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Friday, April 30, 2010

Minnows will be sensational in this T20 WC

WC T20 starting today in Caribbean and this 17 day affair will decide the boss of T20 cricket. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Sri Lanka is strong contender to win this cup and I still stick to it simply because they are balanced side and they have bowlers to whom condition will suit more than anybody else. In WC we will also see the effect of minnows and I tell minnows like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, etc. will  play crucial role in deciding team for semis. The way Zimbabwe defeated Australia and Pakistan in practice matches, I feel they will create sensation in this T20 WC and I am not mentioning this just because of 2 practice matches performance but  the way Zimbabwe defeated West Indies last time in T20 here in Caribbean and won the series. I will not be surprised if Zimbabwe reach to the semis although journey will be tough. Another team which is capable of creating upset is Bangladesh and they have quality players in their ranks for this format and they heavily rely on slow bowlers so conditions are suitable for them. Afghanistan is mostly a unknown team this  WC but they are mentally very tough team and this reveals from their performances in ICC tournament through which they qualified for this T20 WC. I believe more cricket they will play they will become stronger team in World Cricket and if they will get proper infrastructure and support in their country very soon this team will be playing one-day cricket as well with international teams and will compete them in that format as well. Ireland is again a threatening team to play against and they are capable of creating upset although they lost their practice match to Afghanistan. Players who are playing in these small teams have everything to gain and good performance in this tournament will make their life and make them instant superstars so everything to gain for minnows and nothing to lose and that make them deadly dangerous. To me it is difficult to predict semi-finalists for this tournament at this stage because format is short and  suits to all countries so anybody can make it to the semis and we cannot count anybody out of the contention. I surely believe this tournament will not go well for Team India no matter whatever Dhoni or team management say because fatigue and controversies of IPL will affect the performance of Team India.

Monday, April 26, 2010

IPL: More Controversy, Less Cricket

On-field game is over in IPL with CSK becoming champion beating MI on Sunday Night. This IPL will be remembered long time not because of cricket but because of its off-field drama which had everything which makes it blockbuster. Although matches are now over but match between BCCI and Lalit Modi has just begun and it will be more exciting then the on-field cricket. As a cricket lover I must say this was the worst thing that has happened to the cricket after match-fixing and this IPL controversy has certainly tarnished the image of Indian Cricket. How can one person become so powerful that nobody dares to ask him what he is doing or how he is doing? Is that impotent are our cricket administrators? Whatever happened off-the-field on the day of final actually overshadowed the entire match. Nobody was interested in how Sachin Tendulkar played in this match with injury and performed well and this is the irony. In this entire IPL. Lalit Modi was everywhere and cricket was nowhere. Is Lalit Modi is bigger than cricket? At the end of the day Lalit Modi finally shown the door for his misdeeds but yet question arise what other committee members doing when Lalit Modi was behaving like a dictator and brought disrepute to the Indian Cricket. Lalit Modi already suspended but yet he believe that he can rule the Indian Cricket and such is the will power of this man.

On-field IPL is over and now International T20 WC starts from 30th April and as I mentioned in my earlier post India don’t have much chance to win this tournament, I still stick to my words because IPL fatigue and injuries have taken toll of all cricketers and I feel mentally this will hamper the performance badly. To me Australia is the hot favourite to win the tournament and next to them is Sri Lanka who have very good chances of winning it because of the slow tracks in West Indies and they are heavily loaded with slow bowlers and that will play key role to their success. It will will be interesting to see how at what number Indian team finish and last but not the least every eye will be on performance of defending champion Pakistan as they are coming in this tournament after lot of controversies. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Controversy is the name of Indian Cricket

Indian Premier League is now Indian Political League as politicians are competing each other in worst possible manner to get advantage of entire IPL row but nobody is thinking about cricket which has been hit badly because of the IPL scandal and with involvement of family members it has become more dirty as some or other daughters or son-in-laws or brother-in-laws are coming into light every day. It is biggest ever scandal after match-fixing and sadly it also have the element of match-fixing as well. There are politicians, players, administrators, officials, corporate world and government department, all involved in entire controversy of IPL and it will not going to stop immediately and will continue long but believe me at the end of this controversy nobody will be punished except for few people who also be only penalised little bit. In this country ever since independence no politician or powerful person has been punished by law for their misdeeds, only thing which happened was the drama of investigations and believe me no politician will be punished by law this time as well. The entire IPL controversy has happened at a time when Indian Team is going into T20 WC in West Indies and certainly this will affect the morale of the players in the team as well. Players have also come into scrutiny and they have also received notices from various government departments so this will not allow them to focus on cricket hence they will not able to focus on cricket and this will lead to the poor performance in World Cup. Last time in 1990-91  when  match-fixing controversy arose and hit the Indian cricket badly at that time Sourav Ganguly helped Team India to get out of that controversy and made it successful team it was Ganguly’s faith and courage which helped Team India to come out of that crisis but my question is, does Dhoni have that kind of courage and guts? I don’t think so he is as courageous as Ganguly, so bad news for Indian cricket lovers as far as T20 WC is concerns. At this moment news from IPL is all about scams, fixing,etc,etc. and there is little coverage of cricket so interesting battle is more off-the-field not the on-field. As a cricket lover I hope this controversy ends immediately and we  watch more good and competitive  cricket  and not the controversies. Already Indian cricket has been tarnished badly because of IPL and if controversy continues than I feel  Indian cricket will not be able to sustain its reputation in World Cricket. I must mention that now players are also more interested in playing IPL for franchisees who treat them like slaves and the players whom we adore and respect are now the puppets of few businessmen and these people using players like derby horses. I must say I don’t have any respect for cricketers now except for few because these cricketers have lost self-respect so if they don’t respect their self by becoming slaves of franchisees why should we respect them. In short Indian cricket has been transformed completely because IPL.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IPL fatigue affects India's T20 World Cup prospects

League matches in IPL are over and its time for semis and finals but as soon as league matches ended side-effects of IPL come up in open as Virender Sehwag is ruled out of T20 World Cup and advised to rest for 4 weeks because of shoulder injury. Now it is clear that for these star cricketers whom we adore and follow are interested in only money and don’t like to play for the country. For these cricketers franchise team is everything and country stands no where. If Viru knew that he is having shoulder injury why did he  continued playing IPL and why didn’t he took rest because World Cup is scheduled just after IPL and he is the important player for Team India. I feel as the days leads to the World Cup we will see some more injured players and I guarantee India will not going to win this World Cup. Yuvraj is already suffering from hand injury, Yusuf Pathan is having finger injury, Ashish Nehra suffering from rib injury, Gambhir is having groin injury, Dhoni is having elbow injury and list continues because all these injuries happened in IPL or before IPL and yet players kept playing matches in IPL with injuries because they have been paid huge money by franchisees. I believe more atleast 12 to 13 players selected in T20 World Cup are injured and as there is old saying ’Injured army can’t win battle’  and this applies to Team India as well. Now people blame selectors and administrators for this but I feel cricketers are more responsible for their performances and injuries because they have to decide which tournament to play and which not, so blame is entirely on cricketers rather than administrators and selectors as there job is to organise the tournaments and keep earning money for the development of the game but cricketers have to use their brain and have to decide what will be the consequences of excess cricket and believe me these injuries can halt their careers as well, it is that much dangerous. So now on, no expectations from Team India for good performance in World Cup because IPL has already made them fatigue and this will show in their performances during World Cup. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No connection of age and cricket

