Wednesday, 31 March 2010

WHOA! Finally a Win!

Finally a much-needed win for the team. Is this the turn-around we were hoping for? I believe so. More than the win, it was much more pleasing to see the team finally showing some emotion and passion on the ground.
1. Batting Order: Finally we have a batting order that looks settled. Now the only question is whether Hayden or Hussey should play. 
2. Jakati & Murali: A Wicket Maiden in a T20!!! I believe that was the over that won the match for Chennai Super Kings. Murali also showed his master class once again. 
3. Vijay: Finally he establishes himself as a T20 opener. Hope to see more such innings from him. More importantly, this innings reduces pressure on Hayden. Hope Hayden plays much more freely in the future matches. 
4. Raina: Good to see Raina taking responsibility and finishing the innings. 

1. Team Selection: I can understand the necessity  to give Ganapathy a chance in this Russian Roulette.. But Gony Again??? Gony can't bowl. Also has the distinction of being the worst IPL Fielder. It always seems like Gony plays for the opposition rather than CSK. Hope to see Tyagi & Balaji back in the team for the next match. 

Now my only hope is that the team turns up with the same intensity for the next match. 

Finally A Turnaround Waiting to Happen?

We all knew the reasons because of which Chennai Super Kings might lose tomorrow's match. So rather than focusing on the negatives, here are 3 reasons why Chennai Super Kings will win tomorrow's match

1. For the first time in this tournament, i am hearing a determined speech from Dhoni, Hayden, etc. These guys have not yet given up and still believe we can qualify for the semifinals. 
2. We are back @ Lion's Den. Also 2 Days of Rest would have given enough time for the team to rest and regroup. 
3. After 7 wrong combinations, the team can be expected to get their XI right. 

1. Hayden 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4.  Dhoni 5. Albie 6. Badri 7.Jakati 8. Balaji 9. Tyagi 10. Murali 11. Ntini

BRC Probable XI:

1 Manish Pandey, 2 Jacques Kallis, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Pietersen, 6 Virat Kohli, 7 Mark Boucher (wk),8 Praveen Kumar 9.Vinay 10. Anil Kumble 11. Steyn

Most Dangerous Players
1. Pietersen: He is back for Bangalore Royal Challengers. Expect him to make a statement tomorrow. 
2. Kumble: Not only his bowling but also his captaincy can decide a game singlehandedly. All the players should be wary of this inspirational and wily fox. 

Favorites: Only a die-hard Chennai Super Kings Fan would pick Chennai Super Kings ahead of Bangalore Royal Challengers.

P.S: Finally, Sathish proves why he should have been picked by CSK. 

Monday, 29 March 2010

Flicker of Hope for Chennai Super Kings Campaign

After an uninspiring performance in the first half of the tournament, most CSK fans have lost their semifinals hope. Even Dhoni seemed to agree and said that Chennai Super Kings would be looking forward to end the parties of other teams. But there is still a flicker of hope for Chennai Super Kings

What is required?
To be assured of a semifinal spot, the team has to win at-least six of the next 7 matches. With a good run-rate and a bit of luck, the team can make it to the semi-finals even with five wins. 

Why there is still flicker of hope?
1. Five Home Matches: Out of the next 7 matches, 5 matches are at home. Thanks to the yellow brigade and benevolent batting pitch, Chennai Super Kings would start with an advantage on those matches.
2. Dougie Surprise: Bollinger would surely add the much needed "Fast Spice" to the team. With his addition, Chennai Super Kings would have 2 match-winning bowlers with a good support cast. Also if Hayden fails for another 2 matches, the team have the option to replace him with Hussey. 
3. Batsmen: Slowly all the batsman are getting to form - Albie, Dhoni, Raina, Badri, Hayden & Vijay - All have atleast 1 good innings. It is high time that the batsman took control and started winning matches for Chennai. 
4. Good Run Rate: Thanks to our good run-rate, there is  a high probability that Chennai Super Kings will make the semi-finals even if they win 5 more matches. 

