Sunday, April 28, 2013

IPL6: The Middle Overs

The IPL madness is well and truly on. Only after some 30 odd game with some 40 plus (or is that 100) still remaining some fatigue has also started creeping in. So like any ODI its time for the boring middle overs. A phase which is not interesting by itself to watch but has quite a big impact going forward. The mind maybe getting a bit IPL-numb but there are still moments thrown up which will be remembered for, if not years, at least one week going forward.

Sir Jadeja - When the Indian captain knights you, you do have to live up to the reputation by coming up with something which mere mortals cant even think of. And thats what happened when Sir Jadeja was on strike with the team needing 2 runs off the last ball. Yet in dramatic circumstances (some would say very fishy), the bowler RP Singh bowls a (big) no ball which "Sir" top edges to third man who catches it while "Sir" crosses over to other end. Result - both teams found celebrating till they realise the real consequence, that Sir Jadeja ensured his team's victory off the last ball with one ball to spare (Go figure). And he turns up next match to create a (then) record for fantasy league points from a single game. And follows it up the very next game by creating a fantasy league record for the maximum negative points from a single game. Not for nothing is he Sir Jadeja.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Some Facts About Chris Gayle and number 3

Some Facts About Chris Gayle and number 3

1. Gayle's jersey number is 333.

2. His highest Test score is 333.

3. A 30-ball century is a strike rate of 333.

4. His innings was interrupted by a 33-minute rain delay.

5. His opening partner, Dilshan scored 33.

6. Gayle is 33 years old.

Views of a Chennai Super Fan – In the end, Mr Cricket is the real winner

Match: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals in Chennai
Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets
The Royals chose to bat first, and were single-handedly powered to a mammoth score by Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson, who scored a belligerent ton (also the first of IPL-6). He was particularly harsh on CSK’s new favorite, Jadeja, who cracked in his third over conceding 18 runs including two sixes and two big wides. Stuart Binny was the only other batsman who made a substantial contribution and Ashwin was the only bowler who ended with decent bowling figures. It left the Super Kings needing 186 to win the game.
The Super Kings were in control of the chase, right from the start. Despite Vijay’s failure (again), Hussey and Raina never let the required rate shoot up. Raina scored a much-needed half century with contained some trademark shots of his, while Hussey continued his rich vein of form to score a match-winning 88 from 51 balls which completely neutralized Watson’s century. Despite a late stutter, Bravo’s six in the final over bowled by Watson ensured that CSK would move right to the top of the points table.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Views of a Chennai Super Fan – When Sir was enough for the Knights

Match: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings in Kolkata
Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 4 wickets
Kolkata Knight Riders batted first and Gambhir opened with a new partner in Yusuf Pathan. The move seemed to have worked as KKR raced to 46 in 6 overs, as they take full toll of Albie Morkel in particular. It took a Hussey special at third man to trigger a slide, as Gambhir was the first one to get dismissed. Two balls later, a direct hit from Badri sent Kallis on his way without facing a delivery; Morgan and Pathan followed quickly, and just like that KKR had lost 4 wickets for 9 runs in the space of 13 deliveries. Tiwary and Das staged a mini fight-back, but once Ashwin scalped both of them in consecutive overs, Jadeja picked three other lower order wickets as KKR stalled to 119/9 from their allotted overs.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

IPL 6- Young Indian Players to Watch

The IPL is near, heading towards us like a meteor. A meteor carrying cheerleaders, soulless sponsors and music way past its expiry date. And whichever Ravi Shastri clone swallowed a microphone. 

Last year we used it as an emotional shield from the battering India received in Tests, this year we can pretend to be eagle-eyed scouts looking into space for the future stars of Indian cricket.

I peered at this year's squads with narrowed eyes to make this very short list, because I was looking for players who were (a) new to the gig and (b) likely to get at least one game. That ruled out most of the others. That doesn't mean there won't be surprises, because IPL teams are only consistent in their inconsistence.

Baba Aparajith (Chennai Super Kings) - Big things are expected of this 18-year old, who was a key part of India's recent U-19 World Cup win. Apart from looking like R. Ashwin's younger brother, he's a reliable batsman, a more-than-handy offspinner and an athletic fielder. Doesn't have much of a T20 record yet, but he is playing for his home side and he might get a couple of opportunities if luck Dhoni allows it.

Ishwar Pandey (Pune Warriors) - He has had a very impressive season, and would even be known as the best fast (medium) bowler in India if random comments on the Internet meant anything. His chances of making the XI are low, as Pune also have Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashok Dinda, but with the number of games to be played he could get a game or two.

5 Unforgettable Moments for a Chennai Super Kings Fan

The IPL is here, and once more it is time to set aside national loyalties and pick a city-based franchise to cheer this season. As a loyal CSK fan ever since the league’s inception, I will be egging on Dhoni’s (yellow) men to shrug off last season’s heartbreaking loss in the final and come up trumps this time to claim the championship for the third time in six seasons. Here, in no particular order, are my top five moments as a CSK fan over the years:
1. Balaji’s hat-trick (vs Kings XI in 2008)
In the context of the game, the hat-trick may not have mattered much; three wickets remained and the batsmen were going for their shots anyway. Still, to see a local lad (and one of my favorites) pick the first hat-trick was a sure sign of things to come: for the team to do well, the local players had to step up. And how they did.
2. The Monk tees off (vs Rajasthan Royals in 2010)
CSK’s strength is the quality of big hitting batsmen in their side. Over the years, they have had Hayden, Flintoff, Dhoni, Raina, Morkel and Bravo – all players who could step in to top gear at a moment’s notice. While these players were largely known quantities, one player who chose the IPL to announce himself to the world in grand style was Murali Vijay. Just watch the quality of shots in the embedded video clip….

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jesse Ryder - When Sport Crosses the Line

At the time of writing, Jesse Ryder is fighting for his life after a completely cowardly and baseless attack by a group of terrible individuals. It is a dark day in international cricket, and it is not the first. One of the alleged and completely senseless reasons behind this is that it was possibly a "Jesse Hate Fight", which brings up the crux of this matter.

How far is too far? When does being a sports fan cross the line to sheer madness? It baffles me that somebody could possible justify a hate fight over a sport. I would call myself a cricket fan, that doesn't mean I would ever make it a personal issue regarding international cricketers and I am sure the vast majority fall into this category. It is the minority we have to address here, this is where we draw the line between fan and fanatic.

Violence in cricket isn't anything new, we saw the tragic murder of coach Bob Woolmer in 2007 and the Sri Lankan team bus attacked in Pakistan in 2009, remembering that the entire team barely escaped with their lives. We constantly see in India street riots, the burning of effigies, players' homes attacked. What did any of that ever achieve? What drives people to resort to such lunacy over what is after all only a game?