An IPL Semi Final at the Champions League – RBC vs. CSK

September 24, 2010

A cracker of a semi final awaits today where Kumble’s Bangalore will take on Dhoni’s Chennai. While much has been said about Chennai on paper, they have exposed some chinks this tournament.

Bangalore’s batting on the other hand has been a bit off color. Add to that a Kallis-shaped-hole, and the balance gets affected. Apart from Kohli and Dravid, the batsmen have not really lived up to their names. Uthappa has been a yo-yo behind the stumps.

One expects to see a decent match between two evenly matched sides!

Jai Bangalore!

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T20 World Cup 2010: The miracle called Hussey

May 15, 2010

When Australia were 58-3 chasing 190-odd, I gave up hope and went to catch up on some sleep. God, do I regret that! What I missed was an innings (raw or not) befitting a World Cup semi final. This is the same Hussey who was struggling for Chennai Super Kings. I don’t begrudge that, not one day! For these special innings are sweetest when saved for one’s own country.

Way to go, Hussey. It’s not without reason that they call you Mr. Cricket!

Are the India-floppers (a.k.a the India T20 team) reading the news? This is how it’s done!


T20 World Cup 2010: The plight of a South Africa fan

May 10, 2010

This T20 game frustrating more people than it should. Suddenly, 8 runs per over is do-able and 20 runs per over in the last few (even while chasing) should be possible.

If we India-supporters are disappointed abt India’s campaign, the South African supporter is angry. Take a look at some of their comments in the cricinfo commentary from today’s match:

Dale: “Why is Gibbs still playing for South Africa? He bring nothing to the team! No runs at all. Time to leave out the old-timer.”

Dale, have you watch him field for the Deccan Chargers? You guys should have a Ravindra Jadeja. Then you will know!

Mark Jaspan: “It’s amazing how regardless of the format T20 or ODI. SA only know how to play one way: go at 5 runs an over until the run rate is 10 or 12 then rely on Albie / Kemp / Boucher / Kluesener to get us out of it?”

Now this is pure frustration. I honestly feel sorry, but as a SA supporter (now that India is almost out), I feel your pain, Jaspan!

Simon: “how can we (South Africa) honestly be called contenders in a competition in which our side has no balance, no guts to play Rusty Theron who is a proven death bowler, and no character to fight out the tough moments? if we really wna be an international powerhouse like aus, we need to seriously look at our balance and stop playing 50/50 players like gibbs and van de merwe. i am an AVID south african supporter and this tournament has been blatantly disappointing, no matter where we end up.”

Seriously, it’s getter more and more bitter.

Faraz: “Why are teams even trying to make it to the Final? Just give the cup to Australia.They are unbeatable!”

Faraz may have a point this tournament. Maybe the bouce is helping the Aussies. But I’m curious about how this would have panned out, if the Aussies were left out of the tournament. Maybe Ireland would have taken the cup? 😉

Richard McEvoy: “Bouch has hit over a ton of international 6’s, may we have a few now matey!”
16.1 Mohammad Aamer to Boucher, 1 run, 137.5 kph, full delivery around off stump line, driven
Robert Brown: “well Rainbow nation! i think the sun has just gone out.bye bye “

If you were wondering what happened after that.

17.2 Saeed Ajmal to Boucher, FOUR, Crunchy. He goes for the sweep and connects well. The ball screams 
over the square-leg umpire!
17.3 Saeed Ajmal to Boucher, no run, goes for the slog sweep but doesn't connect
17.4 Saeed Ajmal to Boucher, OUT, Trapped in front! Bouch tried to work this one to the on side 
but played all around it. 
Pakistan inch close to the victory line

MV Boucher lbw b Saeed Ajmal 12 (14b 1×4 0x6) SR: 85.71

Sad isn’t it?


T20 World Cup 2010: India crumbling 90-s style

May 7, 2010

The super eights are here. SA managed to not choke yesturday against NZ (allright, I’m being a bit harsh). But India have other plans.

For the teens of this age who may not have watched India in the 90s need not worry. There’s a 90-s style collapse going on. Vijay walks in hits a few, and leave. Ditto for Gambhir. Then Raina. Yuvraj gets another duck, carrying his spotless IPL (fix?) form.

