Sunday, 24 May 2009

Big let down !!!

If CSK had lost the match due to something like a Gilchrist blitzkreig of the 1st semifinal, then I would not have been disappointed. Even if they had lost like last year's IPL final against Rajasthan Royals, then I would not have felt let down like this. But, right from selection to execution, everything disappointed in this crucial game.

Selecting Oram despite his poor show in both bat and ball, beats the fans' thinking in every match. Ntini could have been tried in his place in previous matches. Or maybe Hussey or Thushara could have been tried today. Any choice would have been better than Oram. Maybe kiwi coach Fleming is the reason for persisting with Oram?

Selecting Gony despite his poor show with bowling and fielding throughout the league stage is also a blunder. Tyagi performed very well except one match and should have been selected today.

Dhoni coming up the batting order despite Raina and Badrinath performing well in the 3rd and 4th spots respectively during the league stage, is another mistake. Dhoni takes too much time to settle and many times fails when he has to accelerate. When he keeps repeating this mistake, one is inclined to think that he is putting his interest above the team's interest.

The strategy to bank on a few star performances, like Dhoni believes, is quite weak when compared to a collective team effort like Bangalore's, where the total result is much above the sum of the individuals. Also during crunch situations in the field, I feel that Dhoni is sometimes becoming a bit too cool when trying to maintain his cool appearance, even at the expense of losing.

When such unfathomable selections are made, even some kind of slight match fixing by the IPL organizing team to create the fantastic drama / script of getting the last year's bottom placed team to this year's finals, does not seem very remote. If there are no good explanations from the team management soon about the selection blunders, then one would tend to think so.

Generally, being a fan is quite a helpless situation as you cannot do anything about your team's performances. It becomes even more pointless when your team makes some really unfathomable decisions. Then, you as a fan are simply not able to follow your team, and subsequently cannot be one. I definitely feel that way now.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


A Disappointing Performance by our team. Poor Team Selection by Fleming and Dhoni. (Gony ahead of Tyagi & Ashwin and Oram ahead of Hussey). And the players proved that on the field.

So Chennai Super Kings end their IPL Campaign this year. And no Champions League for Chennai Super Kings this year. And a long one year wait for CSK Fans to see those yellow jerseys back on the field. Adios!

Get Ready for the Best Match of the Tournament!!!

All of us would accept that the last year finals was the best match of the tournament, last year. But this time around, it might be the semifinals tomorrow that would be more interesting than finals. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings are the two favorites among the four semifinalists to win Indian Premier League this year. So expect a great match tomorrow.
CSK Playing XI:
1. Parthiv 2. Hayden 3. Raina 4. Hussey 5. Badri 6. Dhoni 7. Morkel 8. Jakati 9. Ashwin/Tyagi [Pitch conditions should decide this] 10. Balaji 11. Murali
BRC Playing XI:
1 Manish Pandey, 2 Jacques Kallis, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Ross Taylor, 6 Virat Kohli, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Roelof van der Merwe, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 B Akhil, 11 Anil Kumble 

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Kallis: His batting and bowling will determine the resistance of Royal Challengers Bangalore tomorrow
  2. Boucher: A Great Finisher. Just hoping Chennai Super Kings doesn't give him that opportunity
  3. Praveen Kumar: His bowling against the Chennai Super Kings' openers will determine the score of Chennai Super Kings. If CSK Openers are able to keep their wicket intact for the first six overs, we can surely expect a score at least 30 runs above par.
Royal Contests:
  1. Dravid Vs Murali: Dravid has not lighted up the tournament after his first IPL performance. I am sure he would be inching to prove his worth in one of the big matches.
  2. Morkel Vs Kallis: This contest between the South Africans would be interesting to watch
  3. Dhoni Vs Kumble: Dhoni, the captain would not only be matching his wits against Kumble, the captain but would also have to win the contest against Kumble, the bowler

Favorites: With Hussey coming back, Chennai Super Kings are slight favorites. But anyway it would be an interesting match to watch. Keeping my fingers crossed. 

IPL Becomes SIPL

I generally don't post about matches that don't involve Chennai Super Kings. But today's win by Deccan Chargers gives me some bragging rights that I might never get in the rest of my life.
Indian Premier League has become officially South Indian Premier League for the next two matches.
Anyway, a team that doesn't pick McGrath or Vettori does not deserve to qualify for the finals.

Friday, 22 May 2009

CSK Ends Another Team's Semifinal Hopes

Finally a match won by bowlers!!! I am sure the team would face Royal Challengers on a high after such a win!

  1. Hussey: Mike Hussey is Back!!! I am sure he would make a vital contribution in either semifinals or finals
  2. Murali: Lynchpin of CSK Bowling has never failed to deliver.
  3. Parthiv: Good to see him among some runs in the last two matches
  4. Ashwin: Good to see Ashwin giving some competition to Jakati for the job of second spinner.

  1. Badrinath: It is sad to see that Badri has not still understood his role in the team. In the slow pitches, the team banks on him to stay till the end. Hope he understands that sooner than later.
Fan's Man of the Match: NO DOUBT, Murali

Hmm.. Now the time has come to get ready for the semifinals that Chennai Super Kings have been planning for son long.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

CSK ruining their own chances of going to the finals?

There are plenty of people commenting on Cricinfo that MSD's decision to field a somewhat second-string side will come to bite him back as CSK will have to face Delhi if they lose today's encounter.

I think it is a very bullish and positive statement being made by MSD. Firstly, he wants to give all his boys a go so that he will be in a better position to pick the best XI for the semis and, most probably, the finals.

The second, and most important one, is that he isn't scared of taking the bull by the horns. He isn't scared of taking on Delhi in the semis and, why should he? We've got the most flexible side in the tournament and I think we can romp past any team.

As I post this, Punjab are 38/2 after 8.5 overs, needing 79 from 67 balls. A good over can do the job for Punjab, but looks like it isn't coming. :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Will CSK end Kings XI Punjab Semifinal Hopes

Kings XI Punjab have a very simple proposition for tomorrow's match. Win or Pack Your Bags and Leave. Chennai Super Kings, who are 99.99% qualified for the semifinals, might rest their Most Valuable Players (MVPs), ahead of their semifinals.

What Chennai Super Kings would like to do?
Dhoni would love to win a game before the semifinals and get that 'most important momentum'. Hayden is expected to sit out. So Bailey and Parthiv Patel will open for one more game. With the poor bowling in the last match, Dhoni would be increasingly tempted to play Ntini ahead of Oram. If that happens, expect Arun Karthick or Vijay to play ahead of Tyagi. [But I would like Dhoni to give Morkel the much needed rest and allow Ntini to play a match]

KXIP Playing XI: I don't expect to see any changes from the last game.

