Showing posts from May, 2016

IPL 2016 - The Misfiring XI.

Every positive thing has a negative side attached on the opposite end. Just like the 'Ultimate XI' of IPL 2016, here is a list of 'Misfiring XI' which comprises of players on whom the franchises had invested a large sum of money, but they let down both their franchise and fans.

Naman Ojha (WK) - The 32-year old right-hand wicket-keeper batsman did no justice to his talent throughout the tournament. His 136 runs in 17 matches came at an average of 13.60 and a strike rate of 98.55. He was tried at No. 3 and in the middle order as well but failed to rise on the expectations every time.  Shreyas Iyer - Having ended the Ranji Trophy season as the highest run-scorer, Iyer let his fans down big time in IPL 9. He fetched a paltry 30 runs in six matches at an average of 5.00 and a strike rate of 69.76 and was a disappointment for Delhi Daredevils at the top of the order.Glenn Maxwell (VC) - After scoring 552 runs in 16 matches for Kings XI Punjab in 2014, Maxwell has let his fran…

IPL 2016 XI.

Vivo IPL 2016 is done and dusted now. There were matches. There were victories. There were defeats. The carnival which lasted for 49 days saw many masterly performances right from the starting until the end. After considering all such recitals, here is a list of eleven players who form the 'Top XI' of Vivo IPL 2016.
David Warner (C)- The 29-year old left-hand batsman from Australia was the captain of the winning team, Sun Risers Hyderabad. Warner led his team from the front. There was a point when Warner single-handedly started winning matches for his franchise. He scraped together 848 runs in 17 matches at an average of 60.57 and a strike rate of 151.42.Virat Kohli(VC)- Scoring a T20 century in one's entire career is a great landmark. But scoring four of them in one season is next to undoable. That is Virat Kohli for you. He might have lost the final, but IPL 9 will always be remembered as Virat Kohli's IPL. Kohli was the Highest run-scorer in IPL 2016. He racked up 97…

IPL 9 Review - Final - RCB vs SRH.

Two of the most deserving teams had reached the final of the Vivo IPL 2016. Apart from being a final between two teams, this match was a final between two captains. Yes, to some extent it was a match between Virat Kohli and David Warner. Both captains. Both aggressive. Both leading their teams from the front, being the top run-scorers for their respective teams.
It was arduous to pick a favorite before this match. You wanted Royal Challengers Bangalore to win for Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. You wanted Sun Risers Hyderabad to win for David Warner. You wanted RCB to win for it's home support. You wanted SRH to win for it's bowling attack. Such was the beauty of the match! Sun Risers reinstated Mustafizur Rahman in place of Trent Boult against the unchanged Royal Challengers. Warner won the toss and chose to bat first, which was expected especially after considering their record of defending totals. A steady start was converted into a fiery one when Warner and Shikh…

IPL 9 Preview - Qualifier 1 - GL vs RCB.

If someone was to give a third degree to Suresh Raina or Brad Hodge at this point of time, the only motive of it would be to get ways to call a halt to Virat Kohli's form. Call him invincible or ebullient or whatever, I may be short on words, but 'King' Kohli is never short on runs. Scoring runs is a part of cricket but lacerating them is unknown to everyone. More than planning for the whole team, Gujarat Lins would be looking to plan against Virat Kohli.
Both teams have met twice before and share a 1-1 win-loss record. But Lions' recent drubbing on the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore will be on their mind. The team as a whole collapsed on 104 after Kohli and AB de Villiers aided RCB to reach 248.
Bangalore has developed as one of the most loyal-franchise hub in the IPL. The fact that today's match will also be played in Bangalore will add to Royal Challengers' advantage.
The fact that Royal Challengers know the best on how to win in Bangalore will also add t…

Emancipated in the IPL, Incorporated in the national team!

