Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Another Clinical Display earns the first away win!!

Scorecard: Chennai Super Kings 145 for 2 (Badrinath 63*) beat Pune Warriors 141 for 6 (Yuvraj 62*, Bollinger 3-21) by eight wickets 

All-round clinical performance from the team!!! Dougie & Badri were the stand-out players and set up a beautiful win for CSK. Now Chennai Super Kings can relax until Sunday - thansk to back-to-back wins and knowing that they have established them self as a contender for the top four slot. Also it is time that CSK started aiming for No:2 spot - to give them self that extra match to get into the finals.

1. Dougie: Another great performance. Superstar of CSK Bowling Unit.
2. Badri: Without making noise, Badri is staking claim for the highest run-scorer in this IPL. Produced a beautiful innings today and rewarded the team management for sending him at No:3. Hope he produces more such innings for CSK.
3. Raina: Nice to see him spend some time in the innings. He is bound to back to his IPL form soon. 

1. Selection of Kulasekara: I was flummoxed by the selection of Kulasekara as an all-rounder in the team. If Albie is injured, the team requires to pick either Faf or Styris (who can bowl 2-3 overs. Raina can contribute the rest). I would have preferred Yo Mahesh/Tyagi, Faf, Tim Southee to come in the place of Jakati, Albie and Randiv in this match. Thanks to Badri's innings, CSK did not have to deal with the weak lower order. Hope the team does not repeat this mistake if Albie is still injured for the next match.

Fan's Man of the Match: Dougie - For the great bowling, that helped CSK to dominate the match.

After seeing Ishant's performance today, how do you rate CSK's chances against Deccan Chargers?

Searching for Elusive Away Win!!!

Chennai has played six matches this IPL season (3 home + 3 away) and are yet to win their first away victory. Alsotoday's game  is very crucial for Chennai Super Kings to firmly establish themself as a contender for a place in the top four. That is why, Chennai Super Kings need to have a back-to-back victory against Pune Warriors.

CSK Probable XI:
1. Vijay 2.Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni  6. Albie 7. Abhinav Mukund 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Tim Southee 11. Bollinger

Considering Navi Mumbai pitch so far, I expect the team to pick Southee ahead of Randiv. Seeing the commitment shown by Mukund on the fielding, it might not be long before he gets picked in the team. 

Pune Probable XI:
1. Ryder 2. Manish Pandey 3. Mishra 4. Uthappa 5. Yuvraj 6. Manhas 7. Mishra 8. J Sharma 9. Wagh 10. Jermoe Taylor 11. Thomas

Most Dangerous Players
1. Thomas: Navi Mumbai pitch favors fast bowlers in the early overs. So expect him to be a threat in the initial overs. 
2. Yuvraj Singh: He would be looking to make amends to his poor batting for the match in Chennai. It is necessary that Chennai Super Kings bowlers gets his wicket early. 

Favorites: Though CSK are the favorites on paper, I expect an evenly contested & close game.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Collective Team Performance ensures another home win!!

Collective team performance - especially clinical displays from CSK Bowling & Fielding Unit ensured another home win. Time now for CSK to repeat an encore performance on Wednesday in Mumbai. And prove all CSK naysayers wrong. 

1. Albie: After warming up to the Indian pitches, Albie Morkel has been sensational in his first two overs. Hope his bowling form continues. And I am sure he is bound to make a key contribution with his bat soon. 
2. Bollinger & Ashwin: Chennai's strike bowlers are backkkkkk! 
3. Fielding: Wonderful fielding performance from the team. This year's squad has been exceptional in the field. 

1. Raina: Still waiting for him to strike his IPL form.

Fan's Man of the Match: Ashwin
He took the crucial wickets of Jesse Ryder & Uthappa. It was his maiden wicket that turned the game towards CSK. 

What do you think CSK's chances of winning the next match?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Chennai need to win.. Desperately...

After assembling the strongest IPL squad in auction,CSK management would have never expected the team to be in the bottom half of the table. But that is where CSK is. And the team now desperately need not only a single win but a string of wins under its belt. That is why the team should focus - not only on winning tomorrow's match but also on winning both the matches against Pune Warriors.

