Category Archives: IPL

The i3j3 Cricket Podcast — Episode 2

The i3j3 Cricket Podcast (Episode 2), where Mahesh Krishnan Paddy Padmanabhan, Vish Krishnan and Mohan Krishnamoorthy talk about Kohli’s evolution, the England-India ODI series, Bangladesh cricket and a few other things that only 3-4 other fans care about.

The second episode of our once a fortnight cricket ramble. Have a listen…

OmnipRAVIsent

I don’t know Ravi Shastri the cricketer as much as Ravi Shastri the everythinginindiancrickettoday, For most periods, the all knowing BCCI loyal commentator. He is now the Director of Cricket for the Indian cricket team in England for the ODI leg, to cover the dismal display in the Tests. But that is not all, he is much more than that.

 

Ravi Shastri has been promoted to head the All India Football Association, and the previous head will be reporting to Ravi Shastri. This move is to make sure that India make it to the next Nehru Cup finals and win it.

 

Ravi Shastri will replace Nasser Hussain as the English expert for the next Pataudi series, so there is no anti-BCCI sentiments in the BCCI commentary box. Mr. Shastri has always promoted peaceful processes in cricket.

 

Even the ECB like Ravi Shastri. He has been selected into the English ODI squad to play against India. A source talking on behalf of the England’s chairman of selectors told us that England preferred this Ravi to the one the internet is harping about for being ditched. “We always liked Ravi. There is always that buzz around him.”

 

Ravi Shastri will be sent by the United Nations to bestow peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. In the speech given while taking up the task, Mr. Shastri mentioned that an extra long presentation ceremony with dignitaries and honorary members from both nations at the dais will create harmony between the two nations. Also, to show that all nations are equal, a man-of-the-match will be selected from both sides and will be given an IPL contract too.

 

If you are wondering about it, yes, Ravi Shastri also owns an IPL side. The Mumbai Indians, of course. “It gives me great opportunity to give something back to the city that made me who I am. I always got the feeling, Mumbai Indians was the right was to show it.”

 

Ravi Shastri has also signed up for the next Batman sequel. “Dark Knight : Rises Up In the Air”. He will be driving an Audi through the streets of Gotham and saving the city from the darkest third umpires and match referees. He is not the man that Gotham deserves, or needs, but gets. Just like that other situation that got Ravi Shastri.

 

Also, Ravi Shastri will head the special task force to form the right Test squad for Australia. He has laid his plan clear – “We win the toss and put some runs on the board and get the wickets. It is as simple as that.” He will be scouting for talent at the Champions League T20 tournament. “If the batsmen have the ability to stay for 4 overs, we got a team that can bat for 44 overs- that is luxury compared to how they fared in England. And the more the bowlers adapt to bowling hit-me balls, the faster we can eliminate the requirement of slips in totality.”

 

Ravi Shastri will also start a fund raiser to promote the sport in the suburbs of Indian metros, because the game really needs all it can to stay popular there. “The kids have resorted to football and weightlifting and boxing after the recent football World Cup and CWG and the movie on Mary Kom. It is our duty to bring the game back by investing some funds to this much needed locality.” You can buy your own “I ❤ BCCI” tees from their website and donate to the noble cause.

 

To know more about Mr. Shastri’s roles watch him talk about it himself as he hosts the show Kaun Banega Crorepati?.

 

243094-ravi-shastri

                   Yo Yo Ravi Shaz3

 

Bagrat

IPL and leagues..

We are two weeks into IPL and there have been some interesting results. After India winning the World Cup, IPL somehow does not excite much this time. It does not help that most teams have gone for a complete changeover so its really a trying time for any fan to remember who is playing for whom.The only familiar looking teams are Chennai SuperKings and Mumbai Indians.

The points table also has a new look with Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI occupying unfamiliar positions at the top of the table and Chennai Super Kings at bottom.Think what’s worked out for the teams doing well is not having too many players from the World Cup teams. Most of the World Cup stars have been delivering jaded performances especially the batsmen and pacers.

