Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Another thrashing by CSK

CSK dealt a thrashing to Pune Warriors to retain their No:1 spot in IPL Premier League Table. While the middle order batsmen set up a comprehensive total, their bowlers & fielders backed it up with critical wickets. 

It was great to see CSK continue their winning momentum and ending Pune Warriors's hopes of reaching semi-finals. 

1. Raina & Badri: For the explosive innings from Dhoni, the victory was set up by well-paced batting by Raina & Badri. Raina is slowly coming to his best and Badri never fails to deliver when the teams expect a crucial knock from him. 
2. Dhoni: I believe this is the best we have seen of Dhoni in IPL. He has been winning matches - from the day one of the season. His knock ended the chances for Pune Warriors in the match today.
3. Mohit Sharma:  Continues to impress! We are bound to see him - soon in the Indian colors. 
4. Hussey & Fielding: Crucial run-outs and commitment shown on the field - especially by Hussey was commendable. Hmmm. Hussey will be missed next season. 
5. Experimentation: With just one more win required for qualifying for the play-offs, Dhoni continues to experiment - by bowling Jadeja - right at the beginning. Hope this helps Dhoni to figure out the best combo for the play-offs. 

Also it was the right decision to drop Nannes for Morkel. Hope Morkel gets an opportunity to bat - to show his worth for the team. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Dhoni - In-addition to his batting, his batting and wicket-keeping was spot-on. 

CSK should now look to qualify through a win against Kings XI Punjab at Chennai on May 2. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Hussey sets up another CSK Win

In another high-scoring game, Hussey set-up CSK win - in-spite of another wonderful batting performance by Bisla.

1. Hussey & Saha: Good Start from the opening partnership. Hope they are able to repeat this performance for many more games
2. Mohit Sharma: He is CSK's find of the season. We are bound to see him in Indian colors soon.
3. Chris Morris: Rocking final over.
4. Raina: Another fine innings - till the run-out

1. Nannes: Problem of finding a premium strike bowler for CSK - still continues.

Fan's Man of the Match: Hussey. Another victory inspired by Hussey

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Another high-scoring match awaits

A win tomorrow will take CSK to the top of the table - a well deserved lead in the IPL this year. Considering Chennai pitch this year, expecting another high-scoring match - with a pitch that slows down as the match progresses.

CSK Probable XI
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Bravo 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Morris 9.Ashwin 10. Nannes/Albie 11. M Sharma

If Nannes is fit, expect him to play. Otherwise it is time to end Holder's trial and bring back Albie. 

KKR Probable XI
1. Bisla 2. Gambhir 3. Kallis 4. Morgan 5. Tiwary 6. McNullum 7. Das 8. Bhatia 9. Abdullah 10. Naraine 11. Balaji

It is time CSK took early wickets and restrict the opposition's batting. 

Most Dangerous Players
1. Kallis: KKR depends on his bowling and batting. Neutralizing him is the key for CSK today. 
2.. Naraine & Gambhir: While KKR's bowling revolves around Naraine, their batting revolves around Gambhir. I am sure that the team would have prepared a game plan for them. 

Prediction: Expecting a match dominated by the batsmen & another CSK win.  

Monday, 22 April 2013

All-round team effort helps CSK trump RR

Both these teams have always contested in tight games. I can't forget this experience still. Today's game was no different. Both the teams fought tooth & nails with stand-out performances from Hussey, Watson, Ashwin & Faulkner. Fielding standards were generally high - except for the one or two lapses. And it was a pleasure to watch. 

CSK bowlers bowled their hearts-out on a batting pitch and did well to restrict RR to 185 after a solid start by Rajasthan Royals. 180 was a probably a par-score. So letting them score only 185 was not a bad performance by the bowlers. And Hussey & Raina set up a platform for Bravo & Dhoni to take the team home. 

1. Ashwin: Ashwin is back to his IPL-best today. 
2. Hussey: Slowly inching himself to the orange cap, Faf would have a tough fight to displace Hussey from the opener slot.  And he saved around 5-10 runs through his fielding only.
3. Raina: Slowly he is getting better - which is the most positive news from today's match
4. Bravo: His ability to deliver in crunch situations has become 'legendary'. 
5. Team Management: Though Albie is 'officially injured', playing Holder instead of Albie was a good decision. Was a gutsy call. Considering the pitch, the team Management did pick the right squad. 

1. Vijay: Would have done him good - if he stayed for a little more time in this batting pitch.
2. Jadeja: Had a poor game with the bat & ball. Proved that he is not Chuck Norris. :) But do expect him to be back for the next match. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Hussey - for his efforts in the field & with the bat.