What we need to pray for?
1. Mumbai Indians & Royal Challengers to win against all the opposition teams (other than CSK) 
2. Kings XI Punjab to win a few games

What team should do?
The key thing for the team would be getting their act together. 
1. Team Selection: Fleming & Co. desperately need to get their act together. They can't win by playing Joginder & Arun Karthik in the team. Hope Tyagi & Ntini gets a look-in for the next match. 
2. Passion: One key element lacking from the team is passion. It seems as if everybody is playing for them self rather than for the team. 
3. Aggressiveness: Team lacks the aggressive edge. After 1 or 2 good overs, the team always looks to consolidate rather than ending the match then and there. You don't see the batsman in the team taking any risks.  Hope the team becomes a little positive and goes for the kill. 
4. New Tactics: It is time that the team started to experiment with a few things. Today, the team would have benefited from sending a Thusara/Joginder as a pinch hitter. It seems as if the team does not lack the will to innovate. 

Though the road to a semi-final is an uphill task for the team, I believe the team has 'it' in them to do it. Hayden, Murali, Dhoni, Raina.. Please get your act together. 

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Chennai Super Kings Vs Rajasthan Royals - Review

Rajasthan Royals effectively ends the semifinal campaign of Chennai Super Kings. Now only a miracle can help the team to reach the semifinals. Blame of the poor performance should rest solely on the team's selectors who missed from buying good talent from this season's auction and acquiring talented ICL players (Satish playing for MI & Vignesh playing for KKR) and domestic teams. 

1. Thushara: Though I would have preferred Ntini to Thushara, Thushara bowled well. Surely deserves another chance in the team. 
2. Jakati: Another fine performance by him. 
3. Vijay: His initial outburst set up the match beautifully. But he should have continued and finished the game. Also blame rests on the middle and lower order batsmen, who did not make use of the opportunity. 
4. Albie: Good to see his big-hitting again on the field.  

1. Joginder: I still don't understand why Joginder is getting picked ahead of Tyagi & Balaji. Other than this, team selection got everything right.
2. Badri: His 27 ball 25 runs effectively ended Chennai Super Kings hopes. His run-out of Dhoni was the real turning point of the game. 

Do you also think this defeat ends Chennai Super Kings Semifinal Campaign? Post your comments. 

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Do or Die Battle for Chennai Super Kings

Finalists of IPL Season 1 play against each other in India again. Fortunes of both the teams can't be any different. One of the pre-tournament favorites - Chennai Super Kings, now find them self in the bottom of the table with three successive defeats. Written off by most, Rajasthan Royals have turned the table on their critics, after three successive victories. This is a do or die battle for Chennai Super Kings to get their semifinal campaign on track. 

1. Hayden 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Albie 7.Jakati 8. Balaji 9. Tyagi 10. Murali 11. Ntini

Reasons for My Choice
  1. Vijay is a better player than Parthiv. 
  2. Unless he is going to keep wickets, Parthiv should never be picked considering his liability on the field. 
  3. Tyagi should never have been dropped. 
  4. It is better to play a quality bowler rather than an all rounder who can't bowl quality balls and who does not get the opportunity to bat. 

RR Probable XI
1. Lumb 2. Ojha 3. Yusuf Pathan 4. AC Voges 5. AA Jhunjhunwala 6. P Dogra 7. SK Warne 8. S Narwal9. 10. SK Trivedi 11. SW Tait

Most Dangerous Bowlers
1. Yusuf Pathan: Only Batsman in Rajasthan Royals team who can take apart any bowling. Hope it is one of his off-days tomorrow. 
2. Tait: How Rainas & Parthiv/Vijays of the world play against him will decide the match. 
3. Warne: Though Warne might not have taken as many wickets as his peers - Murali & Kumble, he is still the best bowler of the team. 

Favorites: Though Rajasthan Royals are the in-form team, Chennai Super Kings are stronger team on paper. Hope Chennai Super Kings are able to reverse their fortunes tomorrow. 

Thursday, 25 March 2010

End of Semi-final Hopes for Chennai Super Kings?

With this loss, Chennai Super Kings has lost four of the first six matches. To comfortably make it to the semi-finals, the team has to win at least six of the next eight matches. An uphill task for a. weak team. After this performance, everybody except Chennai Super Kings Fans would write off the chances of Chennai Super Kings. 

1. Raina & Badri Partnership: It was good to see the partnership from Raina & Parthiv. Finally both got to show their talent. But a 190+ score could have effectively put the match away from the grasp of Mumbai India. 

1. Team Selection: Why pick Parthiv when he has been doing badly? Why drop Tyagi after a good match? Why pick Perera ahead of Ntini? It seems as if the team rewards non-performance. 
2. Medium Pace Bowlers: I still don't see the reason for bowling short when the pitch is on the slower side. How can all the bowlers bowl Full-tosses?
3. Fielding: Any team that gives so much easy twos does not deserve to win
4. Perera: It is time Chennai Super Kings send Perera and Gony to their homes. 

