Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Player Transfer Window Heating Up

With the player transfer window for IPL Season 2 beginning this week, rumours and press releases from different teams have started hitting newspapers and news channels. It is no surprise that most of the teams are looking to offload the high-paid players who did not deliver the goods last year (Gibbs, Afridi, Akhtar). Of the players who performed last year, we may see Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers) being sold to Mumbai Indians for a hefty amount. While Bangalore Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians may exchange the services of Robin Uthappa and Zaheer Khan.


Chennai Super Kings

While the initial reports from Chennai Super Kings seemed to suggest that CSK may not trade any players. The Current sources suggest that Makhaya Ntini may be used as an sweetener/bargaining chip if the team is focusing to buy any player on the transfer list. [Source: CricketNext] But this is unlikely considering the recent performance of Ntini and CSK's lack of quality international fast bowlers in the team... Until if there is any extraordinary player on the transfer list.

Wait until December 29 to know the first list of players on transfer window.(The franchises have two more opportunities to submit lists of players they wish to put up for trading - on January 5 and 12). And Don't expect to see any CSK players on the first list of players put up for trading.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

News This Week

  1. CL T20 Cancelled: Surely a sad news for all CSK Fans. Champions League T20 has been cancelled for this year and so the first edition of Champions League would take place in October, 2009

Players During Transfer Window

The transfer window for Second Season of IPL is all set to open in another week... So who are the players you want to buy and players you want to sell?

My Choices:

1. Buy Flintoff at all Costs..  If he is not available, buy Sidebottom..

1. If possible, use Parthiv Patel as a sweetner to buy any coveted player... 

What are your choices?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Calling on Chennai

Firstly hello to all of you ! I have been away and busy and haven't found time to write since the IPL.

I am writing this post to particularly call upon all Chennai cricket fans to answer to a very important call - a call by the nation and the game of cricket itself. Due to the tragic events of 26/11 the first test against England has been moved to Chennai.

I think it is a great gesture by England to make every effort to make sure this tour happens and a clear message is sent out to those dastardly terrorists. Now we the people and cricket fans of India and Chennai in particular need to respond to this gesture - and the only way to do this is to give both teams a grand reception and support the game with full gusto.

Undoubtedly Chennai has the country's best and most knowledgeable cricket fans and I would merely urge you to pack the stadium to the rafters and make this an event to remember - make sure you are part of it - part of history - not just in the game of cricket - but in the context of our times - in the history of the nation.

Go Chennai !

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Expect CLT20 in January

Due to the tragic events @ Mumbai, inauguration of Champions T20 League was postponed from December 3, 2008. Though not seeing CL T20 inauguration tomorrow would be painfull, i honestly believe that the decision is in the best interests of the game. 

But all the parties involved in the game - BCCI, Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa, Sponsors stand to lose a great amount of money if CL T20 Season 1  was cancelled. Add to that, huge interest from all the participating teams. [Western Australia wanted to come to India even after the bomb blasts]. So we can expect a lot of give and takes from different cricket boards when they meet this week to decide the fate of Champions League T20 Season 1.

So CSK Fans, are you ready for CL T20 in Jan '09?

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Champions League T20 Postponed

Considering the issues rising because of India's worst terrorist attack, BCCI has postponed Champions T20 League. Considering the schedule for the next few months, we may get to see the Champions T20 League next year only. 

Monday, 24 November 2008

Chennai Super Kings Launches Kings Club

With only ten days left for the start of Champions Twenty20 League, Chennai Super Kings management team is slowly springing into action. They have started with a bang by launching the official membership programme -  “Kings Club”. The fan club was launched  today at Chennai by Mr. T. S. Raghupathy, Executive President, The India Cements Limited in the presence of Mr. K. V. P. Baskar, Operations Director, South, Aircel Cellular Limited. Adding to the excitement was percussionist par excellence, Mr. Sivamani. 

The KINGS CLUB membership programme consists of two membership levels, Senior and Junior. Membership is for a year which can be renewed subsequently and is priced at Rs. 500 for School Children(Junior) and Rs 1,000 for others(Senior). The KINGS CLUB offers its members, unique incentives designed to satisfy their priorities: 

  •  Home ticket priority access & Discounts for IPL home Matches
  • Invites to practice sessions
  •  Welcome gift hamper with a host of goodies
  • Participation in special events
  • Newsletters
  • Discounts on team merchandise available on the E-Store
  • Photo opportunities with the cricket stars

With the Kings Club, Chennai Super Kings has extended its relationship with its fans and has provided them with an opportunity to belong to the extended family of the Chennai Super Kings. Also it makes much more sense in these days of credit crunch to bring in cash into the company by using Chennai Super Kings' Brand Name.

Enrolling in the KINGS CLUB is easy. Membership forms will be available from Friday November 28, 2008 at select outlets of Café Coffee Day and Aircel. Filled in forms with cheques attached can be dropped off at various collection centres. Within a week, membership cards will be dispatched and a welcome kit with gift hamper in 3 to 4 weeks time. There is also the option of joining the fan club by visiting to register their payments and details. 

My Take on Kings Club
Though the benefits of Kings Club is not yet clear, i think it is worth the money to buy one (I am buying one), if you plan to go to the stadium during IPL or CL T20.

News Source: Official Website

News Snippets

  1. Co-Branded Credit Cards: Chennai Super Kings may soon add 3 more tie-ups to its already existing relationships with five leading brands (Peter England, Café Coffee Day, Camlin, Aircel & Reebok). As a part of these tie-ups, we may expect a co-branded credit card & CSK Branded cards, soft toys and calendar. [Source: TelevisionPoint]
  2. Chennai Super Kings are favorites: South African Star Herschelle Gibbs has said barring miracles, either Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings would clinch next month's Champions League Twenty20. But I highly doubt his judgement considering the amount of time that each team has devoted for the Champions League. [News Source:  PTI]
  3. Murali available for CL T20: After the recent misunderstandings between BCCI and Sri Lankan Cricket Board, there were doubts on whether Srilankan Cricket Board would allow Murali and Kapugedara to play in Champions League. Thankfully better sense has prevailed and it has been confirmed that Murali and Kapugedara would be available for the Champions League T20. Great News since he would be our major weapon against the foreign teams. [News Source: DNA]

Thursday, 20 November 2008

News Snippets

  1. Balaji is back: The Hindu writes about Balaji's astonishing recovery from the stress fracture of his lower back, his mental resilience, the advancement of sports science, and the effort of a dedicated coach. Read the whole story - Balaji is well and truly back
  2. CSK Merchandise: Live Mint reports that most of the Chennai Super Kings merchandise(Peter England, Reebok, CCD, Camlin) will be hitting the stores in the first week of December. So all the fans out there, get your wallets ready.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Squad for Champions League

Chennai Super Kings Squad for Champions T20 League
  1. M S Dhoni(Captain)
  2. Matthew Hayden
  3. Michael Hussey
  4. Suresh Raina
  5. Albie Morkel
  6. S Badrinath
  7. Chamara Kapugedara
  8. K B Arun Karthik
  9. Parthiv Patel
  10. R Ashwin
  11. Muttiah Muralitharan
  12. Makhaya Ntini
  13. L Balaji
  14. Manpreet Gony
  15. Sudeep Tyagi
Coach: Stephen Fleming

Overall a very strong team. Certain nuggets that V B Chandrasekar revealed,
"There is hardly any chance of having a camp"
"If Parthiv (Patel) plays as an opener, he will keep the wickets"
"In this scenario unlike in IPL, we have to make sure that we get to the semi-final"
If I am given the responsibility of picking the team for the Champions T20 League, this would be my playing eleven. [Remember there is no restriction on the team to choose only four foreign players for the playing eleven]
  1. M Hayden
  2. Parthiv Patel[Chamara Kapugedara is neither a batsman nor a bowler. So why play him? Arun Karthik is just a back up player. But Parthiv could provide a much needed relief from wicketkeeping to Dhoni. But if Dhoni insists on wicket keeping, we may see Chamara playing]
  3. M Hussey
  4. Suresh Raina
  5. Dhoni
  6. S Badrinath
  7. Albie Morkel
  8. S Tyagi [Though Gony showed his potential with bat and ball in IPL, don't forget Gony entered the team only as a replacement to Tyagi and I don't think any of the foreign players would have answers to Tyagi's inswing]
  9. Balaji [Though Gony impressed me during IPL, I prefer Balaji's cool attitude and his slow balls]
  10. Makhaya Ntini [If he performs badly, bring Gony on]
  11. Muttiah Muralitharan
As you can see there is going to be a huge selection problem regarding the choice of medium pacers/fast bowlers and the opener. Hope Dhoni and Fleming are able to take a clear cut call on this. Expect Sudeep Tyagi to miss out the earier matches of the tournament since nobody would have seen his bowling before that. 