P.S: CSK now take lead in the table. And Chennai Super Kings face Sunrisers Hyderabad in a battle for the top of the table. 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Jadeja does it again for CSK

Another match that CSK nearly made a melee of a small total. Thanks to the efforts on the fielding department and explosive batting of Jadeja, they won the match. CSK never learns from their past mistakes - another match in which the powerplay overs were dominated by the opposition. Until CSK find a method to dominant power-play overs, they would always start the match with a weakness. 

1. Mohit Sharma & Christ Morris: Bowled well. Their tight overs slowly brought CSK into the match after the early onslaught
2. Jadeja & Ashwin - Spinner Pair: And I am expecting great things from this pair for both CSK and India. 
3. Jadeja, the batsman: Though i have always been a critic of Jadeja, his batting has improved leaps & bounds this season. Expecting great things from him - this season. 
4. Hussey: Though people may find faults with his run-rate, the difference between both the innings today was the anchor role played by Hussey.
5. Fielding: Run-out by Badri was exceptional. Those things can only be learnt by rote practice - i.e. throwing balls at a single wicket again, again & again. Fielding team & coach deserves applause for winning the match today. 

1. Team Management: At some point in the game, it felt like team management believed the game was on their hands. Other than this, I am not able to put any rationale reason for sending Ashwin as an opener. 
2. Vijay & Raina: They need to get their 'mojo' back. 
3. Albie: Another poor day in the bowling for Albie and he did not get an opportunity to showcase his batting. He desperately needs his confidence back. Among the current four foreign players, he is the most likely to be dropped to accommodate Nannes - once back from the injury. 

CSK has 3 must-win home matches coming up in the next 8 days. Time for the lions to roar and dominate the season 6. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja.  

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Contest between 2 Strong Teams

If weather permits, the last year finalists should provide the fans with a cracker of contest. Surprisingly, both teams are in the mid-table, while the weak teams on paper like Hyderabad & Rajasthan are surging ahead. 

CSK Probable XI
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Bravo 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Albie 9.Ashwin 10. Morris 11. M Sharma

Don't think the team would tinker much with the playing eleven. I don't think Nannes would be fit again (if he really was injured) - in such a short period

KKR Probable XI
1. Bisla 2. Gambhir 3. Kallis 4. Morgan 5. Tiwary 6. Pathan 7. Das 8. Bhatia 9. Senanayake 10. Naraine 11. Balaji

With a team boasting 2 mystery spinners, it would be unwise for CSK to play slow in the first six overs. The team has to make maximum use of power-play overs - since Naraine & Senanayake may not give any opportunities to score quickly in the middle overs. 

Most Dangerous Players
1. Kallis: Both his bowling & batting needs to be countered. His wicket early would dent the team badly - especially if KKR are batting second. 
2.. Naraine, Senanayake & Gambhir: All of them match-winners on their day. I am sure that the team would have prepared a game plan for each of them. 
3. Balaji: While the other players have got all the credit, he has been silently bowling those economical overs for KKR. Ensuring that CSK has a 9+runs run rate in his overs would be paramount

Prediction: If the weather permits, it would be a close, unpredictable match - until the last over. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Mohit Sharma & Hussey set up a comprehensive win

And CSK finally arrives to the party with a comprehensive win against Delhi Daredevils. Hussey & Raina set up a good base for Dhoni to explode against Delhi Daredevils. Hope they are able to repeat the performance in Eden Garden on  Saturday. 

1. Team Selection: It was a gutsy call to drop Nannes - Nannes injury turned out to be blessing in disguise. Nannes has not taken enough important wickets and deserved to be dropped. But expect him to be back soon - either in the place of Chris Morris or Bravo. Chris Morris' 7.5+ average & Bravo's 8+ average runs per over  are not sustainable for CSK as they move into the middle stages of the tournament. 
2. Hussey, Raina & Dhoni: All of them had a good performance with the bat. Hope Raina converts one of these thirties to a 75+ some time soon. And hats-off to Raina for recommending (or whoever recommended) Mohit Sharma to CSK. 
3. Mohit Sharma: What a debut way to endure yourself to CSK Fans. Unknown player who delivers for CSK. I am already looking forward for his performance in the next match. 
4. Ashwin & Jadeja: Ashwin & Jadeja recovered from their last match and provided good performance today. 

1. Vijay: We want Vijay of Season 3.

Fan's Man of the Match: We all love the story of surprise debutant unknown young Indian Player winning the match for CSK. And Mohit's performance in competitive pitch today was special. And deserves CSKFansite's Man of the Match Award. 