There is no connection between age and cricket. In recent past many a times, age became the matter of discussion for shorter format of cricket and many have the opinion that one-day cricket (especially Indian captain MS Dhoni is having strong opinion and he raised questions against seniors in last 2 years) and T20 cricket is only for youngsters but looking at this edition of IPL this opinion has been proved wrong by many senior champion cricketers by their performances. Mumbai need Tendulkar, Bangalore can’t do well without Anil Kumble and Jacque Kallis, Chennai can’t think of a team without Matthew Hayden, Hyderabad can’t take field without Gilchrist and above all without Sourav Ganguly KKR can’t think of victory. Chris Gayle, Sanath Jayasuriya, Herschelle Gibbs all are on the wrong side of 30s but yet they are playing effectively in this edition. This is about batsman now look at  bowlers and here Chaminda Vaas, Anil Kumble, Muralitharan, Zaheer Khan, Shane Warne, Dirk Nannes has proved that they are on the wrong side of 30s but they are as effective as anybody else in the world. In short experienced senior players have proved that they are champion in T20 cricket as well and they showed the youngsters that there is no match of experience in any form of cricket. So it is wrong that only youngsters can perform in shorter format of the game.

If we talk about current edition of IPL than we will see that after first 50 matches 4 out of 5 battters among top run-getters are on the wrong side of their 30s and they are Sachin Tendulkar who is topping the chart and holding orange cap, second place is taken by Kallis, third place goes to our very own DADA(Sourav Ganguly and fourth place is captured by Andrew Symonds. If we talk about bowling than here also Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Shane Bond have outperformed many youngsters.

These are those senior players who are giving stiff competition to youngsters for orange cap and purple cap. If wee talk about fielding, here also these seniors have take some breath-taking catches and they won the awards also for their efforts in field by out performing youngsters. Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Herchelle Gibbs. Jacques Kallis, Anil Kumble, Gilchrist. Rahul Dravid, Andrew Symonds are all better and safe catchers than some of the youngsters.

I feel Lalit Modi have to organise one more match of T20 between players above 30 years of age  and below 30 years of age after the IPL and I can guarantee that seniors will beat these youngsters.

Here are probable 16 for the senior team: Sachin Tendulkar(Captain), Sourav Ganguly, Jacque Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Matthew Hayden, Sanath Jayasuriya, Brad Hodge, Chris Gayle, Chaminda Vaas, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Dirk Nannes, Shane Bond.

There are more players who can make it but we have limit it to 16 unfortunately because only 11 can take the field.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The stage at which IPL is right now is very interesting and 5 teams are in line to get into the semis but there are also few incidents happened in IPL which has put cricket on the backstage. Centre-stage is now taken by LSSD (Lalit, Sunanda. Shashi and Dhokha instead of cricket..Since the time two new teams auctioned, it all started and now it is getting ugly and ugly day by day and putting question-mark on integrity of IPL. These incidents have not occurred immediately they were slowly growing up and burst at the time when stakes in IPL went too high. Now spectators and media are interested more in off-field activities of IPL rather than cricket which is integral part of IPL. Lait Modi alleging cabinet minister Shashi Tharoor than cabinet minister attacking back and then enters glamour in form Sunanda Pushkar who is one of the owner of new team Kochi and things go beyond the limit and this angle of  IPL  is giving more TRPs to News Channels so they are covering these stories more than cricket. In all this matter Mr.Shashi Tharoor gets the threat from ‘D’ Company and asked to compromise with Mr. Lali Modi but amazingly no news channel or celebrity is giving importance to this and not talking anything about this which creates bit of suspense in this story, also police is not questioning Lalit Modi regarding this because giving threat to the cabinet minister is also related with national security. I feel threat given to cabinet minister is a very big matter and that too from India’s most wanted gang but surprisingly media is also not giving much importance to that. Coming to cricket in IPL, that too now look like cheating(Dhokha) with spectators because it looks like most of the match are fixed because it can’t be a con-incidence that 5 teams are fighting for semi-final spot after 52 days and yet it will take two more days to get the confirmation on semi-finalists. Many matches played in IPL where one team looked dominating at certain stage but lost the match from the position of strength which raise question-mark. Take example of  DC v/s RCB. Also one can see from DDs performance because this team was certain for semis but now it is struggling to get into the semis.Same was the case with RCB as well. I feel match-fixing and TRPs  of broadcasting channel is mainly responsible for such things because if four teams get qualify for semis early in the tournament than nobody will be interested in watching the matches and this will result into fall in TRPs which means revenue loss for broadcasting channel and with advertising, gate money, sponsorship and merchandising it is not possible to make huge money so match-fixing is also required badly because money stakes are very high and as we all know in India wherever money is involved politicians are also interested to get the pie of that money. It is now like IPL tadka maar ke. Indeed now IPL is baap of all entertainment.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gambhir powered Delhi win over CSK

Who says T20 is only about batsman and batting, today’s match between CSK v/s DD was classic example where bowlers dominated proceedings from both sides and never allowed batters to break free as a result only one six hit in entire match and that was also by bowler and run-rate remained below six runs an over for entire match. CSK won the toss and elected to bat first but there top order badly shattered by superb bowling of DD. Nehra and Nannes dominated the opening spell and didn’t allow CSK innings to blossom. Dhoni made a mistake by promoting himself at No.3 in place in-form Raina and I feel that proved costly for CSK. Once strike bowlers did the job,  part-timers Dilshan and Sehwag capitalised on the opening spell and shattered the middle order of CSK and DD bowled out CSK for just 112 runs. Looking at batting line-up of DD this was a very easy total for chasing but DD repeated their mistakes again in this match and threw their wickets. Bollinger and Ashwin again bowled superb opening spell. DD lost 4 quick wickets inside 40 runs and it looked like they will lose tonight again but timely captain’s knock from Gambhir who hit brilliant half-century won the match for DD. Mithun Manhas supported Gambhir very well and both did superb partnership and sealed the victory for DD by six wickets. I feel DD have to take clue from Gambhir and Mithun’s innings and have to re-work their strategy means their top-order have to bat responsibly.
Now DD joined RCB on 14 points and CSK have to win their next match and have to pray that DC lose their tomorrow’s match against KXIP.