Until now, the team has been good at home. Hope the trends continues for tomorrow's match also. 

1. Vijay 2.Vignesh 3. Raina 4. Hussey 5. Badri 6. Dhoni  7. Albie 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Randiv 11. Bollinger

I believe it is time CSK tried out a different opening combination. Bringing Vignesh into the eleven might be a gamble. But it is surely a gamble - that might bring in high dividends. 

Pune Warriors Probable XI:
1. Ryder 2. Paine 3. Manhas 4. Uthappa 5. Yuvraj 6. Mishra 7. Parnell 8. Murali Karthik 9. Sharma 10. Wagh 11. Thomas

Most Dangerous Players
1. Ryder: He is their most in-form batsmen. His early wicket would expose their power-hitting middle order early into the innings
2. Uthappa: Has not had a great season so far. But he is surely their most dangerous batsman in the spin-friendly Chepauk wicket. 

Favorities: CSK are the stronger team on paper. But Pune Warriors have a few batsmen who can win the game on their own. So it should be an interesting game tomorrow. 

Friday, 22 April 2011

Mistakes cost CSK the match

Multiple mistakes cost CSK the match..After a commendable performance from the bowlers (except for Joginder Sharma), Chennai Super Kings batsmen let the team down.

But what irritates me more is the silly mistakes that team made
1. Picking Joginder ahead of Tyagi & Jakati - Please explain who in the right mind picks Joginder Sharma in any team.
2. Sending Anirudha ahead of Albie: Albie is a better batsman than Anirudha in these situations. By the time, Albie walked on, tide has already turned towards Mumbai. And Albie was forced to go after the bowlers - without getting a look into the pitch
3. Lower Order Batsman: Until today, one of the positives about the team is that players until no:10 can bat. But sadly, none of them can think. Why the hell you have to go over the bowlers when there is an established batsman like Badri at the other end.

But still there were positives from today's match.
1. Bollinger: Bollinger "we know" is back.
2. Albie: Albie finally proved his worth with his bowling

Disappointed. Now the team has an uphill task of winning 7 out of the next 9 matches to have any chance in the tournament.

Are you as disappointed about the team like me?

A Match between Titans

After meekly losing against Kochi, the match against Mumbai Indians provides Chennai Super Kings to show their real mettle to the fans. And I am sure the team is itching to get back to their winning ways. While the media would like to bill this game as a battle of "Dhoni Vs Tendulkar" it will be the match which will be decided by the performance of Anirudhas & Jakatis.. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badrinath 5. Dhoni 6. Albie 7. Anirudha 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Randiv 11. Tim Southee

Though this same eleven lost the last match, I believe Fleming & Dhoni would continue with the same team. Considering Mumbai Indians are the only team who would prefer to bat first against CSK, it is better to go with 7 batsmen. 

MI Probable XI
1. Davy Jacobs 2. Sachin Tendulkar 3. Rayudu 4. Rohit Sharma 5. Symonds 6. Pollard 7. Sathish 8. Murtaza 9. Harbhajan 10. Munaf Patel 11. Malinga

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Malinga:
Only player who can reduce this match to an one-sided contest for Mumbai. But I am sure CSK would have a plan to handle him. 
2. Pollard:
I am sure today, he will face the first ball of this IPL. Hope the team gets him early. 
3. Munaf Patel:
While Malinga has stolen the headlines, Munaf Patel has quietly given stellar performance on the background. (Economy of less than 5 runs per over this IPL). 

At home, Mumbai Indians are the clear favorities. But I have a sneaky feeling that it is CSK's turn to spring a surprise today. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Weather & Bad Luck defeats Chennai Super Kings

Timing of the rains and the pitch that assisted the bowlers in the early stages & after rain aided Kochi Tuskers to a great extent. (If you doubt it, read Badri's tweet) Also the batting strategy of Chennai Super Kings backfired in this match. Chennai Super Kings have always preferred "Safety first" approach with the way they pace their innings. 

