Bangalore Royally Challenged!

April 19, 2008

Poor dear, Dravid! You’re luck of late has been worse than mine! 😦

Like many 20-20 crazy folk would have expected, the Test-squad-ish Bangalore, got royally hit on the head, mattai adi as the Chennai folk would call it.

However, all is not lost, if you are Bangalore fan, that is. It was one match, and there was clearly only one star – Brenden McCullum. As Dravid said at the presentation, if you take away McCullum’s score, you get 70-odd. Though I don’t fully agree with that statement – had McCullum not scored as much, maybe someone else would have played responsibly – there is some truth to it. Given that bouncy wicket, the scorecard will have looked different. But having said that, I must say that it was heartening to see Sourav’s captaincy still rocking!

Problems areas for Bangalore include Jaffer: the out-of-form, short-of-runs-in-the-recent-season, mostly Test-only batsman, Sunil Joshi, Zaheer to some extent, and the lack of a quality spinner (in Kumble’s absense). Adding to the woes are trying-to-return-to-form Dravid and currently-lacklustre Kallis. (Gosh! I’m having a serious adjective-block)

If you are down in the dumps after last night’s thrashing, fellow blogger Scorpicity has some food for the wounded soul. If Bangalore continues to get sloshed, I might join Scorpy in throwing expletives and rotten tomatoes at the IPL.

The IPL Opener: Bangalore vs. Kolkata

April 17, 2008

As a new day dawns on  a brand new form of cricket, I am reminded of some memorable moments from my high school days. I remember the times when I used to play book cricket with a friend in the last bench when the Physics teacher was explaining Bernoulli’s theorm. My friend and I had several different teams pitted against each other: India against Australia, India against Pakistan, India against World Dream Team XI, India World (lead by Ganguly) vs. India A (lead by Azharuddin). While we did this, we wondered how interesting it would be to watch some of our folks playing against one another. This dream has now come true, with Sourav’s Kolkata facing-off against Dravid’s Bangalore.

Though, “officially” I’m a Bangalore supporter – not Chennai, to know why check this out – this will be a hard one, since the opposition is Ganguly’s Team.

This Ganguly vs. Dravid match will be interesting for many reasons. First being, neither have played much T20. Secondly, these two are perhaps the best you can get if you are looking for opposite ends of the captaincy style spectrum. The biggest question is whether Dravid’s strategy and technique will trounce Ganguly’s adrenaline powered leadership.

Other things to look forward to:
– Ganguly’s down-the-track 6
– Dravid’s stylish drives (form permitting)
– Ishant Sharma vs. Dravid
– Ricky Ponting’s attitude
– Virat Kohli’s game
– Bangalore fans cheering as Ajit Agarkar gifts run to the opposition 🙂

Technically, I think Bangalore has batting stability but lack variety in bowling. With Dravid, Kallis, Kohli and Boucher, the batting line up seems secure though it will be interesting to see how the former two Test stars adapt to the abridged form of the game. Kolkata seems a smidgen more balanced in the team (excluding Agarkar of course), perhaps due to strike bowler Ishant Sharma and spinner Murali Karthik.

I was very sceptic about the T20 format, before the T20 World Cup in Sept of last year, but this time I’m not sceptic. I’m dying in anticipation of the match, and hope that there will be some highlights on Sony MAX! (I wait so long for a dream face-off, hoped to watch it at the stadium, but can’t even watch it live on TV; but that’s life, I guess).

Cheers, Bangalore Royal Challengers rock ’em. Good luck Ganguly and Dravid, we love you!