Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
On his experience as a jury member
It was good because there was a fair debate [in the adjudication meeting]. Some disagreed with the others - for example, Simon Taufel went with the minority vote if you could call it that. I had one choice that I thought was a better choice and got outvoted, but that’s fine - it that happens all the time. It’s good when you sit on a jury like this, I have not done this too many times so I was quite excited about it. It makes you think and look back and that’s the good thing about it all – [when] you are sitting and analysing AB DeVilliers [or] Andrew Symonds, you have to go back to all the performances. I thought the best, the most interesting one was the ‘Most dramatic performance’ award and I think it’s a measure of the strength of the IPL that six performances could have got it and nobody would have complained. That’s the number of dramatic performances you have got so far in the IPL.
On having more sympathy for the selectors after this experience
Selection is easier than judging performances like these (laughs). But it’s good fun. I think this is more fun than anything else because when it comes to selection, you are actually thinking of people’s careers, there’s people’s emotions [involved]. This is an award that lasts 10 minutes, 15 minutes with you. When you are done with the game, you look back warmly at it. It’s a lot easier than being on the selection committee, I’d like to think.
On working with the panel
It was interesting because you can tell Sri [Javagal Srinath] is a fast bowler, he comes aggressively with his opinions and Simon [Taufel] doesn’t hold back either, and suddenly Sunny [Sunil Gavaskar] would come up with something and say, “Oh, I didn’t think of that!” So it was good fun. Initially I think I was a bit reserved, and then I said no, no, no, I’ve got to get my voice heard as well. It was good fun, I would like to be on [such a jury] again.
(Harsha Bhogle is a renowned cricket commentator who’s greatly revered in the world of cricket for his knowledge of the game. He is also on the jury panel for the first Sahara IPL Awards)
The only glimmer of hope was Suresh Raina, who was their second most successful batsman. Raina and Murali Vijay have led the batting this year with a lot of high scores taking the pressure off Hayden and Dhoni. CSK had been hampered with the absence of Michael Hussey for the first half of the tournament and injuries to Justin Kemp made matters worse. Jacob Oram too who was an integral part of the team last year missed out due to injury. Albie Morkel has done little of note to fill the gap left by Oram.
Yet, the second half of the tournament saw Chennai come back with a vengeance with Vijay, Badrinath and Raina starring with the bat and R Ashwin, Bollinger and Muralidaran coming into their own.
Ashwin has bowled with tremendous spirit and control. Opening with Bollinger, the spinner has performed well enough to keep Muralidaran out at times.
Boasting of one of the best batting line-ups in IPL, CSK have done justice to their reputation by making it to the semis for the third time in three years.
CSK lose to DC - A target of 190 was too much to ask for, as the men in yellow fell short of the target by 31 runs in their first match of this year in front of their home crowd
CSK beat KKR - A target of 164 was a formidable one, set up by MS Dhoni and S Badrinath, with the skipper contributing with a breezy 66* off 33 balls. The visiting CSK side came back brilliantly to bowl out KKR and win by 55 runs to record their first win of the tournament
CSK beat DD - If Delhi did something, Chennai could do it better. CSK shot down 186 with five wickets in hand, as Hayden and his Mongoose bat tore apart the Delhi bowling; Raina added the finishing touches
CSK lose to KXIP – Super finish, Super Over! All R Ashwin simply had to do was to play it somewhere and take the single, but it went straight to Kaif, and the match was tied. The Super Over beckoned, and Punjab held their nerve to register their first win of the tournament after a scratchy start
CSK lose to RCB - Chennai's southern neighbours Bangalore went on a rampage, tearing apart a depleted CSK pace attack, with Uthappa providing the fire as the bowlers lit the fuse. CSK lost another match on the run
CSK lose to MI - 180 on the board courtesy Raina and Badrinath was not enough, as Tendulkar and Dhawan one again proved to be the fulcrum of the chasing attack, and Chennai recorded another loss in their road to the semi-finals, their third in a row
CSK lose to RR - MS Dhoni may have returned from injury, but his return could not change fortunes for CSK as they once again fell short chasing, this time by 17 runs. Albie Morkel's fireworks came a little too late for them
CSK beat RCB - A charged Super Kings finally ended their losing streak, defeating a full strength RCB by five wickets. Murali Vijay was the chief architect of the win, Suresh Raina the finisher. A lethal double act.