The selectors met yesterday to announce the teams for two upcoming tours. India will once again tour Zimbabwe for a limited-overs series post-IPL and then go to West Indies to play the test matches. Because test cricket came on the scene first, let us discuss it before moving to the limited-overs leg.The Indian team under Virat Kohli is set to go on a long expedition of around 14,000+ km. The 4-match test series in West Indies will be India's first test series after the one they played against South Africa in October-November last year. The selectors have continued with the trend of selecting a 17-member squad. Over the last six months, only two changes have been done. Uncapped Shardul Thakur comes in for Varun Aaron and Gurkeerat Singh Mann has made way for Mohammad Shami.
For most of you, Shardul Thakur must be an obscure name. Rightly so. In an era where cricketers are more recognized from the acclaimed Indian Premier League than the conventional Ranji Trophy, such scenes are bo…

IPL 9 Review - Match 53 - RPS vs KXIP.

There was a time when both these teams had a chance to qualify for the play-offs. No matter good or bad, the best and worst trait about time is that is passes by quickly. Even that time for qualifying for the play-off round passed away. Then came the time when both these teams could play the role of 'spoilsport' in IPL 9. Apparently, that time passed away too. Today was the time for a dead rubber. Even that time has passed away now but the match ended as one of the best of the tourney.
Kings XI Punjab's captain, Murli Vijay, won the toss and elected to bat. It was the sixth time in 14 matches that Kings XI had won the toss. Evidently, they have now lost all the matches in which their captain won the toss.
Rishi Dhawan was included in the playing eleven in place of KC Cariappa against the unchanged Pune Supergiants, which was surprising to some extent. You generally expect young players to be given a go in matches such as these.
Vijay and Hashim Amla started cautiously before …

IPL 9 Preview - Match 52 - DD vs SRH.

IPL 9 may be 50 matches old now but tomorrow's match will bring with it an air of novelty, which is the beauty of IPL. The state-of-the-art events even at the business end acts as an attraction for the crowd. If Kanpur is hosting it's first match today, Raipur will host it's introductory match tomorrow. Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium will act as the second home ground for Delhi Daredevils.
Delhi Daredevils defeated Sun Risers Hyderabad by seven wickets in their previous encounter in Hyderabad. At the moment, Hyderabad is at the top of the points table, whereas Delhi is at the sixth position. The difference in their points may only be two, which tells the how important is the net run rate at this stage.
One batsman who has let his team down big time in this season of the IPL is Shreyas Iyer. The 21-year old right-hand batsman from Mumbai averaged 33.76 with a strike rate of 128.36 in the last season. His numbers have toned down to an average of 5.00 and a st…

IPL 9 Preview - Match 51 - GL vs KKR.

The last time these two sides came across each other, Gujarat Lions had the better of Kolkata Knight Riders. Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan might have scored unbeaten half-centuries but their efforts were unable to cover the failure of the top four batsmen. Only ten days might have passed after that match, but the vehemence of the tournament does not allow any team to be complacent now.Gujarat Lions was the No. 1 team for the most part of the first half of IPL 9. From six wins in the first seven matches to four defeats in the next five, Lions' campaign has definitely faced some repercussions. They are now at the fifth position. A win in the penultimate match would release the pressure on them before the last match. They have been bolstered by the return of their captain, Suresh Raina, who was on a paternity leave. The rest of the squad will more or less remain the same. What Raina would be asking from his players would be to replicate on their performance of the past. The team…

The Investec Series - 1st Test Preview - ENG vs SL.

Predominantly, cricket this year has been played in the shortest format. Half the year is almost over, but only six test matches have been played by all test playing nations, which clearly depicts that the ICC World Twenty20 2016 has had it's say in the first half of 2016. Following the World Twenty20 was the Indian Premier League, which deals in the shortest format as well.To diminish the amplified T20 format, the cricket world presents in front of you all - "The English Summer." A test match being played in England is a piece of joy for any cricket fan around the globe. The tradition displayed in this part of the world is seen nowhere else. So, here is Sri Lanka, who after traveling some 8,700+ km will play it's first test match in 2016. Out of the six test matches played this year, England has featured in three of them. All against South Africa in South Africa, drawing one, winning one and losing one. Call it the longing of a national record or of a personal one, Al…

IPL 9 Preview - Match 42 - SRH vs DD.