DC will take on KXIP tomorrow in crucial encounter which will decide whether DC will go through semis or not. For KXIP nothing to lose and they will play freely for pride and try to win the match. But for DC it is a do or die match if they lose tomorrow, more or less they will be out of the semis. Big job ahead for Gilchrist. Good news for DC is that they have momentum with them because of past few victories and this inspire them to win this match. Gilchrist have to fire from the top.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bowlers wrote the victory script for RCB against RR

Bowlers wrote the victory script for RCB against RR at Jaipur. RR was unbeaten at home before last match but MI beat them and with this their record of no loss at home broke and it further dented today by RCB as they thrashed RR convincingly. RR after winning the toss elected to bat first but they never got momentum in their innings and lost wicket at regular intervals till the time Raut and Voges did small partnership and gave them some score to defend yet score was only 130 and looking at batting of RCB it looked like cake walk chase. RCB bowled beautifully and all their bowlers came to the party especially Pankaj Singh bowled superbly in his first game of this season. Anil Kumble did fantastic bowling changes which restricted RR to small total. It was also important for RCB to win this match convincingly to keep their run-rate up to qualify for semis. RCB started poorly as they lost their in-form batsman Kallis very early. Kamran Khan gave initial burst to RR but Manish Pandey and especially Kevin Pietersen took the game away from RR. Little hiccup faced by RCB as they lost few wickets in the middle but they won the match convincingly in the end. Kevin Pietersen played superb knock which helped RCB to win match convincingly. Now RCB are in semis and RR have to win their last match against KKR convincingly to keep their hopes alive for semis.

Tomorrow jubilant CSK take on depleted DD. This is also a crucial game for both teams and team which win will get to the semis . Right now both teams are on same points and only difference is run-rate where CSK is having upper-hand so it will be important for DD to lift themselves from the losses and rise to the occasion if they want to go through the semis. CSK is now having great momentum with them and it will not going to be easy for DD to beat them although still I feel on paper DD is the best team in this tournament but they are not applying for themselves. So it is crucial encounter for both teams and whoever win will go into semis.

Way to semis becomes tough for DD and KKR

KKR has shut all doors of semis with their yesterday’s performance. I quoted yesterday on my blog that KKR will lose and won’t make it to the semis and KKR proved my words right. KKR won the toss and elected to bat first on dry pitch but this time Ganguly and Gayle failed to give them the start which they were giving in earlier matches. Gayle after hitting superb six of R.Ashwin again stepped out to send the ball out of the park on the next ball but to his misfortune he got stumped by Dhoni and I must say  Gayle threw his wicket and did not batted sensibly which was demand of the situation. McCullum came in but he also didn’t last long and played sweep shot to Ashwin but caught on fine leg and KKR were looking in all sorts of trouble but their woes continue and this time umpire Sanjay Hazare wounded them further by giving hard decision of LBW to Sourav Ganguly of Doug Bollinger. In came David Hussey and he also didn’t last long as he was also stumped by Dhoni of Ashwin’s bowling. Ashwin bowled beautifully in his spell and finished his spell upfront picking up 3 wickets and put KKR on back-foot. After this Angelo Mathews and Manoj Tiwary steadied the innings for KKR and did good partnership of but once Manoj Tiwary and Angelo Mathews got out. KKR innings fell apart and they bowled out for paltry total of 139 and CSK got the target of 140 to win this match. KKR reached 139 after poor start that was heartening for them. Hayden and Vijay came out for CSK to open the innings but very soon Hayden got out to Chris Gayle and it looked like something will happen and match will become interesting but Vijay and Raina made this match one side affair with their superb and intelligent stroke-making and did partnership in excess of 150 runs and won the match for CSK. Raina especially played superb innings and he showed his his class once again and became highest run-scorer in IPL. Vijay supported Raina very well and achieved one more 50. CSK won this match by 9 wickets and few overs to spare which gave big boost to their net run-rate and they zoomed to No.2 position from No.6. Now they CSK can breathe easy and if they win their next 2 matches they will be in semis. For KKR, They not only lost the match but also shut down the doors of semis as their net run-rate took big beating with this loss. Even if they win next two matches they can’t reach semis because they not only have to win but have to win with big margins and they will be playing two formidable team in their next two matches RR and MI. Even outburst by Ganguly couldn’t help KKR to win.
R. Ashwin named Man of the Match for his superb spell.

At CCI, DD took MI in a very important encounter. For MI this was formality and they experimented in this match by giving chance to their benched players. DD put in their best side for this match. Sachin won the toss and elected to bat first with new opener and wicket-keeper C.Madan. Both started quietly and very soon C. Madan got out hooking. Saurabh Tiwary replaced Madan and did useful partnership with Sachin as maestro again looked in brilliant form but maestro failed to play big innings today and fell for useful 30. Rayudu joined Tiwary and both did good partnership and put MI in situation from where they can accelerate. Tiwary got out trying to hit the ball out of the park and in came Pollard and he took the attack to DD and finished of in style by hitting 25 runs of last over. At one stage it looked like MI achieve 140 or 150 score but late burst by Pollard gave the winning total to MI. First time in the tournament Pollard justified his purchase for whopping amount and this innings of his was paisa vasool innings. DD got the stiff target of 184 to chase and this time DD got fantastic start from their openers Viru and Warner as they put on 69 runs in first six overs but very soon Warner threw his wicket and from here on it became MIs match as they kept picking wickets at regular intervals and DD kept throwing wickets. In such a crucial match DD continued their habit of playing reckless strokes and lost the match. I must say they need somebody who can make them understand that cricket is also a game of brain. Its not bat and ball and you have to play according to the situation. I feel whatever matches DD lost in this tournament is because of the over-confidence and disrespect for opposition bowlers. It was Pollard day today as his fielding and bowling also played big part and naturally he was Man of the Match. For DD things are getting tougher and tougher for DD but they have the players who can come good any day but they have to apply their brains if they want to make it to semis.

Today RR will take on RCB. On points table both teams are identical and whoever win will seal his position in semis. Both teams have to try and win convincingly as well to improve their run-rate because 5 teams are on same points and net run-rate will be decide the teams for semis. In this match nobody is favourite but on paper RCB looks far superior than RR but as we all saw in this tournament, RR defeated big teams with their limited resources, so RCB have to take this match very seriously if they have to win. Both teams have match winners and whoever play good and intelligent cricket  will win.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Harmeet Singh powered DC Win

Even  Abbas-Mastaan can’t make suspense thriller like yesterday’s match which had every ingredient of entertainment and thrill. Fortunes fluctuated throughout the match and the climax was really not expected at the start of the match. RCB won the toss and elected to field first. Decision proved right when Dale Steyn bowled sensational first over and picked up wickets of Adam Gilchrist and T.Suman. Again Steyn in his second over picked up Herchelle Gibbs and it looked all over for DC in this match but Rohit Sharma and Monish Mishra batted sensibly and build a partnership which gave some steadiness to the DC innings. From this partnership it looked like DC will reach to the score of 180 but Monish Mishra got run-out. Symonds came into the bat and he was playing nicely but he was unfortunately got stumped. Till Rohit Sharma was there it looked like DC will reach score of atleast 170 but Sharma got out in 18th over and all hopes of good score vanished with him and finally DC ended on paltry total. Looking at the batting line-up of RCB, score put on by DC looked like a cake-walk for RCB but they also got the taste of their own medicine as they lost Manish Pandey on the first ball of the match who was bowled by Ryan Harris. Dravid joined Kallis and both steadied the innings for RCB. Dravid continued his good form from last match and again played the good innings of 49 which put RCB in commanding position but once Dravid got out things completely went haywire for RCB as they lost wickets at regular interval. Robin Utthappa again played good small innings and kept RCB in hunt till the end and it looked like Robin again win the match they way he was hitting the ball but Harmeet Singh had other ideas he bowled superb penultimate over. He bowled Robin Uthappa with his variation and with this RCB also bowled out of the match and they lost. Now on situation is such that every league match is important for all teams except MI and KXIP. So things are getting hotter and hotter in IPL as it is going towards the climax and RCB have to wait for next match.

