Tag Archives

5 Articles

IPL 2015: The Released XI

by iplgeek 0 Comments

Amongst the released players is Yuvraj Singh, the most expensive player of the 2014 Auctions (image from sportskeeda.com).

In the last few days, we’ve seen a lot of players being released prior to the 2015 IPL. In past seasons, this releasing window has been a usually uneventful time, where franchises release a few random low-price players to free their roster a bit. However, this time we’ve seen a massive movement, with some really big names hitting the released list. I made a playing XI out of these released players, fitting in the biggest names.

1. Murali Vijay (DD): Vijay had a pretty lean run for Delhi in the 2014 season, with a paltry 207 runs at an average of 18.81. That, and his massive price tag of 5 crore rupees, is what probably led to the franchise letting him go. However, his scores of 53 and 99 in the first test Down Under indicates that the Daredevils might have missed a trick by letting him go.

2. Aaron Finch (SRH): Finchy had a lukewarm run this IPL, with 309 runs at an average of 28.09. Nonetheless, he was never quite the impact player that the Sunrisers wanted, as they ended up slipping to 6th place.

3. Jacques Kallis (KKR): Well, to be completely honest, we cannot say that we didn’t see this one coming. KKR pretty much gave up on Kallis 8 matches into the tournament, and preferred to run in with Ryan Ten Doeschate as the fourth overseas player along with Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hassan. Injuries to other players meant that he got a few games in the Champions League, where he played a memorable knock against the Hobart Hurricanes to take KKR into the final, but I think that the Golden Era of Jacques Kallis in IPL is pretty much over.

4. Kevin Pietersen (DD): Cricket is a lovely game, but can have a terrible twist. Kevin Pietersen’s fate is just another example of that. Prior to IPL 7, he had been dropped by the English side, but offered a massive Rs. 9 crore deal from the Delhi Daredevils, and made their skipper shortly after. It was the perfect chance for Kevin Pietersen to lash the whip at the ECB. However, this story turned out to have a rather naturalistic twist to it, as his side finished at the bottom of the table, and Pietersen himself scored only 294 runs. And now, come the reformation era, he’s been released, and will most likely be up for grabs in the IPL Auctions 2015 (where the Daredevils may seek to buy him back at a cheaper price).

5. Yuvraj Singh (RCB): In the ICC World Cup 2011, Yuvraj Singh was India’s hero, as he seemed to be able to score runs and take wickets by the sheer power of his will. Now, with the 2015 World Cup just a few months away, things are very different for the Prince of India. He’s was not included in the Indian World Cup Probables’ list, and has now been dropped from the RCB roster. Despite starting off the 2014 IPL with a blazing half century, he had a lean period that stretched through most of the tournament, before he finally brought out some fireworks that brought some light to what was otherwise was a dismal exit for the Royal Challengers. I’m guessing that it was not poor performance that caused the RCB management to make their decision as much as the fact that he consumed 14 crores of their auction money, which means that they may well try and buy him back in the auction.

6. Brad Hodge (RR): Since his acquisition in IPL 2012, Brad Hodge has undoubtedly been one of Rajasthan’s most valuable players. Nonetheless, last season Steve Smith showed much more potency that he did, and that is why I think they dropped him. Still, I think it’s a queer option, as Shane Watson’s dastardly form last year showed that RR would be well advised to have a backup batsman on the side. He is still one of the best T20 batsmen in the world today, and I’m sure that some team will be willing to pay big bucks for him, even if it isn’t the Royals.

7. Dinesh Karthik (DD): I think that Dinesh Karthik’s sacking was probably the saddest decision of the lot, along with Yuvraj. This is perhaps because of the fact that he was one of the few batsmen who did something for Delhi. He was the only batsman to cross 300 runs apart from JP Duminy, and while he was understandably not his 100%, he did more than most of the other batsmen. Like in the case of Yuvraj, I think that this is more related to the fact that he cost the franchise 12.5 crores to hire that led them to their harsh decision, and I’m sure they will try and get him back ahead of IPL 2015.