Though Dhoni may prefer Chamara Kapugedara's all round abilities, I am sure Chandrasekar's preference would be playing Parthiv Patel as an opener cum wicket keeper. Though Sudeep Tyagi may be a better bowler than Balaji and Gony, expect both of them to play ahead of Sudeep Tyagi because of their reputation(Balaji) and their earlier performances(Gony in IPL). I am sure Arun Karthik and R Ashwin are 'just' back ups to cover the important slots (opener and spinner).

With no camp (i.e.) no chance for the team to get together before the league, it would be a hell of a job for Dhoni-Fleming combo to pull off this successfully. So Special 'All the best' to them and CSK Management.. 

And don't forget to write about your choice for the playing eleven in the comments... Also voice your opinion on who will be the key player for Chennai Super Kings Squad here

Monday, 17 November 2008

BCCI on our side

Cricinfo reports that BCCI has requested ECB to postpone the start of India-England Test series by a day. What it means is that Dhoni will play the finals if Chennai Super Kings makes the cut.

Though BCCI has suggested logical difficulties (of having a test match immediately after an important tournament) as one of the reasons, don't have any doubt on the person who is pulling the strings on this issue. I have to admit that it is great to have a team owner who doubles up as the secretary of all powerful BCCI. Now my sincere hope is that N. Srinivasan becomes the next BCCI President. :-) [So that we get much more favours like this]

Update: The BCCI and ECB have confirmed that the first Test between England and India in Ahmedabad will get underway as scheduled on December 11, despite a request from the Indian board to delay the start by a day to avoid a potential clash of dates with the final of the inaugural Champions League in Chennai. Hmmm... Expect Dhoni to miss the finals if Chennai Super Kings qualifies for the match... :)

Key Players for Champions T20 League thinks Jacob Oram, Dhoni and Raina would be the key players for Chennai Super Kings. Who are your choices?

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Hayden in the midst of a storm

In an open letter to Chennai Super Kings, Gaurav Sabnis - one of the reputed Indian Bloggers, has requested Chennai Super Kings to terminate the employment of Hayden based on his  comments associating India with third world countries.

All the hue and cry were for this following comment.. 
"Often we find ourselves waiting with hands on hips for someone to face up or someone on the sight board to move away or some of those little frustrations happening with Third World countries," Hayden said.
Yeah! I accept that the words used by Hayden, to express his feelings, might not be entirely right. But that does not mean he was wrong too. He was merely expressing his feelings here and he has every right to do so. Moreover he did not call India a third world country but merely associated the few things happening on the cricket field to those happening in a third world country.. [Remember he didn't comment about the economy or our space mission... ] Though India might be one of the fastest growing economies of the world, even today few places in India are very similiar to any third world country. [If you disagree to this, you are surely a hypocrite]

Rather than taking this remark in our own stride, we the Indians are making a hue and cry. This rather shows our immaturity and not our patriotic feelings. 

But what hit me the most was the fact that a reputed blogger like Gaurav Sabnis could take this remark to the extreme by calling Chennai Super Kings to terminate the employment of Hayden. In this days of globalization, India Cements and for that matter, Chennai Super Kings are global companies/global brands. So Why the heck should they care about this remark?

Yeah! I accept that Hayden could have shown more restraint and could have used better words. But that does not mean he committed an unforgivable sin. Anyway! I sincerely hope and believe that Chennai Super Kings won't do any foolishness by making a fuss of this silly remark. 

Albie Morkel to play for Chennai Super Kings

The controversy about the team that Albie Morkel would be representing for Champions T20 League has been settled. Cricinfo informs that Albie Morkel would be representing Chennai Super Kings in this series. But Titans Chairman Jesse Chellan, has said in no uncertain terms that this is an one-off exception and the same favor won't be given to Chennai Super Kings again. 

Oram Out, Albie in
With Jacob Oram expected to miss Champions T20 League due to his injury, this is a great news for Chennai Super Kings fans. So get ready to see sixes flying from the bat of Albie Morkel during December. 

Personal Demons
But Albie Morkel is also facing a personal battle on which side to support during Chennai Super Kings Vs Titans Match on December 7. [See the whole schedule here]. Read in his own words about the things going through his mind regarding December 7 clash...
  "[The] Titans is my home team and I have been and remain a committed and loyal team member. The IPL and its follow on, the Champions League will create an interesting dynamic for me while on the field in India and it is going to be difficult for me to face my team mates who know my secrets and the way I play."
With the inclusion of Morkel, Chennai Super Kings is one of the strongest team in the Champions T20 League. With the appointment of a coach, all the issues regarding to team composition would have been sorted out. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Fleming - Player-cum-coach???

I have already written in my earlier post about Fleming becoming the coach for Chennai Super Kings. But with the success of Warne as a player-cum-coach in the first IPL season, it seems Fleming also wants to emulate the same. In his recent interview, he expresses his wish to become "Player-Coach" for Chennai Super Kings. 

Though his wish did not strike me as odd when i read it first time, subsequent readings revealed the enormity of the mistake. Simple because of the fact that Warne (Rajasthan Royals) and Fleming (Chennai Super Kings) are not in the same league. 
  • Warne was the captain of his team while I don't see Fleming taking over the captaincy from Dhoni (Though he may become the captain if Dhoni miss any of the Champions League matches)
  • Thanks to his stellar performances with the bat and the ball, Warne's place in Rajasthan Royals was never in doubt. With Hussey, Hayden, Oram, Albie Morkel and Ntini coming up with at least one match winning performance, Fleming is expected to warm up the bench for the whole series. 
But if Fleming becomes a coach, he would like to play himself ahead of the team. But more important than all these factors is that Warne assembled a great support team to help in his daily routines of a coach. But Fleming did not have that luxury in the short period of time left for the Champions T20 League. 

But the good news is we can be assured that CSK management team won't commit such a big mistake. So wait to see Fleming as the coach (not player-cum-coach) for CSK Team or some other person taking up as the coach for Chennai Super Kings.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Hindustan Times! Get your news right!!!

Hindustan Times in its article - 'Hussey, Morkel to play for Chennai' has claimed that Chennai IPL Team sacked Kepler Wessels. This news would have come as a surprise to any loyal CSK fan since Kepler Wessels has already expressed his unwillingness to continue for future IPL seasons. [Read the story @ Cricinfo]. And it does not make any sense to sack the coach who led the team to Champions Twenty20 League.

Kepler Wessels himself decided to put an end to this false story by HT. He has shared the real version of the story with 'The Herald Online'.