Today DD will take on MI. it is important encounter for DD as this match will decide their fate in this tournament and they have to win this encounter if they want to qualify for semis. DD is one such team which I feel is best in the tournament in terms of resources but unfortunately they are not doing justice to their talent. Take example of Viru who virtually threw his wicket in almost all the matches. This is hurting big time to DD. If Viru had played few innings sensibly then DD wouldn’t have been in such poor position today.DD have to understand the basics of the game and have to play according to the situation. T20 is about stroke-making but you have to be selective in your shots.
They can take example of Tendulkar who played sensibly but effectively and result is in front of us as MI has already qualified for the semis. So DD have to think on their strategy and have to play according to the situation. For MI now every game is formality till semi-finals but knowing Tendulkar, he will take all the games seriously and keep his winning momentum. For DD it is must win situation.

Another encounter will be between CSK and KKR. This encounter is most crucial encounter of this IPL as both teams are on same position in terms of points and whoever wins today will keep their hopes alive for semis. Its again a do or die situation for both teams. CSK is playing well now and they have players who are making impact. Although they lost their last match against DC but still they are more formidable than KKR on paper and I feel today CSK will certainly win as I mentioned in earlier posts KKR will not make it to the semis. KKR will not win today because they are completely down in morale and this reflected from the body language and statement of Ganguly in his last Press Conference where he criticised his players openly. So I believe CSK will win today and move ahead and for KKR it is end of road. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

RR and DD faced setback as MI reach semis and KXIP retain their pride

MI reach semis first for the first time in IPL history by defeating RR and person who is responsible for this achievement is the  captain Sachin Tendulkar. Yesterday again he showed why he is God as he batted with complete authority and tore apart the bowling of RR. His batting against Shane Warne reminded of his old encounter in Sharjah. RR won the toss and elected to field first. MI made a change in their line-up as Sanath Jayasuriya came into opening with maestro. MI faced setback very early as they lost Sanath, Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary in quick succession and it looked like MI will not get any momentum and bowled out cheaply but when ‘Sachin is near then there is no fear’. Sachin took responsibility on him and held one end and did crucial partnership with JP Duminy who scored almost run a ball 32. Duminy got out at crucial stage for MI and in came Sathish but he also didn’t last long and MI were looking in difficult situation but late onslaught from Sachin in last 3 overs  took MI score to 175. Tendulkar remained not-out on 89. I must say in those last 4 overs Sachin Tendulkar snatched the match from RR. RR came into bat and they also had identical start to MI as they lost 3 important wickets very early in the innings which put huge pressure on them. Zaheer Khan expecially bowled superb spell and picked up two crucial wicket at the top which put RR on the back-foot and rest of the damage done by RR themselves because as many as 3 batters got run-out. By the time Yusuf Pathan came to the wicket equation was 15 runs per over for RR and that pressure took the wicket of Yusuf Pathan as well and he got out for 10 run and with this wicket RRs hopes of keeping their winning record intact at Jaipur also diminished. Now MI are in semis and RR have to win remaining two matches to get into the semis.

At Kotla Gambhir won the toss against KXIP and elected to bat on abrasive and turning pitch but this decision proved costly for DD as they lost wicket at regular intervals and none of their batsman batted patiently on turning track and eventually got out for paltry total of 111. DD have to blame themselves as they couldn’t understand the pitch and played far too many strokes. Moreover their poor running between the wicket also proved dangerous for them as two of their top batter got run-out. Gautam Gambhir got run-out 3rd consecutive time in this tournament which cost dearly to DD as he was batting beautifully till that time. On this pitch DD required somebody to anchor the innings and take them to the score of 140 or 150 but that didn’t happen. KXIP bowlers took full advantage of DDs mistakes as they bowled superbly and rewarded handsomely. Piyush Chawla was the star for KXIP and silenced his critics over his selection in WCT20 squad.. Any captain can take score of 111 in T20 game for chasing.Mahela Jayawardene along with Irfan Pathan came into bat and their started slowly but effectively. Very soon Irfan Pathan perished and in came captain Sangakkara who supported Mahela Jayawardene nicely and both took KXIP to the door step of victory. Jayawardene showed how to bat on abrasive and turning wicket and made the chase easy for KXIP.

I must say yesterday both RR and DD lost because of poor running between the wicket.

Today resurgent and defending champion DC will take on RCB at Nagpur This encounter is crucial for both the teams because whoever win this game will get inch closer to semis. For RCB it is important that they play to their potential and don’t repeat the mistakes which they repeated in last match against DC where they lost. Although RCB is coming into this match after commanding win over KKR. For DC it is important that they keep their winning momentum continue and for this Gilchrist have to fire from the top. Rohit Sharma looked out of sorts in last match and he needs to play good innings today if DC have to win. T.Suman and Symonds are in good nick and this is good news for DC. Ryan Harris is bowling well but needs some more support from other bowlers. It’s a must win situation for both teams.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hopes of getting into semis becomes slim for CSK and KRR

KKR continued their inconsistency and lost the match to RCB as mentioned by me in my last post yesterday. RCB won the toss and put KKR in for batting. Again Ganguly and Gayle gave dream start to KKR as they put on 61 runs in first 6 overs but very soon Gayle got out to Kallis trying to hit him over extra cover. McCullum came in but he took a while to settle down but he and Ganguly took the score past 100 in 11 overs and it looked like KKR will score more than 190 runs but soon Ganguly got out as Kumble took brilliant catch at square leg. Here on RCB made a comeback into the match and never allowed KKR innings to gainmomentum as they kept picking up wickets and made scoring difficult. McCullum somehow managed to reach 45 but he got out wrong time for KKR and KKR was bundled out for 160 runs. 2 lusty blows for six in the end from Cheteshwar Pujara were responsible for this score. RCB started with little luck as Kallis got reprieve when he was dropped by Ganguly on 0 but he couldn’t capitalise on  that and very soon got out. In came Rahul Dravid. Finally WALL got the chance to prove himself in T20 format and he showed his class by batting aggressively and achieved brilliant fifty of just 34 balls. He did fantastic partnership with Sriram to put RCB in commanding position. Dravid played some brilliant strokes which were very eye  pleasing. Both Sriram and Dravid got out in quick succession but Robin Utthappa and Ross Taylor capitalised on the start and finished the match in 18th over itself. Utthappa once again raised question to selectors why he has been left out of WCT20 squad with his superb 22 ball 50 which included 5 maximum hits. Anyone deserves to be in Indian squad for WCT20 then it is Robin Utthappa based on his current form and his strength of clean htting. Great victory for RCB and they moved to No.2 spot on points table. KKR now have to win all their matches in order to qualify for semis and they have tough oppositions to face which will not make their life easy, so I feel KKR now don’t have any chance to make it to semis. If they reach semis then that will be a miracle. Vinay Kumar was Man of the Match for picking 3 wickets.