Meanwhile there is talk of other player leagues similar to IPL by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I highly doubt cricket can sustain league competitions across countries. Football leagues work because the sport is followed allover the world unlike cricket whose primary fan base is the subcontinent. And despite its international players IPL remains primarily a Indian tournament.Cricket needs to grow to much more internationally and have a more astute ICC to have successful international leagues like Soccer.

Also If IPL continues to affect schedules of international matches, BCCI may not be able to enforce its clout in pushing boards like SL for long. Cricket boards are not going to tolerate watching their key players choose  IPL  over their country or retiring early to prolong their IPL career. On the positive side IPL proves again to be a great platform to discover a talent like Valthaty.

-Harinee

Boring series and IPL

The NZ-India series has become a completely one-sided contest with one team, despite its major players benched, has totally decimated the other team. India can feel a bit of pride here but to give due credit to NZ they are not in their best of forms, having just lost a series to minnows Bangladesh.
While its great to see players like Gambhir, Virat and Yusuf perform well, claims for a place in World Cup XI based on same, seem a bit presumptuous.Teams in the top 5 as per ODI rankings are going to be the most difficult to play in the WC and players who have proven themselves against them should be given priority.
Overall the series has been very boring. The recently concluded Test Series with Australia had much more thrill and excitement to offer.
On the IPL side Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians not surprisingly, seem to be the only teams to retain four players allowed for the next IPL.
The Knight Riders definitely needed a complete revamp and did just that by just retaining Chris Gayle.But the choice of Albie Morkel by CSK ahead of Doug Bollinger, Michael Hussey comes as a surprise considering both played a significant part intheir last IPL win.
Again RCB dropping Robin Uthappa (the guy who took them all the way last year),Dale Steyn, Kevin Pietersen while retaining just Virat Kohli is puzzling.It pays to be friends with the boss.
Mumbai Indians seem to have got their four right with Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga.Hopefully CSK can get Zaheer Khan and make Mumbai’s loss their gain.
Delhi Daredevils have to rework their website, now that they have decided to stick only with Sehwag, Gambhir is allover the banner(no Sehwag seen).
Yet to see Deccan Chargers choices but think Herschelle Gibbs,VVS Laxman and Gilchrist will not be retained.
Hope to see a more interesting and competitive Ind-SA series!
Recent update to post even Gayle has not been retained by the Knight Riders.Rajasthan Royals have wisely kept Shane Warne and Shane Watson. Kings XI and Deccan Chargers have not retained any of their players.

Party is over now the hangover..

The IPL party got over and our players experienced the hangover in West Indies.

The basics to passing any exam or winning any tournament are very simple: Preparation and practice. BCCI thinks IPL is a practice and preparation tournament for WC.Rajiv Shukla from BCCI already knows  that the IPL was no reason for the team’s collective failure ! I beg to disagree.

 Have you ever prepared for an exam where you had to pass all your practice tests else your eligibility for the actual exam comes under question? IPL is not a practice tournament its much bigger than that. You cannot expect to play a demanding tournament mentally and physically for 2 months and expect to perform in the next one within a span of week. Especially when the quality of competition and the environment is completely different.

 People are quick to question Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy when the same guy was the toast of the town for winning the IPL.Such a drastic change in assessment of someone’s capability in such a short time needs to be analysed.The coach also has a role here.

 Gary Kirsten mentioned that IPL was the reason for his team’ s poor performance in last years WC. What stopped him from raising this concern before this year’s IPL? Is he not responsible for the Indian team’s mental and physical ability also for such a tournament? If there was a weakness against a particular bowling style what did the coach do about it? Especially after losing one match.I know you cannot overcome a weakness overnight but would you not try to work around your batting order to nullify the weakness a bit.

While the team selection was questionable and Krishnamachari Srikkanth will probably face the axe.The real question is does BCCI want to run a successful business venture or nurture a world-class cricket team? There is clearly a conflict of interest here.

-Harinee

Dravid gets another go at it!

