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This analysis is to find out the contribution of Hussey, Hayden, Oram & Co., in all CSK’s wins.

Match 1 – CSK v Punjab

Result Chennai Super Kings won by 33 runs

Contribution Mike Hussey – 116 (54)

Match 2 – CSK v Mumbai

Result Chennai Super Kings won by 6 runs

Contribution Hayden – 81 (46)

Match 3 – CSK v Kolkata

Result Chennai Super Kings won by 9 wickets

Contributions Hayden – 70 (49), Oram – 3/32

Match 4 – CSK v Bangalore

Result Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs

Contribution Hussey – 47 (37)
So from the records, it is obvious that Hayden, Hussey, Oram & Co, has made significant contributions to all the CSK’s victories.  Also, CSK has lost both their matches, after their departure.

Is it a coincidence or were they really outplayed?  Well, we have to wait and see…

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First look at the IPL

Emerging as champions in the Maiden 20-20 World Cup, has developed an affinity between the Indians and the 20-20 Form of cricket. Both players and the fans seem to love this so-simplified version of the game.

Indian Premier League (IPL), IMHO is by far the costliest Cricket tournament to happen anywhere in the world. As a fan of the Cricket game, I would like to share my views on some of the teams taking part in this tournament. It might be very-too-early to comment on a team’s strength & weakness, as there is a long way to go in the tournament; this post is meant to be a first look at the teams that constitute the IPL.

Kings XI Punjab

Backed by bubbly Preity Zinta, KXP appears to be a strong team with many top quality batsmen and all rounders. But except for Brett Lee and Sreesanth, they seem to be a little weaker on their bowling line up. Though 20-20 is a batsmen centric form of game, the last few games have shown that bowlers can play a crucial part if they can pick some early wickets. Sreesanth, as we know, is at times prone to onslaught. That leaves a huge responsibility on the shoulders of Brett Lee. Except for Ramesh Powar, I could not see any specialist spinners in their line up. Having lost both their games against ‘Chennai Super Kings’ and ‘Rajasthan Royals’, KXP is under huge pressure. Let’s wait and see how they fare in the future games.

Chennai Super Kings XI

Led by the Indian captain, this team is beaming with energy and enthusiasm. Hayden, Hussey, Raina and Dhoni are the batsmen to look for. This is not to undermine Fleming and Oram. They have a strong bowling team too, with Muralitharan, Ntini and Balaji. With a comprehensive win over Kings XI Punjab, Chennai team is full of confidence. Mike Hussey was fantastic in the previous game, but Dhoni’s performance was conspicuous by its absence. But I consider this team to be little behind Kolkata and Hyderabad, when it comes to the overall team strength. Having said this, it is a team’s performance on any given day that matters.

Deccan Chargers

Despite losing their initial controversial game with Kolkata Knight Riders, I consider DC as one of the strong contenders for the title. They are a balanced side, with solid contributors with bat and the ball. Gilchrist and Gibbs are capable of giving the deadliest of starts, that any opposition can expect. Not to mention the contribution, Andrew Symonds can make in the middle overs. Chamara Silva is a promising Sri Lankan and I am looking forward to his performance. With RP Singh, Vaas, Zoysa and Styris to back their batsmen, Hyderabad Deccan Chargers are one of my favorites in this tournament.

Rajasthan Royals

I consider them as one of the weakest links in the tournament. Their performance against Kings XI Punjab was commendable. But their success can be attributed only to the Shanes (Warne and Watson). With Graeme Smith and Younis Khan not joining the team yet, their batting appears feeble. There are some promising names on the bowling front. It is better to adjudge their composition, once the key players join the playing eleven.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Woo… These guys rock. One of my favorite three (other two being – Chennai and Hyderabad) teams, KKR is a solid team. Led by Ganguly, the team has the advantage of Ponting’s guidance too. McCullum stunned everyone at Bangalore, in the opening game. Ishant Sharma is promising – continuing from where he left in Australia. With 2 wins already in their bag, they must be beaming with confidence. I am really looking forward to their other games.

Delhi Daredevils

A good team with some strong players, but I really doubt them being the ‘daredevils’. I see some loophole in their batting line up. Except for Sehwag and Gambhir, this team lacks any super starters. In a 20-20 match, a good start is something, that might decide the outcome of the game. They have a very strong bowling lineup, with Glenn Mcgrath leading the pace pack. But I really doubt their competence with a few other teams, who have a very strong batting line up.

Bangalore Royal Challengers

Led by former Indian Captain Rahul Dravid, this team appears to be a balanced one. They have good talent, both on batting and bowling fronts. Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Sunil Joshi – everyone seems to be bowling well. Virat Kohli is extraordinary in the field. They have some batsmen like – Dravid, Chanderpaul, Kallis, Boucher, Ross Taylor – who can lift themselves to the occasion. This is some team, which others have to look out for. They can bounce back any moment.

Mumbai Indians

Last but not the least, Mumbai Indians are an attractive lot. With the Little Master on their side, the team can feel a lot confident. Jayasuriya can give dreamy starts, when required. Pace attack spearheaded by Pollock seems to be a strong one. I see a little deficiency there on the spin front. Provided the other bowlers perform well, this should not be a cause of concern.