At Nagpur DC beat CSK and kept their hopes alive for semis and good thing is that they are peaking at the right time and hats off to Gilchrist the way he captained his side. CSK won the toss and elected to bat first but this decision proved dangerous for them as they bowled out for just 138 runs in their 20 overs. None of their batsman clicked in this innings and their batting collapsed like pack of cards. Suresh Raina was the only batsman who gave them some hopes as he hit one more half century. Ryan Harris bowled beautifully and he was well supported by all the bowlers It was kind of day when everything went right for DC. DC came into bat but Gilchrist got out cheaply to Ashwin who bowled fantastic spell at the top and picked up two wickets but CSK couldn’t  capitalise on this start and T.Suman who was star of the last match again played brilliant half-century innings and put DC to the doorstep of victory before getting out. Symonds gave the finishing touch to the work done by Suman and sealed the victory for DC. Ryan Harris declared Man of the Match for his superb bowling. Here on things get tough for every team to reach semis as points table is quite open and any single loss to any team will put brakes on their hopes of getting into semis.

Today two important encounter coming up as RR take on MI and DD take on depleted KXIP. All three teams except KXIP, these matches are of utmost important. If MI win they will go straight to semis but not to forget they lost their last 2 matches and looking bit  out of sorts. It is also a contest between two legends. It is Sachin v/s Warne and that increase the value of this match. If RR win they will go inch closer to semis, so everything to play for in this match for both teams and this will make this contest thrilling.
DD will take on depleted KXIP which is already out of semis. But for DD it is important match and victory in this match will seal their semi-final spot. DD lost its last match against KKR but that will not affect their morale too much because they have kind of players who can turn the game at any point. Gambhir will go all out to make sure that DD win this match and for KXIP it  is matter of pride now to win all the remaining matches and instill some confidence among their fans who are supporting them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pressure of semis proving deadly for top teams as MI lost to KXIP

Pressure of qualifying for semis is playing too much on the minds of teams that they are suddenly looking vulnerable. Look at last 3 matches of 3 top teams DD. RCB & MI. These top 3 teams who were sure for semis lost their matches to the 3 teams which are at bottom on points table. In the process of getting into semis as quickly as possible teams are trying too hard and forgot the basics of the game. DD lost to KKR from the comfortable position, RCB lost to DC despite putting winning score on the board and yesterday MI lost to KXIP convincingly. Sachin won the toss and elected to the bat but they started in same fashion as they started in last match and lost Shikhar Dhawan very early.The way Sachin batted yesterday he looked tired and was not upto 100% of his fitness. Ambati Rayudu promoted to the No.3 position and for a while this decision looked good when Sachin and Rayudu gave some momentum to the MI innings especially the way Rayudu played but moment Rayudu got out MI hopes looked very vulnerable as first Tendulkar got out for 29 and then wicket fell at regular intervals for MI. JP Duminy who replaced Dwayne Bravo in the match gave useful contribution and allowed MI innings to reach the respectable total. Kieron Pollard was once again disappointing and I feel MI has wasted money in hiring Pollard because he is the most expensive player of IPL and his performance don’t justify  his price. KXIP kept their basics right in this match and bowled wicket to wicket as maximum MI batters were clean bowled. Piyush Chawla, Irfan Pathan and Love Abhlish were star performers for the KXIP in bowling. When you get the team out of 154 run then it is a cake walk for batting side to win the match and that’s what happened with KXIP as they won the match by six wickets and Sangakkara declared man of the match for his brilliant half-century. Yuvraj failed once again that is disappointing from the Indian team’s perspective. Now race for semis is suddenly looks like cat and mice game as anyone can make it except KXIP but they can spoil anybody’s party.

Today 2 crucial encounter are in offering in IPL and whoever wins it will get inch closer to semis. KKR v/s RCB and DC v/s CSK. First encounter will be between DC and CSK DC now looks better team as their batting is looking far better because Symonds is among the runs, Suman played excellent knock in last match and Gilchrist playing sensibly. Bowling also has been bolstered with the inclusion of Ryan Harris. CSK is also in good form and M.Vijay is the reason because last matches which CSK won, M.Vijay was the main contributor and instilled the confidence in the team. Inclusion of Hussey and Bollinger has strengthen CSK considerably. So both teams can beat each other but CSK is having slight edge.

KKR will take on RCB later in the evening.This is the contest which everyone wants to see because on last occasion when both these teams played each other, KKR defeated RCB convincingly but from that defeat to till date RCB has come long way in this tournament and they are strong contenders for semis because of their strong batting line-up and balanced bowling. KKR on the other side are upbeat with their last victory over DD but I believe KKR will lose today because they are winning one match and losing next match so there is no consistency and I am sure today RCB will beat them.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Depleted DC beat RCB in a thriller and kept the hopes alive for semis

Depleted DC attacked RCB like wounded tiger take on its opponent and thrashed RCB in a thriller at their home. RCB started poorly as their most successful opening pair was broken by Ryan Harris when Manish Pandey got out for just 1 run. Rahul Dravid joined Kallis and had little partnership but pressure of scoring rate took the wicket of Rahul Dravid. Soon RCB faced few more set backs as Robin Utthappa and Ross Taylor also got out in quick succession and it looked like RCB will be cleaned up for paltry total but Jacques Kallis who hold his wicket and again played anchor role to the perfection and Young Virat Kohli blasted in last six overs for RCB and took the score to 184 which is winning total in this tournament. Virat Kohli showed great temperament as he first got  used to the conditions and once he got set he took apart the bowling and scored brilliant 58. Kallis also showed his class once again and scored 68 runs and justified his orange cap. In this blitzkrieg Pragyan Ozha bowled brilliantly and took 2 wickets with good economy and in the process he got the purple cap as he become highest wicket-taker in the tournament beating Amit Mishra.  Target set by RCB looked uphill task for DC as they also lost their 1st wicket pretty early in the match when Monish Mishra got out. But today Gilchrist changed his strategy and promoted young T.Suman up the order which proved master-stroke for DC as Suman played superb innings of 78 not out and sealed the victory for DC along with Symonds who also struck quick fire half century. Rohit Sharma disappointed the spectators today as he fell cheaply. Finally Adam Gilchrist played small innings of 32 but he played sensibly compared to previous matches where he threw his wicket and did good partnership with Suman to set up the platform for DC to win. Here on race for semis getting hotter and hotter as 3 teams stuck on 10 points and with today’s victory DC is on 8 points. So all in all interesting phase is starting in IPL and no team can afford to lose from here on. Even the teams on top DD, MI and RR also can’t breathe freely though they have to win only 1 or two games to reach semis.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