Hmm.. Thanks to Wessels' revelations, now we have to wait to find the truth about the other story of Albie Morkel playing for Chennai in Champions Twenty20 League.

P.S: Considering Vijay's composed 33 on his surprise debut for Indian Team, I hope that Chennai Super Kings opener problems' would be solved pretty soon.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Fleming to Coach CSK @ Champions League

With the end of Kepler Wessels' one year tenure with Chennai Super Kings, there was a huge speculation about the next coach for Chennai Super Kings. Especially since there is less than 30 Days for the start of Champions League Tournament.  Cricinfo reports that this issue might have been resolved and Fleming is likely to take over as the coach of Chennai Super Kings.

Though Fleming might have deceived us with his batting during the first season of IPL, I am sure about his ability as a coach for CSK. Even during the run up to IPL, I have repeated again and again that Fleming's value to the team lies in his understanding of the game and his strategic thinking. Now CSK Management has done the right thing by finding the right job for his abilities. Now I have no doubt that Fleming-Dhoni combo would scale new heights for Chennai Super Kings.

Hussey Picks Chennai Super Kings

Hurrah! None of the CSK Fans could ignore the huge positive impact that Hussey had during his brief stint at Chennai Super Kings(four matches). While he blasted the opposition bowlers in the field, he helped his young team members in the dressing room.. [Remember Badri recalling how Hussey's experience and tips inspired him] So his decision to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League would surely boost our chances of winning the Champions League Final @ Chennai..

Michael Hussey! Welcome On Board!... Once again you have delighted all the Chennai Super King Fans... 

You can read the whole news @ Hindu

Friday, 24 October 2008

Champions Twenty20 League Fixtures

December 2008

Wed 3
16:00 local, 10:30 GMT

Group A - Middlesex v Victoria
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai

Wed 3 clip_image001
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

Group B - Dolphins v Rajasthan Royals
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Thu 4
16:00 local, 10:30 GMT

Group B - Sialkot Stallions v Western Australia
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Thu 4 clip_image001[1]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

Group A - Chennai Super Kings v Victoria
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai

Fri 5
16:00 local, 10:30 GMT

Group A - Middlesex v Titans
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai

Fri 5 clip_image001[2]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

Group B - Rajasthan Royals v Sialkot Stallions
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai

Sat 6
12:00 local, 06:30 GMT

Group B - Dolphins v Western Australia
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Sat 6
16:00 local, 10:30 GMT

Group A - Titans v Victoria
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai

Sat 6 clip_image001[3]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

Group A - Chennai Super Kings v Middlesex
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai

Sun 7
12:00 local, 06:30 GMT

Group B - Dolphins v Sialkot Stallions
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Sun 7
16:00 local, 10:30 GMT

Group B - Rajasthan Royals v Western Australia
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai

Sun 7 clip_image001[4]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

Group A - Chennai Super Kings v Titans
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai

Mon 8 clip_image001[5]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

1st Semi-Final - TBC v TBC
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Group B winners v Group A runners-up

Tue 9 clip_image001[6]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

2nd Semi-Final - TBC v TBC
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai
Group A winners v Group B runners-up

Wed 10 clip_image001[7]
20:00 local, 14:30 GMT

Final - TBC v TBC
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Week That Was

If you are a Chennai Super Kings fan, this should have been a great week for you... 3 Indian CSK players  made us proud with their performance in the current series against Sri Lanka.

  • Badrinath made full use of the opportunity presented to him and played a match winning knock for the team
  • Dhoni's knocks was crucial for both the victories
  • Raina played another good knock for the team, setting up a good score in the 3rd match.

Of these players, Badrinath's match winning knock in the second one day international against Sri Lanka brought the most cheer to my heart. He showed his abilities and put up his case for a permanent spot in the Indian team. Hope he strengthens his case in the further matches.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Dhoni Likely to miss Champions League Final

While we may not know the composition of the Chennai Super Kings team for the Champions League, a top franchise official has confirmed that Dhoni may miss Champions League Final if Chennai Super Kings qualifies. Read the full story on Cricinfo for detailed coverage.

V.B. Chanderasekhar also confirms that CSK won't be looking for new players since most of its current squad would be available for the tournament.

Two Months Has Flown By..

CSK Player Making their Mark
It is two months since I last updated a post in this blog. A lot of things have happened in the mean time. Based on their IPL performances, Gony made his debut for India, Raina cemented his place in the playing eleven and Badrinath got a call for the Indian team. [I just hope that Badrinath gets an opportunity to play in the series]

Even non-Indian Chennai Super Kings players are playing well for their countries. [Muralitharan is sizzling for his nation, Oram scored a fighting century, etc.. ] So be rest assured about the performance of our team for the next season.

Champions League
With regard to Champions League, the boards finally took a call. Indian Board's persuasion won the day. So we could expect a better T20 action from December 3 - 10 when the best teams of the world compete to show their class. Thanks to champions League, we do not have wait for 8 more months to see our team in action.

Personally, I believe my posting frequency will increase as we slowly approach the inauguration of Champions League..

In the last two months, I made a transition from a care-free student to a much more responsible corporate personality. So it took a bit of a time for me to settle in. Hope I will start blogging more as i slowly start getting into a routine. Apologies to anyone who visited this blog during these two months...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

News Snippets

  1. New Coach - Next Season???: Though Kepler Wessels joined Chennai Super Kings team pretty late (compared to coaches of other teams), he did a admirable job with the talent available to him. Even Dhoni acknowledged it when he praised the improvement shown by the CSK players during his interview after the IPL finals. If Wessels decides not to commit for the next season, it would be a great loss for Chennai Super Kings team. [News Source: Cricinfo]
  2. Chennai Super Kings Breaks Even: The initial reports on Economic Times suggested that Chennai Super Kings may end up in the red this year. But as Mr. Rakesh Singh [Joint President, Marketing] clarified on his recent interview, Chennai Super Kings has broke even in the first year itself, aided by the surprisingly high collections from merchandising. [News Source: Business Line]

Monday, 9 June 2008

Happy News from Lalit Modi

Yesterday on reading the news that Michael Hussey and Albie Morkel would represent their domestic teams rather than Chennai Super Kings, my hearts sank. But thankfully, Lalit Modi clarified today that the franchises of Indian Premier League would get first priority over players for the proposed Champions League.. Hurrah! Surely a great news!!!

Specifically elaborating on the case of Michael Hussey, who is caught between Western Australia and Chennai Super Kings for the Champions League, Modi said, "In the case of Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings has the option to keep him and pay a relieving fees to Western Australia. The option is with Super Kings."

News Source: Cricinfo

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Summing Up - Indian Premier League - Season One

It has been a great first season for Indian Premier League. As a cricket fan and as a fan of Chennai Super Kings, I truly enjoyed it. It was great to watch our team reach the finals. Though we may have lost the finals by a whisker, I am sure we would come back a much more stronger and a much more determined team the next season. But thanks to their great performance of the team, we the CSK fans have kept our heads held high even in the defeats.

Thanks to you all, this leading blog of Chennai Super Kings has had more than 50,000 page views and more than 160 RSS subscribers in the first season itself. [I don't think any other team's fansite would have been able to garner such high support and loyalty]. And I am sure it will only go up in the next season. But what i liked most about this blog is the opportunity to interact with other CSK fans and their views(comments) regarding the team.

Now IPL Season is over, what do you like to do with this blog until the T20 Champions League starts?

P.S: Sorry that I was not able to reply to your comments in the last 2 or 3 weeks. I have shifted to a new place and a new job. So was not able to access the Internet as much as i would have liked. And Gaurav has surely done a great job in the mean time.