CSK beat RR - Chepauk witnessed records being broken, as Murali Vijay and Albie Morkel posted a huge total of 246, with Vijay scoring a magnificent 127 off just 56 balls. Doug Bollinger, making his IPL debut, helped his side win a close match as RR replied with a strong 223/5
CSK beat MI - After the previous match's run-fest, 164 looked a small total, till Ashwin, Jakati and co. confounded the men in blue and gold to snatch away two points, reaching fourth place in the points table
CSK lose to DC - Gilchrist got the better of his fellow glovesman once again. The Super Kings were lacklustre with the bat, mustering just 138 and eventually losing by six wickets
CSK beat KKR – Chepauk was soon becoming the run-fest capital, thus this time they decided to make it a spinner's paradise. Ashwin and Jakati - with strong support from the pacers - bundled out the Knight Riders for 139. Vijay and Raina sparked off celebrations as they romped home with 9 wickets to spare
CSK lose to DD - A vital win was needed for them, but they fell short. Limited to a sub-par 112/9, the men in yellow struck quickly, but the total was too small to defend, as they lost by 6 wickets
CSK beat KXIP – The vital battle was fought1457 metres above Chennai in the idyllic Dharamsala. The Kings XI Punjab had set a daunting 192 – if CSK won, they would qualify for the semi-finals. Raina and Badrinath came and went, but Dhoni stayed on, smashing the ball out of the park twice in the last over to lead his team to the top four with a sparkling 54*
Speaking to Mike Haysman, he said that “It’s a good wicket and the ball will come on to the bat. It will slow down a little later, so we’d like to bowl first.” He also added that their strength lies in chasing down targets and in the batting order, so he opted to bowl first. The Royal Challengers Bangalore side is unchanged for this match.
Sachin Tendulkar did not have any qualms on losing the toss, and said “It has a good amount of grass cover, and the wicket looks quite true, and it will come onto the bat well.”
Speaking to Sunil Gavaskar, he said that even though they have made it to the semi-finals, they would be looking to continue the winning momentum. The Mumbai Indians have revamped their side for this match.
While Dilhara Fernando retained his place in Mumbai Indians line-up, Aditya Tare and Abhishek Nayyar are getting a match and Ryan McLaren is also a part of the playing XI. Also out of the playing XI are Chandan Madan and Ali Murtaza.
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), JP Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Dilhara Fernando, Aditya Tare (wk), Abhishek Nayar, Ryan McLaren
T20 cricket can often seem one-dimensional for the purists of the game.But the connoisseurs were in for a real treat on Monday night in Nagpur.The first 15 minutes of the game gave them so much to savour that it didn't matter what happened afterwards.
Dale Steyn showed his full flair as a fast bowler and reminded us Indians,once again,what he is capable of. Just in case we had forgotten his heroics in the home Test Series.
A beautiful seaming delivery got Adam Gilchrist caught-behind first ball. Then he rattled Herschelle Gibbs stumps with a pacy full length delivery. Young T Suman found himself fending off a rising delivery to be caught close on the leg side.
Three different and exceptional deliveries,getting rid of three top-order batsmen in the space of two overs.It was all quite brilliant.
Then to round off the glorious fifteen minutes of that cricket capsule,Rohit Sharma played a superb cover drive off a good delivery from Steyn, like only a few batsmen in this country can. It was top class Test action in the garb of T20.
Royal Challengers should have won the game comfortably with the kind of depth they have in their batting. Watching Anil Kumble trod back to the pavilion after the unsuccessful run chase,I guess he may have a few words to say to his batsmen.And those words may not be too complimentary.
As the tournament heads towards an interesting climax, commentator and former Australian paceman Michael Kasprowicz shares his favourites with iplt20.com
- Best captain: I think Shane Warne, because having asked a couple of players in the Rajasthan team, [Abhishek] Jhunjhunwala in particular, asking about what he does, what makes him a good captain he replied - it’s just like he empowers the individual, he gives them the opportunity to do something and trusts them, and provides the confidence for them to go out there and perform. He is really good at that and used to do that obviously in the Australian team and in every team he is involved and he is leading - that’s his strength, sort of getting everyone to play better, find something extra in themselves.
