Saturday, 28 May 2011

Clinical Display from CSK.. We are Champions Again

Chennai Super Kings successfully defended their title with another clinical display. Great Opening Partnership by Hussey-Vijay set up the most dominating win of the season. 

WHOA!! We are IPL CHAMPIONS AGAIN!! The team did well to raise up their game for the crucial match. This is why Dhoni's captaincy and Fleming's coaching is crucial for Chennai Super Kings.

1. Vijay & Hussey: What a way to come back to the form. They showed determination and intent by running very hard in the initial overs.  They scored 56 runs in the first six overs without even a single boundary. Commendable performance from the openers. 
2. Ashwin: Again another great bowling performance. His early wicket of Gayle snubbed out the slightest hope that RCB had. 
3. Jakati: Another great bowling performance from him. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Vijay. His explosive innings and his determined running between the wickets was commendable. Hope to see more such clinical partnerships from Hussey & Vijay in the next season. 

The Classic.. CSK-RCB Rivalry Continues...

This is the fourth time that RCB will play against CSK this IPL. And this is the fourth time, RCB will play against CSK in a play-off. RCB defeated CSK in the first semi-final(Season 2) and CSK has defeated RCB in the other two (Season 4 & CL Season 2). 

But the good thing is that the two best teams of the season have reached the finals. Hope CSK raise up their game for the crucial match. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Albie Morkel 7. Saha 8. Bravo 9. Ashwin 10. Jakati 11. Bollinger

RCB Probable XI:
1. Luke Pomersbach 2. Gayle 3. Kohli 4. De Villiers 5. Saurav Tiwary 6. Mohamed Kaif 7. Mayank Agarwal  8. Vettori 9. Syed Mohammad 10. Zaheer 11. Arvind 

Most Dangerous Players
1. Vettori: In the slow Chennai pitch, he would be RCB's deadliest bowler. How CSK middle order handle him would be interesting to watch. 
2. Zaheer: In addition to his quota of 4 overs, he pseudo-bowls through Aravind & Mithun(if he plays).  So it is important that Vijay & Hussey don't lose their wicket to Zaheer. 
3. Gayle: After his induction into the team, his contribution with both bat and ball has been immense. CSK should be busy working out - not only his batting but also his bowling. Bollinger and Ashwin's spell against Gayle would be the decider in the match. 

Favorites: It is a tight game to predict. I expect Hussey-Vijay partnership would be crucial for Chennai Super Kings. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Collective Team Effort Defeats Royal Challengers!!!

What a way to storm into the finals. CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore produced a great game of cricket today. With the way RCB played today, it would be tough for MI/KKR to defeat RCB in the 2nd semifinal. So don't rule another RCB match this season.

But the great news is that we get to play the final in our home.. So it is time we packed the stadium to the brim for the finals.. 

1. Ashwin: His early wicket of Gayle was crucial. This kept CSK on the game. If Gayle has played until 10 overs, RCB would have won the game handsomely.
2. Bollinger: He raises his game for the crucial matches. I believe his form to the most crucial thing for CSK in the finals.
3. Raina: Another player for the big matches. What a way to come back to form. We can expect another cracker of innings from him on the finals.
4. Albie: What a way to pay back the confidence shown by the team in retaining him. Hope it is time that South African selectors take note of his batting (esp. while chasing. )
5. Dhoni & Badri: As usual, they played a key role in the the team's victory.

1. Vijay: It is time Vijay made a substantial contribution to the team. He is the only player (out of the four retained players) not to make a significant impact to this season.  Hope he strikes form in the final and provides a match winning partnership with Hussey.

Fan's Man of the Match: Raina. His wonderfully paced knock provided the opportunity for Dhoni & Morkel to excel.

Whom(out of RCB, MI & KKR) do you prefer to play in the finals?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Can CSK stop RCB juggernaut?