Related Posts:

Saturday, 7 June 2008

News Snippets

Million Dollar T20 Champions League announced
Though while the fans of most of the other teams have to wait for a whole year to see their team again, we will see our team competing against the World's best T20 teams in T20 Champions Leage. Finalists of T20 tournaments in Australia, South Africa, India and England would be competing against each other for the title. Most probably, the 4 overseas player rule would be removed but we may still miss the services of Hussey and Morkel due to their domestic commitments.
[Source: Cricinfo]

Gony in Indian ODI Team
Chennai Super Kings' front line bowler Manpreet Gony will be joining the Indian ODI team for the tri-nation Bangladesh series on the back of an injury to Sreesanth. Gony has been one of the major finds for Indian cricket from the recent IPL series.
[Source: Cricinfo]

Financial Performance of IPL Franchisees
This Economic Times article gives a perspective of how good the franchisees were for their owners. Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals are the only teams in the black. Chennai Super Kings made a net loss of Rs. 5 crore. But missing from this analysis is the amount of goodwill generated for each team and the players' valuation, which would put CSK in a better position.
[Source: Economic Times]

Monday, 2 June 2008

Winners All

We may have received the runners-up trophy in the inaugural DLF IPL Trophy, but make no mistake, we played like winners and bowed out as winners should. Cricket was the ultimate winner in yesterday's heart-racing clash between two great teams led by the most charismatic leaders in the cricket world.

All said and done, Rajasthan Royals throughly deserved this victory. Theirs was the fairytale script - underdogs to the core, if ever there were any. But the fact that the match went to the last ball in such a tense finish was sufficient testimony to the fact that both teams were so evenly matched that only the tiniest of differences separated them on the given day.

We can be proud of our team and the way it represented Chennai on and off the field. Not only did we take the fight to the Royals till the very end, we also bagged the Kingfisher Fairplay Award. And we the fans deserve kudos too for several surveys showed that ours was the most cohesive and loyal fan-base out of all 8 teams.

Coming to the game itself, I back our captain when he said we played as a team throughout and lost the finals as a team. It would be easy to point out to certain individuals and certain moments - Balaji's wide ball, Parthiv's mess-up, dropped catch by Raina, Kapugedara failing to get going, but truly the fact of the matter is the entire team fell short by that tiny minuscule margin. It was so great to see the team forming the huddle and Dhoni delivering his few last words just as he had done after the victory in Bangalore at which point Hayden, Hussey and Oram had left the team.

I would say we weren't quite able to up the tempo when we needed it in the second half of the innings. Raina seemed like the guy who could do it, but Kapugedara failed to get going and Dhoni couldn't get too much of the strike. In hindsight, maybe it was the wrong decision to send Kapugedara ahead of Badrinath. With the ball I think we were quite good keeping the pressure on through, except that Balaji had a forgettable night and the pressure got to Murali too. Of course that dropped catch by Raina was a big moment. But after every setback, we fought back with the wicket and in the end it was only a matter of inches that the Royals beat us by.

For the Royals it has to be said that Yusuf was extraordinary. What can you say about such a fabulous all-round performance except that hope he goes on to translate it at the international level ?

The campaign in the inaugural DLF IPL is over. But we shall be back again next year - with a big BANG - and hopefully with that little extra to take us over the line. I am not sure where I shall be next year. It was just luck that I happened to be in Chennai at a time when the IPL came about. And it has been one joyful experience becoming a fan of this team of wonderful players, but more so getting to be a part of the fan club that includes great guys like you all. Through the year I shall keep in touch off and on if anything interesting comes by.

Cheers !

Sunday, 1 June 2008

History favours us

Before the start of Indian Premier League - Season 1, many considered Chennai Super Kings to be the favorites and Rajasthan Royals to be the underdogs. But their roles have reversed now. Today Rajasthan Royals are the favorites to win the Indian Premier League and Chennai Super Kings are the underdogs.

But .Chennai Super Kings can take consolation in the fact that the history favours them. It was Tamil Nadu that won the inaugural inter State Twenty-20 Tournament and again it was Chennai Super Stars who won the inaugural Indian Cricket League. In both these finals, Chennai/Tamil Nadu teams were the underdogs and they managed to spring a surprise. Hope they are able to do it today too.

The MEGA-FINAL - Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings !

The two best teams in the inaugural DLF IPL will be going head-to-head in what promises to be a mouth-watering, heart-stopping climax. Don't go by the one-sided matches in the semi-finals ! Just think back to the last time these two great teams met in Chennai to remember what a superb game of cricket it was. Here's to a repeat of such a game - with one key difference - the end result !!!

Not only are these the two best teams - they are also the two best-led teams. Warne and Dhoni are the two magicians who will conduct the show. It's one of India's most charismatic and successful limited-overs captain against arguably the greatest captain the World never had !

Rajasthan have truly been a great team - a worthy opponent to face in the finals - unlike say, Punjab, who were more pretenders than anything else. They have given us some wonderful cricket, some delightful memories - the way Shane Warne has led this team has been simply inspiring.

Strengths - Batting order with well-defined roles, Tanvir, Warne, Watson - the best all-rounder
Weaknesses - Will miss Smith, Perhaps the seamers to backup Tanvir and Watson ?

Chennai - we have displayed the one great trait of a champion side - the ability to lift our game when it matters most. We peaked at the start of the tournament, went through a bit of a lean patch but are just beginning to bring our best at the climax. You can rely on the captaincy of Dhoni to handle situations like these.

Strengths - Raina striking some serious form, Dhoni, Morkel - an all-rounder not quite as good as Watson, but a fair competitor, Ntini striking form, Gony
Weaknesses - Opening - remains the Achille's heel of our team, back-up bowling.

League Record 2-0 in favor of the Royals
First game we were blown off by the Sohail-storm, but in the home game we gave a memorable fight. However, Watson did not play that game. But the main backbone of the batting in that game Graeme Smith is out injured, so that could be a huge bonus

Royal Contests
Akmal v Ntini
Asnodkar v Gony
Watson v Morkel
Yusuf v Murali
Raina v Tanvir
Dhoni v Warne

So let's get the party started ! Bring out your drinks, put out your tents and start pouring in your rants and opinions on this mega-blockbuster !

Thank You! Dhoni & Co.

Whatever may happen in today's final against Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings have surely entertained us in the first season of IPL. They were moments when we were embarrassed... There were moments when the team annihilated the opponents... There were moments when we were elated(four wins in the first four matches)... There were moments of despair(3 Consecutive Defeats)... There were days of great performance... (Hat-tricks, Century, etc...) There were bad days... But we still stuck to the team and the team never stopped entertaining us. Thanks Dhoni & Co. for that... You were really "Fearless entertainers who played to win"

Today you may win the match and capture eternal glory or you may falter in the final hurdle. But just remember that we would be there next year, still supporting and still awaiting another great performance from you. Great going Guys!!!

P.S: It was great to see 150 odd Chennai fans travelling to Mumbai to support their team. When Ottayan predicted that CSK would soon have a travelling fan group, I thought it would happen after 5 or 10 years. Just the fact that it has happened so soon, proves the huge success of IPL. Also it was great to see both Ntini and Dhoni acknowledging the fans' presence in the semi-final presentation ceremony.

Punjab Annihilated, Destroyed, Demolished !!!

We have done it guys ! We have inflicted a humiliating defeat upon our favorite opposition and romped through to the finals in style ! What a momentous and glorious win this is for everyone associated with the Chennai Superkings !

So unfairly written off and labeled as the weakest of the four semifinalists, and then, branded as underdogs we have shown the World that they can take us lightly only at their own peril.

