players. They had what it took to win even without them. A swashbuckling innings from Dhoni was refreshing and evoked memoirs of his former self. Nobody shall henceforth question his abilities to score quickly as captain.

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Watching it LIVE!

Yes, I finally got my real first opportunity to watch a cricket match live. The occasion was the IPL clash between the Mumbai Indians and the Deccan Chargers at the newly constructed D.Y. Patil Stadium at Nerul, Mumbai. Aditya, Abhishek, Gadre and Ashwin were with me to enjoy the match.

The tickets were booked at an outlet. Ironically, thought the tagline of the company to whom the distribution was assigned was ‘Jump the Queue’, we still had to stand in queue to get the actual tickets in hand! Earlier, like in a typical bureaucratic organisation, we had been asked to travel from one gate to another, bearing signs of “Tickets SOULD out.” Finally, we found the tickets being given at what seemed like a watchman’s cabin. Of course, there were no board there…

We had time to kill, so we wandered around a mall near vashi. After having a hearty meal, we came back to the stadium.

The DY Patil stadium just near the university of the same name, is a real class act. Its unique cantilever design has no columns in between the spectators and the action. It boasts of a seating capacity near to 60000. The seats too were comfortable and to my surprise, numbered. A glass media centre looks down the pitch at one end, while the pavilion at the other. The architecture of the entrance is also good. We were in the second tier, looking sideways on the pitch. In hindsight, it turned out to be a good choice. We were relatively close to the action and we enjoyed overs being bowled from either sides equally. Also, we could gauge the height to which the bole frequently rose to, which was not possible from the lower tier due to a small projecting roof overhead. The Mumbai cheerleaders were right in front of us, so we did not mind staying far from them!

Coming to the stadium, the first thing that strikes you is the scene. As we emerged from the stairs, we were treated to a magnificent sight of the ground below, the three tiers in between, the darkening evening sky above and the lights shining down. The next thing was the seemingly very small distances. When you watch on TV, the ground seems huge and the action really far away. However, it is in reality not so. We could easily identify the players and having a pair of binoculars made it more interesting. Sadly, the Deccan chargers’ cheerleaders were far from us…

It is just pure entertainment to watch the game live. It is so much faster than what we seen on TV. It seems more continuous with no ad breaks. The DC cheerleaders were doing fantastic dance routines! They were just too good, graceful, sensuous and brilliantly coordinated. Their outfits though completely restricted , were in good taste. Strikingly sour were the Mumbai ‘local talent’ cheerleaders. They wore hideous shining blue costumes and could not coordinate their own too hands let alone with their team! The dance moves were sad and repetitive. More entertaining were a bunch of guys dancing in our block. Atleast they were hilarious. In the end the MI cheerleaders stopped dancing. Whether this had to do with their team not doing well or to do with gross embarrassment will remain a point of debate. Gadre writes here on cheerleaders.

For the data skeptics, there is no way that you miss any of the action or the statistics. A screen, albeit a small one, continued to show the score and replay for all balls. Fielding and caching too is a just a treat for the eyes. And the most special thing of all is the resounding sound of the ball hitting the meat of the bat. Also, one can understand the value of sheer pace in the bowling attack. And, seeing the ball disappearing over the boundary line is just amazing. The atmosphere was simply great before the match began and only when the home team was going good!

Coming to the actual game, MI were playing without Sachin and obviously without Harbhajan. They made a mess of their batting with nobody particularly supporting the innings. They ended on a modest 154. And then came pure delight. Adam Gilchrist was in devastating form and scorched his way to the fastest hundred in T20! With 10 towering sixes and 9 cracking fours, he made easy work of the target and DC hauled it in just around 13 overs. I was initially supporting MI but with a sub-par performance, I switched to the Chargers. That was obviously just for the night…

We had plenty of snide comments to enjoy from the back throughout the match. Pollock, Nehra, Laxman and a sandwich vendor were the hot favorites. It was a really memorable experience, one which I plan to undertake as frequently as possible from now on. Next on my list is an closely fought ODI (:p)

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