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Sangakkara: If it is a low scoring game, he would be the most dangerous batsman of Kings XI Punjab
  2. Yuvraj: This Young Turk can win matches with his bat and his pie-chuckers.
  3. Bret Lee: He has been bowling with fire right from his return. Sad that the spectators are robbed of Bret Lee Vs Hayden Contest.
Royal Contests:
  1. Raina Vs Bret Lee: Best Indian Batsman in IPL Vs Australia's Sperhead Bowler. Interesting Battle
  2. Yuvraj Vs Murali: Only Batsman in Kings XI Lineup who will takeup Murali without any fear
Favorites: Anyday I would pick CSK ahead of any other team. Hope we notch up a win and end Kings XI Punjab's Hopes of making it to the semifinals.

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Finally KKR get a win they deserve

Finally a loss that i didn't feel too much bad about. Why? Two reasons.
  1. We have already qualified for semifinals. Read why here - We are in the semifinals
  2. And McCullum did deserve atleast one chance to win a game for his team.
But would have loved CSK to go to the semifinals with a little bit of momentum.

  1. Murali: The one man army proved his worth to the team; I am sure he and Hayden are two most important players for Chennai Super Kings in the semifinals and finals
  2. Openers: Finally both the openers got into some runs. I am sure seeing Bailey play, Dhoni might be tempted to play Bailey ahead of Oram.
  3. Other Batsmen: Nice to see all the batsmen getting into some runs. Today's sixes by Morkel showed that he is back into his best batting form.
  4. Tyagi: Today's thrashing by McCullum is a great lesson for Tyagi. I am sure he would be a better player and a better bowler because of that over
  5. Raina: His last over showed that he is a fine death bowler.
  1. Balaji: Probably his off day, a bowler of his intelligence would be back to form in the next match
CSK Fan's Favorite: Murali for his stand out bowling performance among 13 bowlers who rolled their hands today.

Though the next match against Kings XI Punjab won't make any huge impact on our semifinal chances, I would still like to win the match and go with some momentum for the semifinals.

Monday, 18 May 2009

We are in the semifinals!!!

With today's defeat of Rajasthan Royals, our semifinal spot is 99.99% assured. Let me illustrate how:
1. We all knew the bottom of the table teams - Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians are already out of the semifinal spots
2. With today's loss, Rajathan Royals can end up with at most 15 points which means they can never overtake Chennai Super Kings, considering their negative run rate(-0.36) with CSK's +1.02 run rate
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore are at 12 points and have 2 matches to go. Deccan Chargers are at 14 points and have a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. This means one of these teams is going up to end at 14 points and a place below Chennai Super Kings in the points table.
So it is time to get ourself ready for the semifinals. .

Update: Sadly even Cricinfo has missed this fact..

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Will CSK Book their Semifinal Spot tomorrow?

Chennai Super Kings are playing against IPL - Season 2's punching bags tomorrow. But the team should not take the match lightly since KKR are getting better with each match and it shows that they are not far away from that elusive 'real' first win. Just hoping that it is not against us.

CSK Playing XI: Ntini might play ahead of Oram. Otherwise, expect the same squad to play.

KKR Playing XI: With the current state of the team, it is t0ugh to predict which XI players would turn up. [I can't predict XI for any team who are idiotic enough not to pick up Mendis]

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. McCullum: McCullum is slowly coming back to his form. Hope his blitzkrieg doesn't strike against us
  2. Ishant Sharma: Ishant Sharma would have been given the task by his team to take Haydos wicket early. Hope our openers doesn't allow him to settle to his rhythm.
  3. Hussey: His Quick Fire 43 nearly set up KKR win against Deccan Chargers.

Chennai Super Kings are the clear favorites.

Hope when i write the match review, Chennai Super Kings have booked their semifinal spot and don't have to wait until their final match to confirm their semi-final spot.

CSK Does End Mumbai's Semifinal Hopes

Chennai Super Kings does it again. Like last year, they dealt the final blow to Mumbai's hopes of making to the semi-finals. Though it was a well deserved win, there were a lot of scary moments for all CSK Fans. Thanks to Sachin's Captaincy, Chennai Super Kings romped home to a win.

  1. Haydos: With every match, this man has started amazing me more and more. Surprisingly, he is revealing a face that he never exposed during his international career. For a normal batsman, a bad day in T20 means getting out with a pathetic strike rate after eating up a lot of balls. But this man stayed even though it was one of his worst days. Led the team to victory with that final burst
  2. Murali & Balaji: While Murali kept the batsman under tight leash in the middle overs, Balaji's 19th over was a beauty
  1. Dhoni: Today it was Dhoni's turn to miss a easy stumping. Not only that, Balaji, the highest wicket taker of the team got to bowl only 2 overs
  2. Opening Woes: Still we have not found a solution to Hayden's Opening Partner Issue. It was sad to see Parthiv getting out on a duck. But atleast good to know that he would get 2 more matches to prove himself before the team resorting to Vijay again.
Who won the Contest?
  1. Murali Vs Tendulkar: Before Tendulkar can become his destructive best, Raina got him out. Tie
  2. Nayar Vs Balaji: Th0ugh Nayar did belt Balaji in his first over, Balaji did keep him under tight lease in his second over. Tie
  3. Hayden Vs Malinga: Though Haydos did n't take on Malinga, most importantly he did n't lose his wicket. Haydos - Clear Winner
Fan's Man of the Match:
  1. No doubt, Hayden was the clear winner.
One more win and we would have officially booked our semifinal berth. Hope Chennai Super Kings does that with class against Kings XI Punjab.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Hayden leads the way in a great win!

Today has fully convinced me (and, I'm sure, all the Delhi supporters) that we have got one hand on the trophy.

I know it's too early to be looking at the finals, but today's match was a great lesson for every budding cricketer on how to rein your natural attacking instincts and adjust according to the game.

I have to admit, I was getting a bit scared when the run rate was hovering around 9 and our run rate was somewhere around 6.5 or so. However, the fact that wickets weren't falling (as you would expect in such a situation) just gave me the feeling that they're leaving it for the last couple of overs and go hell-for-leather, and smash the ball, they did.

Of course, remembering the inagural T20i match held in Sri Lanka against India (where the Pathan brothers smashed 63 runs between the 16th over and the 20th over to win the match), the tactic seemed perfectly fine. However, it was a high risk tactic and could have backfired if the bowling was more tight. Thankfully, it didn't!

Hayden showed a side that no-one would have seen when he was playing for Australia, having only got his first boundary in the 13th over. He played with a maturity that you expect from someone of his caliber, and I'm sure he'll make sure to book a ticket for the Champions' League!

Of course, the bowling shouldn't be forgotten, Bala having bowled his second over for just 5 runs after being carted for 12 runs in the first, Raina bowling his overs for just 22 runs and a wicket, and Murali, his usual miserly-self, giving 19 runs in his quota!

I'm sure Robin or Vijay Viswanath will be posting a more formal review of the game, so don't forget to come back to read that!

Will CSK end Mumbai Indians' Semifinal Hopes?

Mumbai Indians need to win the rest two matches; But if Chennai Super Kings lose today's match, Chennai Super Kings will have to win all the other matches.