Punjab: Shaun Marsh, Sangakarra both failed, as they were due a failure anyway. No one else stood up, weak middle order, Yuvraj couldn't stand up, as expected. Bowling showed no teeth

Chennai: Ntini who was a bit of a worry, came to the party just at the right time. Gony, as predicted, was superb. Parthiv did a decent job. Raina of course was brilliant.

Was this the PERFECT performance ? Does this leave scope for another perfect performance tomorrow ?

The expressions on Yuvraj's face were precious.

We have shown that rather than putting up a false bravado just keeping calm and going about the job quietly works wonders. Just one more step away from justifying our name "Super" Kings !

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Second Semifinal - King's X1 Punjab v Chennai Superkings - Preview

Today it is. Do or die day. No more second chances, no more bothering about tables and run-rates and the like. On the opposite side is our favorite opponent - King's X1 Punjab - a team that we like to beat and hold some grudge against. Also a team that is on the up, and supremely confident, a bit too confident if you like. At stake, is a chance to contest in the finals of the inaugural DLF IPL Final !

Favorites ?
What a question !

League Record: 2-0 in favor of Super Kings
In the first game, we totally annihilated them - but those were different days as we had Mike Hussey with us. But more encouragingly we had a very good win in the return game also, despite Shaun Marsh batting well. It seemed Dhoni Raina and Badrinath relished taking on the all Indian bowling attack and then Balaji sealed it off with a super-spell !

Strengths - Shaun Marsh, Sangakarra
Weaknesses - Yuvraj, dicey lower-middle order, part of the bowling can be tonked around

Strengths - Key players are beginning to show form (Raina, Morkel, Dhoni, Gony, Murali)
Weaknesses - Opening combination, Backup bowling, below par performances by Ntini and Murali

Royal Contests
Marsh v Gony
Sangakarra v Murali
Raina v Chawla
Dhoni v Irfan

Friday, 30 May 2008

Strongest Rivals ?

Well, maybe we can answer this question better in two days time. But why not get the discussion started ? Who should be our arch-rivals for the next season ? I remember earlier in the season, Robin had considered Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore as potential rivals and settled on Bangalore. But now, is it time for a re-think given Bangalore's poor performance ?

My thoughts - candidate rivals and reasons in no particular order -
1) King's X1 Punjab - We play our best cricket against them, plus Dhoni has a keen battle against his friend and vice-captain Yuvraj

2) Delhi Daredevils - We seem to be very evenly matched, plus there is the age-old South v North issue, plus Dhoni also bypassed Sehwag for India captaincy, so there's a contest.

3) Mumbai Indians - The Mumbai crowds are the worst behaved. How can we forget the way they booed Dhoni at the Wankhede ? Plus they fairly destroyed us in our away game. Plus there is the history and the financial clout of Mumbai.

Of course the earlier reasons mentioned by Robin are still somewhat relevant. I don't want to make this sound a Dhoni v Yuvraj or Dhoni v Sehwag thing ... that's just one thought for you guys to consider.

Waiting to hear from you as to who should be our arch-rivals for next season and why ?

First Semifinal - Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils Preview

It's the first knockout. No more second chances. No more opportunities for revenge or comebacks. One of the Royals and the Daredevils will be going home disappointed tonight and the other will be readying for the mega-finals on Saturday.

Favorites ?
I would like to see Rajasthan in the finals - because I believe they are by some distance the better team, although possibly Delhi might be the preferable opponent for us if we go through tomorrow. I do think Rajasthan have the edge despite their loss in the last league game.

League Record 1-1
Delhi had beaten Rajasthan on the second day of the championship at home when Warne's men were yet to get things in order and were written off by all as minnows. However, Warnie returned with interest in the home game - a comprehensive win for the Royals.

Strengths - Top order, McGrath, Fielding
Weaknesses - Middle order, Backup bowling (esp. fifth bowler)

Strengths - Versatile, well-oiled batting, Warne - bowler and captain, Tanvir - best bowler of the series, Watson
Weaknesses - Some of the players rely a lot on Warne's captaincy, these could be individually targeted.

Royal Contests
Smith v McGrath
Yusuf v Mishra
Gambhir v Tanvir
Sehwag v Warne

Team Categorization

1. Rajasthan Royals - Undoubtedly the best team. 3 defeats - one right at the start, when they were yet to find their feet, one right at the end in a game they took lightly and one in the middle which they are entitled to.

2. King's X1 Punjab - Very strong team. 4 defeats - one against the top team, 2 against the No. 3 team (against whom they seem to have a mental block).

3. Chennai Super Kings - The most unpredictable team. 6 defeats - 2 against Rajasthan, but 0 against Punjab and then they have lost to almost every other team once (except Kolkata)

4. Delhi Daredevils - Typical middle of the table team. Did a good job of minnow-bashing, decent against top and other middle of the table teams.

5. Mumbai Indians - Another unpredictable team. 2 losses to Punjab against 2 wins versus Kolkata but against every other team has a 1-1 record, minnows and toppers and middlers alike.

6. Kolkata Knight Riders - Excellent minnow-bashers, pulled off the odd upset against a top team too.

7. Bangalore Royal Challengers - Minnows that caused an upset and a half

8. Deccan Chargers - Minnows that caused an upset and a half.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

The Semifinalists !

So who is the strongest of them all ?

If you just look at the records of the semifinalists against each other here is how they stand:

Rajasthan 4-2
Punjab 3-3
Chennai 3-3
Delhi 2-4

Which is the exact order in which they line up.

However that does not tell the whole story. For a lot of the teams have evolved since when they played each other.

So who are the favorites ?

I know that in a lot of forums I visit Chennai is described as the weakest of the semifinalists and Punjab is expected to run over them. I do not subscribe to this view however; for the simple fact that Chennai have beaten Punjab twice.

Indeed given a choice between facing Punjab and Rajasthan in the semis I would prefer to face Punjab any day.

Also for some reason people are beginning to look upon Delhi as very strong contenders. I wonder why. I believe luck (and some self-destruction on the part of Mumbai) played a huge role in Delhi getting to this stage. If they continue to rely on luck they might be in for a huge shock.

All in all I still believe Rajasthan is by far the strongest team and the one to beat.

And you ?

Fleming Out

So Stephen Fleming will not be available for the rest of the tournament leaving due to personal reasons (birth of his child) as per reports. This will be a bit of a blow - losing our accomplished, experienced opening batsman on the eve of the semifinals. At the same time he hadn't really set the world on fire as yet but I for one was banking on him to come good.

So what are our options now ? Do we go for a replacement foreign player as we can ? However I do think it will be too much to get a newcomer in at this late stage and ask him to gel with the team. We have the option of going in with either Vidyut or Aniruddh of course, but I for one would be interested in Chamara Kapugedara.

I know he didn't quite impress in whatever chances he got but I have seen him play for Sri Lanka and when he gets going, he can be a class player.

What are your thoughts ? How do we go about this problem ? How do we replace Fleming ? Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

And That’s How It’s Done!

For all those doubting Thomases (or Saurabhs or Narayans), hope the Chennai team has proved you guys wrong by marching into the semifinals with a convincing if not emphatic win. The semifinals are here now and from now on it’s down to which team plays better on the day.

This was a match in which, all said and done, we were always going to be favorites. We did everything right in the first ten overs of our bowling – but let it slip away slightly in the second half. This is a bit worrying. I would have liked to see us bowling the opposition out for 120-odd and the performance of Morkel and Balaji yesterday with the ball left a bit to be desired.

In the batting department, the old habit of the openers of throwing away their wickets when there is absolutely no need continues to be a worry. Raina was really encouraging but what was most relieving was seeing MS Dhoni bat. This is perhaps the best and most free I have seen him bat since his fabulous innings against Bangalore 10 games ago. MS coming into his own can only mean great news for us and ominous signs for the rest of the teams. Also, I do think Morkel took a little long to settle down yesterday which made the finish just a little bit more tense than necessary.