- Best bowler: I think we have seen the effectiveness of spin and it is a tough one to actually single out individuals because there have been plenty of great individual performances. But I think you’ve got the accuracy of the spinners coming to it with the surfaces and the pace in them. There are two I really like as a former fast bowler - I really enjoy Shaun Tait because of his action, it is a bit different with the pace, and also Dale Steyn - he is bowling in unbelievable heat at the moment, a 150kmph regularly, [he has] really good pace and means of getting it through and just continuing with that energy.
- Best batsman: One of the things I find very interesting is the leading run scorers, like Tendulkar or Kallis, are the batsmen who play normal cricket shots. As a bowler you have to bowl your highest percentage delivery which may be a full yorker at the end of the innings, hitting straight down the ground. For the batsmen as well, the highest percentage shot might be giving it the full face looking to hit it straight down - once you start going across around midwicket or giving yourself room and slicing it, you open it up to error. Players like Tendulkar and Kallis have demonstrated that they just score big runs and not by trying to be too flashy but by playing good cricket shots - that is the key.
- Best fielder: I am really impressed with Sathish [in the Mumbai team]. I think he is electric around the point area, amazing speed. But then you have the best players in the world [in IPL] - the best throwing arms in the world so it’s tough to single out any one when you have so many good players doing it, I find it very tough. But I reckon for a local, one with quick feet to the ball and accuracy [in] the number of times he hits the stumps, I feel Sathish has caught my eye.
- Best moment: I think that close game when Rajasthan Royals played Deccan Chargers, getting down to the last ball and getting the wicket of the last player. That’s everything you want in a Twenty20 game if you are a Rajasthan Royals supporter because you are taken right to the edge, to the limit. And even with the shot with the bat you thought, initially the Deccan followers thought they had won the game. But then to get dragged up in emotion, to be pulled back down when he took the catch, I think that was a great game and I think that’s what Twenty20 cricket is all about. Twenty overs condense the time, condense the skill - I suppose and they condense the results too.
- Best young player:I think the Chennai Super Kings batsman, Murali Vijay, that innings he played [a century against RR] was just played beautifully and when Harsha Bhogle talks about ... I thought it was a great innings because he has always been technically correct but he mixed [it well]. As I said earlier about playing in percentages, playing technically correct [is important] but [he] found that towards the end of the innings he was in and he could clear midwicket but his only sixes were straight down the ground.
Her chiselled face, sparkling eyes and dignified demeanour have won her many hearts but hers beats just for the Bangalore Boys.
In an interview with iplt20.com, the beautiful actor spoke about her favourite cricketers in Royal Challenger Bangalore and how she reacts to close finishes.
On RCB’s loss to Deccan Chargers on their home ground, Deepika said, “It is not heart-breaking because I think it is not the end. I am glad that we played really well. I think that is the most important thing. Yes, it is sad that we lost but we fought till the last. The Deccan Chargers played really well and we fought till the end.”
The Bangalore-born actor never bites her nails in a close finish – in fact she enjoys the ups and downs of a match and feels that is the beauty of this game. "I enjoy the game and especially when the match is such that it lasts till the 20th over. To me that is good cricket and I enjoyed [it] today. I like the game and I have been supporting my home team Bangalore for quite some time now."
When asked to pick her favourite cricketers from RCB, Deepika said, "Well there are a couple whom I like. Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor and [Virat] Kohli are good. Jacques Kallis has been playing really well for Bangalore, so add him also to my list. I just love Bangalore boys."
"Anil [Kumble] is my all time favourite. And [it’s not surprising considering the] fact that he is also from Bangalore and has known my Dad [Prakash Padukone for years]. I have grown up watching his match-winning performances for India. He is a legend of the game,” she added.
Talking about his decision to bat first, Deccan Chargers skipper said that it was a nice wicket with a bit of shine on it. “There is grass on this pitch and we would like to start well with the ball,” the wicketkeeper-captain said.
“Bangalore is always a nice venue and has a great atmosphere. Everyone has watched the matches played here with great interest. We haven’t been performing to our fullest, and we hope to ignite the flame within,” Gilly said.