Buoyed by the induction of Gayle, Royal Challengers Bangalore are in one hell of a form - winning eight matches of the last nine. And experts predict them to be the clear favorites for tomorrow's game. But CSK can't be written off in the final stages of these games.

CSK Probable XI:
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Albie Morkel 7. Saha 8. Bravo 9. Ashwin 10. Jakati 11. Bollinger

RCB Probable XU:
1. Luke Pomersbach 2. Gayle 3. Kohli 4. De Villiers 5. Saurav Tiwary 6. Mohamed Kaif 7. Mayank Agarwal  8. Vettori 9. Zaheer 10. Arvind 11. Mithun

Most Dangerous Players
1. Vettori: More than inept batting by CSK team, the win yesterday could be attributed to the intelligent captaincy and the field placements by Vettori. Also he bowls the important middle overs - not letting the other teams to escape from the iron grip.
2. Zaheer: In addition to his quota of 4 overs, he pseudo-bowls another 8 overs through Mithun & Aravind.  So it is important that Vijay take Zaheer's bowling apart in the initial overs.
3. Gayle: After his induction into the team, his contribution is immense in all the eight wins. Hope the law of averages catches up with him tomorrow.

Favorites: Unlike Bangalore pitch, Vettori would not find Mumbai pitch to his liking. Expect Ashwin to produce a match-winning performance tomorrow. And the toss would be crucial in tomorrow's game.

P.S: Went yesterday to my bangalore for the match. So missed out on my regular updates about the match. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Chennai's Unbeaten Home Run Continues

Perfect Seven... Chennai Super Kings became the first team in IPL to win all their home matches. And the team was the deserved winners in all the games. With 7 home wins and 2 away wins so far, CSK has become the second team to qualify for the play-offs mathematically. 

1. Hussey: He is CSK's oldest player on the field. But the commitment shown by him on the field was exemplary. Hope the young guns like Vijay learn from him. 
2. Saha: Everybody (including me) questioned his inclusion in the team. And as any true match winner, he answered his critics on the field. This innings should give him and the team a lot of confidence. 
3. Ashwin, Jakati & Raina: The spinner trio set up another beautiful win. Ashwin is now the key player in the play-offs for CSK. 

1. Vijay: His casual approach in the field was stupid - to say the least. Hope he get his act together soon. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Ashwin for the wonderful bowling performance & Hussey for the inspirational fielding display. 

Now the match against RCB would decide whether CSK is among the top two slots in this season. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Final Push for the Crucial Top Two Slot

Until now, Chennai Super Kings have done everything right for the crucial top two slots. Now it is time for the team to push for the crucial final top two slot. Also tomorrow's match would provide a few opportunities to the players who have waited patiently on the sidelines.

1. Vijay 2. Mukund 3. Raina 4. Dhoni 5. Bravo 6. Faf 7. Albie 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Dougie 11. Tyagi

KTK Probable XI
1. McNullum 2. Parthiv Patel 3. Brad Hodge 4. Owasis Shah 5. Ravi Jadeja 6. Gomez 7. Kedhar Jadhav 8.RP Singh 9. Sreesanth 10.Murali 11. Parameshwaran

Most Dangerous Players
1. RP Singh: His early wickets are crucial for Kochi Tuskers.

Favorites: Chennai Super Kings have to try really hard to lose this match.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Chennai bats it way through to the play-offs

With another home victory, Chennai bats its way through to the play-offs. Now the team can start focusing on reaching the top two slots of the league table. 

1. Team Management: Finally, the team has started thinking and playing the match fearlessly. Extra batsmen in Bravo does make the team a lot more aggressive with its batting.
2. Dhoni: It was great to see Dhoni - the free flowing batsman, who attracted attention initially. 
3. Badri: As usual, Badri played the sheet anchor role to the hilt
4. Bravo: He is slowly getting his 'mojo' back. In another 2 or 3 matches, he should be playing to his full potential. 
5. Ashwin & Raina: Both bowled beautifully. It was great to see Raina filling up the third spinner's role beautifully. Raina & Ashwin's bowling would be crucial in the matches played in Chennai

1. Vijay:  We have not still seen Vijay of IPL 2010 form. His form would be crucial in the matches against top four teams. 