CSK's Batting Strategy:
0-4 overs - Don't Lose runs. Prefer 20/0 over 40/2
5-6 overs - Accelerate - 20 runs
7-9 overs - Consolidate again - Generally lose a wicket here - 20 runs
10-14 - Accelerate without losing wickets - 30 runs 
14-16 - Accelerate only if you have not lost 3 wickets so far Otherwise consolidate  - 15 runs
17-20 - Go all hog - 40 runs

Total - 165 runs always.. 

This strategy works best if you are playing against a strong team like Mumbai Indians. But against weak teams like Kochi Tuskers, this is bound to backfire.

1. Ashwin: Ashwin continued to impress. And remains the most lethal bowler in the team
2. Bollinger: Good to see him back. Might take 2 or 3 more matches for him to regain his from.
3. Raina: Raina got to spend some time in the pitch.  Was unlucky to find out the pitch aiding bowlers after the rains. Be sure that he & Badri would be looking to the next match to make amends. 

1. Dhoni over Albie: At the stage when Dhoni walked out, I believed Morkel would have made a lot more difference. Albie can start hitting in 3-5 balls unlike Dhoni who takes 10-12 balls to understand the pitch.   

Hope to see a improved performance from the team for the next matches. With the way the tournament is shaping up, the team can afford to lose another 2 or 3 matches only. So the team has a tough path ahead in this tournament. 

Monday, 18 April 2011

Time for Chennai Super Kings to show Kochi their place

Kochi Tuskers Kerala are in a 'moon' after their surprise victory against Mumbai. It is time for Chennai Super Kings to show their place in IPL. With Kochi's strength in batting, it would be a really interesting match to watch. Especially since whichever captain wins the toss, Chennai Super Kings can be expected to bat first. So the question would be whether Chennai Super Kings bowlers can prevent Kochi batsmen from reaching the target. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badrinath 5. Dhoni 6. Albie 7. Anirudha 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Randiv 11. Southee

Bollinger is not expected to be 100% fit tomorrow. So it would be a surprise if the team picks him for tomorrow's match. But expect him to bowl in Mumbai's match. 

1. McNullum 2. Laxman 3. Jayawardene 4. Brad Hodge 5. Jadeja 6. Parthiv Patel 7. Gomez 8. Perera 9. Vinay Kumar 10. RP Singh 11. Powar

With the lack of good Indian batsmen, I would expect Kochi to prefer foreign batsmen and foreign all rounders over Murali. 

Most Dangerous Players
1. McNullum: In both their 160+ scores, McNullum played a crucial knock. His wicket is the only way to keep KTK in control in the early overs. 
2. Jaywardene: In T20, he always score his runs very quickly - without even the opposition team not noticing it. His early wicket would also go a long way in winning the match.  
3. Vinay Kumar: Vinay has been bowling beautifully in the first three matches. He is the biggest threat for CSK batsmen. [If Vinay Kumar is the biggest threat, you know how strong KTK's  bowling attack is. :)]

Favorites: Chennai Super Kings are the favorites. Also i believe it is time Raina came to the party. 

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Hussey & Co. set up a CSK Win

What an innings from Hussey! His innings allowed the other batsmen to go after the other bowlers. Also collectively, the team paced their innings brilliantly. With Hussey coming in, Chennai Super Kings batting looks rock solid now. The batting depth & strength would be crucial while chasing in crunch games.

Hope the team now follows-up this win with another win at Kochi on Monday. 

1. Hussey: Good to see Hussey in good nick. Now it is time for Raina to contribute substantially and move higher among the top run-getters in the tournament. 
2. Southee: Southee's first two overs for 8 runs in the fielding restriction period - ensured that the target was always out of reach for Royal Challengers Bangalore. 
3. Randiv & Ashwin: Bowled well in the middle overs and carried on the good work of Southee in the early overs. 

1. Jakati: Considering that Royal Challengers Bangalore decided to go after Jakati, he should have taken more wickets. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Hussey

BTW, anybody know why Bollinger missed today's game. My assumption is that he is not yet 100% fit. If so, when is he expected to be fit?

Time to go back to winning ways..