Just the fact that Dhoni's captaincy can't inspire a win with such a good score speaks volumes about the team this season. Now the team needs a lot of luck (i.e. lot of matches to go its way) to have any chance of making it to the semi-finals. 

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Another Disappointment Waiting?

Tomorrow Chennai Super Kings plays against another form-team Mumbai Indians led by Sachin Tendulkar. Good News First
1. Dhoni is back with the team and practiced with the team today. But Fleming was still cautious and said that the final call on his fitness would be taken tomorrow. His return as a captain and batsman would bolster the team hugely.
2. Clarity on Role: Finally VB agrees that all the players need to have more clarity on their roles in the team. Hope every player is elaborated on their roles by tomorrow's match. Otherwise we might have another Bailey-like test innings. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Vijay/Parthiv (Based on whether Dhoni is keeping) 2. Hayden 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Albie 7. Kemp/Bailey (Based on whether Kemp is fit) 8. Ashwin/Jakati 9. Balaji 10. Tyagi 11. Murali

MI Probable XI
1. Sachin 2. Jayasuria 3.Dhawan 4. Tiwary 5. Bravo 6. Pollard 7. Sathish 8. Tare 9. Harbhajan 10. Zaheer 11. Malinga

Most Dangerous Players
1. Tendulkar: In-form Captain is the most important batsman in the team. As Bangalore showed, taking his wicket early would greatly help in restricting Mumbai's score
2. Tiwari: This Dhoni-alike batsman has been in great form this season. Hope Murali does not allow him to free his arms and takes his wicket cheaply
3. Malinga: Whenever he has played for Mumbai, he has been in menacing form. It would be interesting to see how Hayden plays him. 

Favorites: Mumbai Indians are the stronger team on paper. But Chennai Super Kings need this win desperately. My bet is on Chennai Super Kings. 

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Robin Uthappa demolishes Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings showed extreme kindness to 'my name alike' by dropping 2 lollipop catches. And he did pay back in kind. Robin single-handedly demolished all the good work done by Murali & Tyagi in the earlier overs. And took his team to an unbeatable position.  Only thing Bangalore Royal Challengers bowlers have to do thereafter - was not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 

1. Tyagi: Finally, Tyagi showed some justice to his talent. Hope he gets more opportunities in the team. 
2. Murali: The purple cap owner showcased the gulf of difference between him and other bowlers in the team. 

1. Catches: Any team that misses 3 lollipops does not deserve to win the match. 
2. Raina, the captain: How can somebody give the last bowler to a spinner.. that too your second choice spinner. 
3. Bailey: After Uthappa's bliztrieg, there was only a slim chance of Chennai Super Kings winning the game. And that slim chance was effectively neutralized by Bailey's innings. 
4. Parthiv: I don't understand why the team prefers Parthiv as an opener. 

Dhoni, please come back for the match against Mumbai Indians. We miss your captaincy. 

Monday, 22 March 2010

Chennai Super Kings Vs Hottest Team of the Tournament

After a shameful performance, the team comes against the hottest and the strongest team in the tournament. Bangalore Royal Challengers team would be confident that they could easily tame the wounded lions from Chennai. And their understanding would be that our team is about individuals. So if you dismiss Hayden early and don't lose wickets to Murali, you can win the match. I am sure they are in for a suprise. Expect the fringe players from CSK to put up their hands and showcase their potential. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hayden 2. Parthiv Patel 3. Suresh Raina 4. Badri 5. Vijay 6. Bailey 7. Albie Morkel 8. Ashwin 9. Balaji 10. Jakati/Tyagi 11. Murali

BRC Probable XI:
1. Kallis 2. Pandey 3. Robin 4. Kohli 5. Morgan 6. Dravid 7. Boucher 8. Praveen Kumar 9. Kumble 10. Steyn 11. Vinay

Most Dangerous Players
1. Kallis: None has been able to take his wicket this season. Somebody from the team has to dismiss Kallis tomorrow. Otherwise, he would ring the death-bell for Chennai Super Kings. Even he is dismissed early, his tight bowling can still make a difference to the result. 
2. Kumble: Not only his bowling but also his captaincy can decide a game singlehandedly. All the players should be wary of this inspirational and wily fox. 