So we take on Punjab a team over which we have major psychological advantage, aided by the fact that we have Dhoni who seems to have some psychological hold over Yuvraj. I fancy our chances to make it through to the finals!

1) Gony – Fantastic spell first up

2) Murali – Though not at his best bowled much better than earlier

3) Raina – Finally saw the team through

4) Dhoni – Just the way he was striking the ball today was ominous


1) Morkel – Disappointing with the ball, adequate with the bat, but we can pass this off as just a bad day, he has been great otherwise

2) Fleming – Yet another waste of a start

3) Parthiv – Just when we thought he had turned a leaf in the last game he is back to his old ways.

Do we have a chance to go all the way now? I believe we do, I definitely believe we can beat Punjab, Rajasthan might be slightly tough provided we don’t get a couple of issues sorted out. One, as Dhoni said, we need the bowling to be potent throughout. In every game it is one of the bowlers who is shining while the others are only restricting. We need all our bowlers to fire away. Two, we need Fleming to fire and fire big time – like say score a hundred.

If this can be done, I think we will be able to finish off the tournament like we started it – as the best team! Good Luck Chennai !

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Deccan Chargers v Chennai Super Kings - Preview

It has all boiled down to this. Match 54 of DLF IPL 2008 which could decide the fate of Chennai Super Kings, our Chennai Super Kings once and for all - a win here would straightaway put us in the semifinals that too at the No. 3 spot. Defeat would still not mean the end of the road but we would have to rely on a resurgent Bangalore team beating a messy Mumbai the day after.

If we are to hold our destiny in our own hands the task definition is simple - beat Deccan Chargers the team guaranteed to end up at the bottom of the table. When we met them at home earlier, we came up with one of our most disappointing batting shows to concede the advantage and that has kind of put us in the situation we are in today. That win was one of the few high points for the Deccan Chargers. They haven't managed another win in 6 games after that, but Chennai has also been very inconsistent, winning 3 and losing the other 3.

As the table stands Chennai are still in the 4th position with 14 points but face the only challenge from Mumbai who are sixth with 12 and have a game in hand as also a much superior run-rate. The presence of Gilchrist and the law of averages, as also memories of last time's defeat makes tomorrow's game tricky for the Super Kings. Dhoni really needs to be on top of his game to pull it off here.

Super Kings - The batting looks fairly well-settled - possibly Viduyt could come back in place of Abhinav Mukund, the bowling as per Dhoni is also well settled, but problematically completely fell apart in the last game. So the question is whether to stick to this attack or bring in someone out of the blue - Palani Amarnath might not be a bad choice in the situation.

For the Chargers, expect to see Chamara Silva make way for the return of either Afridi or Styris. Ojha, who had tied up Dhoni so well last time is also likely to make a return.

In all seriousness I feel the only man who can stand between Chennai and a semifinals slot is Adam Gilchrist. Get him quick and romp into the semifinals ! Good Luck Chennai !

Revenge Battles
Patel v Vijay (Vijay)
Fleming v Styris (Styris)
Raina v Afridi (Raina)
Raina v Bangar (Bangar)
Badri v Afridi (Afridi)
Dhoni v Ojha (Ojha)
Morkel v Ojha (Morkel)
Gilchrist v Ntini (Gilchrist)
Gilchrist v Morkel (Morkel)
Gibbs v Gony (Gony)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

A Spirited Fight - But Just Not Enough !

Hmm .. I suppose if you can contrive to throw away a match like this, then sometimes luck can hit you hard in all the wrong places despite coming up with a most spirited and laudable effort like today. The other night against Bangalore, the bowlers came up with a superlative performance that the batsmen wasted and today, when the batsmen finally stood up to the challenge, the bowlers had done just so badly that it proved a mile too far in the end.

So with the sixth loss, and with Mumbai refusing to do us a favor by eliminating Delhi we are locked in a tight battle with the other two for two semifinal slots - a battle that is likely to go down to the wire.

As a game of cricket, today was fantastic. Rajasthan Royals batsmen played really well - Smith, Asnodkar and Akmal in particular, although you have to admit that our bowling was lacklustre. With the reply we gave them it does seem like it was a very true batting wicket. In the end, that man Sohail Tanvir proved the difference yet again with two very miserly spells, most crucially the last one in which he got the wicket of Dhoni.

But before that Raina, Parthiv and Morkel really took the fight to the Royals. Raina's early assault on Mumaf was particularly breath-taking. Mind you, today was a full stadium and it reverberated with every stroke Raina lashed. In the end, one has to say, that yet again, he threw his wicket when there was no need to. Warnie's spell when he got Parthiv also proved to be critical.

1) Fight - I feared that the team might collapse under the sheer pressure of the volume of the runs. To their credit this didn't happen and the challenge brought out the best in the batsmen
2) Raina, Parthiv Morkel striking form - superb batting !

1) Bowling - Though it was a batting track the bowling never looked to have any incision, or worse, even purpose. I would say the likes of Ntini should take major blame for this
2) Fleming - What a meaningless waste of a wicket !
3) Dhoni - I worry that increasingly bowlers are figuring out how to keep him quiet and he is also getting out in the process

Fortunately, we still have our destiny in our own hands, unlike Delhi. We have to beat bottom-placed Deccan Chargers in our last game and we are through. Maybe after we brought shame upon ourselves against Bangalore, and Lady Luck punished us against Rajasthan for that, hoepfully all things should fall into place for this crucial game. In the last two games we have shown that our bowlers and batsmen can do it - they just need to put it together.

Revenge Battle Results
Tanvir v Parthiv - Draw
Tanvir v Fleming - Draw
Munaf v Raina - REVENGE for Raina
Tanvir v Morkel - Tanvir wins !
Warne v Morkel - Morkel wins again !
Asnodkar v Gony - Asnodkar wins AGAIN
Yusuf v Murali - Draw

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Chennai Superkings vs Rajasthan Royals - Preview

Cross-posted on The DLF IPL

On May 4, in the sands of the Rajasthan desert, a different kind of storm struck. It was in the form of a tiny left-arm fast bowler with a weird action running through the top order of the Chennai Super Kings with a force and guile unmatched. Tomorrow, the battle will resume - the storm will be eager to rebound with a bang - in its path it has destroyed other cities too - and now when it blows down South to Chennai can Dhoni's warriors show the strength to hold their own against it ?

It was around this time that Rajasthan made the leap to the top of the table - and they have managed to hold on to that spot ever since. That was also when Chennai themselves relinquished control over top spot and have been more or less at No. 3 ever since. Rajasthan will be itching to stay on top of course, and continue their momentum. Expect a battle in which fire is fought by fire when these two proud teams take to the field.

Chennai: Does Parthiv get another chance ? Will Dhoni be fit enough to keep wickets ? Will we get our batting order right ? And more importantly will the batsmen be able to show some sense and cool unlike last time ?

Rajasthan: It seems like everything that Warne touches will turn to gold. If he asks any random player, young or old, Indian or foreign, to do a job for him, the player will do it. What will be interesting is to see how he actually sustains the momentun - and how long can he do it ? After all winning 9 out of your 11 matches should take its toll. It is worth noting that the one match in they failed against Mumbai they did not get a start and lost wickets at regular intervals. We would do well to pick up some hint here. Yusuf Pathan is a major threat. Then of course there is the magician Warne himself - who had completely baffled MSD last time around, and the tiny left-armer Sohail Tanvir.

