As predicted, Rajasthan defeated Deccan and RCB defeated Kochi Tuskers in yesterdays’ games. Both losing teams in yesterdays’ matches were captained by former Sri Lankan captains. Both were, in my view, led badly. If KKR were let down by Gautam Gambhir, a captain that did not want to bat higher in the order — strange, considering he is an opener himself — a few strange selections and bowling changes led to the loss of Deccan and Kochi.
Today’s games promise to be closer and more exciting.
Delhi Daredevils Vs Mumbai Indians:
Delhi is led by Virender Sehwag, a somewhat laid back and almost unwilling captain. He often gives the impression that he would rather be whistling a Kishore Kumar tune to himself than be worried about bowling changes or field placings. He has an exciting team that can go far in IPL4. His team is up against one of the best teams in the business, and is led by Sachin Tendulkar, a man who is keen, this year, to collect trophies he hasn’t stocked up in his trophy chest!
For Delhi, I would like to see Varun Aaron bowl. After MS Dhoni, Saurabh Tiwary and Ishank Jaggi, Aaron is the latest Jharkhand player to hit the national limelight. I’d like to ascertain if this lad is for real or is a product of marketing hype. He is once reported to have clocked 153kpmh and regularly bowls at speeds in excess of 140kpmh.
The likely Delhi Daredevils team is:
CA Ingram / AJ Finch / Travis Birt / Michael Wade
Y Venugopal Rao / S Sriram
RE van der Merwe
NV Ojha (wk)
R Bist / U Chand
M Morkel / JR Hopes / AB McDonald / R Frylinck
AB Agarkar / S Nadeem / AM Salvi
VR Aaron / AB Dinda / U Yadav
Others: Vikas Mishra, , TP Yadav, Vivek Yadav, Ramesh Pawar, A Chandila, Y Nagar, PT Naik
I believe this team will struggle with its middle order batting. The bowling looks solid though.
The likely Mumbai Indians team is:
Davey Jacobs / Aiden Blizzard
AT Rayudu (wk)
Tirumalasetti Suman / Abu Nechim Ahmed / Ali Murtaza
SL Malinga / Dilhara Fernando / James Franklin / Moises Henriques
MM Patel / DS Kulkarni
Others: YS Chahal, S Kanwar, AG Murtaza, P Suyal, AP Tare†, BSK Yadav, SA Yadav
I think this is a solid team. They have strengthened their middle order significantly and loaded it up with good young Indian batsmen. I expect this team to join CSK and RCB in the semi-final lineup.
Pune Warriors Vs Kings XI Punjab:
Pune Warriors India (PWI) is the most expensive team in the competition and they splurged at the auction too. The team they have looks solid on paper. As with previous years, KXIP looks like KXIP — all glitz but with much fizz.
The likely Pune Warriors team:
TD Paine (wk)
Nathan McCullum / Jesse Ryder / Callum Ferguson
Mithun Manhas / Manish Pandey / Harpreet Singh / Harshad Khadiwale
Abhishek Jhunjhunwala / Mohnish Mishra
Mitchell Marsh / JE Taylor / Angelo Mathews / Wayne Parnell
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar / Kamran Khan
Others: Imtiyaz Ahmed, ER Dwivedi, GB Gaikwad, DS Jadhav, SS Mundhe, S Rana, R Sharma, AC Thomas, SB Wagh
While the batting looks solid for this team, the problem for this squad is going to be its bowling. Don’t be surprised if Uthappa starts keeping wickets. It needs Angelo Mathews and Parnell/Marsh playing to bolster the bowling stocks.
The likely Kings XI Punjab team:
AC Gilchrist* (wk)
Dinesh Karthik (wk)
Mandeep Singh / Sunny Singh
David Hussey / David Miller
Ryan McLaren / Ryan Harris / Nathan Rimmington
Praveen Kumar / Love Ablish / Salabh Srivastava
Others: Amit Yadav, Bipul Sharma, SD Chitnis, VS Malik, N Saini, PC Valthaty
I am not sure this Punjab team will trouble anyone too much. This edition of KXIP is likely to give us as much excitement and fun as the teams from previous editions.
– Mohan (@mohank on Twitter)