Favorites: Only a die-hard Chennai Super Kings Fan would pick Chennai Super Kings ahead of Bangalore Royal Challengers. 

Few Strategies that Fleming & Raina can Use
1. Bring Jakati for the third seamer. In this season, spinners had made a bigger impact than the faster bowlers
2. Send Albie at No:3. Albie is a kind of player who will hit big shots only after settling in. It would be good for him to get some match practice. So that he is ready for the bigger matches at the latter stages of the tournament. 

Do you have any other strategy that Fleming & Raina should use in the match against Bangalore Royal Challengers? Post them in the comments

Shameful Performance from Chennai Super Kings

Two easy points lost. A Shameful performance from the batsmen and the team. A Match that clearly showed why Dhoni is crucial for the team.

1. Bowlers: It was a commendable performance from the team to keep Kings XI Punjab under 140. Except for Gony, everybody else bowled beautifully. Murali was surely the pick of the bowlers.
2. Parthiv: Though Parthiv's slow strike-rate was one of the key reasons for Chennai making such a huge mess of the run-chase, it was good to see him among runs. It should give him a little bit of confidence.

1. Middle Order Batsman: Hope somebody drills a little bit of wisdom to all middle order batsman. I am still not able to comprehend how the team lost the run chase from such a strong position. If you know why, please write in the comments
2. Casual Attitude: Right from the toss, the team had a very casual attitude towards the game. e.g. Not Rotating the strike enough. Forgetting the simple lesson that Singles still win matches
3. Gony: He can't bowl. He can't catch. He can't field. He can't bat. And still we find him in the team. His six balls where he swung the bat rather than playing intelligently was the key reason for the defeat. Please I don't want see him in the team sheet ever.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kings XI Punjab - Match Preview

Tomorrow Chennai would be hosting Kings XI Punjab - the team at the bottom of the points table. Kings XI Punjab would be keen to record their first win. Until now, they have lost all the matches by a very close margin. (Kings XI Punjab has the lowest Run Rate among the last four teams - 2 of which have won 2 matches and lost 2 matches). So be assured of a close game tomorrow.

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hayden 2. Parthiv Patel 3. Suresh Raina 4. Badri 5. Vijay 6. Justin Kemp 7. Albie Morkel 8. Ashwin 9. Balaji 10. Gony/ Tyagi 11. Murali

Kings XI Punjab Probable XI
1. R. Bopara 2. M. Bisla 3.K. Sangakkara 4. Yuvraj 5. M. Jayawardena 6. A. Barath 7. Ojha 8. Irfan 9. P. Chawla 10. Bipul Sharma 11. S. Sreesanth

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Yuvraj Singh: Kings XI Punjab's Most Talented and Most Aggressive Batsman
2. Sreesanth: If Sreesanth takes Hayden wicket early or keep Hayden under control, we are in for a very close game.

Favorites:Chennai Super Kings
Though Kings XI Punjab would be fighting hard for the elusive first victory, they are playing against a much stronger team on paper. 

Friday, 19 March 2010

Hayden & Raina lead Chennai Super Kings to Victory

What a blitzkrieg from Hayden! It should have quietened the nerves of both CSK Management and the fans - still reeling from the shock of sudden injury to Dhoni. If anybody were questioning the impact of Mongoose bat, they just have to watch the innings of Hayden to see its potential. But the bat needs more innings from its users to establish itself. 

1. Hayden Vs Sehwag & Nannes
As discussed in the preview of this match, Sehwag did come good and Nannes did bowl well. But Haydos' innings was enough to negate the brilliance of both these players. Personally, expecting another great IPL season for Hayden. 
2. Raina, the batsman: Captaincy seemed to have brought a little maturity to Raina. It was good to see him play second-fiddle to Hayden. Once Hayden departed, he took charge and led the team to victory. Truly a Captain's Knock. 
3. Murali: Wickets of Sehwag and Dilshan were crucial as it turned a 200+ score to a 180+ score. 

1. Raina, the Captain: Nervousness & Lack of Experience as a captain clearly exhibited in Raina's performance. His poor bowling changes and field placements cost at least 20 runs for the team. But it was his negative outlook as a captain that worries me the most. Team requires Raina to learn the art of captaincy very quickly. And also it would be better if he  backs his bowlers on the field. 
2. Albie, Parthiv & Kemp; All these three batsman had a horrendous outing. If Kemp does not make use of his opportunities, I am sure Bollinger/Hussey would be drafted in his place after April 1.