8. Darren Sammy (SRH): In 2013, it was Sammy’s two sixes that pulled the Sunrisers into a semifinal berth in their debut season. In IPL 2014, he managed to hit just six more sixes than that in the 108 runs he scored. He was dismal in this season, and failed to make the impact that inspired the Sunrisers to fight to buy him back in the 2014 Auctions. It was probably just the fact that Shikhar Dhawan was a lousy captain and Moises Henriques’ indifferent form that kept him in the playing XI for most of the tournament. Overall, Sammy will need to buck up and try to redeem himself with his new franchise in 2015.

9. Irfan Pathan (SRH): Yusuf had a bit of a blast towards the end of IPL 2015, but it was rather lean for the other Pathan. Irfan barely managed to make an impact with the bat, and was barely trusted with the ball. This is undoubtedly the awakening period in IPL, and the fate of Irfan confirms it. Franchises are no longer willing to express sympathy to a player because they’re Indian; if you don’t perform, you’re out. Hopefully this is a wakeup call for Irfan, and a reminder to some other players.

10. Amit Mishra (SRH): I must admit that I never saw this one coming. Amit Mishra had a terrible season last year (7 wickets from 10 games with an E/R of 9.06), not to mention this hilarious incident. Again, I think it’s a wake up call for players who’ve been coasting on IPL contracts just because they’re capped Indian players. It’s a blunt reminder that talent, not nationality is what matters in the world of cricket.

11. Pragyan Ojha (MI): The irony of MI releasing Pragyan Ojha is just so sweet that I cannot help but post it. MI picked Ojha with their RTM card, which they could have used on Glenn Maxwell or Dwayne Smith (who finished first and second on the MVP list respectively). Then, he ends up bowling so terribly (4 wickets in 12 matches, E/R 8.26) that they throw him out. It’s just so sad for MI (more for their fans). Nonetheless, Ojha was pretty bad, so we must say that MI were justified in throwing him out.

65 views

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Season Preview

As always, watch my podcast for my general overview and analysis of the team:

After the Kings XI Punjab, I feel that the Sunrisers Hyderabad made some of the best buys in the IPL Auction for 2014. They pulled in a strong, balanced squad, and look like the team to bet this IPL. They did bring in Australian duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch to combine with the retained Shikhar Dhawan to beef up the top order, but the true strength of their side comes in their bowling. After pulling back the core of their attack by retaining and buying back Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Darren Sammy and Karan Sharma, they roped in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Jason Holder, Parveez Rasool, and Moises Henriques to form what is inarguably the most dangerous bowling line up this season. The only issue for them would be who be that a majority of their middle order is left in a slightly slippery position, with players like Venugopal Rao and Naman Ojha not really being in impact form over the last two years. However, they do have other options, such as Manpreet Juneja, Lokesh Rahul, and Srikkanth Aniruddha, so they do have room for experimentation. Some other things it will be interesting to see is whether Sunrisers will prefer to use Karan Sharma to Parveez Rasool, or whether they will play Ashish Reddy in their squad, as he has been good for the Sunrisers in the past.

Author’s Choice XI (Based on recent times):

Shikhar Dhawan (c)

David Warner

Aaron Finch

Lokesh Rahul (wk)

Darren Sammy

Irfan Pathan

Ashish Reddy

Karan Sharma

Amit Mishra

Dale Steyn

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

16 views

IPL Auctions 2014: Ten Stick-Outs in the Lot

Its the new year 2014, and the IPL Auctions 2014 are dawning upon us already. With less than 30 days to go for the first phase of what is arguably the best domestic league in the world, teams are beginning to stir, waking from their long slumber. The list of retained players has already been announced, and if you so desire you can view them here. This auction plans to be much more interesting than the ones before, not only because it is the quarterly-arriving time where the entire teams are reformed, but also because of several new concepts introduced in this auction. The introduction of the “Right to Match” cards are amongst these interesting reforms, in addition to the retention limit going from 4 players to 5. I will do a thorough post that explains what the rights to match card does in another post, as I plan to do a lot of pre-auction posts anyways. In this particular post, I’m going to talk about 10 players who will definitely be on the buying lists of many franchises, and what will make them so valuable. Just so you know, the order they’re listed in has no statistical significance; its just the order I thought of them in. Here we go:

 

1. Cameron White (Australia)

The hard hitting Victorian has been known for inconsistency in the past, but in the on-going Big Bash League he has made himself heard, leading from the front with 201 runs at an average of 33.83, reinforced with a strike rate of 138.62. He also holds the reigns of captaincy for the Melbourne Stars, and is yet to lose a game this season. Such stats will definitely make White someone the IPL franchises will be looking for. For teams looking for new leaders and complete reform – namely the Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils – this experienced campaigner would be a good option.