So expect another match with a lot of sub-texts and emotions. Will Dhoni be the one who ends the master blasters' dreams of taking his team into semifinal once? Will Jayasuria annihilate his partner - Murali, the lynchpin ofCSK Bowling? How Duminy will react when he comes against his counterpart - Morkel? How will Hayden, the best batsman of IPL - Season 2 handle Malinga, the best bowler of IPL - Season 2?

CSK Playing XI: With such an important match, I don't expect Dhoni to tinker with his playing XI. But I am confident with each passing game Dhoni is getting tempted to play Ntini ahead of Oram.

MI Playing XI: If Zaheer is still not fit, I don't expect any changes to the squad. But expect changes in the batting order, Jayasuria and Tendulkar might again form the destructive opening order for this crucial match.

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Tendulkar: Tendulkar won the last match for Mumbai Indians when they played against Chennai Super Kings. So I am sure CSK's coaching staff are working out special plans to contain this esteemed player
  2. Malinga: On his day, he can destroy any batting order. Hope Hayden doesn't lose his wicket to this slinger
  3. Jayasuria: Any doubts about his ability to annihilate the opposition with his batting or bowling or fielding?
Royal Contests:
  1. Murali Vs Tendulkar: If Tendulkar comes in the middle order, it would be great to see the contest between Murali and Tendulkar. I am sure Dhoni has already given the responsibility of taking Tendulkar's wicket to Murali. Hope Murali wins this battle.
  2. Nayar Vs Balaji: In the last match betwen both the teams, Nayar's death overs cameo took them to a respectable total. I am sure Balaji would be looking for revenge today
  3. Hayden Vs Malinga
  • Chennai Super Kings: Though both the team look the same on paper, I am confident about Chennai Super Kings winning this match.
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Thursday, 14 May 2009

Review of the Match with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Like last year, we lost the match with Bangalore when the side was going good and closer to semifinals. Of course, this time we didn't throw it away so much like we did last year. This was a good performance from Bangalore also - Kumble bowled very well and Taylor batted sensibly.

Contrary to popular expectation, there was no testing of bench strength today with our squad. Its also quite a good idea to seal the semifinal spot with the same winning combination, and then try the bench strength after this. So, it was not too bothering that today they didn't give a chance to Ntini, Bailey, Ashwin, Karthik etc. But, then they should have won this match having played with the same combination

Things that went well:
1. Hayden's blistering form: Again, Hayden gave a great start to the innings in a not so good pitch to bat on, as we found out later when the other batsmen were struggling to score.

2. Morkel's spell: It was a great spell giving two breakthroughs front up, while giving away only 12 runs in 4 overs.

3. Other crucial wickets: Tyagi, Murali, Balaji & Oram pitched in with crucial breakthroughs to get us very close to the victory.

Things that did not go well:
1. Batting order: Dhoni, Badrinath and Morkel all need sometime in middle before they can go against the bowlers. So, this puts us in a tight corner. One gets promoted and the other two don't perform very well coming late in the innings. And like today, if the one (today Dhoni) coming up the order also fails, then we are really in a mess with only Hayden's score to fall upon. Today, I expected Morkel to come at No.4 to get some form in this tournament. Both Dhoni & Badri have come up in previous matches and have found some form. So, today Morkel was expected to come up the order. But, later we came to know that Morkel had some stomach ailment, so he bowled out his four overs and left the field. So, maybe his stomach ailment prevented him from being tried at No.4 today. Hope he comes at No.4 in the next match.

2. Poor fielding: Though, today we didn't miss any easy catches, we missed a few extra runs. Of course, Hayden missed a catch due to misjudgement, but not like the dollies we used to drop before. But, some fielders like Balaji, Tyagi etc. were late in some dives thereby gifting boundaries when they should have been saved, especially while defending such a low target. This fielding performance was duly mentioned by Dhoni as well in the post-match presentation. After the first 3 quick wickets, if the fielding and bowling were a bit better, we could have created a very good chance to defend this low total. Somehow, there was no such aggression in the field which is required when you are defending such low targets. Maybe a bit complacent that there is some breathing space to get to the semifinals spot.

3. Raina's batting: Going out to the short ball again.

4. Vijay's role: Not exactly playing the role of taking singles immediately and giving strike to the marauding Hayden. He should play like that and not throw away his wicket until atleast the end of powerplays. We could have tried with Karthik, Ashwin or Bailey today for the opening slot.

Looking forward:
Anyway, we need to correct most of these mistakes to get the better of Mumbai on saturday. Mumbai is also a very decent team, so we have to quickly correct these mistakes and get the two points to seal the semifinals spot. Then, it allows us to test our bench strength in the last two league matches before going to the semifinals. Wishing that it goes according to this script !!

What to achieve from today's game...

Like Robin mentioned in the post before this, Chennai just have to win a match or two to seal their spot in the semi-final.

Therefore, Dhoni should consider trying out some of the benchwarmers to get a better idea of the options he has before him in case one of the crucial players get injured.

I would prefer to have S.Vidyut in for M.Vijay today. Vijay has been doing well, but I'd like to see what Vidyut can offer on these South African pitches. He wasn't much of a success last year but, as you all would know, a year in the domestic circuit could have improved his skills. Moreover, his inclusion would give Dhoni a chance to try and break the record for most bowlers used in a T20 match! ;)

In addition, I'd like to see Ntini in the side for, perhaps, Albie Morkel. To be quite honest, ever since Raina, Badri, Dhoni and Haydos have been tearing apart all the attacks, I've felt that having an extra specialist bowler would help. When you have a batting order which is firing on all cylinders, it would be a good idea to have 5 bowlers (take Delhi as an example).

In addition to being an international veteran, Ntini offers some variety to the attack in that he bowls with a very unusual angle, which can really be useful when bowling across the left-handers.

However, Dhoni wouldn't want to disrupt the momentum and would, in all probabilities, go with the winning combination. Anyhowz, these are my opinions, and hope Dhoni would try them out!

BTW, it's nice to see the local boy, Bala, bowling yorkers at will! In my opinion, anyone who can bowl 2 or 3 consecutive yorkers definitely deservers a place in the national side. Pity, he wasn't selected for the T20 squad, but let's hope that he gets selected in future sides, perhaps at Dhoni's insistence! ;)

Chennai Super Kings Vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - Match Preview

Last year, Bangalore Royal Challengers nearly ended Chennai Super Kings' chances of Semifinal spot when they defeated Chennai Super Kings. When they met last year, Bangalore Royal Challengers have accepted the fact they are going to end up in the latter half of the table, while Chennai Super Kings were looking for that one win that will take them to the semifinal. And the match was the worst embarassment faced by Chennai Super Kings. [Wanted to walk through the memory lanes, read here]. Today the situation is reversed. Chennai Super Kings are more or less assured of their semifinal spot[They need just one more win], while Bangalore Royal Challengers hopes of making to the semifinals ends if they lose tomorrow's match.

CSK Playing XI: No Changes expected. But Dhoni would be surely tempted to give a game to some benchwarmers like Ntini.

RCB Playing XI: Praveen Kumar might come back from injury, otherwise no changes are expected in the squad.