KKR and RR thrashed DD and KXIP at home

'Cometh the hour, Cometh the man' applies to Sourav Ganguly perfectly. Ganguly led from the front and snatched the victory from DD and won his second 'Man of the Match' award. Dada won the toss and elected to bat first in a must win encounter for KKR. Gayle and Dada gave dream start to KKR by doing good partnership for first wicket which laid the foundation for good score. Chris Gayle got out on 40 and Dada also got out after scoring brilliant 53 in quick succession put KKR on back-foot and run-out of McCullum just put the breaks on scoring.  But Mathews and Manoj Tiwary did fantastic partnership and took the score past 180 which is winning score in this tournament on most occasions. DD started poorly and lost wicket of Warner in first over who was bowled by Ashok Dinda who bowled probably best over of the tournament. DD is a tough team to beat because they have strongest batting line-up in this tournament and this was also visible yesterday when David Warner got out early then also they continued their chase at required rate as Sehwag and Gambhir was firing. It was unforutnate that Gambhir got run-out to the brilliant throw of Sourav Ganguly and things turned little bit in favour of KKR but yet Sehwag was there and he was in mood to destroy the bowling and to an extent he did that but brilliant bowling change from Dada again proved costly for DD as they lost Sehwag who was bowled by Agarkar and the Sourav Ganguly took brilliant catch of Kedar Jadhav which put KKR in driving seat and they won the match. I must say yesterday whatever Sourav Ganguly did was turn-out gold for KKR from team selection to bowling changes to field placings. Yesterday Sourav Ganguly was everywhere in Eden Gardens and really proved why he is a champion. From here on it is important that KKR maintain this momentum and confidence and win their all coming matches then only they will be able to qualify for the semis because points table is still open.

RR kept their winning record intact at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur and won  easily against KXIP. Sangakkara won the toss for KXIP and elected to bat and they scroed 86 runs in first 10 overs and looking great to score more than 180 but great bowling change from Shane Warne turned the match completely in favour of RR as Dole picked up Mahela Jayawardene and Yuvraj Singh in one over  and put KXIP on back-foot and KXIP never recovered from those shock and ended up with paltry score of 153. To add to the woes of KXIP, RR started brilliantly as Michael Lumb and Naman Ozha took the match away from KXIP with some brilliant stroke-play. Especially Lumb who played brilliant innings and displayed his talent and was responsible for the easy victory of RR. From here on RR are in comfortable position and they will make it to the semis if they win two more matches. For KXIP whatever outside chances had they all vanished with this loss and they themselves have to blame for this debacle as they couldn't carry the momentum which they gained from their last victory over KKR.

Today depleted DC take on RCB and it is must win situation for Gilchrist & Co. On the other hand RCB have to win in-order to go up the table as most of the teams are on same points. I feel Gilchrist have to try Rohit Sharma in opening and Andrew Symonds at No.3. I feel that will give them good chance of putting huge score on the board and Gilchrist himself will not come under pressure to go after the bowling from start which is happening in tournament with DC as they lose Gilchrist early.Bowling is now looking somewhat ok for DC but yet they have to do some improvements in terms of variation. For RCB they now have strongest batting line-up in this tournament alongwith DD and only thing they need is to apply themselves. Anil Kumble is champion and he understands what is required to win the game. RCB is coming into this match after a loss, so they have to play really well as they are considered one of the semi-finalists. To win this game RCB have to be clever in selecting the bowlers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jubilant CSK defeated table topper MI

Superb victory for CSK over MI have certainly ease their passage to semis. MS Dhoni was not certain to play yesterday’s game but finally he played. CSK won the toss and elected to bat first. Murali Vijay was their star in last few matches got out cheaply to Harbhajan. Raina came in and did small partnership with Hayden but he also got out on 23 runs to Bravo. MS Dhoni and Hayden put up good partnership and it was looked like CSK is going to put big score on the board but Pollard had other ideas. He picked Hayden and Dhoni on consecutive balls which pushed CSK on back-foot. Innovative batting from Badrinath took CSK to the par score of 165. Looking at the batting line-up of MI and dew on the ground it looked like cake walk for MI as they started well putting up 46 runs for the first wicket. Shikhar Dhawan got  out to Thushara for 16 but Saurabh Tiwary and Sachin continued their batting till the time Tendulkar got dehydrated and went off the field. Big twist in the story came after Sachin’s retirement as MI middle-order collapsed very badly and they kept losing wickets one after another. CSK bowled very well after Sachin’s departure and never allowed MI comeback into the match. Finally Sachin came back to the batting but till that time match was over. Harbhajan tried his best to repeat his heroics of match against DC but didn’t succeeded in that and finally MI lost the match. However they are still on top of the table and this loss will not affect much to them but this has certainly given them wake-up call and at the right time and they will come improved in coming matches. It was CSKs good luck that Tendulkar retired ill and that allowed CSK to comeback into the match. MI had surely won if Tendulkar stayed their and continued his innings but such is the heat of Chennai, it can take toll of the fittest players.

Today rejuvenated KXIP will take on jubilant RR at pink city Jaipur. For RR this match  is worth 2 points if they win which will make them strong contenders for semis. For KXIP its another opportunity to silent its critics over the debacle they had in this tournament. KXIP coming into this match after winning their last match against KKR and that has boost their confidence. Suddenly after that last victory KXIP looks like a team. Shane Warne has done wonders with RR  in limited resources  and he will not take this match lightly and come hard because he knows the importance of victory in this match Shane Watson  has given them extra strength which is helping them immensely and providing good balance to the side. KXIP will be sighting another victory to regain their pride and will try hard to spoil the party of RR.