Revenge Battles
Tanvir v Parthiv
Tanvir v Fleming
Tanvir v Vidyut
Munaf v Raina
Trivedi v Raina
Watson v Badri
Warne v Dhoni
Tanvir v Morkel
Warne v Morkel
Asnodkar v Gony
Asnodkar v VIdyut
Yusuf v Murali
Yusuf v Vidyut
Watson v Vidyut

Note: Tomorrow will be my last day in Chennai. I have had a most memorable stay in Chennai. I shall of course continue to support the Chennai Super Kings after I leave. Today I will be at the stadium for one last time to support my team ! Thanks Chennai ! Go Super Kings !

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Path For Chennai

Cross-posted on The DLF IPL

If we win any one of the next two games, we are THROUGH.

If Mumbai beat Delhi we are THROUGH even if we lose both our games.

Otherwise, (i.e. if we lose both our games, and Delhi beat Mumbai) we can still go THROUGH if Mumbai loses their other two games as well, i.e. to Rajasthan and Bangalore. In short, if Mumbai loses all its games, we are THROUGH even if we don't win any more games. If Mumbai loses to Delhi but wins one of their other two games (either Rajasthan or Bangalore) then we will have to rely on run-rate.

If we lose both our games, and Mumbai loses to Delhi BUT wins the other two games - we are OUT.

The easiest thing for us would be - to just win a game and be happy ! :D:D:D

An Embarassment

Cross Posted on The DLF IPL

There is no other way I can think of to describe today's defeat. It was shocking, stunning, horrible, pathetic, abysmal and inexcusable. Full credit to Bangalore for the way they fought. But that should not take away from the sheer imbecility in our performance. Any team that contrives to lose after restricting the opposition to 127 and then being 85 for 2 in 14 overs surely deserves all the brickbats that it gets.

No batsman can be spared. So here's a lowdown on each.
1) What the hell is Parthiv doing up the order ? Yet again he has thrown away his wicket. Yet again he has proved that even when he comes up with a decent partnership he does not quite look a batsman that any opposition will be afraid of.

2) What the hell was Fleming trying to do ? Complacency oozed out from every shot of his in the later stages of his innings. WHY ?

3) What the hell was Dhoni doing ? All it needed at that stage was for Dhoni to stay till the end and victory would have been assured.

4) What was that shot from Badrinath ? Why would a batsman with his arsenal attempt a ridiculous shot like that on the last ball of Kumble's spell ? Did he get pressurised by the close-in field ? Does he have a mental weakness in that case ? Is that the reason why he has not yet broken into Team India ?

5) Where is Morkel when we need him ? The hook shot is the one shot that is not quite in his toolkit. Why did he have to go for it that too off a quality bowler like Dale Steyn ?

6) At the expense of sounding harsh, why does Vidyut frequently bat like an idiot ?

7) What about Goni ? Forget the way he got out, weren't the hoicks that he played and missed before that ridiculous enough ? And why did he have to get out when 10 runs were scored off that over already ?

8) And finally what about Raina ? He played a couple of glorious cricketing shots and otherwise came up with ugly heaves which he predictably failed to connect. Just earlier in the day Sachin Tendulkar had given a master-class in elegant 2020 striking. Pity this youngster touted as the future of Indian batting didn't quite pick it up.

It was indeed pathetic and pitiable to see him at the end trying to hold on to strike by all means and being unable to connect even a single ball. Praveen Kumar bowled the last over for 1 run !!!

Meanwhile credit to Bangalore. Really heartening to see Dravid smile and get pumped up again. And what a spell by the old warrior Kumble ! The only tragedy is that it came at our expense. Why couldn't they do this to Delhi or Punjab or any other team instead ?

Revenge Battle Results
Patel v Praveen - Draw
Raina v Praveen - Clearly Praveen gets the revenge !
Raina v Akhil - Draw
Dravid v Gony - Draw

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Chennai Super Kings Vs Bangalore Royal Challengers - Match Preview

When both these teams met last time, Chennai Super Kings plucked a victory from the jaws of defeat. Bangalore Royal Challengers would be still ruing over that close match. Both the team's fortunes has not changed much after that. While Chennai Super Kings has been able to hold on to its top four position, Bangalore Royal Challengers are ailing at the bottom of the table. With regard to today's match, Bangalore Royal Challengers has nothing to lose, which makes them a very dangerous side. So we can surely see a spirited opposition from Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Our Team:

Most probably, the same eleven would be playing today. But Dhoni recovering from his finger injury may not keep wickets. So don't be surprised to see Parthiv Patel behind the stumps and Dhoni in the outfield. Most importantly, if Chennai Super Kings lose this match, it would have a monumental task of winning all the rest of the matches to qualify for the semifinals. [To know why, click here]

The good thing is that most of the players(both international and local) are in good form.  But still, the team may experiment with some new players.

Chennai_Super_Kings_IPL_Logo  Vs Bangalore Royal Challengers IPL Logo

Most Dangerous Players:

  1. Steyn: Last time when both the teams met, Steyn was clobbered by Dhoni in his final two overs. He would be looking for revenge, making him a very dangerous bowler.
  2. Misbah-ul-Haq: He finally found form in his last game. If Bangalore Royal Challenges bat second, he could be their key player.

Royal Contests:

  1. Dhoni Vs Steyn: Steyn would be looking for revenge against Dhoni & Co. So this battle could be interesting.
  2. Dhoni Vs Kumble: In IPL, Dhoni has found it tough to handle leg spinners. So it would be key to watch how Kumble bowls to Dhoni.

Favourites: Home crowd advantage makes Chennai Super Kings the  favourite. But expect another tightly fought game.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Gony - A Loving Husband and A Heart-Broken Parent

Manpreet Gony has impressed one and all by his performance at Indian Premier League. For a novice bowler, who hardly had any first class experience, he has lead the CSK bowling attack with aplomb. Not only that, he has also won a match for Chennai Super Kings with his bat. A man, with a big heart and a great attitude, he surely has a great future before him. Times of India in its article - aptly titled - "The ecstasy and Agony of being MS Gony", reveals his personal side that you will never hear from him again.

A Few Excerpts from the Interview:

"As he stood alone in a Delhi hospital, clutching the lifeless body of his baby, the light seemed to have gone out of his life."

"When a father holds the dead body of his son, the other things in life become insignificant. I was selected to represent PCA in the Buchi Babu meet within seven days of this tragedy. I went as it was my maiden call-up, leaving my wife behind"

"I was frustrated as I was taking wickets in club cricket consistently but was not being considered for selection. I was thinking about leaving but my wife insisted that I should just carry on. Those were hard days"

"I still don't have a job. I used to earn peanuts playing club cricket. My wife sustained the family"

"I snapped all ties with my parents as they were never nice to my wife"

"I want my wife to take the Civil Services entrance test"

News Source: CSK Fan Club

P.S: On reading the personal experiences of players like this, I thanked Modi & Co. for coming up with this concept.

And Thank you, Manpreet Gaur for standing-by Gony during those dark days... Was reminded of the old quote "Behind every successful man, there is a woman". How true!

Official Chennai Super Kings Music Album

Some of you would have already bought the official Chennai Super Kings album marketed by Big Music. If not, you could download them here.


The Chennai Super Kings Theme Song is a peppy RAP number with a modern outlook, & captivating lyrics in English and Tamil. [Can download it here]

The rhythmic Adi Adi Nethi Adi written by Vairamuthu urges the Chennai Super Kings warriors to set the field ablaze and to go for Glory. [Can download it here]

The third track Vetri Kodi Katta Vada is a call to Chennai Super Kings Warriors to Go and bang the Opponents! [Can download it here]

Puyalaaga Vaa is a portrayal of Victory of the Chennai Super Kings and is surely a Melodious Passion [Can download it here]

There also is a Hindi version of the Chennai Super Kings theme song.  [Can download it here]

News Source: Indiaglitz

Monday, 19 May 2008

Future International Players

The long term success of a professional club is hugely dependent on the way the club acquires and nurtures young talent. But in our team, most of the international stars are in their thirties and could not be expected to play for more than 5 years. So it is time, our team starts acquiring young players especially bowlers to strengthen the bench and lay a foundation for a strong future team.