Rahul Dravid has been included in the Indian team that will be playing in Sri Lanka and later on in South Africa in the Champions Trophy. His performances at the IPL seem to have paid off and he gets another life in the one day arena. Rohit Sharma is the player at the receiving end, unfortunately, in my opinion. I personally think that Rohit Sharma deserves another chance to prove his talent. He is certainly a future player for India and should have been retained in the side in place of Yusuf Pathan. Yusuf Pathan is a highly overrated player whose magic seems to work okay in the T20 form but is highly suspect in the one day version. If Rohit’s place was going to be uncertain, I would have thought he should have played in the Emerging Players tournament in Australia. That way, it would have given him an opportunity to prove to the selectors that he is still a worthy investment.

While Amit Mishra and Abhishek Nayar can credit their performances in Australia recently for their inclusion in the side, Virat Kohli may consider himself unlucky. He was by far the best player in the tournament and could have possibly taken Dinesh Karthik’s place. Clearly, politics has come into play with respect to the Dinesh Karthik/Pragyan Ojha situation, one sacrificed for the other

The rest of the side seems well balanced with Tendulkar coming back at the top and Raina possibly playing at #5 now with Dravid coming in at #3. I would think the playing XI would look something like:

1. Sachin Tendulkar

2. Gautam Gambhir

3. Rahul Dravid

4. Yuvraj Singh

5. Suresh Raina

6. M. S. Dhoni

7. Abhishek Nayar/Yusuf Pathan

8. Harbhajan Singh

9. Praveen Kumar

10. Ashish Nehra

11. RP Singh/Ishant Sharma

Let the games begin, I say.

– Srikanth

Cricket news – Good, Bad and Ugly

The cancelation of the tour to Pakistan may have benefited the domestic season more than any recent seasons that I can think of. The last two or three rounds of ranji games have seen all the top players involved actively. It is anticipated that all the Team India players will represent their respective zones in the Duleep Trophy. While the East Zone selectors seem to play stunt regarding MS Dhoni’s participation, they could have dealt it in a professional way and established contact with him way before he went on vacation. I am predicting that he will still lead the side and play. Whatever the outcome, the tournament has never been so exciting for a long time.

The Ranji trophy finals has been a drag so far. UP is trying to attempt a repeat performance from its semi-finals “win” and, as a result, has made the game extremely boring. I seriously think that they should consider changing the rules of the game atleast in the knock out stages, possibly using the Buchi Babu or Moin-Ud-Dowla rules of limiting the number of overs in the first and second innings. It was rather unfortunate to see TN exit in the semi-finals. While TN may not have had the bowling to restrict UP, they had more victories in the earlier stages of the tournament while UP sneaked through to the finals with only one outright victory if I am not mistaken.  It was good to see Rohit Sharma hit form in a crucial game, while Suresh Raina threw away an opportunity by stupidly running himself out.

There have been several positives from this season’s ranji games. Wasim Jaffer continues to be a possible candidate to the opening/one down slot because of his consistency and his success abroad. His 301 in the semi-finals was a beautiful innings. While A. Rahane was consistent through the season, I can see his “playing away from the body” technique as a limitation when playing international attacks. Abhinav Mukund, for me, has been the biggest story of the season. He scores and scores big. All we can hope  is that he continue playing the way he is now and success will come his way. I see him take over India’s opening slot within the next few years. I was disappointed, in general, with the bowling department. If Sunil Joshi continues to be a major force in the domestics, while good for him, it does not bode well for the future of Indian cricket. Apart from the current international bowling lineup, nothing much can be written about domestic talent. The re-emergence of L.  Balaji, is a postive sign however.

English cricket cannot be in a more laughable situation than what it is going through in the last few months. Geoff Boycott, in his column for the Daily Telegraph, states that “We are not the best cricket team but we are the best at making ourselves a laughing stock”. Absolutely true. In my opinion, it all began with the way the ECB handled the IPL/EPL/Stanford saga. The disaster in the carribean and the subsequent handling of the Pietersen/Moores controversy will seriously affect the chances that England may have had to make it a fight during the Ashes series.

– Srikanth

Chennai woes

Chennai is on a losing streak. Three matches lost and the team has some big problems. The auctions left them with a situation where 3 key players won them 4 games and just left. Of the replacements only Albie Morkel has more than justified his position and worth to the team. So what can Dhoni do to revive his team’s fortunes.