Fan's Man of the Match: Hayden. (Any Doubts???)

CSK Turns to Bollinger for a Bowling Boost

IPL CEO Sundar Raman has confirmed through his twitter account that Bollinger would be replacing Oram in the team. (Link - Raman's Tweet). Even Harsha Bhogle thinks it is an excellent decision. (Harsha's Tweet) It is great news to have a fast bowler among the ranks. Since he is currently playing the test matches against New Zealand, we can expect him to join the squad on April 1 - along with Michael Hussey.

Brief Bio:

Douglas Bollinger  is a professional Australian cricketer who currently plays first-class cricket for the New South Wales Blues. He is a left-handed batsman and a left-arm fast bowler. He is known as Doug "The Rug" by the general public.
Bollinger is one of a select group of up and coming Australian cricketers who have spent time at the Commonwealth Bank Centre of Excellence honing their cricket skills, in the hope of gaining national selection. He made his Test debut for Australia on 3 January 2009 in the Third Test against South Africa at the SCG. On 1 May 2009, Bollinger claimed his first ODI five-wicket haul, which came against Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. He picked up 5/35 and won his first Man of the Match award. In the 6th ODI versus India at Guwahati, he took 4 wickets and was declared as the Man of the match again.
Bollinger was once again drafted into the Australian XI for the second of three Tests against the West Indies in November – December 2009 following injuries to leading pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle. He took 5 wickets in the match at Adelaide, and continued his good bowling form into the third and final Test, taking career best figures of 5/70 in the first innings and 8/141 for the match. During the test series, Gayle famously said he is becoming Bollinger's bunny. (Source: Wikipedia)

 What do you think? Will the addition of Bollinger have any impact on the team?

[But there is no information about the addition of Bollinger in the official website. Thanks Siddharth for the tip]

Which of the stand-in captains would triumph today?

Is it going to be Suresh Raina, who lives close to Delhi but leads Chennai Super Kings or Dinesh Karthik, the Chennai boy leading Delhi Daredevils?

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hayden 2. Parthiv Patel 3. Suresh Raina 4. Badri 5. Vijay/Badani 6. Justin Kemp 7. Albie Morkel 8. Ashwin 9. Balaji 10. Sudeep Tyagi 11. Murali

DD Probable XI:
1. Sehwag 2. Warner 3. Dilshan 4. Dinesh Karthick 5. Maharoof 6. Manas 7. Rajat 8. Mishra 9. Nannes 10. Sangawan 11. Ladda

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Sehwag, Dilshan & Warner: If one of these players are on fire, only a Herculean effort from Hayden can save the game for Chennai Super Kings
2. Nannes: Only Bowler of international quality in Delhi Squad.

1. Though Delhi Daredevils have more explosive batsman than Chennai Super Kings, Chennai's bowling gives an edge to the team. But the team that bats first would be a natural favorite.

Will Suresh Raina lead Chennai Super Kings to victory?

First a confession: I am so used to writing headlines that 'Dhoni leads Chennai Super Kings to Victory' that writing 'Suresh Raina leads CSK to victory' looks out of place. I am sure most of the fans have not yet adjusted to the possibility of seeing a Chennai Super Kings team led by Raina. Hope it does not hit us hard tomorrow.

Dhoni's Injury: A Huge Loss
As VB eloquently put it "The blow to the elbow, that put him out of action for the next few matches, leaves us without the biggest asset a 3-in-1 champion in dynamic form." Though Dhoni is a 3-in-1 player, it is his captaincy that the team would miss the most. Patel + more opportunities to Morkel & Kemp is a pretty good replacement for Dhoni's wicket keeping + batting talent. But it is the captaincy of Dhoni, that the team would miss the most. (I was half-hoping Stephen Fleming to come out of retirement and captain the team. )

So it was a surprise choice to see VB pick Raina ahead of others - Kemp, Hayden & Badri. I think the international experience of Raina and his consistent appearance as a part of the squad led the selectors to pick him. Now it is time for Raina to repose the faith shown by VB. Just hoping that this inspired decision by VB does not turn out bad like MI picking Harbhajan to lead the team on Sachin's absence. 

