Sunday, 26 May 2013

Betting Controversy defeats CSK in the finals

Last 2 times, CSK ended up as runner-ups. I was proud of the team and their performance. And was happy that the better team won the match - at the end. But this time, the controversy prevented CSK from having a proper preparation for the game. And it showed on the finals. 

Disappointed. Though the orange and purple cap ended with CSK, the team was outclassed in the finals. Even a master performance bowling by Albie and batting by Dhoni was not enough to win the match for CSK. As per Dhoni analysis, we peaked a little too early in the game - this time

Do read about the season 1 final & season 5 finals. Though i hope that the team comes back stronger next season - with the betting controversy firmly behind it, believe it would take another 1 or 2 seasons for the teams to recover from the taint of betting. 

See you again during the championship league. 

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Finals amidst a controversy

2 Strongest team on the paper, in the finals - should have created an all-around excitement among Indian cricket fans. But the Ongoing betting & spot-fixing controversy has ensured that the focus lies on things happening outside the field. 

Though these two teams have the strongest teams on the paper, their journey over five seasons have been so different. One team has been able to produce a consistent strong performance - 2 titltes, 2 runner-ups and just once knocked out of the semifinals. The other team still does not have an IPL Tropy to its name. The match should offer interesting duels between players. 

1. Johnson Vs Hussey
2. Bravo Vs Pollard
3. Dhoni Vs Malinga
4. Ashwin Vs Karthik
Believe the match would be largely determined by how long Hussey lasts and how he handles Mumbai pace bowlers. 

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

Expect the team to play the same eleven as the last match. Hope Albie is able to produce a strong bowling performance

Mumbai Indians Probable XI
1 Aditya Tare, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma (capt), 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Ambati Rayudu, 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Rishi Dhawan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Munaf Patel.

If Ojha is fit expect him to come in the place of Munaf or Rishi. 

Most Dangerous Players:
1. Dinesh Karthik: After match-winning knocks in the early stages of the tournament, his form has dropped. But he would believe that he can make a difference to the team. 
2. Pollard: Both his batting and fielding can change the game. 
3. Mitchell Johnson: How CSK batsman handle him in the early stages would determine the match. 

Though Smith produced 2 good performances in the last two matches, expecting CSK bowlers to have worked their tactics for him. 

My Prediction: 

  1. General Trend is that the team rested better for the finals, generally do well. Advantage CSK from that regard
  2. Considering the controversy, expect CSK team to come all guns blazing in tomorrow's match. 
  3. Expecting a team performance winning the game tomorrow for CSK - rather than an individual winning it.
  4. And Dhoni hitting the winning runs for the team once again.

Sad Day for CSK Fans

It is early hours of the day before another finals for CSK. Rather than waiting with glee for the match, my eyes have tears in them. IPL's most successful team faces its first & IPL's biggest controversy. A team principal (let us not kid ourself by believing that Gurunath Meiyappan was just an honorary member of the management team) has been arrested (Cricinfo). He was the public face of India Cements' promoters in Chennai Super Kings Team & his arrest is a major blow for the franchise. Though the early reports indicate that he might be arrested for betting rather than fixing the matches, it is tough to separate both the crimes today. 

And the team management owes its fans to take the following actions
  • Guilty should be punished. Projecting this as vendetta politics, etc. is foolishness. 
  • Be Transparent. Suddenly waking up and saying that Meiyappan was not Team Principal is foolishness
  • Don't be silent. CSK player's active twitter accounts have all gone silent today. Speak up. Nobody is yet pointing any fingers at them. 
  • Promise us there won't be any more wrong-doings
  • N. Srinivasan should resign from BCCI President role - without any delay. And if I am on the board of directors of India Cements, I should be asking on whether Srinivasan should continue as its MD

And what we the CSK Fans promise
  • We won't run away because of this controversy. But we do expect better integrity from the team
  • We do understand Meiyappan is not the owner of the team. Do understand that equating Meiyappan to CSK is like equating Sreesanth to entire Rajasthan Royals Team.
  • We will continue to treat CSK management and CSK Players as two different groups. And would continue to support CSK Players on the field. 
But I am sure CSK brand will take a severe beating. Expect a few sponsors to walk away from the brand next year. Whatever said & done, my love & affection for CSK would never be innocent again. :(

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Chennai Super Kings Reaches Finals in Style

Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings in both the league games. But Chennai Super Kings showed their professionalism by winning comfortably against Mumbai Indians. They showed that they are the team of IPL. A beautiful win set up the top order batsmen.

1. Hussey: Not letting Faf play for even a single game was a remarkable achievement. A deserved winner of orange cap. Hope he gives another similar performance in the finals 
2. Raina: This is Raina that CSK know of. Showed again why he is the person that Dhoni wants in his team
3. Jadeja & Bravo: Their bowling showed why the team would retain them ahead of others in the team this year. 

Now just hope that Hussey & Bravo continue to hold the orange and purple cap after the finals. 

Now to the fifth finals for CSK. And hopefully to the third championship title.. 

Player's Fan of the Match: Raina. His batting today set-up the winning total for CSK today. 

P.S: Not well for a long time so not able to update the blog regularly. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

With 7th Consecutive win, CSK reach playoffs

With a victory today, CSK have more or less confirmed their playoffs slot.100% Playoff Qualification is by no means a easy task. And the team should be recognized for this achievement. And for once, the team has qualified without having any nail biting matches in the final days of the league. Hats-off to the team management, support staff and the players. Now the focus should be on reaching the top 2, so that the team has a buffer if they fail in the first semi-finals. 

1. Raina: BACK IN FORM. CSK's batting today was all about him. Hope he provides more such hundreds for CSK team. 
2. Albie: Small cameo of 25 runs made  a key difference to his bowling today. Hope he carries the same confidence to the future matches. Clutch players like Albie, Bravo, etc. would be very crucial during the big matches - when the teams' abilities are streteched. 
3. Bravo: Another great final over by Bravo. Great to see Morris (last batch) and Bravo coming good in the final overs. 

Generally a good match where the key players like Albie got a chance to bowl and Dhoni implementing the trick of bowling the entire quota if a bowler is in form. 

I would expect the team to give opportunities to a few players - Jakati, Faf, etc.  and rest players like Morris, Dhoni, etc. in the next few matches. 

Fan's Man of the Match: Raina