And special mention for CSK Fans in Kotla - for turning up on a weekday. Can visualize a day not so far - when Delhi & Mumbai grounds have equal CSK support for their home matches against CSK. 

Next game would be against Kolkata Knight Riders @ Eden Garden - to whom we lost the final last year. Time for a revenge?

Monday, 15 April 2013

CSK Bowlers lose the match

While it is easy to blame the CSK batsmen for the loss, 160 is always going to be tough to score in the wicket. 140-150 would have been a very competitive total on the pitch. And CSK poor performance in the power-play was also a key reason for the defeat. While bowlers should have taken early wickets in power-play overs, CSK batsmen (Vijay & Raina) should have been much more aggressive in the first four overs.

1. Badri: Badri played a fine innings. Without Hussey in the team, he should have taken the responsibility to stay till the end - rather than looking to score the runs fast.

1. Bravo: Bravo has been having poor season so far. Might not be a bad idea to drop him for one match and play Hussey & Jakati in Bravo & Anirudh's place
2. Nannes: Your No:1 strike bowler can't be your most expensive bowler. 
3. Ashwin: Don't think Dhoni is getting the best out of the bowling unit - especially of Ashwin. It is time for Ashwin to win matches for CSK. 

Next Game is on Thurday against Delhi. Should believe it would be a must-win game so that CSK don't fall too behind the top four. 

CSK fancing a win after Pune Warriors

After a last ball penultimate ball last ball penultimate ball victory, CSK should be looking to win the game - easy way against Pune today. Angelo Mathew, their captain would not play because of IPL's Decision to bar Srilankan players from Chennai. Though CSK won against RCB, they would want
  1. Vijay & Hussey to start giving good starts in the first six overs
  2. Jadeja & Ashwin to tighten their noose in the middle overs
  3. Nannes & plus to bowl well in the  powerplay and death overs - as a team. 
CSK Probable XI
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Bravo 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Morris 9.Ashwin 10. Jakati/Rajpoot. 11. Nannes

Believe it is time Jakati got his chance. Another idea would be to bring in Morkel in the place of Hussey and ask Bravo/Badri to open the innings. Then Anirudh or any another batsman can take the place of the extra bowler. 

Pune Warriors Probable XI
1. Finch 2. Uthappa 3. Ross Taylor 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. Suman 6. M Marsh 7. Nayar 8. Wayne Parnell 9. Bhuvanesh Kumar 10. Rahul Sharma 11. Dinda

Though Pune Warriors have lost 12 out of their last 13 matches, it would be unwise to take this team tightly. On paper, they are a strong squad that should compete for semi-final slots. Uthappa, Taylor, Yuvraj, Finch, Rahul Sharma & Bhuvanesh have all won matches for their international team single handed. Hope CSK make the right preparation for a team of this quality. 

Most Dangerous Players
1. Ross Taylor: His early wicket is crucial for the performance of CSK spinners. 
2. Uthappa: Hope the team does not let him have a easy start. 
3. Bhuvanesh Kumar: Though the first four matches in this season has been quite for him, we can't discount his international performance 
4. Rahul Sharma: Our middle order batsmen might continue to be bamboozled by this mystery spinner. 

Prediction: Expecting another close match and hoping for a CSK Win. 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

No-ball costs RCB the win

Another match that set the pulse racing in our hearts. A match of despair, hope, despair, hope & finally sadness of losing the match - after coming so close.. But winning the match by a no-ball. This is why we follow CSK & IPL! A match we can only attribute to God.

1. Pitch: It is time the ground start producing pitches that would assist CSK spinners. How can our home ground assist other teams rather than us?
2. Sir Jaddu: Sir Jaddu has arrived!
3. Dhoni, Raina & Badri: All had a breezy 30s and lost wickets in the crucial phase. Hope they start making bigger scores

1. Bravo: As a player who occupies the key foreign all-rounder slot, it is time he stands-up and be counted. I won't be surprised if Albie plays instead of Bravo in the next match. 
2. Middle Overs: CSK should stop this experimentation with Indian medium pace bowlers and pick Shadab Jakati. This should help us shut-down opposition in the middle overs. It was in these overs that CSK lost the way today. 

Man of the Match: Dhoni & Jadeja. Their partnership in the last few overs was the key point in bringing the match towards CSK. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

CSK Register their first win against Kings XI Punjab

CSK thrashed Kings XI Punjab today. (BTW, Mumbai Indians. This is called thrashing. Not the win against CSK in the first match). The match clearly showcased the gulf between the class between both the teams. 

These are the kind of matches that make you question the notion of not having any elimination in the tournament. It is time IPL created a Indian Championship. And have both elimination from IPL and top Championship teams winning promotion to IPL every year. This would ensure that the teams at the bottom have enough motivation to play.