Other Tidbits:
  • Raina has very limited experience as a captain in the domestic circuit and has little experience of managing star players. 
  • Dhoni has advised Raina to keep it simple. 
How will Raina measure up as a captain? 

P.S: To know my views on whether Dhoni's injury will end CSK Campaign, please read my post at the official website

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Dhoni might be out for a few Days

As feared by the fans, Bond has dealt a blow to the hopes of Chennai Super Kings.Injury caused by Bond in yesterday's match is more serious than it was initially thought. Doctors have prescribed at least 10 days of rest to Dhoni. He is going home and would not be even going to Delhi for the match on 19th March. Dhoni is expected to be back in Chennai on March 21. Doctors would be assessing his fitness on  his return. Only hope is that he recovers fast and does not miss many matches. 

In his absence, Raina has been assigned as a stand-in captain. 

How bad does this injury will hit Chennai Super Kings? Post your comments. 

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Chennai Super Kings put Kolkata Knight Riders in place

A Victory that not only showcased the potential of the team but also reassured the fans. 

1. Dhoni in Form: Dhoni showed that he still posses the form of the practice matches and took the game away from Kolkata Knight Riders single-handely. 
2. Badri: 40+ runs scored by him was crucial. But the huge positive is that he did not sacrifice his wicket for other aggressive batsman coming lower down the order. (Something he used to do in earlier seasons)
3. Albie: Albie's first over was the final nail in the coffin of the defeat. Hope he keeps up his bowling performance for the team. 

1. Tyagi Out: It was sad to see Tyagi dropped out of the team after a bad performance. And Gony, who came in for Tyagi, blew hot and cold in his 3 overs. I am still waiting to see those in-swingers from Tyagi that made VB choose him for the team.
2. Haydos: Haydos would be disappointed after his performance today. Expect him to come up with a powerful performance sooner rather than later.

Fan's Man of the Match: Dhoni, who converted 135 total to a 165 total. 

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kolkata Knight Riders - Match Preview

After being comprehensively defeated by Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings play against the in-form  team Kolkata Knight Riders tomorrow. Every team's punch bags in the last season have made a turn-around this year. They are the table toppers now. With the addition of Gayle, David Hussey & McNullum soon, the team will become much more stronger. So happy that Chennai Super Kings have their match at Eden Gardens before their star players joined the team. 

CSK Probable XI:

1. Hayden 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Dhoni 5. Badrinath 6. Kemp 7. Albie Morkel 8. Jakati 9. Balaji 10. Tyagi 11. Murali

KKR Probable XI:
1. BJ Hodge 2. MK Tiwary 3. SC Ganguly 4. CA Pujara 5. OA Shah 6. RS Gavaskar 7. AD Mathews 8. WP Saha 9. M Kartik 10. CK Langeveldt 11. I Sharma

Most Dangerous Players
1. Mathews: He won the first match with his batting and won the second match with his bowling. Hope he does not repeat his performance with bat or ball. 

Favorites: Though Kolkata Knight Riders are the in-form team, Chennai Super Kings are a stronger team on paper. So my bets are with Chennai Super Kings. 

Which team your bets are on?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Chennai Super KIings Vs Deccan Chargers - Match Review

Yes! It showed yesterday that Chennai Super Kings did not have any plan. Yes, It seemed like the team was under prepared for the crucial opening match. Yes! Deccan Chargers defeated Chennai Super Kings comprehensively. But I still believe it is too early to write the team off.  

1. Ashwin & Murali: Murali showed that he has not lost any of his wizardry and kept DD batsmen on a tight leash. It was another good bowling performance from Ashwin.  This season should be critical for him  to stake a claim in Indian ODI Squad. 
2. Albie Morkel: 40+ runs scored should give a little bit of confidence. Hope the confidence rubs into his bowling.

1. Lack of Planning: It seems as if the team did not have a meeting/discussion/planning for the match. There was no prior plans on who will bowl the death overs. There was no prior plans on how the opening overs would be dealt with. 
2. Raina & Vijay: It was sad to these talented players succumb to rashness/foolishness. Hope somebody drills wisdom into their heads

Hope the team does a little bit of planning (if not, at least have a team discussion) before going to the next match against Kolkata Knight Riders. 

Saturday, 13 March 2010

IPL Begins For CSK Fans

After 2 years, Chennai Super Kings fans finally gets to see their team back in action. And foremost in the fan's hearts would be - how the team is going to start their campaign this season?
  1. Will they start like the first season - winning all the earlier matches?
  2. Or they are going to blow hot & cold - like last season?
CSK would be facing Deccan Chargers, who are still hurting from the way they lost the opening match of this season.