Fan's Man of the Match - Dhoni - for out-batting the opposition out of the match. 

Now the team gets a much needed rest.. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Another Important Game for CSK!

With the end of the league stages approaching, this game between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils has a lot of context for both the teams. Delhi Daredevils have lost their only match-winner and would be itching to prove that they can win without Sehwag. Chennai Super Kings would be on a high after their second away victory and would be looking to continue their domination at Chennai. . 

With the win against Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings need a win with a good run-rate to qualify for the play-offs. But wins in the next two matches would surely go a long-way in helping the team to qualify for the top two positions. If the teams qualify in the top two, the other teams have to defeat CSK at Chennai (an uphill task) to win the cup. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Vijay 2. Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Morkel 7.Bravo 8. Abhinav Mukund/Saha 9. Ashwin 10. Jakati 11.Bollinger

I still can't understand CSK management picking Saha ahead of Mukund and Srikkanth. But i expect Srikkanth or Mukund to return to the side in this game. 

DD Probable XI:
1. Colin Ingram 2. Warner 3. Ojha 4. Venugopal Rao 5. Hopes 6. Irfan Pathan 7. Sridhar Sriman 8. Y Nagar 9. Ajit Agarkar 10. Morne Morkel 11. Nadeem

Most Dangerous Players
1. Morne Morkel: He would be looking for a good performance after the thrashing by Mumbai Indians. Also a win tomorrow would give a lot of bragging rights at home (against Albie)
2. Warner: Like Sehwag, he can single-handedly win the match for Delhi Daredevils. But Chennai's pitch might not be to his liking. 

Favorites: CSK are the favorites but writing-off Delhi Daredevils would be a huge mistake. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Chennai Super Kings outclass Rajasthan Royals

After being outclassed by Kolkata Knight Riders in the last match, CSK came back with a thumping win today. Pitch Controversy withstanding, it was great to see CSK thrash Rajasthan Royals. And the best part was that the team had a lot of positives to take forward. With the massive win, Chennai Super Kings have climbed to No:2 spot. 

1. Bravo: It was great to see Bravo in the yellow colors. Though his performance was ordinary today, it can be easily attributed to jet lag and 2 continuous days of travel. I am sure he would be back to his usual form in a match or two. 
2. Dhoni & Vijay: It was great to see the out-of-form batsmen getting runs under their belt. I believe that CSK are slowly starting to peak before the crucial stages of the tournament.
3. Hussey: He continues to impress - match after match. In another match or two, we are bound to see him wearing the orange cap. 

Fan's Man of the Match - Hussey. Though Dhoni played very well, it was Hussey's innings that set up the win. 

Monday, 9 May 2011

A Must-Win Match Against Rajasthan Royals!!!

Chennai play the penultimate away game against Rajasthan Royals. The team needs to win tomorrow - not only to prove that they are not just home ground bullies but also to have any realistic chance of ending up in the top two..

CSK My Squad:
1. Vijay 2. Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni 6. Morkel 7.Faf 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Yo Mahesh 11.Bollinger
But knowing Dhoni & Fleming & considering the history of Jaipur pitches, I don't expect any changes from the squad that played last against Rajasthan Royals.

Rajasthan Royals Probable Squad:
1. Watson 2. Dravid 3. Botha 4. Menaria 5. Ross Taylor 6. Rahane 7. Binny 8. Yagnik 9. Shane Warnee 10. Doshi 11. Trivedi
Personally I expect Shane Warne to prepare a pitch that aids spinners.

Most Dangerous Players
1. Dravid: In Jaipur pitches, Dravid is the most crucial wicket for any team. Hope CSK fast bowlers take his wicket early.
2. Shane Warne: The old magician still has 'magic' left in him. In Jaipur pitch, he is RR's most dangerous bowler.