After being defeated by Kings XI Punjab Paul Valthaty, Chennai Super Kings would be looking to get back to their winning ways. Team Principal - Gurunath Meiyappan seems to believe that the answer lies in Doug Bollinger & Hussey. Both are fit and would surely boost Chennai Super Kings squad. Especially if Bollinger is back in Season 3 form, Chennai Super Kings' bowling would get that much needed boost. 

1. Vijay 2. Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Albie 7. Aniruddha 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Randiv/Tim Southee 11. Bollinger

If the pitch is anywhere like the last match(that is a slow & turning pitch), it might be prudent to play Randiv, otherwise Tim Southee would be a much better alternative. 

Though picking Bollinger (without any match practice after his recovery) would be a risk. His form last year justifies the risk. 

RCB Probable XI
1. Agarwal 2. Dilshan 3. Kohli 4. AB de Villiers 5. Pujara 6. Saurabh Tiwary 7. Vettori 8. Zaheer Khan 9. Van der Wath 10. R. Ninan 11. S. Aravind

Most Dangerous Players
1. Dilshan: Dilshan has not yet reproduced his destructive form this year. Hope that continues. 
2. Kohli: He would be blaming his slow innings for the loss in the last match. And would be looking to make amends. 
3. Vettori: Chennai's score would largely dependent on how Raina handles the most successful left-arm spinner. 

Favorites: Chennai Super Kings has a stronger squad on paper. But as Valthaty showed none of that matters on the field. 

Friday, 15 April 2011

Update on CSK Foreign Players - Bollinger, Hussey, Bravo, Kulasekara & Randiv

A Few update on CSK's foreign players:

1. Bollinger & Hussey to join by today: As per the tweet from IPL CEO Sundar raman, Hussey & Bollinger should have either joined the team yesterday or joining them today. [I expect Hussey to have reached Chennai yesterday(Thursday) and Bollinger to reach Chennai today (Friday)]. So there is a high probability that we will see our beloved 'rug' & Mr. Cricket on Saturday. 

2. Bravo to join the team after May 5: West Indies Board has allowed Bravo to skip the test matches against Pakistan. So Dwayne Bravo would be joining the CSK team in the latter half of the campaign. Expect him to be named in the squad for May 9th match against Rajasthan Royals. (CSK Fixtures)

3. Kulasekara & Randiv to depart on May 5: Srilankan Board has asked Srilankan players to report by May 5 at Colombo. So Kulasekara & Randiv would be available only until May 4th game against Rajasthan Royals. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Paul Valthaty defeats CSK at Mohali!!!

It was a little disappointing and sad to see the team lose after a fine batting performance by the team. I understand that Paul Valthaty played the innings of his life. But that does not mean i can comprehend the poor performance of CSK Bowlers & fielders. Unlike the earlier IPL seasons, I had high hopes from the bowling unit this season. Hmm. So hugely disappointed about the bowlers. 

But the recovery from 0/2 in 0.2 overs & 6/2 in 3 overs to 188/4 was remarkable. But i have to agree that Chennai Super Kings missed Murali (&Bollinger) badly today. 

1. 'Back in Form' Vijay: After the poor one-day series in South Africa & the first IPLmatch, it was good to see Vijay batting himself back to form. With Hussey joining the team soon, I am looking forward to see Hussey-Vijay opening the innings. (BTW. Hussey scored a century against Bangladesh today. )
2. Badrinath: Good to see Badrinath holding the innings together. Hope he continues to play like this and justify the price tag that CSK paid for him. 

1. Bowlers: Today, the team needed just 1 bowler to put up his hands and bowl a lot smarter - that would have won the match for the team. Hoping that Bollinger's expected return for the next match would lift the performance of the entire bowling unit. 

Considering that there are only 10 teams playing this season, the team now has to win 9 of their next 12 matches. And we have not even faced a single strong team so far. 

But the loss aside, today's innings by Paul Chandrasekhar Valthaty is one of the best moments of IPL. An unknown player without no reputation, no history & no connections brings himself to the limelight by his sheer brilliance. Kudos to Rajasthan Royals & Kings XI Punjab scouting team for bringing this player to limelight. After the poor first week, I have to agree that CSK has been involved in all the good IPL matches in this season. 