1. Hussey & Vijay: My most beloved CSK Partnership is back. This might be the last season when Hussey is on form. Understanding is that the players generally have their best season in the first year after retirement. Hussey, Please give us more such unforgettable memories. 
2. CSK Bowling Unit: Bowling Unit struck together and performed well. And i do believe that Dhoni has not still learnt on optimizing the bowling resources available to him. So the bowling unit has only get better. 

CSK's Fan of the Match: Hussey - For his commitment with both fielding and batting, he wins it hands down. 

Do read Chris Morris blog on Settling in with Chennai's Super Kings

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Expecting First Away Win of Season 6?

Kings XI Punjab are coming back with a morale-boosting win against Pune. Chennai Super Kings are coming out of a loss - but with a lot of confidence. Team(both batsmen & bowlers) are bound - not to be overconfident & listless like the first match. . 

Last Season, Kings XI Punjab won both  the games against Chennai Super Kings. So CSK should be looking to return the favor this season. 

CSK Probable XI
1. Hussey 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Badri 5. Bravo 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Morris/Albie 9.Ashwin 10. Rajpoot. 11. Nannes

If Albie Morkel is fit, he is bound to play. But with the ankle injury scare in Ramplay finals, it is tough to predict. Decision between Anirudh, Rajpoot & Jakati is bound to be decided by the pitch. But KXIP team generally sets up a pitch that favors fast bowlers. 

Kings XI Punjab:
1. Gilchrist 2. Mandeep Singh 3. Vohra 4. Hussey 5. Azhar Mahmood 6.Gurkeerat Singh 7.  R Sathish 8.PP Chawla 9. P Awana 10. P Kumar 11.RJ Harris

On paper, the match looks like a direct match up between a Goliath & David (without any special powers).  

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Azhar Mahmood: Age is simply not catching up with him. He can bat, bowl & for a pakistan-born player, he can field too. 
2. Harris: Ryan Harris is one of the quality bowlers in T20 format. If Hussey & Vijay can keep their wickets intact, taking apart the other bowlers would not be a huge challenge. 

Prediction: Barring another Paul Valkattai type performance, CSK should look to win the match comfortably. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Welcome Faf!

Faf has confirmed on his blog that he would be flying to India next week. :) Though he may not be ready for the matches. But I am sure he would be a key player in the later stages of the tournament this season. :( 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Albie & Chris Expected to Leave for IPL on Monday

Albie Morkel has confirmed in his twitter account that he would be catching a flight on Monday to join CSK Team. Expecting Albie Morkel to be the final piece in the winning combination for CSK. If you want to know more about the contributions of Albie & Chris to their respective teams in South Africa T20 Finals, read more at Cricinfo.

Update: Albie might have a ankle injury. He is going for a scan in the morning and then only - we will know the extend of the injury. Bad News for CSK :(

Update 2: Albie Morkel has confirmed in twitter that scan went well and he is leaving for India. Ooh!

Dhoni's Rescue Act - Not Enough for CSK

Another IPL Starts for CSK with a defeat @ Home. Though CSK bowlers did a great job of restricting Mumbai Indians to sub-150 score, CSK batsman - barring Dhoni, played without any conviction or plan. Considering that this is the first match of the series and that too - against a strong MI team, expecting that this loss would not make any huge difference to the team. 

1. Nannes: Nannes did not have any problems - adjusting to a new team. Showed that hat Bollinger would not be missed this season. Expecting a consistently strong performance from him. 
2. Dhoni: If not for the Pollard catch, Dhoni would have single-handedly won the game for CSK. His fine form bodes well for the team. 
3. Ashwin: Thought that Ashwin also did a fine job. Except for 2 sixes from Pollard, everybody found tough handling him.

1. Laughlin: Though one match is never enough to judge a character, felt that Shadab Jakati could have added more to the team than Laughlin. Also would be interesting to watch Jason Holder for atleast one match. 
2. CSK Batsmen: In a sub-150 score, surprised to see that none of CSK batsman took charge. Hope with more time the team spends, they would start adjusting back to their roles in CSK

CSK Fan's Man of the Match: Dhoni without any doubt.

Hope the team comes up with a better game plan for the match against Punjab. Next match on April 10 @ Mohali. 

Saturday, 6 April 2013

IPL Season 6 Journey Begins

Sixth Season of IPL begins for CSK Fans. A season where everyone recognizes Chennai Super Kings as the favorite. But we know the favorite are going to have a season of ups & downs, a season of dazzling performances and poor decisions,  A season where a select few would stand up and get counted. A season we look forward to.