Friday, 30 September 2011

Bravo sets up a CSK Victory

What a way to come back from a humilating defeat in the hands of Mumbai Indians specifically Malinga. Bravo played the first of the many match winning knocks for Chennai Super Kings. 

1. Bravo: Impressed both with his batting and bowling. A true-match winning performance. Showed the team his class act.

Now the team plays T&T next. It is a must-win game for the team. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Resilient Chennai Super Kings looks forward to 2nd clash

Many teams in the world would have pressed the 'panic' button after losing from such a dominant performance. But that is not the style of Chennai Super Kings. They are a resilient team and we can count that Fleming & Co. to field the exact eleven that played against Mumbai Indians. And we can also expect looking to come back strongly with a win. 

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

Critically for Chennai, it is crucial that Vijay & Bollinger find their form - to give a flying start to CSK's batting and bowling respectively.

Cape Cobras Probable XI:
1. Levi 2. Gibbs 3. Owasis Shah 4. Duminy 5. Ontong 6. Kemp 7. Vilas 8. Philander 9. Peterson 10. Steyn 11. Langeveldt

Most Dangerous Players
1. Steyn: Steyn is a dangerous bowler in any pitch in the world. And he could bother Indian batsman on any day and in any pitch. So it would be interesting to see how Raina, Vijay and Badir play Steyn

2. Duminy: Duminy is the best player of spin in Cape Cobras Side. So his early wicket would be crucial for a 
CSK victory.

Favourites: As Nokai CLT20 has been so far, expect another close match. 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Freaky Malinga Innings helps Mumbai Foreigners to defeat CSK

It was a freaky victory for Mumbai Foreigners. There is no other way to describe this win for Mumbai. It was especially sad to see Chennai losing the game after dominating for 90% of the game. 

1. Hussey: He continues the fine form of Sri-lankan tour. Expect to see a few more great performance during the championship league.
2. Ashwin & Raina: Both of them continued to impress with the ball. Expect them to play key roles for the rest of the tournament.

1. Bollinger: Ever Dependable Bollinger had one of his off-days. Hope he gets back his regular mojo for the rest of the league.

Now the team needs to go back to the drawing board and ensure that those silly mistakes are not repeated any more. 

Who do you think is responsible for this freaky victory of Mumbai Foreigners?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Chennai Super Kings Vs Mumbai Indians - Mouthwatering Contest?

Mumbai Indians have lost 2 consecutive IPL Seasons after dominating most of the group stages. If that is not enough, the team has lost eight of its 23 players to injuries and has only 14 players in the squad. Taking this extra-ordinary events into account, Mumbai Indians have been (unfairly) allowed to play 5 overseas players. 

But the men in yellow would be in a happy frame of mind. They have won three consecutive tournaments. And the team as a whole, would be looking forward to put up another strong performance in Champions League. 

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

Mumbai Probable XI
1. Jacob 2. Blizzard 3.Rayudu 4. Suman 5. Pollard 6. Symonds 7. Satish 8. Harbhajan Singh 9. Yuzvendra Chahal 10. Franklin/Fernando 11. Malinga 

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Rayudu: Without the guidance of Sachin Tendulkar, the team would need a single player to hold the innings together. Considering his performance so far, Mumbai think-tank would be expecting a lot from him in that role. But would Rayudu play with the maturity is a question that would get answered this Champions League. 
2. Pollard: With the loss of so many players, we can expect Pollard to get a considerable time on the pitch - which is dangerous for any opponent. 
3. Malinga: How Vijay & Hussey plays Malinga would determine the margin of victory. 

Favorites: Home support makes CSK the favorites. But one explosive performance by Malinga or Pollard could end that pretty easily. 

Meet CSK's Opponents in the Group Stage

Other Teams in Group A
For this year's Champions League, ten teams are divided into two groups of five each. Chennai Super Kings is placed in Group A along with 

  1. Mumbai Indians
  2. Cape Cobras
  3. Trinidad & Tobago
  4. New South Wales 
The top two teams from the group qualifies for the semifinals. Reading the names, I am sure it is quite visible that this is a tougher group than Group B. Even Fleming acknowledges that Chennai Super Kings are placed in a tougher group. 3 of the four finalists so far are present in this group. Except for Mumbai Indians, others have played in atleast 1 semi-finals. 

But the good news for Chennai Super Kings is that we play all the matches in Chennai

1. Mumbai Indians:
Mumbai Indians have lost 3 key Indian players to injuries - Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma & Munaf Patel. Considering the quality of the players who are ruled out, any other team would have found it tough to win even a single match. But considering the strength of Mumbai Indians' foreign players, they do have a good chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. But playing in India but still missing home support would seem cruel to the team. 

