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.