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:
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!