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Kallis: Kallis has been in fine nick this IPL Season. Hope Morkel or Tyagi take his wicket early or otherwise he will lay a nice platform for others like Ross Taylor to exploit.
  2. Boucher: Boucher also has been in his best form. Hope we don't give up an opportunity to save the game for Bangalore Royal Challengers. Because if we give it, I am sure he would do it for sure.

Royal Contests:
  1. Kumble Vs Murali: I am sure one of these two bowlers would win the match for their club. Just hoping it is Murali
  2. Dravid Vs Balaji: Dravid has been having a quite tournament after coming back from India. I am sure he would be looking to get back to his old ways. And how Balaji controls him would decide the score that Bangalore Royal Challengers reaches
Favorites: Chennai Super Kings are the clear favorites. But if Royal Challengers win today's game, be assured that it won't be the last meeting between these two clubs this season.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Men Behind the Stage

After more than 20 days of continuous travelling and playing, Chennai Super Kings finally get a well deserved long break. So I thought it is great time to analyze the coaches who have been lucky enough to escape the media glare. Let us start with the newcomer, Venkatesh Prasad – Assistant Coach.

Venkatesh Prasad, the Under-Performer: When Venkatesh Prasad joined CSK squad, I was really excited about it. I thought Venkatesh Prasad, the coach and the mentor would add a lot of value to Chennai Super Kings bowling by his experience. I expected with Venky at helm, CSK bowlers would bowl more slow balls and more Yorkers. But sadly, I was mistaken. It took Dhoni to put pressure on CSK bowlers to bowl Yorkers and slow balls. I don’t think Venky has made any impact to the team. [Venky! It is time to show you belong in this team]

Fleming, the Silent Man: Fleming is not an Australian and it shows. It is sad that this great cricketing mind has not come up with any innovations or showed his understanding of the nuances of the T20 game. But what pains me is seeing him letting Dhoni make all those team selection mistakes. Fleming! CSK fans expect you to be a coach and not an assistant to Dhoni.

Hope both these coaches should make their presence felt more in the game.

Also with the fielding woes of Chennai Super Kings, Nate, a reader of this blog wants Chennai Super Kings to recruit Robin Singh as one of the assistant coaches with focus on fielding. CSK Fans, What do you say?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Rajasthan Royals - Match Review

Another interesting game when Chennai Super Kings won the game easily after giving its fans a few scary moments. Badri and Hayden batted beautifully after CSK bowlers restricted Rajasthan Royals to a par score.

  1. Hayden, the Mentor: The best thing about today's batting was the regular chit-chat that Hayden had with Badri. I am sure the wisdom shared by Hayden did a lot of good for Badri.
  2. Badri the Finisher: It was great to see Badri taking the initiative and finishing the game on his own. This clearly reflects how the domestic players are benefitting from the experience of their senior pros and grow in their cricketing career
  3. Improved Fielding: Though we are still missing catches, we are improving our fielding every match. Remember today we were successfully able to effect a run-out.. :D
  1. Tyagi Deseves Atleast 3 Overs: A Bowler who bowls well match after match deserves atleast the opportunity once to complete his full quota of overs. Dhoni! Please give Tyagi a chance to bowl the entire quota
  2. Vijay Still Not Understanding His Role: Even today, Vijay was hell-bent on attacking rather than playing as per the game dictates. Hope he understands his role sooner than latter.
Fan's Man of the Match: No Doubts, Badri

Chennai plays its next match after a well deserved four day break. I am sure the team would be rejuventated and raring to go after the break. [And also some much needed time to work on the fielding drills]

Selected as 'Super CSK Blog of the Week"

A Happy News for You All! After debating for a few days whether to enter the Blog Contest being conducted at, I decided to enter the contest this week. And I am excited to share with you that my match review on Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab has been selected as the Super Blog of the Week. Thanks to Each One of You! I owe this one to each one of you!

Read the post @ CSK Official Website

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Battle for the Top

Finally we get to see a battle for the top of the table. Both the teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are in a winning spree. So I am personally expecting a great match ahead..

CSK Playing XI: Hope Oram returns back from injury. If that happens, Bailey & Gony will make way for Vijay. If not, playing Ntini & Vijay for Bailey & Gony would be a good option. But be assured that Gony would miss this match.

RR Playing XI: Don’t expect many changes in the playing XI. But choosing between Mascernhas and Mourne Morkel is going to be a tough decision for Shane Warne.

Most Dangerous Players:

  1. Yusuf Pathan: If he fires, Rajasthan Royals will win irrespective of the performance of the opposition team
  2. Shane Warne: Can never discount the captaincy of Shane Warne

Royal Contests:

  1. Murali Vs Pathan: This contest is bound to determine the match
  2. Morkel Vs Morkel: Though it might not be a clash of epic portion, has the potential to have a lot of drama

Favorites: Chennai Super Kings. With a much more talented side at his side, one should expect Dhoni to cruise through but never discount Shane Warne the captain.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kings XI Punjab - Match Review

Another thriller where CSK erred in its fielding and team selection. But thanks to the knock by Haydos and some fine death bowling by Raina & Balaji, Chennai Super Kings managed to romp through. Kings XI Punbaj! You surely exceeded my expectations and thanks for pushing Chennai Super Kings to the limit. Experience of winning these thrillers would do a lot of good for Chennai Super Kings.

  1. Haydos Deserves Orange Cap: Today he clearly showed to the world why he has that orange cup firmly placed in his head. An explosive innings that really made the difference between the two teams.
  2. Dhoni, the Hitter: It seems the time spent on the pitch in the last match has done a lot of good for Dhoni. Was nice to see him hitting the balls right from Ball One.
  3. Balaji, Death Over Specialist: Though he might not be a great bowler, he showed that he can handle pressure. I am sure his role would be critical in all those thrillers we would be playing.
  4. Raina, the Bowler: Great Two Overs! The Overs that ultimately won the match for Chennai Super Kings.
  1. Pathetic Team Selection: Badrinath as Opener???? Fleming, Are you Kidding me??? Yeah! With the talent Badrinath possess, he might come good as an opener in a few matches. But I am sure in the long run Vijay would prove himself to be a better choice. Even with the current XI, I would have prefered Bailey rather than Badri. Hope Fleming never repeat this stupid mistake. If you need an extra bowler, pick Ntini (for that matter even Joginder) or not the poor Gony who has proved that South African Conditions not suit his bowling.
  2. Worst Fielding IPL Team?: Chennai Super Kings' fielding woes continues. Gony dropped a sitter. Jakati blocked Murali from catching. Balaji missed out the easiest of run-out chances. VB, Chennai Super Kings need a fielding coach! Time to get our own Robin Singh???
  3. Tyagi Deserves 4 Overs: Yeah! Bringing Raina in the death overs was a master stroke by Dhoni. But why he is not giving the full quota to Tyagi who was bowling well in the first overs. It has become a habit for Dhoni. Tyagi might not be a good death bowler but he surely deserves the chance to bowl his entire quota
Fan's MAN OF THE MATCH: No Doubts! Hayden deserved it.