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hayden 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Dhoni 5. Badrinath 6. Kemp 7. Albie Morkel 8. Jakati 9. Balaji 10. Tyagi 11. Murali

DD Probable XI:
1. Gilchrist 2. Laxman 3. Gibbs 4. Symonds 5. Rohit 6. Anirudh 7. Suman 8. Vaas 9. Jaskaran 10. RP Singh 11. Ojha

Most Dangerous Players
  1. Gilchrist: Only one batsman in Deccan chargers, who can outdo Hayden (that too, without a Mongoose bat). Just hoping that Gilchrist does not repeat his performance of Season 1. (To know what he did, read the gentleman show).
  2. Rohit Sharma: Fortunes of Deccan Chargers' batting would be decided on how they handle the middle overs. And Rohit would be expected by Deccan chargers to play the anchor role in those overs and hold the innings together.
Royal Contests
  1. Vaas Vs Hayden: Old, Retired stalwarts. If Vaas keeps Hayden in control or takes his wicket early, Deccan Chargers would have won half their battle.
Favorites: Playing in their home turf, Chennai Super Kings are the favorites. But it would foolish to predict anything against a team that comprises Gilchrist and Symonds.

Who do you think will win today's game?

Friday, 12 March 2010

Mathew Hayden & his Mongoose

The Mongoose in title is a bat not a beast. The new Mongoose bat is supposed to give the batsman an unfair advantage. BBC calls the Mongoose bat the first major redesign since 1771. The good news for CSK fans is that they have chosen Hayden as their brand ambassador. If the bat is anything as the website touts, Haydos is bound to better his performances in the last season.

Mongoose Bat & Haydos - Perfect Combination
As per the company, the bat would revolutionize batting in T20.  Scientists have given assurance that the bat would have
  • 20% more power than a conventional bat
  • 5% more bat speed
In the promotional event today, Haydos has also confirmed that hew will be using this bat. I predict his strategy would be to start batting with the traditional bat and start using Mongoose bat after the first break. One thing is certain - We can expect much more DLF Maxmiums from Hayden this season. 

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Bailey Joins Hussey & Oram in Missing List

Talented George Bailey has been called to join Australia Squad for the series against New Zealand. This sudden decision by Australian Selectors has ensured that CSK would miss at least 3 of its 10 foreign players for the first match. 

1. Oram's injury might lead him to miss the entire tournament
2. Hussey would be joining the squad after the Australia-New Zealand Series (i.e.) only after March 30
3. Bailey has been included in ODI Squad for the series against NZ until March 13 and is widely tipped to be part of the test squad too. So we might miss him until March 30.

With 3 players missing, choosing 4 foreign players would be a cakewalk for Fleming & Dhoni. I am sure Dhoni would pick 
1. Mathew Hayden
2. Albie Morkel
3. Justin Kemp
4. Murali
for the final XI. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Will Dhoni & Co. disprove Cricinfo's Prediction?

While Fleming and Dhoni have reiterated their hope that Chennai Super Kings would win the IPL this year, Cricinfo disagrees. As per the pre-tournament analysis of the team, Cricinfo predicts that Chennai Super Kings would find it tough to make the final four. 

Five Reasons why Cricinfo has got it Wrong?
1. Haydos
2. Haydos
3. Haydos
4. Dhoni, the Captain - Last year, Dhoni joined the team just a day ahead of the first match. This time, the captain is present with the team right from day one of practice. Clearly showing his intent to win the tournament
5. We are back in Lion's Den: I am sure the team will continue to find motivation from the houseful stands for the matches @ Lion's Den.  

What do you think? Has Cricinfo got its prediction right?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Will Oram be fit for IPL 3?

Jacob Oram, the Kiwi all-rounder who underwhelmed last year in South Africa, has been taken off the field due to a hyperextension of the knee, according to this tweet by BFInnoBystander.

Frankly, Jacob Oram was the biggest disappointment of last year. The pitches in South Africa were very spicy, considering that domestic cricket had been played on those pitches just a couple of weeks before the IPL started.

However, Big Jake failed to take advantage of this and leaked plenty of runs and didn't take any wickets (5 wickets with an average of 26 and an economy rate of 8.5). He also didn't score much (avg of 14.66 at a strike rate of 94).