I have been skeptic about this Indian batting line up for some time; which is also reason why I didn’t rave about India’s victory over SA in the first stage of the tournament. I don’t see batting stability or experience apart from Gambhir (Dhoni doesn’t count for me, neither does out-of-form Yuvi). As I write this, Dhoni has already fallen. Jadeja? Who is this Jadeja (deja vu – another 90s reminder) What is Ravindra Jadeja doing? Is he in as a fielder? After the dropped catches today, perhaps we need a new term for his place in the side.

Is the bowling better?

India are 40/5. They will need more than miracle to win this one.

Looking forward to a 90-s style excuse for loosing this one.

PS: I will eat crow (and my words) if India win this!

End of 90-s style rant.

PPS: Apparently there’s another fan of the old fashioned batsmen on cricinfo. “Umair: “It’s clear no lessons have been learned from last year’s disastrous England World Cup — the young Indian bats, weaned on the flat tracks of the IPL, cannot cope with fast, short-pitched bowling on livelier tracks. Just as SA has kept faith with Kallis and Smith; and Australia with Hussey, India should have included some older players with better technique. The fact that a Dravid isn’t going to have a 200 SR in an IPL match doesn’t mean he wouldn’t add value on pitches like the ones in England last year or this one.”

Yes, Dravid should have been there and that’s not just the Dravid-fan in me.


IPL 3 ends IPLGate begins

April 26, 2010

So the IPL 3 is finally over and CSK have won. But the cat-fight between Lalith Modi and BCCI has just begun. Throw in a few cabinet ministers and a intelligent, good looking, foreign educated ousted one with an attractive friend and you’ve got something that’ll do more to ad revenue than perhaps even the IPL final.

Honestly I’m quite ambivalent about the whole saga surrounding the IPL. Modi is perhaps getting more than his due for the heavy handedness that he’s personified, the BCCI may escape without getting it’s due of rotten tomatoes and worse.

On the other hand, it is sad that India and Indian cricket’s image is taking a hit; its face is now marred again with the soot of corruption and match fixing. Whether people admit it or not (for fear of BCCI’s financial clout), the skepticism surround match-fixing that was almost buried after the Sharjah era is in all fairness back. It is now almost ok to ask if the final was fixed and whether that was part of the reason for sending Pollard in down the order. But it is also baffling. Perhaps that is why I fell asleep half way through Mumbai’s innings maybe it was too lacklustre to be true (but I made up by watching the entire post match ceremony till 2 am).

This time it will take longer to douse the suspicions. But life will go on. With the T20 World Cup only days away, even before the withdrawal syndrome sets in, we’ll be discussing why Dale Steyn isn’t overrated.


Argh… CSK pull it off against KKR

April 14, 2010

One must feel for Sourav Ganguly. First there was the outburst after the loss to RCB, then this is the response. As a die-hard Sourav fan, I honestly felt for this loss of KKR, and switched off the TV midway thru the match, knowing its direction. It was like going down the memory lane thru the many defeats India suffered to a world class Australian team in the late 90s under Ganguly, the difference being that was Aus and this was merely Chennai (further, they were 50 over matches, which offers more hope for even in hopeless situations, but I will not go there now). So much for city-support, I live in Chennai and I don’t recall myself ever having supported them :), and proudly so. For more on the city support phenomenon, fellow blogger SP has a full fledged post here.

Feelings apart, KKR need to perform a lot better than this to deserve a place in the semis.  The  top order almost never fire;  if they  do, the middle order flops. Despite all odds, if they happen to put up a decent total, the bowlers find a way to mess it up royally. The team management seriously need to think about Ajit Agarkar’s place in team. It was shocking that he managed to get several games.

It will be interesting to see who all will qualify for the semis. Only Mumbai have a confirmed spot. KKR will now have to beat Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai with a very good run rate and hope the other results go their way.


KKR stun Delhi – Dada rocks the Eden

April 8, 2010

Sourav Ganguly never fails to inspire, at least for me. Delhi started the 180-plus chase fairly well, even after the early departure of David Warner. Viru and Sehwag chased in a way that is charesteristic only to them. But Gambhir’s wicket was key. After that, though there was Sehwag at one end, the others seemed jittery.

Some excellent fielding from Dada and and inspired bowling changes help turn KKR’s fortunes. After Sehwag, it was all downhill. Good to see KKR win.

Woo hoo! Rock it, Dada.