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!

Positives
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

Negatives

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 !

15 comments:

praveen said...

if we can't, then who can ? chennai all the way in yesterdays match. nice come back to the team in crunch game like this. all praise for raina for his brilliant temperament in a run chase.
running between the wickets is awesome.

the moment i thought its gonna get tough is 28 in 3 overs..

Six..! to finish it off and not by taking it to final ball is good..

ok past is past..! Job well done. what abt the semis. as i said earlier in one of my post, we are gonna to meet kings in semis.

Kings XI, we won against them in couple of times. so the strategy will be...

win toss, field first, pick the danger guys marsh + san'kara. restrict them below 165.... while batting kill the stupid sreeshant , use the first 6 ovrs. steady partnership. happy ending.. thats it.

what say guys ??

vaibhav said...

Hey Gaurav u took so long to post ur comments on the match.. I had been waiting fot it since morning.. But it was worth waiting. Ur analysis as usual hits the nail.. I agree it was a good match and overall good performances with our usual mistakes as aptly pointed by you. I 2 felt that unncessarily we stretched it to the last over but i guess they were over-cautious which is understood (M sure the match against BRC must be haunting them while battin :D)

So we have reached semis after long wait.. HURRAY !!! Regarding semis, the only hindrance we could face is YUVRAJ SINGH!! He has been silent throughout the tournament and players of his calibre dont stay in slumber for long.. So I am expecting a superb performance from him with both bat n ball in semis..(hope Yuvi proves me wrong..)

Also, hope CSK doent get overconfident thinkin that we have beaten them in both the league matches... GO CSK... STORM INTO THE FINALS!!!!

Guru said...

I feel Chennai's ipl dream is going to end with the semi finals.True, We have beaten kingsX1 twice but i bet yuvraj will not take things easy now as it is the semis and kings X1 have proved they can handle pressure situations much better than the csk ( da match against mumbai indians, yuvi inflicted da last ball run out...csk crumbled under pressure in the match against the RCB and RR)...besides marsh seems to be in the best form of his life...add to that pomershbach and sangakara's form... besides yuvraj has surprisingly been subdued throughout the tournament (remember in the t20 world cup yuvraj rose to form in da cruch match against england and aus)...
In the bowling dept, none of our bowlers have impressed consistently except for occasional brilliance of balaji, ntini and goni... 2 of kings x1 bowlers are in the top wicket takers list (sreesanth and pathan).... CSK is as such a good team but is no match to kings X1 who are at there best rite now...

Gaurav said...

oh come on ! dhoni has a mental edge over yuvi i think ;) yuvi has never been the same since he hit those six sixers in the T20 WC !

vaibhav thanks

i also feel that given a choice between RR and Punjab for the semifinals we would prefer punjab any day. i dont agree that punjab is the best team not in any way.

i think rajasthan is much stronger and they will beat punjab today.

in fact i find punjab to be the easiest opponent out of the other 3 remaining teams.

vaibhav, thanks

Gaurav said...

the only danger is sangakkara. if we hold him we should be fine.

Kaivtha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaivtha said...

Guru, be positive, are you afraid of CSK may lose against punjab because not yet clicked yuvi ? That is what said for afridi too. We won them 2 times, so it is not going to be tough unless we play loose. They need to worry abt their earlier loses/under pressure straight away. Also if yuvi can gets form, so as our bowlers too (and flemming), so it is another match with more chances for CSK to win.

praveen said...

for dhoni, it's a matter of prestige to reach semis. yes of'cource they [Kings XI]have great batting line up, but its a different day.
For any team, the semis will be a bit pressure and we all seen dhoni's cool temperament in semis.

@Guru : you've said that Kings XI can handle pressure better than csk... come on yaar.. the match against mumbai they haven't chased. there is always more pressure for the batting sides. so u shouldn't calculate that.

They lost to us in the last game becoz of that only. marsh can't handle the pressure and so some players.

They lost to us 2 times in league matches and have some psychological edge on them.

and coming to marsh's excellent run.. every one is expecting big hit from him. it will really put him under lot of pressure. and opening batsmen will fail once, like gambir + sanath did. so he may fail against us.
maybe ntini will pick him up in the first over.
finally, we have stupid sreeshant for them to do some nonsense and batsmen will try to hit him over. and also vrv singh


Praveen

praveen said...

forgotten to say, hitting six sixes is never going to happen again and again in cricket history.

i wonder y the commentators also saying that "yuvi has arrived, and u may see some half dozen". its really rubbish. tell me when was the last time yuvi has scored 2 consecutive sixes [in IPL].

so yuvi's fans, stop talking abt the 6-6's

Manoharan said...

Guys.,

Dont worry about yuvaraj singh.I would like to call him as scene singh.He has lost the potential of match winner long back and hez there just bcoz he slammed those 6 sixes.. CSK have to watch out for sangakkara and jayawardene.

praveen said...

I think the crowd support is going to be the main factor for semis.

becoz they dont have their team to play. but they have to support some one. and i think they will support for Dhonis CSK only. becoz, last match against Mum-Indians, yuvi has said something that the crowd support is one sided.

what say guys ??

ipl08 said...

The following should give CSK the edge...
Beaten Kings XI twice.
CSK already having played a do or die pressure match (almost like quarter-finals against the Chargers)
The crowd - not sure how they will treat Kings XI.

praveen said...

Who is the king ??

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/59100/59125.jpg
http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/59100/59127.jpg
http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/59400/59412.jpg

midwest mylaporean said...

congrats to CSK to have been one of the last four men standing after a gruelling month and a half of playing in the sweltering summer heat ! from now on, its a mind game and the team that holds its nerves is going to come out on top !! I for one, would like our local lads to contribute more from now on.
GO MS ! GO CSK !!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Punjab looks better on paper given the current form and may well go on to win the semis. However the logic detailing in Guru's comments seems a bit contrived:
a) on one hand you rely on the form book to say that Pomersbach, Marsh and Sanga will click because they are in good form. But you use the same form chart to say that Yuvraj will click because he has not been in good form all along and it is high time he clicked! Convenient isn't it?
b) Match against RCB was a bad day. Against RR, we played well, they played better. There was no succumbing to pressure here. 15 of 6 with against an in-form Sohail is not cakewalk!
c) If anything, take the last defeat and you will notice that KXIP fared badly when under pressure: they gave away 71 runs in the last 5 overs and around the same score for a partnership half of which included Umar Gul! Contrast that with CSK's successful defense of an identical 71 of 5 against MI at Chepauk.