IPL final stages – Some random thoughts!

According to Dhoni, we witnessed some of the worst bowling in the IPL as the Super Kings lost to the Knight Riders. Seriously, Kolkata actually won! McCullum fired 12 games too late, he certainly salvaged some pride for his team. Dhoni’s outburst was probably targeted at Balaji and to some extent at Morkel. They actually did bowl leaving their brains in warmer conditions, bowled and fielded with cold hearts and hands, no desire to win. I still wouldn’t panic though, CSK is more than likely through to the semi-finals. This game, however, showed the sharp contrasts in talent and intelligence that captures this side. Dhoni’s presence of mind in standing ground to ensure he retained strike after Raina was caught, his moving to the outfield to lend some speed to the fielding unit, Murali’s brilliant spell and Raina amazing batting were examples of sheer brilliance. Badrinath’s poor fielding, Balaji’s stroll in the park (Morrison’s calls this village cricket), Jacob Oram’s clueless presence on the field were the contrasts.

Dhoni calls his a safe side without any exceptional talent. He is probably true. They are batting heavy and miss a strike bowler to support Murali. They should seriously consider looking out for some pacemen for IPL 3 and onward. I also feel that they still do not have the right team on the field. They should consider playing Ntini instead of Oram in the next game, bring in Gony for Balaji and bring Vijay back for Parthiv Patel. It will take a herculean effort for Chennai to outplay the Daredevils to contemplate winning IPL 2. 

My other team, Mumbai Indians, were quite disappointing towards then end. They blew several opportunities to move to the next stage of the tournament, thanks to inexperience, some strange captaincy, and constant changes to the team. They did miss Zaheer Khan sorely in the final games and Jayasurya hasn’t fired at all in the tournament. They should consider trying to acquire Rohit Sharma, somehow, and strengthen their middle order. This would allow Tendulkar to go back to the top of the order, reduce the dependence on Duminy and Nayar, and bring an added spinning option. 

At the end of it all, three of 4 teams from IPL-1 should make it through to this year’s semi-finals also. Deccan Chargers seem most likely to replace the Royals as the 4th team. It should be an interesting finale to the IPL-2. 

Looking forward!

– Srikanth

17 responses to “IPL final stages – Some random thoughts!

  1. Why Gony? Balaji had one bad game but Gony hasnt had one good game yet.

    Oram hasnt done anything, we shld bring on Ntini.

    Patel has not justified his inclusion. We can send Badri to open.

  2. I am unable understand why they don’t play Ntini. His local knowledge and genuine paceman qualities should help CSK a lot. Again I don’t know whey they keep playing Oram and Partihiv after repeated failures. Ntini and Vijay should be there instead of Oram and Parthiv.

    Dhoni’s handling of bowling is very predictable (contrast this with Warne). He does not rotate bowling effective. It took 4 losses before he learned that Raina is one of his main bowling weapons. Odd use of Badrinath could also help to throw batsmen out of gear. Going by current dominance of spin they should also experiment with Ashwin.

    I don’t think they can go past semi final if they do not shock the opponents. They are too predictable.

  3. Devarajan Ganesan

    Did not expect a bad game when a win was so needed to seal a birth in the semis. Quite untimely setback. Hopefully CSK will regroup and make a match in their last opportunity.

    Why can’t four bowlers start rotating overs? Has any captain tried this before as an experiment? It does not make sense that a team reserves its ‘supposedly’ most economical bowler at the end, there is no such thing as ‘economical bowler’ in this format of cricket especially when the team batting has to chase 25 odd runs in the last two overs.

    Your thoughts/ comments?

    Ganesh Devarajan from Dallas…

  4. I don’t think bad fielding is restricted to Badri alone…the entire team has to field better. We even had Dhoni missing ridiculously easy stumping chances in the previous game. But you are right, the entire team has to do better if they entertain thoughts of winning this tournament.

    Also, another thing that I noticed is that most times when Dhoni has messed with the batting order, the team has lost. Even though I’m amazed by Raina and think of him as the next middle order bat for India, I wonder why he was not shunted up and down the batting order despite poor performances in some games. This is just my opinion, but I’ve not been too impressed with Dhoni’s captaincy this IPL season. He seems to be committing the same mistakes over and over…

  5. While I was critical of Dhoni’s captaincy early on, it was only temporary. I think Chennai largely owe their success in the tournament so far to Dhoni’s astuteness on the field, Hayden spectacular batting, and Raina’s amazing talent. While Murali has played his part without setting the grounds ablaze, everyone else has been disappointing. Yes, I agree to some extent that Badrinath should have batted up the order in some games, but honestly, he is no Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina.

  6. I would not attribute CSK’s success to Dhoni’s captaincy. Hayden’s domination, Raina’s batting and Murali’s bowling.

    Dhoni was quick to criticize Balaji for the expensive death over, while a good captain Warne said in his interview, bowling at the end in a T20 is difficult and involves luck.

  7. gnbmdr: Agree with you about the reason for CSK’s success – I would even go a step further and say that they keep winning in spite of Dhoni’s captaincy; to criticise Balaji was not on – this is the first time he didn’t deliver. Look at what Shewag said about Vettori after he conceded 19 runs – Vettori is the best off spinner and he has full confidence in him. Dhoni has no feeling or liking for Tamil Nadu players and he is very quick to criticise and this has resulted in a lot of poor choices for the team – if only they put on their best team on the field every time, CSK would be like DD.

  8. Srikanth, maybe you are right that Badri is no Raina or Rohit, but we’ll never find out until he gets a regular batting slot like the other two.

  9. Both Tyagi and Balaji did some atrociously bad bowling. It was really the worst bowling attack I had seen in this tournament, no doubt about that. So there’s no point imagining things about Dhoni just because he’s not a Tamilian.

  10. Srikanth, Badri’s case closed…after he failed to grab his opportunity at the 2 down slot!! 🙂

  11. One simply fails to understand why Ntini is being benched.Definitely he is a much better bowler than Balaji and Gony.Badri fails when everyone fails, he is not reliable like rohit or raina so all talk of slots does not hold valid and this is not a test match but t20 and people ought to be flexible anywhere.
    But I also agree there is conscious or subconscious bias against TN players.I was particularly not happy that there was not a single CSK player present to cheer when Badri won the man of the match award, whatever be the reasons it is not very motivating.
    But dhoni has always been frank in his views post-match so I dont think he was singling out anyone.

  12. Ashwin bowled superbly today. But he shouldn’t be allowed to bat 🙂

  13. Dhoni read the wicket well and used his resources well.
    The Bowlers didn’t err in line for the most part,
    Murali was phenomenal.
    when they did they were fortunate not to get punished.
    Oram needs to be rested.
    Chennai’s long and in effective tail got exposed.. once again.
    I think Ntini will be tried out directly in Semis to shock the opposition.

  14. Gnbmdr; there is no doubt in my mind that CSK win is down to Hayden, Raina and the cricket and captaincy of Dhoni. The local thair sadams, sambars and idlis have been just that. Badri is an over rated player. He and his tatoo should go home. A batsman who cant play in any spot and one that complains about being shunted up and down the order should (a) consider taking up kho-kho, (b) look at Dhoni. Balaji was a flop. He and his new gallop were comical! But for Hayden, Raina and Dhoni, this team had nothing. They need to invest in a good middle order bat in the off season.

  15. Seriously guys! What else do you expect from a team whose batsmen are making more ads than runs?

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