However, as we know, our skipper, MS Dhoni, has shown a tendency to stick with players regardless of how bad they are. Either that, or he felt an obligation to pick 4 foreign players, regardless of whether they were good enough. IMO, we could've gone with Ravichandran Ashwin rather than with Big Jake.

Right, enough of the rambling and to the whole motive of this post. Who should we get if Big Jake isn't fit for IPL3?

I was thinking, perhaps Mohammed Aamer. Yes, this may not appeal to all, considering that he was snubbed in the auction, along with his other Pakistani comrades. However, Aamer is a genuinely good fast bowler capable of bowling consistently within the 140s. As I mentioned in the comments of one of Robin's post, CSK lacks a good fast bowler other than Sudeep Tyagi (Bala should actually be classified as a medium pace bowler rather than medium-fast). Moreover, we can get him at a very good price.

Alternatively, rather than going for a quickie, we can beef up our spin stocks by picking the Bangla star all-rounder and skipper, Shakib Al Hasan. He's been a real revelation in the past year, picking a bucket-load of wickets and scoring quick runs. He's got passion, which can be very useful for CSK. Frankly, I'm extremely surprised that he hasn't been picked in the last 2 auctions, which is a real pity, considering how enormously talented he is.

We could also go for Mahmudullah, another Bangla all-rounder, who is showing glimpses of his talent as a batsman with a century against NZ in NZ. He's already proved enough of his bowling talent, having taken 8 wickets in his maiden test against West Indies last year.

So here are the players I could think of as replacements over the top of my head. Who else do you think we could get as a replacement for Big Jake?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

News Snippets - March 2, 2010

  1. Chennai Super Kings considered among favorites: Betting Choice considers Chennai Super Kings as the second strongest contenders for the title after Delhi Daredevils. No Surprise that the betting sites rank these semifinalists in both the seasons ahead of others. [Source: Betting Choice]
  2. Hayden arrives on March 6: Strike Batsman of Chennai Super Kings - Mathew Hayden is expected to arrive on March 6. Again he shows his commitment by being the first foreign player to arrive on town [Source: DNA India]
  3. Murali announces retirement plans: Got 'Shock of the day' when i read about Murali's retirement plans. He has hinted that he might retire from test cricket towards the end of the year and might play shorter form of the game until World Cup. Hope he does not retire from Chennai Super Kings that soon. [Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

Monday, 1 March 2010

Chennai Super Kings Best XI

Last year, all the pundits predicted Chennai Super Kings to be the favorites for the title. But the team fared poorly, thanks to poor team selection by Dhoni & Fleming. Hope the mistake is not repeated this year. 

With just 10 days for the tournament to begin, it is time to choose the best XI. 

Chennai Super Kings Best XI

  1. Murali Vijay: For someone who started playing proper cricket at 17, he has grown by leaps and bounds. His performance in this IPL would determine his future in ODI cricket. But Dhoni might pick Parthiv ahead of Vijay.. 
  2. Mathew Hayden: A batsman - all the teams would fear. If he repeats the last year's form , CSK would easily qualify for semis.
  3. Michael Hussey: A Very Tough Decision to pick him above the foreign all-rounders. But prefer a batsman who contributes 35 runs per match rather than an all rounder who is neither a strike batsman nor a strike bowler
  4. Suresh Raina: Expecting another great season from him
  5. Badri: Another opportunity to tell the world that he deserves to be in Indian ODI Squad. Hope he makes use of this opportunity. 
  6. Dhoni: Prefer Dhoni as a No:6 batsman. . 
  7. Albie Morkel: His performances in earlier seasons makes him No:1 All-rounder Choice for Chennai Super Kings
  8. Shadab Jakati/R Ashwin: After his performance in the last year's IPL, deserves to be picked ahead of Ashwin. But would pick Gony in seamer friendly tracks. 
  9. Sudeep Tyagi: Has been knocking for an opportunity to be in the Indian Squad for a long time. Hope he makes use of this IPL to showcase his talent to Indian Public & Selectors. 
  10. Balaji: Team would be hugely reliant on Balaji for his slow bowling in the final overs. 
  11. Murali: Our Strike Bowler. Hope Dhoni & Fleming does not repeat the mistake of dropping him from the final eleven. Only Bowler in the Squad who will be commanding the respect of batsmen from other teams. 
Write in your preference for starting XI in the comments