Monday, 11 April 2011

4 Days of Disappointing IPL - My Initial Thoughts

4 Days of IPL is over today. I have seen all the teams play atleast one game. Just thought of writing my initial thoughts from the IPL

1. Wheat & Chaff: IPL Governing Council(Modi) has increased the team number from 8 to 10 too soon. Indian domestic structure does not have 100 quality cricketers to support 10 teams. That means, we will be seeing a lot of poor cricket in this IPL. (This is a bigger problem to TV viewer-ship than world cup fatigue)

Also this year's IPL has a few really strong teams and a few really weak teams. (unlike earlier IPL, more or less most of the teams were equally strong). So predicting a huge number of one-sided matches. 

Strong Teams: MI, RCB, CSK, KKR (They will move from mid-tier to strong once Lee, Shakib Al Hasan & Brad Haddin joins them)
Mid-Tier: PSW & RR(Just because of Watson's form & Warne's captaincy)
Weak Teams: DC, KXIP, DD and KTK

2. No Recovery from a poor run: Unlike earlier year's IPL, the possibility of recovering from a poor run and reaching IPL semifinals is very negligible. This is because a team needs to win atleast 9 matches to have some hope of reaching semifinals. To be perfectly safe, the team needs to win 11 matches. Except for mathematical possiblities, 10 matches with a good run rate will surely take a team to the semi-finals. This means no team can afford to lose more than 4 matches

3. Deja Vu: Season 4 seems like a deja-vu of season 1. This is because of the clueless captains(Who gives the crucial18th over to Gomez) and idiot decisions all round(Gambhir waiting for Kallis to get out). Somehow it gives me the feeling that a lot of teams have forgotten about T20 format and learning everything from scratch. 

4. Where is the local player: I think it is time, IPL Governing council mandated the IPL teams to play atleast 2 players from the catchment area. How will a Hyderabad fan turn up when they don't see not even one of Hyderabad/AP player in the team?. Thankfully, CSK have proven to be the only outlier - 5 out of their 7 players are from the catchment areas. (Goa is a catchment area for CSK). 

What are your observations from the initial days of IPL - Season 4?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Chennai Super Kings start their campaign with a nervy win

Again a match, Chennai's bowlers spinners won for the team. Murali was obviously missed. But Randiv more or less made up for him, But what worried me is the team's relaxed attitude. I still remember the IPL Season 4 - when the team was focused to press on the early advantage they had - by winning all the four matches. 

1. Raina: Raina proves that he has not lost the touch of death-over bowling. His 3 run-over tilted the scales firmly towards Chennai
2. Ashwin: Ashwin once again proves his brilliance. His wicket of Kallis was the turn-around moment of match.  Seeing the confident Ashwin on the field, I believe there is a captain hiding inside him.
3. Anirudha: Though Anirudha made use of the opportunity provided to him, let us not fool ourself of his talent. He was a batsman of limited shot selections available. If he had paced his innings properly, the team would have batted Kolkata Knight Riders out of the game. I thought that it was a poorly paced innings played by a player who still has a lot of way to go. I have no doubts in my mind that Hussey should open the innings (once he joins the team). 
4. Tim Southee: Bowling yorkers in a high-pressure situation is never easy. Great to see Tim Southee do it with perfection. We have surely found a gem of a bowler here. 

1. Vijay: Vijay got out meekly. Hope he gets back to form in the next match. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Raina. (2 wickets (Eoin Morgan & Gambhir) + 3 runs in an over)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kolkata Knight Riders - Live Update

Dhoni recognizes the pitch as a spinning track and picks Randiv ahead of Kulasekara. Otherwise i got 10 of the probable squad right..

After seeing Harsha's show for the world cup, you understand how idiotic and pathetic the extra innings in Set Max. Why is Harsha's show is not getting telecasted now in CNN-IBN. Any ideas?

It seems the pressure has already gotten into Gambhir.. Hope the openers put him into more pressure. Left Hand Spinner shows why Chennai might be forced to pick a left-hander partnering Vijay.