Anil Kumble was okay with the decision to bat. He remarked, “That’s fine. You can’t do much about the toss. We would also have liked to bowl first as it’s a good track and would remain so for the full 40 overs.”
Commenting on what his team needs to do, he said, “We need to play good cricket throughout the 40 overs.”
Kevin Pietersen will be sitting in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s dug out for this match and pacer Dale Steeyn gets a game in his place. On his choice of overseas players, the RCB captain said, “It’s difficult to make KP to sit out, but we had to select four overseas players. And with the quality we have in our team with hitters like Ross Taylor and Cameron White, and Jacques Kallis opening [that’s the only option]. We hope to go out there and play a good game.”
“During the first IPL, I was probably a spoilt kid....Now, I realise the importance of coming back into the Indian team, having got a chance, done well and then being left out. I have matured in the last two years, but there's still a long way to go,” Virat Kohli was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
“The form of Mumbai Indians has been compelling in recent matches and they clearly have one of the secrets to winning consistently, which is to have unexpected match-winners hiding in your team ready to strike when least expected,” Jacques Kallis wrote in The Times of India. “Not only is each game finely balanced, but the points table as we approach the halfway point of the tournament, has a very tense and closely contested look to it,” he added.
“A lot of people are placing the entire blame on Yuvraj Singh’s shoulders, but I don’t think that is very fair. He cannot be expected to single-handedly take us over the line every time, and the whole team has to play as a unit if we are to turn the tide,” wrote Kumara Sangakkara in The Times of India.
When Sunil Gavaskar bowed to Sachin Tendulkar and to touch his feet, Tendulkar said, "Nako, nako," in Marathi, reported DNA. In reaction to the incident Gavaskar was quoted as saying, "He is such a loveable chap...he is most respectful of elders.”
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
SWOT Analysis: KKR
Kolkata Knight Riders have had a miserable experience in both IPL editions. They have the worst record amongst all teams in the league having lost 16 of the 26 matches they have played till date. They have also been beset by controversies, like the multiple captain issue. They have corrected some of their past mistakes and are looking to turn the tide under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly.
They have a very good coach in Dav Whatmore, who has always given great results with underdog teams. Their biggest strength lies in their batting line-up. Even with the exclusion of Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum, they have a line-up that includes Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge and Owais Shah. They also have in their ranks Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who has been in great touch of late. The inclusion of Rohan Gavaskar and Manoj Tiwary will add much needed stability to the middle-order. Be it Ajit Agarkar or Ishant Sharma, the KKR bowling attack can pack a punch. In Charl Langeveldt they have one of the best bowlers in the death overs. Another point to keep in mind is Ganguly’s tenacity and urge to prove a point after making a comeback, which could drive the Knight Riders to the top.
Their greatest strengths can also be their greatest weakness. The lack of discipline and consistency has time and again let the team and its fans down. The team, which collapsed to 95 all out in one of the games last year, even with the likes of Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum, could on a bad day meekly surrender to the opposition. The Knight Riders have been also never bound together as a cohesive unit and all their wins have been based on individual efforts. Their local players especially have failed to deliver the much needed support to the star batting line-up for them to win. Their bowling also has been weak and only when Kiwi paceman Shane Bond comes into the picture would they appear to have strength to defend meagre totals. Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis is no longer a secret weapon and most opposition players have been able to decode his action.
IPL 2010 could be the launch pad for many of the Kolkata Knight Riders. Wriddhiman Saha, who has had a few useful knocks, would relish using the opportunity provided by Brendon McCullum’s absence to knock on the national selectors doors. Young off-spinner Iqbal Abdulla could use this exposure to not only learn some tricks of the trade but also catch the eye of the selectors. Good performances by Ishant Sharma and Ajit Agarkar could stand them in good stead when it’s time to select the team for the T20 World Cup. Mohnish Parmar, considered to be India’s answer to Muralidaran, should grab this opportunity to establish himself in the national scheme of things.
The trio of missing overseas stars: Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Shane Bond could be a stumbling block for the Knight Riders. The lack of hard-hitting batsmen could cause the team to not have big enough totals to defend. And if Ishant and Agarkar’s bowling is as inconsistent as in the earlier editions, then KKR would struggle to win matches.