One of the players that I wanted to see on the yellow clothes was Ajantha Mendis, the young Sri Lankan mystery leg spinner. He could have easily become the future replacement for Muralitharan in Chennai Super Kings team.  But Cricinfo reports that he has been poached by Kolkata Knight Riders. Similarly, one of the franchises is close to sign a record deal with Pietersen for the next three years. Hope there is some one in Chennai Super Kings who scouts for young talent (both Indian and foreign) and bring them into the team in a earlier stage so they develop a sense of association with the franchise.

Who are the players (not yet signed by any franchise) you would like to see on our squad?

Sunday, 18 May 2008

A Crucial Win

Cross-posted on The DLF IPL

Rain and Duckworth and Lewis combined together to make our task much easier today, but it would be fair to say we fully deserved this win the way we played. We must note that we have never lost a game bowling first and that should say something. Of course Kolkata was a weak batting team as I mentioned in my preview but we had to bowl well nevetherless. What was even more impressive was the way our openers batted before the rain. It is conceivable that they knew about the impending weather - and played the perfect game i.e. to keep wickets in hand and not go for too much, because the Duckworth Lewis system can create havoc with the target with every wicket you lose. In the end the 3 run defeat margin did not really reflect the true nature of the contest.

It was an inspired choice to play Ntini - one which I myself wasn't convinced about, but a lot of our readers were and well done to them ! It was even more astonishing to see that no one noticed his hat-trick including himself for a long time ! And this hat-trick constituted three top order players, each breakthrough turning out to be crucial in the context of the game. Well as Ntini bowled, I do think there is more improvement that can be shown on the bowling front by other bowlers - I thought we should have restricted Kolkata to abut 130 today.

With this win, we shall be breathing much easier and would be "quite safe" with regards to making it to the semifinals.

Problem Areas

1) Bowling - With the exception of Ntini, the rest of the bowling still looked toothless, even surprisingly, Gony. Murali is a major worry now, earlier though he was not picking wickets he was economical. Today he was really taken to task.

2) Fielding - The fielding was less than impressive with Vidyut in particular not looking too flash.


1) Ntini - For his splendid performance, but even more so, for the decision to play him
2) Fleming - Finally he is looking like the Fleming we know, the one who can strike the ball crisply and score big at a brisk rate.

Now hopefully an easy win at home against minnows Bangalore, shoud virtually seal the deal for us.

Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders - Preview

Cross-posted on The DLF IPL.

This is going to be a big game for both teams. While the winner won't necessarily be a certainty (esp. if it is Kolkata) for the semifinals, and the loser won't necessarily be out of contention (esp, if it is Chennai), the fact is that the balance will shift by a big margin depending on the outcome.

The biggest thing that Kolkata have going for them is the Eden Gardens factor. I think along with Shoaib it was the single most important reason for their win the other night against Delhi. The weakest link for them is their pathetic batting lineup and Chennai need to exploit this like Mumbai did yesterday.

For Kolkata Ganguly is the only hope as far as batting is concerned, maybe the odd innings by Hussey. I think it will be prudent to include a technically sound player like Taibu and bench the completely unimpressive Hafeez. The bowling however looks very good - maybe Agarkar will miss out again, and the spinner will get a chance given the nature of the Kolkata wicket.

So what can Chennai do ? Fleming's form continues to remain a worry. Should he be persisted with now that there are only 4 more games in the league to go ? Should he be allowed to come in at 3 or 4 ? Should Kapugedara be pushed up to open ? Will Raina finally play a defining knock ? Will Badri and Dhoni be able to continue their good run. The so-called strong batting is the main worry, though the bowling, as widely known, is thin. Is it worth it to bring back Ntini and sacrifise a batsman like Kapugedara ? All very interesting questions.

Revenge Battles
Ganguly v Joginder - Joginder dismissed Ganguly last time for a low score
Saha v Gony - Gony was hit but got Saha in the end
Saha v Amarnath - (if Amarnath plays), Saha got stuck into him last time
Hussey v Amarnath - Amarnath got him first ball last time
Hafeez v Amarnath - Another player that Amarnath got the better of
Shukla v Joginder
Agarkar v Patel
Shukla, Kartik v Dhoni

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Suggestions for Dhoni & Wessels

Since Chennai Super Kings has to win 3 of its next four matches, some suggestions for the team

  1. Bring on Ntini: Our team is one of the poorest bowling sides in the tournament in the tournament[If you want statistics, check here]. In this situation, it does not make sense for preferring Kapugedera(essentially a batsman) to Ntini (a strike bowler). Ntini may not have taken a single wicket in his first three IPL matches. But he is the senior most fast bowler in the team and deserves a place in the playing eleven. Also he and Gony could form a potent pace pair.
  2. 5th & 6th Over: It is a common strategy among our opposition teams to keep the wickets intact in the first 3 or 4 overs and then take on the bowlers in the fifth and sixth over. But Dhoni seems to use the same fast bowlers(Gony & Morkel) in these overs, who are plundered by the batsmen. Rather I would prefer a bowling change for those overs to keep the opposite team guessing. [Especially bringing on Murali could create doubt and confusion in the mind of the batsman]

What are your suggestions for the team?

Friday, 16 May 2008

Why we need 3 wins...

Both Murali and Fleming echoed in their TV interviews that 2 wins will carry Chennai Super Kings team to the semifinals. This belief is held by both the team and its fans. But is it true?

Take a look at the IPL points table and the probable results for the rest of the IPL matches. And Decide for yourself

IPL Points Table 




Rajasthan Royals 9 14
Kings XI Punjab 9 12
Chennai Super Kings 10 12
Mumbai Indians 9 10
Delhi Daredevils 10 10
Kolkata Knight Riders 10 10
Deccan Chargers 10 4
Bangalore Royal Chargers 9 4


Probable Results in Upcoming Fixtures

Home Team  Away Probable Result
Rajasthan Royals  Bangalore Royal Challengers Rajasthan Royals 
Delhi Daredevils  Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab
Kolkata Knight Riders Chennai Super Kings  
Deccan Chargers Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians
Bangalore Royal Challengers Delhi Daredevils Delhi Daredevils
Kolkata Knight Riders Rajasthan Royals Kolkata Knight Riders
Mumbai Indians Kings XI Punjab Mumbai Indians
Chennai Super Kings Bangalore Royal Challengers  
Delhi Daredevils  Kolkata Knight Riders Delhi Daredevils 
Kings XI Punjab Deccan Chargers Kings XI Punjab
Chennai Super Kings Rajasthan Royals  
Delhi Daredevils  Mumbai Indians Delhi Daredevils 
Deccan Chargers Bangalore Royal Challengers Deccan Chargers
Kolkata Knight Riders Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders
Rajasthan Royals  Mumbai Indians Rajasthan Royals 
Deccan Chargers Chennai Super Kings Deccan Chargers
Bangalore Royal Challengers Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians
Kings XI Punjab Rajasthan Royals Kings XI Punjab


It clearly shows that three or four teams would reach the required 16 points and would fight for the final two semifinal spots. This means the net run rate would be the one that decide those spots. And Chennai Super Kings with one of the poorest run rates (as of now) may miss out that spot. So to be sure, it is essential that the team musters 3 wins in the rest of their IPL campaign. If not, they have to depend on Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers to produce a few upsets against the other teams.