What is Murali Vijay doing? Either commit fully to the shot or play as a defensive shot.. It seems as if the environment got into him.. Suresh Raina is the key player of Chennai Super Kings. Hope he has a good match today.

Surprisingly, Balaji is bowling well so far.

First four from Raina's blade. Waiting for a good innings from him. This Kolkata team is playing with a lot of enthu. Time for Srikkanth to take some risks and kill their enthu. It is a good batting track. Time for Chennai Super Kings to push the levers and start attacking..Chennai is 18/1 from 3 overs.. It is time for Chennai Super Kings to accelerate.. Does Anirudha understanding that anything else than 180 is a poor score in this wicket.. Good over from Balaji.. Chennai have scored 31/1 from 5 overs.

At 63/1 from 8 overs, Chennai has wrested back the advantage they lost in the first five overs. Time to accelerate for Chennai Super Kings. Come on Raina!!!

Raina loses his wicket trying to accelerate the innings for Chennai Super Kings. And that brings Dhoni (Why I am not surprised?) Now I can't even ask Srikkanth to get aggressive.. :(

And I think Anirudha should get his 50 this over and should start going hammer & tongs from the next over. And what...  Anirudha can't score a single every ball.. Thanks Anirudha for building all the pressure.. Team made a wrong choice of picking Anirudha.. He does not have the talent to play at this level..

KKR's weakened bowling is able to restrict CSK 127/3 from 17.1 overs. And Anirudha - the player who has played the most balls is not able to get anything more than a single.Chennai Super Kings making Balaji look like a good bowler.. Hmmm. Seeing that the ball has lost its pace, it seems Dhoni was correct.. But Chennai super Kings need atleast 150 to give them any chance..

Thanks to those 10 runs in the last two balls, Chennai Super Kings have got themself a whisker of a chance. But they have to bowl their hearts out to win this match.

All the coaches of KKR seems hungry for a victory.. Kolkata are off to a good start.. Kallis is showing his class. And showing Anirudha what he missed out from doing for CSK.

Dhoni has let 4 wides and missed a stumping so far. Spinners on. Let us see whether Chennai spinners have got the fizz still..

64/1 from 8.5 overs. And the match is heating up..

We won! We Won! We Won!

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kolkata Knight Riders - Match Preview

IPL Season 4 starts tomorrow with a bang. My website traffic clearly shows that the fans are eagerly waiting for the season to start. While others doubt the fan-reaction after the intense world cup, I am confident that this would be the best IPL Season so far. 
And what a start IPL Season is going to have. A resurgent  Kolkata Knight Riders (weekened tomorrow without Bret Lee, Brad Haddin & Shakib Al Hasan) will meet the world champions. 

CSK Probable XI:

1. Anirudha Srikkanth 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Dhoni 5. Badrinath 6. Albie Morkel 7. Scot Styris 8. Jakati 9. Ashwin 10. Kulasekara 11. Tim Southee

KKR Probable XI:
1. Gautam Gambhir 2. Shreevats Goswami 3. Kallis 4. Eoin Morgan 5. Yusuf Pathan 6. Manoj Tiwari 7. Ryan ten Doeschate 8. Iqbal Abdulla 9. Laxmi Ratan Shukla 10. Jaidev Unakat  11. Balaji

Most Dangerous Players
1. Gambhir: The angry young man would like to prove that he is worth every penny the franchise paid for him. Without him holding the innings together, Kolkata Knight Riders would find it tough to pose an imposing challenge. 
2. Yusuf Pathan: In a run-chase, never discount the match until this batsman is back in the dressing room. He is the most dangerous batsman in KKR line-up and has the ability to win matches on his own. 
3. Eoin Morgan: I am betting that this KKR season would belong to Eoin Morgan. Hoping that he doesn't fire against CSK. 

Favorites: Though Kolkata Knight Riders is lined up with all-rounders, Chennai Super Kings has a better balanced team on paper. So my bets are with Chennai Super Kings.  (If Bret Lee, Shakib Al Hasan & Brad Haddin is playing for KKR, then there will be nothing between both the teams on paper). 

Which team your bets are on?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Are you a CSK fanatic?