1. Drop Parthiv for a game. The guy has scored 96 runs in 7 matches and this is simply not good enough. Either get the dasher Aniruddha to open or bringing in the rookie Abhinav Mukund, who atleast is a specialist opener. Definitely persist with Fleming at the top.

2. Get Raina or Badrinath in at no 3. This floater no 3 is not working. Raina has shown promise and if he comes in early he can get a few balls to settle. Badrinath is also a technically correct batsman who can come in at 3. Either way I think numbers 3 and 4 should be Raina & Badrinath in any order.

3. Dhoni has to come in at 5. That is his best spot in the batting order.

My batting order for today’s game Fleming, Aniruddha, Badrinath, Raina, Dhoni, Vidyut, Morkel, Joginder, Gony, Ntini, Muralitharan.

— Sanjay

A question of money???

Initial reactions in India towards the IPL has always centred around how much money each one is getting. This is probably the frist time when main stream celebrities are having their personal finances dicusdiscussedublic. Yes we have heard reports in the past of Chiranjeevi or Rajanikanth getting paid so much. We have read about the deals Sachin signed when he had just arrived on the scene. But financial arrangements have never attracted as much publicity and media attention as did the player auctions of the IPL. For people outside India flipping through magazines or watching news channels always threw up reports of financial deals struck by a motley assortment of celebrities like sportspersons, film stars, tv stars, musicians signing with record labels, models, fashion designers etc. any successful human being will immediately have his financial deals discussed in public.

But the situation has never been like this in India. So when the IPL auctions created a huge media hype about the money being doled out. A lot of people found the whole process disgusting! After the first round of matches were played the questions came back to money. What did Symonds do after the first 2 games? Look at the money they paid him? Of course Symonds is a hard nosed professional and he came back to form in true style with a fine hundred last night only to be confronted by Ian Bishop with question “That’s why they paid big bucks for you.” Is it just the money that you can see? Is it not professionalism, pride, skill, and a host of other things that make a player perform???

Look at the way the international stars have performed. People who have watched county cricket in England know what I am talking about. These players can join any team and do their job just as well as they did it for their country. Of course playing for their own country is not the same thing but when playing as a professional, they do not in any way underperform. Let us enjoy the matches and celebrate the performance of the players and stop cribbing about the bucks!

— Sanjay

Super Kings super

Kings vs Super Kings

The first game of the night saw two teams with similar sounding names compete – The Chennai “Super Kings” took on the “Kings” XI Punjab. One was lead by the captain of the World cup winning T20 team, and the other was lead by the vice-captain. After the inaugural game between Bangalore and Kolkata, it seemed 222 in twenty overs was going to be hard to beat, and yet Chennai managed to score 240 without breaking a sweat. Punjab stayed in the game a lot longer than the what the final score shows – ending up with a score of 207.

Daredevils vs Royals

Finally a low scoring game. But it was only because Jaipur failed with the bat. The Jaipur Royals look like one of the weakest teams in the tournament at the moment.  The match saw the return of Shane Warne and Glen McGrath – one of the deadliest bowling combinations in the world. But this time, they bowled for opposing teams.

The game ended up being one sided with Delhi easily overhauling the score with about 5 overs to spare.

The Aussies

There were 9 Aussies playing last night and some of their performances stood out – Hussey was brilliant and McGrath looked as if he never stopped playing. Hopes was outstanding with the bat, but took a stick while bowling. Some of the others weren’t bad either – Hayden chipped in with a quick fire 25 and Shane Watson scored 21 before he was run out.

Hussey outdoes McCullum

McCullum’s innings in the first match was a one-off innings. A hundred in 53 balls would be hard to beat. Or so we thought. Hussey outdid that with a hundred of just 50 balls! And if he had come in to bat any earlier, he would have even beaten McCullum’s score. The main difference between Kolkatta’s innings and Chennai’s innings was that, the partnerships weren’t one sided. Raina and Badrinath in particular looked impressive with scores of 32 and 31* scoring a tad faster than Hussey.

-Mahesh-