Key Player to Watch out for: 
1. Pollard: With the loss of Sachin & Rohit, you can expect Pollard to get a lot more chances this season. For any opponent, He would be Mumbai's most feared player. 

My Prediction: 4th 

2. Cape Cobras:
Winners of South African Pro20 tournament, the team boasts big-names like Steyn, Owasis Shah. Duminy, Gibbs, Kemp & Langveldt. But the team performance's might depend largely on the performances of their unknown stars - Vernon Philander & Richard Levi
Key Player to Watch out for
1. Dale Steyn: The success of Cape Cobras would largely revolve around Dale Steyn. They need Steyn to bowl well in all the matches to have any reasonable chance of qualifying for the semifinals

My Prediction: 5th 

3. Trinidad & Tobago
T&T would be coming to the tournament with a huge amount of confidence after defeating its opponents in both its qualifying matches. Though the team has lost its biggest stars - Pollard & Dwayne Bravo to IPL Teams, this team can't still be ruled out from the semi-finals. Expect them to surprise at least 1 or 2 big opponents. 
Key Player to Watch out for
1. Rampaul: Rampaul's current form is a huge plus for the spin-heavy attack. His performance in the powerplay overs would be key to the team's performance

My Prediction: Black Horse in the group.  3rd  

4. New South Wales:
Any team that boasts Watson & Warner as the opening batsmen is to be feared. This is backed up Katich, Hughes, Steve Smith, Stuart Clark & Hauritz. This is one of the most balanced teams in this season. 
Key Player to Watch out for
1. Shane Watson: He is the key player for the team. His batting and bowling skills make him the most crucial player for the team. And I don't think is going to miss another opportunity to re-iterate his value to the team. . 

My Prediction: 2nd in the group stage

My Prediction for CSK: If the venue has been any other place, I would have predicted CSK to end second in the group behind NSW. But considering the home support and the pitch, the possibility of CSK coming second in the league seems remote. 

But if the relaid pitch assists seamers more than spinners, New South Wales might still beat CSK to the top of the league. 

Mumbai gets an unfair advantage!

I was shocked/pissed off to hear that Mumbai team are allowed to play five foreign players instead of four foreign players like other team. They were allowed this because of the injury to eight Indian players including Sachin Tendulkar. 

Whatever the reason it might have been, I am sure this is a very poor choice by the administrators. Especially considering that there are other options like the the team being allowed to get a new, unsigned Indian player. If Mumbai Indians have been allowed to play 5 players, then even the other IPL teams should have been allowed to do so. 

This is just a bad precedent and would be surely exploited by the future IPL Teams. 

P.S: Considering that the team is being captained by Harbhajan Singh, even this rule might not make a huge difference to the team's fortunes. :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Chennai has their first training session

Slowly but steadily, Men in Yellow are building a strong defence to their world championship title. Had their first training session. Yesterday's Rain washed out any chance of a training session yesterday.

Who do you think would be the man of the tournament for CSK this season?

My Prediction - Suresh Raina

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

Gunning for another title???

Chennai Super Kings have had a great 1.5 years with 3 wins in 3 tournaments. So it would be interesting to watch how the team approaches 2nd Champions League. But Fleming promises us there won't be any complacency

Considering that Chennai Super Kings would play all their matches in their den, anything less than a championship would be rated as a poor performance. 

How do you rate Chennai Super Kings' chances? Are they the key favourites for the tournament?

Tim Southee becomes the first casualty in Nokia Champions League

Chennai Super Kings suffered their first casualty when Tim Southee was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury. The team has confirmed that no decision has been taken as yet on the replacement player.

But it is bound to be an interesting decision since Tim Southee was just a back-up for Bollinger in the team. Now let us pray that Bollinger does not get injured during the tournament. 

What are your choices regarding the replacement? You can check out the current CSK 15 member squad. My prediction it is probably going to be Faf du Plessis. 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Only 11 More Days!!!

Another 12 more days, we will get to see our men in yellow back on the field... On their journey to a consecutive CLT20 championship. While the qualifiers start on September 19th, the main tournament starts only on Septermber 23. And CSK play their first match on September 24. 

Check out CSK Schedule and block them in your calendar.

Also check out the 15-member squad for the championship. The good news is that all our top 15 players  are available for this year's Champions League. 

And now the countdown begins for another great Champions League. And I do hope that CSK will be the one holding the trophy on October 9 @ Chepauk.