Another win for Sun Risers Hyderabad tomorrow would eventually make them eligible for the Play-offs of Vivo IPL 2016. The batsmen let them down yesterday against Rising Pune Supergiants, well, more against Adam Zampa. But it was SRH's bowling attack, perhaps the best in the tournament, which handed them the pivotal two points.
A loss for Delhi Daredevils tomorrow would mean that they will have to win at least three of the remaining four matches (that too with a higher Net Run Rate). Proving the critics wrong, they have impressed everyone this year. It's just that a lot of chops and changes have gone against them. Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton are known for making changes in the squad in the quest of giving everyone a fair chance in the tourney. But at this crucial juncture, haply they should decrease the number of changes to the playing eleven.
David Warner, captain of Sun Risers, use to do the bulk of run-scoring for his team in the initial stages of IPL 9. His worries would hav…

Fast and Furious.

Cricket in India is acclaimed for the dominance of spin bowlers. Call it the brilliance of spinners or the rank turners which assist them, spinners beat the fast bowlers hands down in India.
Ironically, this season of the IPL has had a different variety in store for all of us. There has been a lone spinner amid the top 10 wicket-takers of this season as of now. Now you might appreciate the fast bowlers for adjusting in exotic conditions and beating the spinners hands down. Andre Russell is the current holder of the Purple Cap. He has 13 wickets in nine matches to his name at an average of 17.46 and an economy rate of 7.82. The 28-year old all-rounder from West Indies is also the Most Valuable Player at this point of time. His strike rate of 13.38 is also the best among the top 10 bowlers.

Next on the list is Mitchell McClenaghan, who also has 13 wickets in nine matches but at a higher average and economy rate of 21.15 and 7.97 respectively. He has also bowled the maximum dot balls in th…

The captain and his numerals.

This season of IPL would be widely remembered for it's run chases. Out of the 34 matches played so far, 24 (70.58%) have been won by teams chasing. The fear of elevated targets, the fear of soaring required run rate, the fear of opposition batsmen (when they bat first) and the fear of opposition bowlers (when they bowl second) have all been put aside by the captains in this season of the IPL. Notwithstanding the conditions, most of the captains these days elect to bowl first at the toss.The architecture of these run chases has been mostly drawn by the batsman cum captain for a team. Rohit Sharma being the greatest exemplary. Mumbai Indians has played 9 matches as of now. They have won five and lost four. Indians' dependency on him is best defined by the fact that his contributions of 84*, 62, 65, 68 and 85 have all come in the matches that they have won. In the remaining matches, Sharma registered innings of 7, 7, 5 and 0. Out of the 1,447 runs that Mumbai Indians have scored …

IPL 9 Preview - Match 32 - KKR vs KXIP.

The last time these two teams faced each other, Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of Kings XI Punjab. They defeated Kings XI by 6 wickets with 17 balls remaining. From that point onwards, Knight Riders kept climbing the stairs of success. On the other hand, Kings kept on falling on and on until their last match was played. A day before the match, the think tank of Kings XI had made the most swashbuckling decision of IPL 9 by axing the captain, David Miller. Perhaps, they had lost the batsman in Miller in the quest of finding a leader in him.
Murli Vijay was given the big responsibility. The 32-year old right-hand batsman showed signs of immediate success both as a captain and as a batsman, which was missing during Miller's tenure as captain. Vijay scored an accountable 41-balls 55 before getting out to Shivil Kaushik. He was proactive during the second innings as well. Four different bowlers bowled the first four overs which meant that the latter not only had plans but the will …