Cameron White

2. Luke Wright (England)

While his fellow countrymen were being deep-fried Down Under in the Ashes, Luke Wright was having quiet a ball for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League. Opening the innings with White, he has amassed 275 runs at a strike rate of 151.93 and an average of 34.37, and is the highest scorer for the Stars this year. He is no fool with the ball either, and in fact had an economy rate of 6.5 during Chris Gayle’s memorable assault on the Pune Warriors India during IPL 2013. He is a flexible batsman, and can bat anywhere from opening down to number 6 or 7. I feel that all the teams would love to have him on their side, but with the ECB being touchy about IPL, availability might be an issue for Wright. Still, franchises like RCB and MI would gladly take the risk, as combinations like Gayle and Wright would be beyond deadly.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright

3. Pragyan Ojha (India)

Pragyan Ojha is arguably India’s best test spinner today, but unfortunately he has been overlooked in the limited overs formats, where India’s bowling has taken a severe berating off late. His peak of form in terms of IPL cricket was in the years 2009 and 10, where he played a crucial role in Deccan Chargers’ unexpected title win in 2009, and semifinal place in 2010. He also won the Purple cap in 2010. In 2013, he played an instrumental role in Mumbai’s victory, as he claimed 16 wickets with an economy rate of 7.28, including the crucial wicket of Albie Morkel in the final. It is likely that he will be up for fair auction, as MI chose not to retain him, and are more likely to use their right to match card on Mitchell Johnson. This means that all the franchises will be after him, including MI. The Royal Challengers Bangalore might be willing to invest a lot in him as well, owing to the fact that bowling has been a concern for them in the last few years and Ojha would be able to remedy that well.

Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha

4. Dwayne Smith (West Indies)

The West Indian all-rounder is known for packing quiet a punch, and I doubt that there will be anyone to doubt that theory. He was devastating from the moment he set foot in the Mumbai Indians camp in 2012, and is remembered for smashing a six and two boundaries off Ben Hilfenhaus’s last three deliveries in the 20th over to snatch MI an improbable victory against the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2012. However, he struggled in the middle-order from then on. His promotion to opener saw hell break loose, as he absolutely mauled the opposition bowlers and played an instrumental role in Mumbai’s victory of IPL 2013, scoring 418 runs at a strike rate of 122.58. He – like Ojha – will most likely be up for fair auction, as Mumbai did not retain him either, and as I said before, are more likely to use their right to match card on Mitchell Johnson, who was in red-hot form for the Ashes. While his former franchise will undoubtedly do everything they can to snap him up again, teams like CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad –  who are looking for in-form batsmen to open their batting – will have their eyes on him as well.

Dwayne Smith

5. Aaron Finch (Australia)

Aaron Finch was in utterly decimating form this Big Bash League season. With 262 runs at a strike rate of 148.02 and an average of 52.40, he currently tops the run charts, he has truly been an example of “leading form the front” as he also captained the Melbourne Renegades. Unfortunately, international duty made him unavailable for their last 2 games, and that was only a catalyst that sped up the downfall of the Renegades, as they finished 6th in the league. Nonetheless, his performance is still enough to catch the eyes of any selector. He also scored a whoop-de-do 156 of just 63 against England in August last year, a score which stands as the highest individual T20I score ever. Finch led the now-defunct Pune Warriors India in 2013, and his 456 runs at a strike rate of 135.71 was the most for any batsman from his team, and gave a silver lining to PWI’s otherwise miserable season. The fact that his franchise cannot use a right to match card on him (because they don’t exist anymore) will make him up for fair auction, meaning that he will be under heavy bidding from about every franchise. Teams like Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils, who are seeking batting reforms, will be particularly interested in him.