DD will take on KKR later today and it is very important match for both the teams.If DD win today they will be certain for semis and if they lose then they have to wait for next match. For KKR it is do or die situation if they don’t win today then things will get complex for them. So Ganguly has to forget the last defeat against KXIP and have to inspire his team for victory in this match. It will be going to be a tough match for KKR because DD is the strongest team in terms of batting after RCB. KKR have to bowl straight and with variety to contain the DD batting and if they fail to do so then they will lose all their hopes of making it to the semis and which will create rift with the owners as Shahrukh Khan is very emotional about his team and he wants title this year at any cost.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

RR clinched cliffhanger from DC

What a breath-taking encounter. RR clinched cliffhanger from DC and stunned the fans. RR won the toss and elected to bat first but they lost wickets at regular intervals and bowled out for 160 runs. Shane Watson played good hand of 58  was largely responsible for the respectable total of RR. I think RR made the mistake of opening up too early in their innings as they asked Faiz Fazal to go after the bowling because they wanted Yusuf Pathan to go in and have a crack but this strategy almost back-fired and Yusuf Pathan got out cheaply. Faiz Fazal and Shane Watson were batting beautifully. It looked like this will be easily chased by DC looking at their batting line-up but they also lost wickets at regular intervals and except Rohit Sharma none of their batters made any impression and they couldn't hold the nerve in last over and lost the match. Shane Warne again showed his class and reminded of his glorious past by picking up four crucial wickets. Siddharth Trivedi emerged hero for RR as he bowled superb last over and picked up two wickets. Here on RR can breathe easy as they are in comfortable position now and DC have to do lot of hard work to get back into winning ways. Adam Gilchrist have to lead by example if DC wants to make some impression in this tournament as they are defending champions.

Today crucial encounter will be played between MI and CSK. For CSK its a must win situation if they wants to qualify for the semis as MI are already topping the table and don't have much difficulty to reach semis. In last match CSK scored highest total of IPL and yet their opponents lost just by 23 runs which puts question-mark on CSK bowling attack. If CSK have to win today then they have to bowl well. Doug Bollinger is good inclusion and he has already shown his class in last match and that will help CSK in lifting the bowling performance as other bowlers will take some inspiration from Bollinger. For MI it is smooth sailing till date in this tournament and they will like to continue their winning streak and will not give an inch to CSK thats for sure. MI have very balanced side and their local youngsters are performing well which is big advantage to them compare to other teams. Looking at last match performance of CSK I think it is difficult to say MI will start favourites.

Monday, April 5, 2010

KXIP spoiled KKR party at Edens and DD moved No.2 beating RCB at Kotla

As fear of failure gone out of the mind, KXIP have become more lethal and they have started spoiling party and they will spoil parties of many teams now on.. Today KXIP beat KKR convincingly by chasing mammoth score of 200. What a win for KXIP? KKR was favourite to win and they started on positive note in this match by winning the toss and elected to bat first. Dada and Gayle gave the dream start to KKR and Gayle played the superb innings of 88 and in one over of Ravi Bopara he hit four consecutive sixes which helped KKR in achieving score of 200. After scoring 200 it looked like cake walk win for KKR but there lies twist in a tale. KXIP was already hit by the injury of Shaun Marsh but that didn’t affected to their morale today and they sent Mahela Jayawardene to open the inning with Bisla. Both batters came like Tsunami on KKR attack as they tore apart the bowling of KKR badly, especially Mahela Jayawardene who played like a hurricane and eventually ended with century. Sangakkara and Yuvraj Singh supported Mahela perfectly and KXIP won the match in 19th over itself. Indeed superb victory for KXIP.  I must say KKR bowling was very bad and fielding was worst as they dropped catches and and gave boundaries easily which helped KXIP in playing freely.Murali Karthik dropped sitter of Mahela when he was on 51 and I feel that was the turning point of the match. KKR also lacked in hitting boundaries and sixes in last 3 overs when they were batting. After today’s performance, KKR is in tremendous pressure and now they have to win 4 matches out of 5 in-order to qualify for the semis and they will be playing strong opponents. Indeed, KKR lost golden opportunity today.

DD playedg at home against RCB. Gambhir won the toss for DD and elected to bat. Both openers Viru and Warner gave them flying start but once again both of them couldn’t capitalise on their starts and perished in thirties. In came Kollingwood and took the charge of situation and played blinder of the innings and put DD in commanding position as DD ended their innings in excess of 180 runs which can be considered as winning total. But RCB was having strong batting line-up as they included Ross Taylor in place of Dale Steyn. Some of the changes from RCB was not justified as they dropped in-form Manish Pandey and their main bowler Praveen Kumar and ultimately paid price for that as this helped DD score runs in excess of 180. RCB started poorly as they lost Cameroon White early who came to open the innings with Kallis. Kallis as usual continued his form and played anchor role and hit good 55 runs but none of the top guns fired for RCB except Kallis which led to the loss for RCB. DD bowled very well and they didn’t allow any RCB batsman to go after the bowling and kept very tight line and length. Now with this result DD moved to second spot on points table and they are more or less certain for semis alongwith MI. RCB can still make it if they win their next 3 matches.

Tomorrow will be an important match between RR and DC. Both teams are good and nobody edge out each other in terms of resources. It is more important for DC to win tomorrow. If they lose tomorrow than their chances will become little slim for semis. For RR if they win they will become strong contender for semis and reach semis. So both teams have to play well. Ryan Harris has not made much impact in last match for DC but Shane Watson announced his arrival in IPL with superb innings in last match and probably that can make a difference but both teams have good hitters and whichever team’s hitters click that team will win. You can say it is Yusuf Pathan V/s Andrew Symonds as well because Symonds sledged Pathan in last match and Pathan replied him with his bat.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

MI and CSK win convincingly as they thrashed DC and RR

469 runs scored in 40 overs for the loss of just 10 wickets and it was raining sixes as 30 sixes were hit. Chepauk became graveyard for the bowlers. CSK won the toss and elected to bat in blazing heat of Chennai. Soon Murali Vijay and Hayden took charge and gave flying start to the CSK by scoring at 11 runs per over in powerplay. Hayden got the start but couldn’t capitalise on that and got out on 34. Raina joined Vijay but he too didn’t last long. CSK changed their strategy a bit and sent Albie Morkel at No.4 which in the end proved master stroke from CSK as Morkel and Vijay put on second highest partnership of IPL and took CSK past 200 run mark. CSK finally ended on 246. M.Vijay scored brilliant century and Albie Morkel supported him perfectly by scoring quick fire half-century. It was necessary for RR as they start well and they did the same as Naman Ozha and Lumb gave them identical start to CSK as they also scored at more than 10 runs an over in power play. Lumb got out after playing good hand. Yusuf Pathan came at No.3 but he was unfortunate to get out on boundary because Bollinger took stunning catch of Pathan. Shane Watson came in and soon he and Naman Ozha built good partnership and it looked like RR will chase down the score but Shane Watson got out at wrong time to Bollinger and with this wicket RRs hopes also faded away and they lost the match. RR fought well to reach score of 223 and Naman Ozha remained not out on 94. All in all superb match. I must appreciate Bollinger the way he bowled on this belter of the pitch. He picked up 2 wickets and gave just 4 runs an over in his allotted 4 overs. T20 is really cruel game for bowlers and it proved at Chepauk today. Here on tournament is wide open and with new inclusions in CSK and RR, both now looks like strong contenders for semis.