Are you a Chennai Super Kings Fanatic?
Do you go crazy when Chennai Super Kings plays their matches?
Do you have the roaring lion(team badge) tatooed on your body?
Have you decorated your office cubicle/home/car with CSK Colors?
Are you a person who has gone that extra length and shown that extra devotion to CSK Team?

If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, then this might be your opportunity to be featured in Indian Express. Please get in touch with Will Date(an intern working with Indian Express) @ willdate[at] He is writing a story in the build up to IPL Season. 

His words
"I am an intern from the UK currently working at the New Indian Express in Chennai. I am looking to write a story in the build up to the new IPL season and would like to get in touch with some CSK fans, I was hoping you might be able to help me?"

IPL Season 4 - Probable Squad

In CSK squads of yester year, predicting the playing XI was very easy. Except for 1 or 2 players, others used to pick themself. But in this season, except for 3 or 4 players, others have to perform regularly to stay in the team. This clearly shows that this squad is a much more stronger squad than the last three years. (That does not necessarily mean that the playing XI in this season would be much stronger than the last year)  Predicting the probable squad for the first match against Knight Riders

1. Murali Vijay
2. Anirudha Srikkanth
3. Suresh Raina
4. Badrinath 
5. Dhoni
6. Albie Morkel 
7. Scot Styris
8. Kulasekara
9. Ashwin
10. Shadab Jakati
11. Tim Southee

No-Brainer Selections
1. Murali Vijay
3. Suresh Raina
4. Badrinath 
5. Dhoni
6. Albie Morkel 
9. Ashwin
11. Tim Southee

So the team has to make choices only about 
1. Opening Batsman
2. Batting All-rounder
3. Bowling All-rounder
4. Medium-Fast Bowler

Opening Batsman
Options are 1. Upul Tharanga 2. Anirudha Srikkanth 3. G Vignesh 4. Abhinav Mukund - This is one of the toughest decision to be made by Chennai Super Kings Team. 
1. Upul Tharanga - He is coming after a purple patch from World Cup. It won't be a easy decision to leave him in the bench
2. Vignesh - Most Attacking Batsman of the lot. His bowling could be a vital cog for the team. And his ICL performances could not be discounted by anybody. Best fielder in the lot. But his performances in the recent domestic T20 season has been out shadowed other TN openers. 
3. Abhinav Mukund - Most talented and the only left handed batsman of the three Indian batsmen. But his T20 credentials is still not established
4. Anirudha Srikkanth - His performance in last year's Champions League can't be easily forgotten by the team. Thanks to that, I believe that Fleming would give him the first opportunity. (I would pick Upul Tharanga ahead of Srikkanth)

Batting All-rounder
Options are 1. Scot Styris 2. Faf Du Plessis
The experience of Styris dictates that he is picked ahead of Faf Du Plessis. 

Bowling All-rounder/Bowler
Options are 1. Suraj Randiv 2. Kulasekara 3. Shadab Jakati
Expect Shadab Jakati to be picked. A left-arm spinner can't be easily played by right-handers. 

Options are 1. Yo Mahesh 2. Sudeep Tyagi 3. Suraj Randiv 4. Kulasekara
Knowing Dhoni, I would expect a pace bowler to be picked. And Kulasekara is the best of the lot. But it could be Sudeep Tyagi who might be playing if Upul Tharanga is picked as an opener. 

Who do you think should play against Kolkata Knight Riders?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

IPL Season 4 - CSK Players' Update on Injuries & Availability

Since quite a few players from CSK team are recovering from injuries , thought that I would do a small post on the status of the key players. 