All teams are power packed, with energy and enthusiasm. I am sure we have a wonderful month ahead, with some crucial clashes around the corner. Happy IPL!!

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Is this really warranted?

Everyone of us are already aware of big money, that is attached to the game of cricket.  But it has come into the limelight, with the bidding of players for the IPL.

With an average cost of about $5,000,000 for the players in a team, the total player cost for all 7 teams combined together comes to $35,000,000.  Some players who had strong recent performances, were bid for unprecedented amounts (Ishant Sharma, Andrew Symonds…).

Couple of questions come to my mind.  Is such a costly bidding necessary for pulling players into the teams?  I understand the logic in case of foreign players, who have to be lured to participate in IPL.  But why the same for Indian players?

Secondly, will IPL be a hit in the cricketing world.  I have my misgivings on this.  There were mixed responses to the 20-20 world cup.  So the response that IPL evokes, is something to look for.

At this juncture, I remember the quote from our Thalaivar in Sivaji.  “Rich get richer, poor get poorer” (Substitute “Cricketers” for “Rich” in the previous sentence) 🙂

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India, right at the top!

Fans dancing

Pakistanis praying

Indians shouting

Crackers bursting (already…)

Heart stopping

Dhoni thinking

Joginder bowling

Misbah-Ul-Haq swinging

Sreesanth looking (at the ball)

And then it all happened….

INDIANS are the World Number ONE in Twenty20 Cricket!! 

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Hmmm… Now the real contest begins. India played some really good cricket against the world champions yesterday and I was really itching to write this post.

It was a very confident and positive decision by Dhoni, to bat first. India did not have the best of starts. At one stage, they were struggling at 50 runs for 2 wickets, in about 9 overs. This marked the commencement of a partnership between in form Yuvraj Singh and energetic Robin Uthappa. Both of them played with so much of ease and were hammering the bowlers all around the ground. It was for their magnificent effort and a little cameo by Dhoni later in the innings, India managed a “winnable” total of 188.

Australia started their chase well, maintaining a fair run rate. They kept their wickets in hand, to make sure that a required run rate of about 10 an over around 15 overs, is reachable. Sreesanth bowled with a lot of vigor and Pathan was good too. Picking up 2 important wickets, Sreesanth had given runs only at a rate 3.0 per over, which is remarkable in this form of cricket. Hats off to him! But, when Australia needed just 30 runs off the last 18 deliveries, I considered India to have lost the game. A sensible batting from this point on, should have taken Australia home. They made the blunder of trying to heave the bowlers, who were bowling really well. Pathan picked up the key wicket of Symonds and Harbhajan that of Clarke. RP Singh bowled a very miserly penultimate over, which left Australia requiring 22 runs off the final over. It seemed almost impossible with Haddin and Lee struggling to even hit the ball. Credit must go to Joginder Singh, who kept his nerves and bowled really well. Finally, it turned out to be India’s day and they comprehensively made their way into the final.

With Australia dominating all forms of cricket, I was wondering about their weaker sections. And finally they have their weakness too and India exploited it wonderfully well.

The final is sure to be a cracker of the game with Pakistanis in awesome form and Indians beaming with confidence. After all, every India vs Pakistan game is viewed as a grand finale!!

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Twenty 20 World Cup

It is for everyone to see that the usual fervor of World Cup cricket is missing in the current tournament. At least, I am not so excited or keenly following the matches that are taking place. This form of cricket mandates a drastic attitude shift, both for the players and for the cricket followers.

At a high level, this game suits players with great deal of aggression. Temperament, technique, good length bowling and partnerships are not of significant importance in this form of the game. If every player comes on, hits about 2 sixes and 2 fours and goes out, it makes an impressive total of about 180-200 to defend. Also this format is designed specifically for the batsmen. Bowlers just have to make sure that they keep bowling a good line and anticipate batsmen to make mistakes.

I am ardent lover of Test match cricket and never gets bored with it. It offers all the excitement, provided the pitch is aptly prepared. But such an excitement is conspicuous by its absence, in case of Twenty 20 cricket. I am able to see many renowned international players do not wish to play this form of cricket, in a consistent manner. I could sense that both the players and fans are unanimous in this aspect.

Twenty 20 match can be a warm up game prior to cricket tour matches. But I do not see a point in holding a World Cup and deciding the winner. This tournament must be seen as a test case and the feedback must be used to decide the future for this form of cricket.

Nevertheless, congratulations to Pakistan on rising from the ashes, after their unceremonious exit from the ODI World Cup. They seem to have adapted themselves exceedingly well and are playing some really good cricket. Good luck for them to go ahead and grab the cup!

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Well done India!

Dravid’s men have proved it again. ODI Series win against SA and Test Series win against England are feats worth a praise. Also the circumstances under which the Indian team has started their tour, without a full time coach, makes this occasion more commendable.

A good thing about this tour, is that almost all batsmen were at runs. I could think of no batsman who was a utter failure in this tour. Same holds good with the bowlers too. I am particularly impressed by the way Dinesh Karthik has played. He appears to be highly composed and totally confident at the top of the line up. Gauguly, Tendulkar, Laxman were all among the runs. Dravid was not at his usual best, but he has not done very badly either. Overall a good series win for India. They should try and keep this momentum going for the One day series!

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