IPL2 :: Semi-Finals Stage now…

IPL2 has now reached the semi-final stage.

Bollywood has been kicked out as Priety Zinta (Punjab), Shah Rukh Khan (KKR) and Shilpa Shetty (Rajasthan) head home along with the land of Bollywood itself (Mumbai)!

What’s left behind is real cricket sans the glitz and packaged entertainment from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi; three teams from the South of India and one from the capital city! Make of all of that what you will.

A few weeks back in my IPL-2 Preview, I had predicted a Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai finals. We almost got that! Mumbai has been my major disappointment of the season. Bangalore was almost fading away until Kumble came on the scene. He transformed the team into winners and showed — as he has done all through his career — that Shane Warne is not the only magician in town! Except that Kumble has always chosen to perform his magic without the glitz!

Rajasthan just did not have the team to make the semis this year. Without Sohail Tanvir and Watson and with a struggling Graeme Smith, they were always going to struggle. They did. As Shane Warne said, in his characteristic flourish, “Mate, the only positive thing to emerge for me at this year’s IPL might be my blood test!” They have a lot of work to do in the off-season.

KKR have issues aplenty. The coach and his entourage has to go in my view. Their season was derailed by Buchanan from the start of the campaign and it did not recover from there on in. We had a fake-IPL player reveal itself as a shadow yesterday! The revelation compelled Shah Rukh Khan to launch into an explanation in elementary physics! He said, “Shadows … being merely negative projections that are created due to a light source being blocked by an opaque object, have no … qualms!” Phew! I also think that their captaincy was in the wrong hands. But I tell you what? Having one lousy captain was a darned sight better than having 5 lousy captains on the field, each trying to outdo the others’ mistakes! On completion, KKR skipper, Brendn McCullum (in reference to the “shadow” fake-IPL player) said, “I suppose this is the first time that a shadow has thrown light on something. Heh heh!” KKR have a heck of a lot of work to do in the off-season too. And one of them would be to ask if Ganguly’s time is completely up!

Punjab have issues too! They need a right-handed batsman in the team! And the captain has anger-management problems! He said, “Well, actually it is getting the worst out of me. I am getting very angry on the field, I don’t know why.” They have a lot of work to do if they want to challenge consistently good teams like Delhi and Chennai.

Mumbai was the biggest disappointment for me. With Jayasuriya, Tendulkar, Duminy, Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Dwayne Bravo in the team, they were an early pencil for me for the last-4 berth! That list above was a set of 7 constants in every team that took the park! That is a fantastic starting card for any team to have in its armoury! All they needed to do was to fire up a wicketkeeper (and they had Pinal Shah and Takawale to chose from) and three local boys — and in Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni and Rohan Raje, they had all that they needed! But they blew chance after good chance through a mix of bad captaincy, bad decisions and poor play. I do think Sachin Tendulkar needs to sit down with Mukesh Ambani and re-think his captaincy role! Chief Mentor Shaun Pollock said at the end, in what I think is a brutally frank assessment, “We’ll look at the positives. Our captaincy was positively puzzling, and our batting was positively ridiculous.”

So that leads us to the semi-finals. I would be very surprised if it is not Delhi Vs Chennai. But I’d also be quite happy to be surprised!

— Mohan

12 responses to “IPL2 :: Semi-Finals Stage now…

  1. Mohan, the article you’re quoting from Cricinfo is a spoof column. All quotes in your post except Yuvraj’s are fake. Funny you didn’t realise that.

  2. Mohan dude you got taken for a ride by Cricinfo IPL-2 page;

  3. I’m seeing a DC Vs RCB finals , and DC the eventual champions.

    Unless Hayden pulls of another exceptional performance tomorrow.

  4. Srikanth Mangalam

    I read somewhere that Mike Hussey has joined Chennai. WOuld he play today? That would be a welcome addition, I’d think. He could play in place of Oram.

  5. Deccan Chargers vs Bangalore Royal Challengers Finals – not the conventional wisdom.

    This guy Manish Pandey for real !!! His timing is fabulous. He played a “Greenidge” like cover drive in the first over.

  6. Not to take any credit from Bangalore but it was more chennai losing than them winning. Completely illogical selection of Oram over Ntini and Hussey.Dhoni promoting himself at 3 and pushing Badri down, what particular reason was Badri in the team other than bad fielding.I think badri was being picked due some pressure from management and not by dhoni’s choice. Too late to bring murali in and to add insult to injury give Oram the penultimate over.Also sudeep tyagi would have been a better choice today.Overall bad captaincy and selection, well every captain has bad days and dhoni chose a crucial day to have one.
    RCB win is greater because it was driven by fresh young talent and I would want them to take the trophy though DC batting is too explosive for them to handle I think

  7. As I said earlier, Dhoni’s captaincy in this tournament was quite poor and he chose the worst day to display the absolute bottom. Harinee has summed up things nicely and so I don’t think there is anything worth repeating. This team had no strategy to speak of and it showed. Dhoni’s promotion and terrible innings actually put more pressure on the other batsmen and had them manufacturing shots in despair. I wonder why Dhoni rarely comes in when it’s 10/2 and usually promotes himself when it’s a comfortable score? Well, everyone had made a bunch of money and could care less…except for us poor hoodwinked fans!! 🙂

  8. It is strange to see everyone blame Dhoni for the loss. Don’t forget that Chennai is a mediocre team but for Hayden, Raina, Dhoni and Murali. The fact that they made it this far is all credit to Dhoni. Let me repeat one final time, Badrinath is no Raina or Rohit Sharma.

  9. Neither would I blame Dhoni. He did what he could with what he had. Morkel, Oram, Balaji, Goni, Badrinath… Chennai had quite a long list of nonperformers. Raina was one of the best players for the CSK, but I think yesterday was the 3rd or 4th time he top-edged to get out. CSK didn’t really have a Nannes or Kallis or Nehra.

  10. And for the final time…Dhoni really sucked as a skipper in IPL 2. That’s the fact.

  11. raina never gets only the last ball of the innings to prove his credentials. with the limited opputunities he has done fairly well. He has peformed admirably well in the longer versions of the game. you shouldn;t forget that, but for his innings again RR, chennai would have never made it to the SF

  12. I am not supporting badri at all it is just I dont understand why would you have pure batsman in the team and bring him in to bat so late.It just means you dont trust your batsman then you might as well drop him and bring someone else.Why waste the spot?
    Dhoni is a definitely a good captain but yesterday was his bad day at the job and team selection for CSK has been wierd throughout the tournament.

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