Aaron Finch

6. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India)

Just about a year ago, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made his international debut, and he steamed through batsmen like a hot knife through butter. It has been more than evident that he lacks pace, and has been expensive at the death because of that. However, he is able to swing the new ball both ways, and is capable of wrecking havoc to top-order batsmen, and has even quelled Chris Gayle on many occasions with typical outswingers that caught edges. Although his form has deteriorated slightly over the last couple of months, which led to his dropping from the Test side in favor of Shami Ahmed, he is undoubtedly one of the best of the new-ball bowlers India’s got today, and it’ll be very strange if no IPL franchise decides to go for him. Teams that are looking to reform their teams altogether – such as Delhi or Kings XI Punjab – or teams that have struggled with bowling in the past – such as the Royal Challengers Bangalore – will definitely put a lot of money in him.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

7. Ryan McLaren (South Africa)

This South-African all-rounder has been an integral part of South Africa’s limited overs side, and has guided them to multiple close wins. As a bowler, he has worked with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel to good effect, and was a part of the 5-man pace attack that South Africa used to barrage the Indian visitors on their recent tour. As a batsman, he has not fired quiet as much, but has played quiet a few crucial knocks for RSA, as well as his IPL franchises. Most notable of these knocks was during Kings XI Punjab’s first game of the 2011 IPL, where he came in at 36-5, and made a crucial 43-ball 51, which saved his team many blushes, although they went on to lose the game. Considering also that the IPL may take place in South Africa, McLaren would be a handy player for any team to have on their side. After James Faulkner profited on their home pitch, Rajasthan might want to give McLaren a go as well, to add to their international flavor in their attack.

Ryan McLaren

8. James Neesham (New Zealand)

The New Zealand all-rounder made a large impact in the T20 world after his exploits for the Otago Volts in the CLT20 of 2013. Although his team just missed their semifinal berth, his highlights gave a silver lining for the Volts to remember. He made 92 in 54 balls across his 3 matches, and got out only once. He was able with the ball as well, taking 3 wickets across his 10 overs while keeping his economy rate to a mere 7.00. His best highlight of the league was probably during the super over between Otago Volts and the Highveld Lions, where he managed to defend his total of 13 runs despite giving 10 in the first 2 balls. Neesham’s abilities will be valued by about every team, but teams like RCB – who have been looking desperately looking for one of those all rounders who can be equally brilliant with both bat and ball – should be willing to shell out a large amount for him.

James Neesham

9. Jackson Bird (Australia)

Jackson Bird has been one of the key standout performers in the Big Bash league season this year. Amassing 13 wickets across 7 games with a miserly economy of 6.71 and a stunning average of 14.46, he has been an integral part of the unbeaten Melbourne Stars’ success so far. He currently stands second on the highest wicket takers table, with Cameron Gannon of Brisbane Heat ahead of him. Teaming up with Lasith Malinga, Bird has been Cameron White’s weapon of choice against opposing batsmen throughout this league. The teams that will probably go hardest for him are teams that have lacked the genuine spearhead bowler, such as Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, it would also be just as wonderful to see him in Mumbai Indians or Sunrisers Hyderabad, bowling in tangent with Malinga or Dale Steyn.

Jackson Bird

10. Corey Anderson (New Zealand)

Corey Anderson has been the sensation of the year 2014 so far. After his world-record 36-ball ton against a hapless West Indies attack got everyone to look at him, he’s begun to show some more of his real class. In India’s tour of New Zealand, he whipped up a barrage with the bat, which included a 17-ball 44 that was just a six short of beating the record for fastest ODI fifty as well. He’s no amateur with the ball either. His left arm fast is probably not the most economic source of bowling, with his economy ranging well around the 6-an-over-mark, but he’s picked up nearly 20 wickets in just 12 games, and has already collected a 5-wicket haul. This shows that Corey may well be the vintage T20 all-rounder who gets the top bid for this year’s auction. Although about every team will look to go for him, it will be nice to see him in RCB, since the batting-friendly Chinnaswami Stadium track would definitely be able to bring out the best of Corey.