Our next match is against Rajasthan Royals. If we don't clean up our fielding woes, Rajasthan Royals will clean us up. [If you let Yusuf once like today, never even expect to win the match]

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kings XI Punjab - Match Preview

After three continuous wins, Chennai Super Kings are in a winning spree and would be looking to go back to the top of the table after this match. Kings XI Punjab, who are back in the bottom half of the table, would be looking to climb back to the top four. So it would be interesting to see how the last year semifinalists fare against each other. I am sure Yuvraj would be still looking to revenge the defeat in the last year's semifinal. 

CSK Playing XI: No Changes Expected. But Parthiv Patel might be brought in for Vijay to prevent Dhoni's injury from worsening. Also Ntini might given in a chance to test the bench strength.

KXIP XI: I don't expect any changes from the squad that played the last match

Most Dangerous Players:

  1. Yuvraj Singh: Has not really fired this season. But given a platform by the openers, he can change the match on its head
  2. Team Synergy: Though the team might not possess other dangerous players, the team as a group combine beautifully and can be very dangerous.
Royal Contests:
  1. Sangakkara & Jayawardane Vs Murali: I am sure the battle between the Srilankan players would determine the outcome of this match too.
Favorites: With the form Chennai Super Kings are in, they are the favorites. But Rain might play a spoil sport. So I am keeping my fingers crossed. 

Monday, 4 May 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Deccan Chargers - Match Review

Except for Smith's counterattack, everything went according to the script for Chennai Super Kings. Hayden provided his trademark cameo. Vijay hold forte until 10th over. Raina and Dhoni provided the much needed acceleration at the end. Then Morkel & Tyagi provided those early wickets. And the spinners finished the Deccan Resistance. Except for a small cameo of Smith in the middle overs, Chennai Super Kings acted out a perfect Script.

  1. Vijay, the Solid Batsman: Today's innings clearly showed that Vijay has understood his role in the batting order and is ready to play by the script
  2. Morkel, the Bowling Sensation: Great Bowling from Him! Hope he keeps on bowling like this.
  3. Murali, the Real Star Bowler: Though Jakati might have taken more wickets, he was the better bowler and it was his efforts that led to wickets on the other side.
  4. Dhoni, the cool batsman: Dhoni finally got into some runs
  5. Jakati, the find of the season: Follows up with another good performance. Hope he keeps on performing like this.
  1. Pathetic Fielding: I lost count of the dropped catches and the missed runout chances. Hope the team cleans up its fielding; Otherwise the team's fielding might be the key reason for their defeat this year.
  2. Oram not getting an opportunity: Jacob Oram deserves a chance to bat and bowl for the team. A Class player, he deserves to be allowed to play a part in the team's win.
MY MAN OF THE MATCH: Hayden - It is his performance that set up the win. It is his performance that changed a bowler friendly pitch to a batsman friendly pitch. Go! Haydos! Go!

Team now gets two Days of rest and will get a chance to continue the winning momentum against Kings XI Punjab.

Morkel goes swinging!

Albie Morkel, after so many poor matches, has finally found his mojo! He is getting the ball to swing prodigously and is bowling some red-hot deliveries. Looks like we've got this in the bag!

I hope this doesn't amount to the "blogger's curse"! :P

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Deccan Chargers - Match Preview

After the two wins, Chennai Super Kings would be looking to string together another win under its belt. And they are coming against the table topper - Deccan Chargers who will be looking to bounce back after their 2 consecutive defeats. But their cause won't be helped by the fact that their strike bowler Fidel Edwards has left for West Indies - England Test Match.
CSK Playing XI: Personally I don't expect to see any major changes. But hope that Oram, Morkel and Vijay grab their chances and prove their worth to the team.
DD Playing XI: Vaas would be coming in for Fidel Edwards; I don't expect any more changes in the team. 

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Gilchrist & Gibbs: Gilchrist and Gibbs' annihilation of Chennai Super Kings bowlers set up Deccan Chargers Win in the last match. Hope Tyagi & Morkel remove both of them early and don't leak many runs during the fielding restrictions.
  2. Ojha: Ojha has been bowling beautifully all through this tournament. Our Scores would be largely depend on how our middle order batsman handle him.
Royal Contests:
  1. Vaas Vs Hayden: Both these Senior cricketers have had many battles.  But I am sure this battle between Hayden and Deccan Chargers' Opening Bowlers would determine the match.
Favorites: Chennai Super Kings has too much talent to lose to Deccan Chargers again. Hope Dhoni leads the team to another victory. 

Check Out Sports Pundit Fantasy IPL - CSK Fansite Sponsor

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Anyone can contribute from scratch. Just by creating an account you're allowed to submit articles for publishing in Sports Pundit. Once you've gained recognition as a serious user with quality input your status would be upgraded so that you can also add players and teams. And, if you continue to perform, they will grant you pundit status and the opportunity to take charge of content development for your favorite team or local league. By joining, you have the opportunity to develop on a professional level.

Cricket at Sports Pundit:

Cricket is one of the sports that has been focusing for quite some time. Check out their Cricket News and Cricket Review. As I mentioned earlier, do check out their Fantasy Cricket.

About IPL Fantasy Cricket:

What is unique about this Fantasy Cricket is that you will be able to choose your own management style which will enhance your profile. You will be able to choose from 35 participating players where you will have to select four bowlers, five batsmen, one wicketkeeper and one all rounder. You can have the option of using the lucky dip where Sports Pundit will select the best team for you or use your own cricketing knowledge to select your Fantasy Cricket team. During the 5 week period you will be able to make 6 transfers a week and no transfer cannot be taken forward to the next week. Transfer will have to be made by 12:00GMT by each match day, the players that have been selected before the cut off time will be eligible to play and earn you fantasy points. Points will be given on how many runs have been scored, how many wickets have been taken and additional points on the overall performance of the team whether they win or lose.

Every member will be entered into the world league but you also have the chance of joining up to 10 mini leagues. With all the mini leagues that have at least 5 teams there will qualify for the league of league champions and the league with the highest scored will be deemed the winner.

The most important is the prize in the Indian Premier league Fantasy Cricket where the winner of the Indian Premier League Fantasy Cricket league will win a trip for two at the Twenty20 World Cup, there will also be weekly prizes where the 3 highest scoring managers will win official cricket shirts from there favorite IPL team.

Chennai Super Kings Vs Delhi Daredevils - Match Review

Thanks to Jakati, Chennai Super Kings notched up a second win in a trout. Batting was led by Hayden, Raina and Badri and the spinners made their impact felt in the match. And I am sure the team has enhanced its chance of winning a few more matches in the trout.

  1. Finally a Team: Finally we have started playing like a team rather than as 11 individuals. Even with a low score to defend, the team believed it can win this match and Dhoni marshalled his troops well while bowling. Raina's catch set the momentum and the entire team responded beautifully. It was also nice to see Dhoni getting more praoctive. But still there is a huge improvment possible in the fielding of the team.
  2. No Passengers: Finally the team is not carrying any more passengers. But Oram and Vijay are yet to prove their worth to the team.
  3. Jakati: Who would have expected Jakati to be the man leading the team in the victory?But he did it. Hope he keeps his feet on ground and come up with more such performance.
  4. Tyagi: As I have been always saying, Tyagi deserved a chance and he has proved his potential. With more matches in South Africa, I am sure he is bound to get better with every match
  5. Badri & Raina: Badri and Raina combined beautifully one more time. But atleast one of them should have stayed till the end
  6. Murali: Another Great bowling performance. To me, it was his 17th over that turned the match around. Hope to see much more great performance from the spin wizard.
  1. Vijay: It was sad to see Vijay not understanding his role in the team. Hope Fleming spends some time with Vijay and explains his role - He is expected to stay for the first 6-8 overs with a strike rate of more than 80% and leave the responsibility of power hitting to Hayden. Vijay! We expect a better performance next time around.
  2. Badri: Hope Badri stops underestimate himself. With his dismissal, the team lost its chance of reaching a 190+ score. Hope he understands his real value. Hope he understands that when he is set, he is a better batsman than any other power hitter who might come next.
  3. Morkel & Oram: Both have not yet got the real opportunity to set up a win for CSK. Hope they get going when the team needs themthe most.

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Saturday, 2 May 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Delhi Daredevils - Match Preview

Another tough match facing Chennai Super Kings today. Two of the best teams this IPL are playing against each other. Last time when both the teams met, Chennai Super Kings choked from a winning position and lost the match. But I hope today will be different with Chennai Super Kings able to set the record straight.

CSK Playing XI: Mostly the same eleven will continue. But I still love to see Vijay in place of Parthiv to strengthen the batting order.

DD Playing XI: I personally don't expect to see any changes. But Sincerely hope Sehwag did not play Mcgrath and he does not hit form against us.. :)

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Sehwag: Has not clicked this IPL. But when he does, the opposition is bound to be annihilated. Hope that opposition is not us.
  2. Dilshan: It is his batting that is holding Delhi Daredevisl innings together. If Chennai Super Kings bowlers take him cheaply, Delhi Daredevils could be easily restricted to a paltry score.

Royal Contests:
  1. Dilshan Vs Murali: Delhi Daredevils' Most Important Batsman Vs Chennai Super Kings' Strike Bowler. Interesting Battle on the cards.
Favorites: Tough to pick who is the favorite. But surely going to be a very interesting match.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

CSK Scores Another Win

Chennai Super Kings are Back! How good it feels to write this... Now I just hope that they get a few wins under the belt in the next few matches and built that important momentum.

  1. Raina: A Stand Out Performance. But the most important thing for him is to follow this with more good performance this IPL. If that happens, it will take some attention from Mathew Hayden on whom all the opposition team are focusing on.
  2. Fleming & Dhoni Getting a few selection issues sorted out: Tyagi showed his worth; Joginder Sharma is Out; Extra Spinner is In; Badrinath at No:4; All Correct Decisions;
  3. Venky Showing Some Effort: After 3 poor performance of CSK Bowling, all the fans were asking what is Venky doing? Thanks to today's performance, atleast Venky has regained some respect from CSK Fans
  4. Morkel & Oram: Morkel & Oram showing their impact in the bowling department. Hope they keep on improving. Nice to see each bowler understanding their roles.
  1. Opening Batsman: Parthiv Patel has shown that he does not deserve to open in South African Pitches. A Solution has to be found to this problem soon or this will impact us in future matches.
Hope Chennai Super Kings comes up with another great performance for their match against Delhi Daredevils.

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MSD has finally listened to one of my biggest requests!

I suppose Dhoni has read this blog and realised that Badri would do well @ No.3 or 4, and has put him at 2-down. Finally, Badri will get a chance to play the role which he is supposed to play. Let's hope that he takes this opportunity and shows his worth at No.4 and cements a permenant slot!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Rajasthan Royals - Match Preview

"Unless you are a winner, you are a nobody"

Chennai Super Kings faces its do or die battle against Rajasthan Royals. While Chennai Super Kings would be looking forward to turn its fortune, Rajasthan Royals would come to the match confidently after its win against Delhi Daredevils.

CSK Playing XI: Expect Joginder Sharma to be dropped. Either Ashwin or Tyagi might come in based on the pitch conditions. Murali Vijay might also be given his debut. And Ntini might be brought in for Morkel to strengthen the bowling.

RR XI: Except for Smith, Yusuf, Munaf, Mascarenhas, Kamran and Jadeja, we don't have to worry about the rest

Most Dangerous Players
  1. Yusuf Pathan: Any Doubts? He singlehandely defeated CSK in IPL Season 1 Finals. Will be hoping that he adds another Man of the Match to his kitty
  2. Smith: Anchor man and the batsman around whom all the batsman play around. If he falls early, it would be a cakewalk for Chennai Super Kings.
  3. Warne: The old fox still has a lot of tricks under his belt. Hope CSK Batsmen play him with respect.
Royal Contests:
  1. Pathan Vs Murali: Will determine the match
  2. Hayden Vs Warne: Hayden has been in great form. So it will be interesting to see how the old colleagues match up against each other.

Favorites: Though Rajasthan Royals has more points, Chennai Super Kings has class oozing all through the team and surely deserve to win atleast a few games in first half of Season 2 IPL.

Whom do you think will win the match?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Suggestions for Dhoni and Co.

Chennai faces its second do or die battle in the tournament. If it loses one more match in a trout, all the critics and fans would write them off. To prevent that from happening, the team have to win the next match and that too by a huge margin. So just thought of suggesting the few things that are staring at Dhoni's face and the facts that Dhoni chooses to ignore.

  1. This is not an Indian Team: Dhoni still thinks that he is captaining an Indian team. Wake Up! Dhoni this is not an Indian team and this team requires your entire man management skills. Unlike last year, when everybody in the team were saying nice things about Dhoni, I am not hearing any thing this year. What Happened? Time to introspect?
  2. You are our Pinch Hitter and Not our Anchor: Unlike Indian team, the batting role of Dhoni in Chennai Super Kings is not of sheet anchor but of a pinch hitter. A person who comes in the end and belts the opposition bowling to all sides of the park. CSK Management paid 1.5 million USD for Dhoni, the batsman who annihilate the bowlers and not for Dhoni, the Test batsman. Remember you are Yusuf Pathan of CSK and not Rahul Dravid of CSK.
  3. Pick the best XI: Even after 3 losses, Dhoni has been very reluctant to change the non-performing players. First things first, remove Parthiv and Joginder Sharma off the squad.
  4. Spinners Game: Rather than repeating the same old cliche that our bowlers failed us, think why the bowlers failed you. Is it because you and the coach have not yet understood the south african pitches and have not yet played Ashwin and Murali together?
  5. Give the Young Talent a Chance: I still can't believe how a team could prefer parthiv over vijay and joginder over Tyagi except for the age old foolish belief of trusting experience over talent.
  6. Assign each player a role: It seems nobody in the team knows their role. Assign each player - both the batsman and bowlers a role and play them accordingly. For e.g. ask Badrinath to be a anchor and bring him into the field as per the situation dictates.
  7. Back Your Instincts: At the end of the day, all these suggestions are coming from a well intentioned fan and not from GOD. So the most important of all, always remember to back your instincts. Remember it is your instincts that made you a great captain and it will be your instincts that will help chennai super kings dug out of its hole.
Go! Dhoni! Go! Win the next match against Rajasthan Royals!

Extra Suggestion: Bring back Vidyut. Who Knows his spin combined with his batting prowess might make him a valuable player of the team.

What are your suggestions?? Write them in the comment below or in the Exclusive Chennai Super Kings Fan Social Network forum

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Team selections at the root of the problem!

As mentioned in an earlier post which Robin posted on my behalf, the composition of the team is what's seriously affecting the success of the team. The balance is clearly not there.

The battery of medium pacers is making our bowling too predictable. 4 medium pacers (Oram, Morkel, Sharma, Bala) is just 2 too many.

Don't get me wrong, what I mean by medium is someone who can't consistently bowl over 135 kmph.

Makhaya would clearly be a very good choice rather than Sharma. Though Makhaya's pace is not much to boast about, his bowling is fairly unorthodox. He bowls at a very different angle and was quite successful in India, so I don't see why he shouldn't be a hit at home when the pitches are really helping bowlers.

Morkel also doesn't seem very committed..his bowling lacks variety and he just doesn't seem to be able to hit boundaries when the team desperately needs them.

Murali Vijay would be a good option to replace him. I would put him at no.3 and push everyone else one slot down the order.

MSD has to realise that Badrinath is not a stroke player. He is good for rotating the strike and consolidating if required. He would be a better bet at No.4, rather than at No.7. That way he can really play his natural game.

CSK fans will remember when Badri made his highest IPL score of 60-odd last year. It was when the chips were down, we had lost 3 quick wickets and that was the perfect situation for Badri to really flourish! We ended up winning that game.

I hope MSD considers the above suggestions!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Is this the end for Chennai Super Kings?

Another Defeat. And most of Chennai Super Kings fans have started losing hope on the team. And they are right to do so. But let us not lose hope in our team.

They may have lost 3 matches. They may have got their entire team selection wrong. They may have not shown any team spirit on the field. The captain and the leader might not have contributed to the team's cause.

But still it is our team. Still it is the strongest team in IPL. It still has explosive batsmen like Hayden, Dhoni, Raina, Morkel and Oram. It still posses bowling talents like Gony, Murali, Balaji. We may have lost a few matches. But still this is a team of professionals and expect them to bounce back hard. And these losses would have helped the team to take a deeper look at itself. And It surely provides the team an opportunity to show its character to its fans. Whatever might have happened, I still believe we have a fair chance of making to the semi-finals. [We just have to win 6 of the 9 matches. An easy task for this team].

I hope and believe, my next match review would be after a win. Go! Super Kings! Go!

Chennai Super Kings Vs Deccan Chargers - Match Preview

Chennai’s matchup against the Charger is bound to be interesting. The Deccan Chargers are the most surprising team this year, having transformed from being the wooden spoon contenders to possibly challenging the likes of Delhi.

However, Chennai’s progress hasn’t been as smooth. The main reason can be said to be the poor selection policies that seem to be adopted.

Like my fellow blogger mentioned earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin was picked in the first match but didn’t bowl a single over. Albie Morkel just doesn’t seem to be able to raise his game when the stakes are high. I was very disappointed by his meek batting performance last season, and he seems to have carried that over to this year, even though the IPL is being staged in South Africa.

His clean hitting against the Aussies in Australia got me fairly excited as I was hoping he could replicate the same form on home soil but, in 3 games, it still hasn’t come.

Moreover, the fact that an agricultural batsman like Gony could whack a six on the first ball in the match against the Daredevils clearly showed that he could have imposed himself on the bowling if he had the will.

Perhaps the opportunity is ripe to bring in Thushara or Makhaya Ntini in for the injured Freddie Flintoff and Jacob Oram in for Albie Morkel.

One thing I have seen about Jacob even in his performances for the national side is that he doesn’t bat like Albie Morkel, who depends more on his own strength rather than hitting the ball properly. It would be apt to say that he is one of the few true all-rounders currently playing the game (the other being Kallis). He can play according to the situation and can truly send the ball into orbit, unlike Morkel, who blows hot and cold.

Therefore, the ideal line-up for today’s match would be:

1. Hayden

2. Patel

3. M.Vijay

4. Badri

5. Raina

6. MSD

7. Oram

8. Gony

9. Thushara

10. Murali

11. Bala

I would prefer it if MSD can put Badri up the order because he has to accept the fact that boundary-hitting doesn’t come easy to Badri. However, this doesn’t mean that he should be dropped. Instead, he should be sent in early so that he can get his eye in and then smash some to the fence rather than coming in the 17th over and groping around in the dark!

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kolkota Knight Riders – Aftermath

Its not very good to share the points in a match, which you could have won. CSK are the favorites to win this, but as luck would have it, we had to share the points.

Two other things missed because of this washout:
  1. Much needed feeling of being back in the winning ways, before taking on the upbeat Deccan Chargers on Monday.
  2. Some experimentation & match practice is lost. CSK could have tried some of the following guys - Ntini, Bailey, Ashwin, Tyagi, Vijay etc. as KKR is a bit weaker.

Two good things from the washout:

  1. Thankfully, it was not a 5-over game or something very short, in those chilling conditions that the match becomes a complete gamble, and CSK lose both points.
  2. CSK Team manager’s blog says that Flintoff had gelled very well with the other teammates. So, this washout would have given the team sometime to regroup after Flintoff’s sudden departure.

Road forward:

There is still a long way to go, and good teams will eventually settle on the top half of the table. Delhi and Mumbai look like they will surely end up in the top half. So, I would say CSK would be competing with Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals for the last two spots. Remember, though Deccan Chargers look like sure favorites as well right now, their strike bowler Fidel Edwards would be leaving soon for the England-West Indies test series. So, with a bit more effort CSK will surely make it to the top half in the end.

So, cheer up guys !! J

Friday, 24 April 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kolkata Knight Riders - Match Preview

Chennai Super Kings will be facing its first do or die battle. After 2 losses, Both Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders could not afford to lose one more game. So it would be interesting to see how the players match up against each other.

CSK Playing XI: Though the fans & well-wishers would like to see a lot of changes in the team, I am sure Dhoni & Co. would like to retain the same squad. Though the team would be tempted to play Tyagi ahead of Joginder Sharma.

KKR Playing XI: Don't expect to see much changes. But with the drama going around the club, nothing is predictable.