Well as I said in my earlier posts when God is captaining and playing in a team then very seldom that team lose. Once again MI victory proved that as they thrashed DC and registered very convincing victory and now they will go through the semis. MI won the toss and elected to bat and once again Sachin and Shikhar gave them flying start but before their innings kick off after flyer DC came back into the match as their spinners picked 3 wickets in quick succession including Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket. It looked like MI will crumble but their youngsters Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu once again took the charge of situation and built good partnership which eventually helped MI to get pass 175 run mark and they ended on 178 runs. Pollard played little cameo of 21 of 10 balls and took MI to a winning total after good work from Saurabh Tiwary. DC started poorly as they lost Gibbs very early and then MI never looked back as they kept picking up wickets of DC at regular intervals and never allowed them to get any kind of momentum in scoring runs. Even players like Symonds struggled badly along with Rohit Sharma who are backbone of DC. Injury to Adam Gilchrist also hampered DCs chase badly.In the end it was easy victory for MI and big loss for DC as they lost 4th match consecutively and they now have to work hard to get to the semis.

Tomorrow will be crucial encounter will be played between KXIP and KKR. KXIP needs to win this encounter badly if they lose tomorrow they will lose all the hopes. Yuvraj have to come good tomorrow and have to play big innings as his 30s and 40s won’t help the team. Shaun Marsh at the top and Sangakkara’s retrun to the form as seen in last match will  boost the confidence of KXIP. They also have to make some good changes by trying out few youngsters this will help them. If experienced players are not in form then you have take such risk and in such situation nothing to lose for KXIP. For KKR if they win tomorrow then that will give them good chance of qualifying for semis. Ganguly’s return to form and McCullum’s inclusion will make them formidable side. Only thing they require is good quick  start and have to take full advantage of powerplay.

Another match will be between DD and RCB. Both teams have won their last matches respectively and high on confidence but  I must say RCB looks more formidable then DD slightly, simply because of depth in their batting and bowling as they bat deep and they have very good bowling strength. DD is mainly relying on their top order as they don’t have deep batting. If DDs top order crumble then they can lose easily so they have some weakness. So all in all good contest in prospect tomorrow and whoever win  will become strong contender for semis.

KXIP gifted victory to RCB

Old saying in cricket is ‘Catches win matches’ but KXIP did exactly opposite yesterday and gifted the match to RCB. Now only miracle can help them to reach the semis. KXIP have to blame themselves for this loss because all the players yesterday had butter fingers and whatever chances came their away easily slipped away. KXIP scored in excess of 180 runs which is winning total and very seldom in this tournament teams lost the match after scoring those many runs. No doubt couple of decisions also went against KXIP but yet they got the chances which they dropped. Now morale of KXIP is completely down and they don’t know from where they will achieve win. Most disappointing for KXIP is Yuvraj’s form as he failed to live upto his reputation. Yesterday he looked in good touch but got out wrong time. I think KXIP have to re-think their strategy and replace the non-performing star players with fresh young players, this will be a gamble but you never know which bullet hit the target. As far as RCB, they are now in comfortable position along with MI to reach the semis but yet long way to go. They have been joined by their star players and this is helping them immensely to further improve their performance. Yesterday Kevin Pietersen performed well for them and Ross Taylor is sitting out waiting for his opportunity. So all in all good sign for RCB and they now have strongest batting line-up and Anil Kumble leading from the front is icing on the cake. Not to forget Robin Utthappa he is real dasher and played some very useful innings for RCB. He has improved his batting tremendously and I don’t understand why selectors left him out from T20 WC squad. He has to be in the team. In 2007 WC victory Robin played important innings for India and helped the team to win the title, so why not include match-winner and blaster like him. I think once Mohinder Amarnath quoted selectors as ’Bunch of Jokers’ and till date selectors are proving Mohinder Amrnath’s statement correct.

Today two important encounters coming up. CSK v/s RR and MI v/s DC. CSK have to win this match to keep their hopes alive. They now also have Bollinger and Michael Hussey in their ranks which gives tremendous strength to their team as both the Australians are match-winner. On the other side RR will also be bolstered by the arrival of Shane Watson. He is also a match-winner. Nobody starts favourite today in this match as both the teams have great players in their ranks.

Coming to another match MI v/s DC. I feel MI starts as favourite because they have balanced side in terms of batters and bowlers. They have great players in their line-up and most importantly their local players like Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayadu, Shikhar Dhawan, R.Satish etc. are taking responsibility and performing very well. MI right now ruling the points table and most certain to reach semis. On the other side DC coming into this match after losing few matches and they will be bit down on morale. I feel Adam Gilchrist not firing from the top is hurting them badly. Also they are bit weak in their bowling. So if DC have to win today they have to play out of their skin and Gilchrist have to fire from the top.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ganguly powered KKR win at Eden thrashing DC

KKR V/s DC. Well what to say about Mr. Sourav Ganguly, ‘When situation gets tough, tough gets going’. Brilliant innings by Dada at the top and put KKR in commanding position at great Eden. Dada led by example and inspired his team to achieve the much needed victory which keep their hopes alive for semis. KKR won the toss and elected to bat and didn’t start well as they lost Chris Gayle early. Cheteshwar Pujara replaced Mandeep Singh but he also didn’t make any difference to the team’s cause and got out. Manoj Tiwary also disappointed the crowd by getting out cheaply and KKR were looking in all sorts of problem but when ‘Dada is near then there is no fear’ Dada with the help of David Hussey gave money’s worth to the crowd by hitting sixes and brought great Eden alive. He played superb knock of 88 of just 54 balls and took the game away from DC. It was important for DC to start well for chasing score above 180 and thay did exactly same. They changed their strategy and sent Herchelle Gibbs to open the innings and soon it looked like decision proved right as Herchelle played brilliantly and gave flying start to DC alongwith Gilchrist. DC were in hunt as Gibbs and Symonds were playing well after dismissals of Gilchrist and Mohnish Mishra who played good hand of 29 but Gibbs got out to Bond’s slower ball which proved turning point in this match and finally KKR won this match convincingly.Now KKR have momentum after this victory and in next match they will be having services of Brendon McCullum which will further strengthen KKR. For DC they are good side and still tournament is open so nothing to lose after this defeat. Only thing they require is to strengthen their bowling because they lost today because of poor bowling.

Tomorrow will be a crucial encounter for KXIP as they take on most formidable team of the tournament RCB. If  KXIP lose tomorrow then they will be out of the contention of semis. So its a must win situation for KXIP. Sangakkara will be back after a ban to captain them and that is the good news for them. Shaun Marsh has already strengthen KXIPs batting and that will give some confidence to KXIP in terms of scoring runs. Its important for Yuvraj to play good innings tomorrow and get his form back. If Yuvraj clicks tomorrow KXIP will win.  RCB lost some momentum after losing 2 matches on the trot and they have to pull their socks. Anil Kumble have to be spot-on with his selection and have to include Van Der Merwe because pitches are getting slower as the tournament is progressing and helping spinners which is evident from the fact that 5 most economical bowlers in this tournament are spinners.So it’s a do or die situation for KXIP and for RCB, it they win, they will get inch closer to semis.