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?


IPL 3: Two crackers today – RCB vs. KKR, CSK vs. DC

March 14, 2010

Royal Challengers Bangalore will not have forgotten their first against KKR in the first edition’s opener. Yet, I would like to think they will be better prepared this time. There is no McCullum this time, but there is Pujara- the batting sensation from Saurasthra.

Factors against RCB – this edition is in India. You’ve got to be a flat track bully here to garner any respect. Judging by the recently concluded series against South Africa, the Saffers don’t seem to be in great form. This might play on RCB’s mind.

KKR are playing at home. Theywill have tremendous support. This is the Eden. It can be paradise if it is home and ruthlessly evil for the opponent. This will be fun to watch. As for me, I like both teams. May the better team win!

CSK will open their account against the DCs. I will watch this for CSK and will root for them; though I’m indifferent about them, I care a rat’s hind for the Deccan Chargers – so less that they didn’t even merit a mention in my indifferent list.


IPL 3 Quickie: KKR find some luck

March 14, 2010

Is it Dada or what? 😉 Or is it the blue-ish violet uniform?

Honestly, it’s a long way to the top 4, and the tournament has just started. But it’s always nice to see Dada winning. That it’s against the chargers is a bit more special to me – never really cared for DC as a team.

The crowness again shall be King!

Jai Ganguly!


IPL 2: So it isn’t boring after all

May 4, 2009

I must admit that I’m the one who vowed not to watch the IPL 2, who wore my thoughts on my sleeve about how this season can be nothing short of very boring. I’m now very guilty for I’ve watched more IPL matches this year than the last.

Credit must be given to the pitch masters of South Africa. It isn’t for nothing that the T20 World Cup in 2007 was such a hit. It isn’t just about the Bollywood babes, catchy tunes, and scantily clad cheerleaders. If the cricket’s boring (and the tickets expensive or spectators’ conditions poor), the tournament becomes doomed. By getting the pitches right and the ticket prices right (if the commentators and other tournament-folk are to be believed), cricket South Africa have ensured the success of the tournament.

Perhaps this even balance so produced by quality pitches have ensure that insipid sides like Rajasthan and weekend ones like Punjab don’t seem that great this year. Suddenly the Asnodkars and the Mascarenases don’t seem that valuable. You’ve got to get the cricket right here, which is why the good old folk – Dravid, Tendulkar, Boucher, Kumble – and those among the new who are worth their salt – Badrinath, Duminy, RP Singh – and the like are making merry.

The teams and their fortunes

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers

The shift away from India has benefited two teams that found themselves at the bottom of the table last year: Bangalore and Deccan.

We all knew Deccan had it, it just wasn’t clicking for them. That RP Singh has had a lot of success in South Africa adds a lot to their attack.

Bangalore’s is the miracle recovery. I think it has more to do with team spirit and Kumble’s captaincy than Ray Jennings’ coaching. Besides they are the side with almost an all South African combination with Indian stars. They lucked out that the tournament moved to their real home. Bangalore doesn’t belong in India! 🙂 On yesturday’s thumping victory over Mumbai that involved chasing a score of over 140, while Uthappa’s innings might be a flash in the pan, Kallis I think has indeed found himself in the T20 version. I cannot end a paragraph about the BRCs without mentioning Dravid. He started the tournament with a sparkling 66 of 40-odd. That he is back in the squad will add the much needed backbone to the Bangalore team. Dillion du Pree, the debutant yesturday seemed like an inspired pick. Four overs might be too early to judge, but he may yet become the star of Bangalore attack, surpassing a certain lackluster Dale Steyn.

Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab

For those who just couldn’t understand how the Royals won the tournament last year, myself included, this year, so far has been a vindication. The team has little value in the young mavericks. Veteran Saffer batsman Smith isn’t exactly setting anything on fire; they are missing Sohail Tanvir the most. Watson might have been another flop here – not a huge fan of him.

Kings XI is kind of neither here nor there. Their bowling department has lucked out with the selection of Abdullah. They are missing Sreesanth, Lee and Shaun Marsh. Jayawardena isn’t in cracking form. For me this is a 50-50 team. Could go either way.

Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils

The two most balanced sides – Mumbai and Delhi – have got fairly good results so far, the latter more than the former. Mumbai’s bowling has expectedly been bolstered by Malinga’s form and Zaheer’s presence. Is it just me or does somebody else also think Zaheer seemed more lethal when he was bowling for Bangalore?

Delhi lost Shikar Dhawan this year, but thankfully for them, he isn’t in form. Viru is yet to blast away that 10+ an over rate for the first 6-8 overs, but it might only be a matter of time.

Chennai Super Kings

Last year’s uber geek team is languishing in the table. Why that is the case is beyond me. Dhoni and Albie aren’t contributing too well. But that apart, you’ve got to believe it’s a matter of a few wins to see them in the top four where they belong.

Kolkata Knight Riders

The most woeful of the teams this year. Given the degree of off-field woe which seems to be propagating on-field, they probably deserve to be where they are. The batting isn’t clicking, McCullum’s batting looks stressed; he’s not the free flowing carefree man from last season. Ganguly is smug, Ishant erratic and unsupported by horrible fielding which reminds of Indian team from the early 90s, Agarkar is well, just plain Agarkar. Buchanan and his army needs to be shown the door and Ganguly or somebody else made sole captain.


What IPL cash does: Laxman retorts Afridi, Symonds goes fishing

September 1, 2008

I’m not sure which story came out first, Laxman’s or Symonds’. I’m not even sure what prompted Afridi to trash talk his IPL captain. Granted, Hyderabad’s Deccan Chargers ended up at the bottom of the table, but does it even make sense to blame a guy who captained less than half the matches in a tournament whose format is new to the cricket world in general?

“Laxman lost the plot” was what Afridi had to say. This is almost humour – one of the more irresponsible batsman calls his captain name. To top it off, Afridi didn’t perform to his best ability in the IPL either. Perhaps it was a “paid holiday”, to quote South African pacer Dale Steyn.

The normally quiet Laxman proved he is no Dravid to wait and make a statement with his bat. He has responded to Afridi’s comments by questioning Afridi’s team ethic and stating just what is and isn’t on.

I wonder what has caused the rather reserved Laxman to lash out. Pressure on losing his Test place after India’s disappointing Test tour to Sri Lanka? Worries about losing his IPL cash? I’m tempted to the say its the second, as VVS has been rather unfortunate to have never been able to cement his place in the ODI side, missed out on being part of the 2003 World Cup squad, and thus the several endorsements that come in the way. But I think it is a combination of both forms of pressure.

Meanwhile, down under, Symonds just got sacked from the team for going fishing, in what I thought was a harsh decision (from our limited view).  Wonder if it’s got to do with the fact that there was some bad blood about Symonds getting a bigger cheque from IPL. Or is just plain politics? Many bloggers were suggesting after Symonds’s run of luck from the Sydney Test earlier this year that his luck might run out soon. Is this it with the luck?

Whatever the deal is in both cases, it seems, at least at the moment, that the IPL is doing some significant damage. What’s a bit scary is that there is no remedy in sight.