Prediction: CSK are the favorities and would be disappointed if they did not win this match.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Kolkata Knight Riders outclass Chennai Super Kings

Though the rain stopped the play, Kolkata Knight Riders were the deserving winners today. They bowled and batted better than Chennai Super Kings. And the match clearly exposed the weakness in Chennai Super Kings arsenal.

1. Randiv: Randiv is effective only in the pitches that has a lot of uneven bounce. In a pitch which assisted slow bowlers, his bowling was disappointing. With Bravo coming in for the next match, this might be the last of Randiv - we see this season.  Now the team has to think hard before deciding on Bravo or Faf for the next match.
2. Go Slow Strategy: Chennai Super Kings have always preferred the "Slow & Steady Start" strategy in the tournament. But this works best when the pitch is not a bowling paradise like today. In pitches like this, the runs scored in the initial six overs would win or lose the matches.
3. Vijay: He is currently in the middle of a poor batch. If he did not bat well in the next 2 matches, it is time for the team to drop him and bring in Mukund/Vignesh.

1. Badri: He showed today that he is a class act.
2. Ashwin: His bowling was exceptional today. If he had bowled his entire quota of overs today, Chennai Super Kings might have sneaked with a win today.

Now it is crucial that the team bounces back from the defeat immediately.

Fight for No:2 Spot??

Currently, both Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings would be eyeing that all-important No:2 spot. That is why today's match becomes crucial. Because it lets Chennai Super Kings not only add 2 more points but prevents the competition from doing so. So it would be a double whammy if CSK wins today.

Also KKR would not have forgotten their opening match defeat. They would be cursing themself for losing from a winning position. So we may not expect any such favors from KKR this time.

CSK Probable XI:
1. Vijay 2.Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni  6. Albie 7. Anirudh Srikkanth 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Tim Southee 11. Bollinger
Considering that this is a new pitch with that extra bounce, the team might go ahead with Tim Southee in the place of Randiv

KKR Probable XI:
1. Kallis 2. Morgan 3. Gambhir 4. Tiwary 5. Yusuf Pathan 6. Mark Boucher 7. Rajat Bhati 8. Iqbal Abdullah 9. Bret Lee 10. Balaji 11. Jaidev Unakat. 

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Gambhir: New Pitch should aid Gambhir's natural strokeplay. I have a feeling that Gambhir might open the innings today. 
2. Yusuf Pathan: He is the danger-man for CSK. Chennai has to keep him quiet to win this match. 

Prediction: Odds are heavily in the favor of KKR. But if Dhoni/Vijay find their form, CSK will win the match easily - Otherwise it would be a tight game. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Another home victory for Chennai Super Kings

All round performance from Chennai Super Kings set up another home victory. 11th over in both the innings swung the game towards Chennai. While the 11th over in Rajasthan Royals innings started the turn-around, 11th over in Chennai Super Kings innings won the match for CSK.

1. Jakati: After a poor start to the season, Jakati is slowly picking up his form. Today he was the best spinner on the field.
2. Hussey: Slowly and Steadily, Hussey is climbing the run charts. His form is crucial considering that Vijay has been patchy this season
3. Bollinger & Morkel:  Bollinger-Morkel team is getting the job done in the initial four and last three overs. Hope their partnership continues to deliver results for CSK.

1. Vijay: Vijay has the lowest average among the top five CSK batsmen in the batting order. It is time he got more quick-fire fifties under his belt.
2. Randiv: Consistency has been an issue for Randiv. With Bravo coming on May 7, I believe the next match would be the last he would be playing for CSK this season. With increasing maturity, we surely could expect a better Randiv - next season

Fan's Man of the Match - Jakati for that wonderful catch that turned the match for CSK.

Crucial Games for CSK coming up..

After 8 games, CSK have firmly established themself as one of the top four teams so far. But IPL is not yet over. And the team has to play 6 more games. To qualify for the knockout stages, CSK needs to win atleast four of the remaining six games.

Easier way would be to win both the games against Rajasthan Royals and win the other 2 home games. Lose both the games against Rajasthan Royals, CSK's campaign for the top four finish would be all but over. That is why the game tomorrow against Rajasthan Royals is crucial for CSK.

Also considering the weather prediction tomorrow(hot & humid), the toss would play a huge role in the match.

CSK Probable XI
1. Vijay 2.Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni  6. Albie 7. Anirudh Srikkanth 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Randiv 11. Bollinger

I have an inkling that the team management might play either Faf or Styris in the place of Randiv tomorrow. 

RR Probable XI:
1. Watson 2. Dravid 3. Botha 4. Menaria 5. Ross Taylor 6. Rahane 7. Binny 8. Yagnik 9. Shane Warne 10. Amit Singh 11. Trivedi

Most Dangerous Players
1. Watson: Sometimes CSK have a tendency to let the openers to score freely. But if you let Watson score easily, he will finish the game for Rajasthan Royals.
2. Ross Taylor: Ross Taylor's would prefer CSK's spin friendly attack. He might be one of the reasons that CSK might pick Southee or Stryis to give themself that extra-pace bowler. 

Favorites: CSK are the stronger team on paper. But with Warne at helm, the win would not come easily. 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Deccan Chargers crumble under pressure from CSK Bowling

Chennai Super Kings 165 for 5 (Raina 59, Hussey 46, Morkel 19, Ojha 3-26) beat Deccan Chargers 146 for 8 (Sohal 56, Morkel 3-38, Jakati 2-23) by 19 runs

Another match won by CSK spinners & Bollinger. Both Morkel & Jakati answered their critics through a great performance on the field. This win would give them a huge amount of confidence. 

1. Raina: Good to see - Raina scoring runs at a quick rate. 
2. Morkel: His consecutive sixes would be remembered by Ishant Sharma for a long time. 
3. Jakati & Ashwin: It was a great performance by the spinners to bring the team level after Sohail's blitzkrieg. In my opinion, Ashwin 3-run 15th over was the real turning point of the match. 

1. Dhoni: His batting form has been ordinary this season. Hoping his form would pick up in the crucial stages of the tournament. 

Fan's Man of the Match - Jakati. His four overs brought the team back on a level playing field after Sohail's blitzkrieg

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Battle between CSK Batting & DC Bowling

Deccan Chargers would be one of the two IPL teams (other team in Rajasthan Royals) that might actually look forward to Chennai's pitch. The team has quality spinners(Ojha & Mishra) who can exploit slow turning pitches and batting unit is always dependent on Sangakkara on any pitch. So they would find Chennai pitch to be more in their favor. 
For Chennai, a win tomorrow would take them back among the top four teams in IPL. So it is a big match for both the teams. 

CSK Probable XI:
1. Vijay 2.Hussey 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Dhoni  6. Albie 7. Anirudh Srikkanth 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Randiv 11. Bollinger

If Albie is not fit tomorrow, the team might play Stryis & Southee ahead of Albie & Randiv. 

DC Probale XI:
1. Sohal 2. Dhawan 3. Chipli 4. Sangakkara 5. White 6. Christian 7. Teja 8. Ojha 9. Amit Mishra 10. Ishant Sharma 11. Steyn

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Ojha: Deccan Chargers' most successful spinner in earlier IPL seasons has been cast aside for Amit Mishra. I am sure he will be looking for a point to prove in tomorrow's match
2. Steyn: Steyn is a threat on any pitch he bowls. How Hussey & Vijay negotiate him would decide tomorrow's match
3. Sangakkara: His batting is the rock in which Deccan Chargers' wins are based. CSK needs to get him out early. 

Favorites:  Though Deccan Chargers would fancy their chances, the crowd support tomorrow tilts the scales towards Chennai.