Indian International Players
1. Murali Vijay - Fit & Raring to play for CSK
2. Badrinath - Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions right from April 3rd. 
3. Raina - Fit & Raring to play for CSK
4. Dhoni - Though he is carrying a few niggles, expect him to play in IPL. (But might take rest during one or two matches)
5. Ashwin - Fit & Raring to play for CSK
6. Joginder Sharma - Fit & Raring to play for CSK

Foreign Players
1. Albie Morkel - Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions right from April 3rd. 
2. Scot Styris - Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions right from April 3rd. 
3. Francois Du Plesis Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions right from April 3rd. 
4. Ben Hilfenhaus - Currently Injured. Tim Southee replacing him in Season 4. 
5. Tim SoutheeFit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions right from April 3rd. 
6. George Bailey Currently Injured. Upul Tharanga replacing him in Season 4. 
7. Upul Tharanga Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions from April 5th 
8. Kulasekara - Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions from April 5th 
9. Suraj Randiv - Fit & Raring to play for CSK. Part of Practice Sessions from April 5th 
10. Doug Bollinger - Currently recovering from an injury. He is working towards match fitness for the match against RCB(3rd CSK Match of the season).
11. Michael Hussey - Is expected to join CSK after his April 13th ODI at Bangladesh

12. Dwayne Bravo - Currently Injured but Expected to be fit in 2 weeks. Whether he would play depends on the understanding reached between West Indies Cricket Board and Dwayne Bravo. Since West Indies are playing a Pakistan series at the same time, a very high probability that he would miss IPL Season 4 entirely. 

Goals for Individual CSK Players

After the end of the world cup, I am sure the management of most of the national teams are looking to build their team for the future. This provides a few CSK Players - a wonderful opportunity to start planning their future for the next few years. Just my thoughts on what a few key players should be aspiring to
1. Dhoni: While he has won all the important tournaments and has been widely acknowledged as the best Indian captain, it is time Dhoni sets his eyes further. He should focus on building a career that puts him as one of the best captains in cricket (if not the best captain in cricket)
2. Raina:  Though his semi-final and quarter-final performance made him an integral part of ODI set-up, good performances in this ipl season(with both bat & ball) would not do him any harm to his ODI career. 
3. Vijay: Vijay has been having a largely forgettable ODI career. This season provides him with an opportunity to remind the selectors. (The crucial position in top three would become available once Sachin retires)
4. Albie: In the world cup quarterfinals, South Africa paid the price for not picking Albie Morkel - a proven low middle order batsman. Time to further rub salt on the wounds of South African selectors and make a case for his inclusion in South African ODI squad.
5. Ashwin: It is time - Ashwin set his eyes on becoming No:1 Indian spinner in ODIs and T20Is. 
6. Badri: Remind the selectors about him and make a case for his inclusion in Indian Test Squad. The next 2 or 3 seasons might be his final opportunity to do so. 
7.  Doug Bollinger: That he is fit and still has got his mojo.  

What it takes!!!

As CSK fans, we do expect our team to play as a single unit with a single mission - right from the first minute on the pitch. We expect them to give their 100% - both on & off the pitch. But let us not forget what it takes. 

  • Faf Du Plessis has to get over the bad memories(haggling and swearing by Kiwis) in their world-cup semi-final- And has to play as one team along with Kiwis (Scot Stryis & Tim Southee) now
  • Kulasekara has to stop himself from blaming for the sixes & fours from Dhoni's blade in the finals and has to start following orders from his CSK captain
  • Randiv has to start plotting the fall of Sangakkara & Jayawardene's wickets along with the team. 
  • South Africans has to work with Kiwis who defeated them in the quarter-finals, Kiwis has to work with Sri-lankans who defeated them in the semi-finals & Sri-lankans have to work with Indians who defeated them in the finals. But still careful enough - not to divulge all so that they retain advantage when they are playing for their country against CSK players. 
And most importantly, we expect these players coming from different countries, different cultures to start working as a single team - right from day one. So please do forgive the team if it takes them 1 or 2 games to gel as a team. But if they start delivering from day one(as in IPL Season 1), do thank the support staff - Fleming & Co. for the wonderful job they have done. 

P.S: Chennai Super Kings Team is having a team outing today night. They are having a movie screening - Remember the Titans. If you have not watched the movie, it is highly recommended to watch it. It is one of all-time great sports movie.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

And the Campaign for 2nd IPL Title Begins...

While Chennai is still soaking in India's victory in one-day world cup, Chennai Super Kings have started their practice today.

Except for the players from World cup finalists, others are already there in Chennai and have started their practice. For the complete squad list, please refer here.

All the best! Team, We expect to see some good cricket and the team playing to the best of your potential.