Most Dangerous Players:
  1. Chris Gayle: He has been in great form and giving good starts for the team. Hope Chennai Super Kings take his wicket early.
  2. Ajanta Mendis: How could KKR afford not to play him for 2 matches? He proved his worth on IPL Debut. If Chennai Super Kings Batsmen negate him, it would be cakewalk for Chennai Super Kings players.
Royal Contests:
  1. Dhoni Vs Mendis: Dhoni has handled Ajantha Mendis pretty well until now. But it would be interesting to see how he handles him in T20s.
  2. Ganguly Vs Murali: Ganguly is the rock on which the entire KKR team is built. And I believe the way Ganguly handles Murali would determine the match.
Favorites: Chennai Super Kings. Even though Chennai Super Kings Team Management are committing enormous amount of mistakes, Kolkata Knight riders team does not deserve to win.

IPL 2009 Hero - Fake IPL Player - claims that KKR are targeting Mathew Hayden as the most dangerous player. So it would be interesting to see to watch whether Haydos is able to come trumps against all KKR Strategies.

Flintoff Returns Home

Cricinfo reports that Andrew Flintoff has returned home from the Indian Premier League to undergo surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee. Really a sad news considering that we were all expecting a lot from Flintoff. And he has not done any justice to his talent until now. Hope he has a great IPL Season next year. 

Thursday, 23 April 2009

What Went Wrong?

We have lost 2 out of 3 matches. While a lot of fans may give a lot of excuses like we were unlucky to meet the top teams in our first three matches, we played well but lost, etc. I don't accept any of them. With the potential this team has, it should have won both the games easily. But first let us see what went wrong:
  1. Pathetic Team Selection: Murali did not play in the first match; Ashwin never bowled though he played the match; Joginder Sharma still plays for CSK.
  2. Utilizing the Players Foolishly: If Flintoff is our strike bowler, why is he bowling at the death. Why Badri is playing lower down the order? Why is Dhoni going higher up in the order always? Why is Parthiv preferred over Vijay? Why is Balaji - a fine death bowler not utilized at the death overs?
  3. Defensive Mindset: A Lot of times, it seems the team plays with a very defensive mindset. CSK should not forget that they hvae promised the fans that they would be "Fearless Entertainers who play to win'
Thanks to Hayden, we lost both the matches with pride. But if not for Hayden, the opposition teams would have annihilated us. Hope some wisdom prevails and Fleming & Dhoni get their act together.

First Things First
  • Ask Morkel not to rest on his last year laurels and start performing again
  • Send Badrinath at No:4
  • Let Dhoni come in at No: 6 or at No:7
  • Open the bowling attack with Flintoff & Gony
  • Give Tyagi a chance ahead of Joginder Sharma
  • Use Balaji as a death bowler
  • Bring Vijay in the place of Parthiv Patel

Hope somebody in the team listens to the fans. Otherwise, we will be watching Deccan Chargers repeat of the last season i.e. pre tournament favorites ending in the bottom of the table.

What do you think went wrong? What do you think should be done to rectify the situation?

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Chennai Super Kings vs. Delhi Daredevils: Match Review


Delhi Daredevils: 189/5
de Villiers 105*, Dilshan 50, Balaji 3-19

Chennai Super Kings: 180/9
Hayden 57, Raina 41, Sangwan 3-28, Vettori 2-29

Chennai lost by 9 runs.

Team Performance

It was a day of clear skies. But it wasn't all so shining for Chennai Super Kings, a bright start to the game notwithstanding. The quick wickets of Gambhir and Sehwag were what was needed. But our team failed to capitalise on this and somehow lost the plot along the way. Our batsmen knew we needed big runs to lay the foundation for the chase. Hayden gave exactly this. However we kept losing wickets continuously, bringing the slide ending in our defeat.

Bowling / Fielding
1st Half
Got off to a good start with Gambhir falling on the opening ball of the match and Sehwag capitulating in the second over. Gave away lots of runs in the subsequent overs against Dilshan and de Villiers. End of 10 overs, DD were at 90/3 with our local guy Dinesh Karthik at crease.

2nd Half
Morkel missed the easy and crucial catch of de Villiers. Didn't have much of an effect on DD's batting. They were simply unstoppable. Balaji was the only bright spot in our gloomy bowling performance.

In short, this was another sloppy performance by us while bowling first. We gave away the first century of IPL.

1st Half
Got off to the start that was needed on this occasion, with Hayden laying a very strong foundation with a battery of fours and sixes. End of 10 overs, CSK were 106/2 with Dhoni and Raina at crease.

2nd Half
The strategic break didn't help us much. We were running our singles and twos while Dhoni got out cheaply. Raina anchored our batting, scoring runs at a good clip. We seemed to be on the way to win this match. Raina's wicket turned out to be the crucial turning point of our batting. We were done by DD's good bowling towards the end, we were done by our bad bowling towards the end.

Overall, a few positives to be taken away from our batting and a definite improvement needed in our bowling. We seem to be better off in defending a big total than bowling first to contain the opposition.

The batsmen must be commended for keeping up the hopes. All that is needed is a right mindset and consistent performance from our bowlers would help propel us to the knockout stages.

Player Performances

Mathew Hayden [57 runs]: 8/10
Humdinger of a batting. Hayden has always been a star batsman for CSK, and he's just been proving it time and again. Good support at the other end would have taken us to the finishing line.

Parthiv Patel [16 runs]: 4/10
Played second fiddle to Hayden. However, he got out cheaply when trying to accelerate his scoring. Very little contribution to the team's cause today.

Suresh Raina [41 runs]: 7/10
A good performance. Raina's delivered when it was a key time for CSK. With his one/two boundaries every over, CSK was still in the driver's seat for snatching a victory.

Andrew Flintoff [0-50; 16 runs]: 5/10
Poor bowling performance, again. Gave away lots of runs just like in the first match against Mumbai Indians. An outstanding catch to bag the wicket of Dinesh Karthik off Balaji's bowling was the only positive in the first half. Not much of a contribution with the bat also.

MS Dhoni [5 runs]: 3/10
It was definitely a bad day for our captain, failing to bring out the magic both while captaining as well as during his batting. Did it have something to do with his decision to keep wickets? Anyway, a better performance was expected from him.

S Badrinath [7 runs]: 2/10
Poor performance, not much contribution to the cause.

Albie Morkel [1-41; 13* runs]: 4/10
Morkel's first bowling spell didn't go well. He got hit all over the park by Dilshan and de Villiers in the first over. But made up partially by picking up wicket of Dilshan in his second over.
Fielding was also average. Missed the all important catch of de Villiers. A lot was expected from him while batting, but he didn't manage to hit the big fours and sixes when needed the most.

Joginder Sharma [0-8; 4 runs]: 2/10
Average bowling. Got to bowl just one over.

L Balaji [3-19; 0 runs]: 7/10
A stark contrast to the overall poor bowling performance. Got the first ball wicket of Gambhir, though a little lucky. Followed this up with a consistent bowling performance, taking three wickets in all.

Manpreet Gony [1-45; 6 runs]: 5/10
Had a good first over by bagging the wicket of Sehwag. However, he wasn't able to sustain the good performance in the subsequent overs.

Muthiah Muralitharan [0-26; 0* runs]: 4/10
Average performance from the spin wizard.