Corey Anderson

392 views

PWI- A Pre-Auction Review

Pune Warriors India were probably the most unlucky team in IPL 2012. They began with a bang, beating KXIP, MI, and CSK in 3 of their first 4 games. However, they could only manage one more win in their other 12 games. Their side’s first piece of good news will be Yuvraj Singh’s return to cricket after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Some other good news for their side will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Marlon Samuels’ good form. Other than that, Ashish Nehra and Rahul Sharma will have this chance to make the selectors take note. Strangely, PWI released two of their best performers: Steve Smith and Jesse Ryder. Along with them, Micheal Clarke, Callum Ferguson, Tamin Iqbal, James Hopes, and Nathan McCullum were some of the big names to leave PWI. Looking at their performances in IPL 2012, I believe that Pune’s bowling has never been a big problem. It’s their batting. Their batting has constantly choked. Probably because of Saurav Ganguly’s inability to have a decent strike rate, or the fact that they didn’t give their performers a fair chance at the top of the order. Whatever it is, I feel that Yuvraj’s return will help rectify that. Still, I believe that they need a top-order batsman, overseas or domestic, who is in form. They might want to consider Luke Pomersbach, who hit a brilliant hundred for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League semifinal. Another option would be Aaron Finch, who also exhibited good form in the BBL. If they have that, then their all-rounded middle order consisteng of Yuvi, Marlon, Luke Wright and Angelo Matthews, can definitely do the rest.

Potential Squad:

  • Luke Pomersbach
  • Manish Pandey
  • Luke Wright
  • Yuvraj Singh (c)
  • Robin Uthappa (wk)
  • Marlon Samuels
  • Angelo Matthews
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  • Ashish Nehra
  • Ashok Dinda
  • Murali Karthik

 

Notes:

If extra spinner is needed, Ali Murtaza comes in for Nehra

If extra pacer is needed, Wayne Parnell (or Alfonso Thomas) comes in for Marlon Samuels

 If Wright is not allowed to play be ECB, then Finch comes in for him

5 views

MI- A Pre-Auction Review

The Mumbai Indians were, until 2011, the costliest franchise in the whole of IPL. Their team has always been on the favorites list since the inaugural IPL, with players like Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, and Lasith Malinga in their ranks. However, they didn’t win anything until CLT20 2011, whic

h they were least expected to win owing to the injuries of several players (the irony there is so thick you could cut it with a knife 🙂 ). After releasing 6 players, in the form of Clint McKay, Davy Jacobs, Richard Levi, Thisara Perera, Sujit Nayak, RP Singh, and Jaydev Shah. And they have finally managed to find a good opening pair for Sachin in the form of Dwayne Smith, and Dinesh Karthik has taken the keeper gloves. However, the Little Master (“God” knows why he’s still called that 😛 ) has been going through a very rough patch in his test career. However, he has also retired from ODIs. That means that other than the Australia tests, it’s very unlikely for him to have to play any international cricket until the South Africa series, that is supposed to take place sometime in November 2013 and go on till January 2014. This could either be a good thing, or a bad thing. A good thing, because MI will get a fully rested Tendulkar for IPL, bad because he might have lost whatever touch he had in the last couple of tests he played. However, I think that it’s very unlikely for the later to happen. All the same, MI should have a back up option in the event that Sachin is out of form. Even though that is extremely unlikely that he will be so woefully out of form for IPL (like most players, he has that magic touch that always appears during the IPL and mysteriously disappears after). And for those rare instances, I would say Jesse Ryder would be a great option. He hasn’t played much cricket off-late, but having him in the side will be a big boost for the Indians. If they really need Indian, Wasim Jaffer is another great option. He opened with Sachin in the Ranji Trophy, and doing it MI would bring lots of smiles to the fans.  Other than that, there’s really nothing wrong with the MI lineup. Mitchell Johnson was in good form, as he gave a Man of the Match show for Australia, claiming 6 Sri Lankan wickets and scoring 92* as the Ozzies stormed to yet another test victory. Also James Franklin held his nerve as New Zealand just scrunched past South Africa by 1 wicket in the first ODI.

Potential Squad:

  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Jesse Ryder
  • Rohit Sharma
  • Dinesh Karthik (wk)
  • Ambati Rayudu
  • Kieron Pollard
  • Mitchell Johnson
  • Harbhajan Singh (c)
  • Lasith Malinga
  • RP Singh
  • Praghyan Ojha

Notes:

  • If extra pacer is needed, Munaf Patel comes in for Praghyan Ojha.
  • If extra spinner is needed, Robin Peterson comes in for Mitchell Johnson
  • If extra batsman is needed, Dwayne Smith (or James Franklin) comes in for Mitchell Johnson
19 views
%d bloggers like this: