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RR- A Pre-Auction Review

Here’s our next pre-auction review, about the Rajasthan Royals. RR came into IPL with probably the most underrated team, but slapped everyone in the face as they completely dominated the IPL, and won the cup outright. Since then, RR haven’t had any great success. The finished 6th, 7th, 6th, and 7th in IPLs 2,3,4 and 5 respectively. Not that they never did well; they just failed to perform when it mattered most. They recently the released like 2/3 of their side. The released players included Johan Botha, and Owais Shah, both who had done pretty well for the Royals. The biggest thing in RR news is that Rahul Dravid has agreed to play IPL 6. And that really takes a lot of pressure of RR, to find a good captain. The only big thing that RR really need to look into is that Shane Watson may not be in his top form, owing to injuries, and also that he may be on national duty during the next season. So the first thing RR should do is to get someone to cover for him. Moises Henriques might not be such a bad option. The guy can bowl pretty decently, and hit some useful runs. He was excellent in the Champions League, and did pretty good for Australia as well. RR will definitely want to consider him. Another possibility is Nathan McCullum. Nate can provide some good spin, and also hit down the order. Another thing these two players provide is the option of resting their overseas bowlers. Other than this, I think the only thing RR could hope for is a keeper, to buy and play a good batsmen, like Mohammed Kaif. instead of Shreevats Goswami. And someone like Quinton de Kock could do that well, and allow Dravid the freedom of either playing himself or Ajinkya Rahane at number 3, and to provide Brad Hodge with some occasional rest.

Potential Squad: 

  • Rahul Dravid (c)
  • Ajinkya Rahane
  • Shane Watson
  • Brad Hodge
  • Shreevats Goswami (wk)
  • Stuart Binny
  • Nathan McCullum
  • Ajit Chandila
  • Siddharth Trivedi
  • Shaun Tait 
  • S. Sreesanth


  • If Shane Watson doesn’t play, (or Quinton de Kock) comes in for him, and Mohammed Kaif comes in for Shreevats Goswami (if de Kock is played)
  • If extra spinner is needed, Brad Hogg comes in for Shaun Tait, or Ankeet Chavan comes in for Siddharth Trivedi 
  • If extra pacer is needed, Kevon Cooper comes in for Nathan McCullum

Mumbai beat The Lions in “Their Den”

Richard Levi

Yesterday the Mumbai Indians had a good outing in which they overcame the Defending Champions by 8 wickets with 19 balls to spare (3.1 overs). Winning the toss, MI skipper Harbhajan Singh asked the Chennai Super Kings to have a bat first. Things looked a bit strange with Faf du Plessis coming out to face the first ball of IPL 5. Malinga, however, was not in the yorker-bowling wicket-taking form that he was in last year, but was keeping the batsmen quiet. Despite that, disaster struck in the very first over. du Plessis was run out by Ambati Rayudu trying to take a cheeky single offered by Murali Vijay. Then Suresh Raina began to rebuild the innings with Vijay, striking the solitary six of the innings, in Abu Nechim’s bowling. However, Vijay, who was looking very uncomfortable and was not even scoring at run-a-ball, chipped a James Franklin delivery straight to Harbhajan, who made no mistake. Then Raina took the assistance of Dwane Bravo , who was moved up the order, and the two were chipping in the runs comfortably at 7 an over, and hitting the boundary occasionally. However, all that followed was disaster. Left arm spinner Praghyan Ojha triggered a batting collapse, removing Raina (36) and Bravo (19) in consecutive overs. Then West Indian Kieron Pollard removed the dangerous Albie Morkel (3) and Subramaniam Badrinath (10) in two consecutive overs. Then Dhoni (4) and Ashwin (3) were both run out. Then Malinga picked up Ravindra Jadeja (3) and Doug Bollinger (3). Shadab Jakati remained unbeaten on 6. With only 112 runs to defend, CSK needed a miracle. However, they were denied that as IPL debutant and T2o sensation Richard Levi. He bludgeoned all the bowlers, particularly Jadeja, to bring up his 50 in 34 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes. However, he holed out in the 35th ball to Doug Bollinger in the deep, off Dwane Bravo‘s bowling. Sachin Tendulkar, who was anchoring the innings, was doing it slowly, at a little more that run-a-ball. Soon Rohit Sharma was caught behind off an inside edge off Bollinger for a duck. More worries came as Sachin, was injured as a Bollinger bouncer hit him on the finger, and forced too laeve the field. However, James Franklin, and Ambati Rayudu hung around long enough to secure victory for their team. Levi was named Man of The Match for his blazing cameo of 50 in 35.


IPL 2012 opener- CSK vs MI

The IPL 2012 is about to begin. The first match to be played is between IPL defending champions Chennai Super Kings and CLT20 champions Mumbai Indians. Though Mumbai are in full strength in terms of availability, they will have to drop either one of the top order batsmen or someone from their thick bowling line-up to squeeze in all 4 overseas players. CSK, on the other hand, are missing the services of many star players such as Micheal Hussey, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv and Abhinav Mukund. All of their absences, Hussey’s in particular, will hurt the Chennai team badly (strangely, last time these two teams met, it was almost the opposite. CSK had a full-flare side, while MI were missing a lot of their key players). I feel that this is a good time for players like Faf du Plessis and Scott Styris to come out and prove their worth. Though the Chennai Super Kings have the home field advantage, the Mumbai bowling attack is now heavily beefed up, with players such as RP Singh, Praghyan Ojha, and Mitchelle Johnson joining hands with the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Kieron Pollard, and Lasith Malinga. So now here are a few clashes that will be interesting to watch:

M.S Dhoni vs Lasith Malinga– The Indian and CSK skipper has always been razor sharp behind the stumps, and devastating in front of them, while Malinga’s yorkers can dumbfound even the most experienced of batsmen. Though neither player has been outstandingly awesome off late, it will be interesting to see what happens when these two lock horns, particularly in the death overs, as MSD is as good a death overs batsman as Malinga is a bowler

Suresh Raina vs Harbhajan Singh- These two are like completely contradictory characters. One bats awesome and is a part time spinner, while the other bowls awesome and  bats pretty OK. Even their cricket attax card ratings reflect such stats. Raina is an awesome T2o player, and no team can let their guard down until he is back in the pavilion, while Bhaji, the newly appointed MI skipper, can a good doosra, which can have even the best batsmen stumped. Both these players will look to give the other a hard time on the field.

Ravichandran Ashwin vs Sachin Tendulkar- Last time Ashwin bowled here in IPL, he troubled the Orange Cap batsman Chris Gayle, and got him duck out. Ashwin is CSK’s most successful bowler, and with Ravindra Jadeja and Shadab Jakati as his bowling partners, he will give MI something to worry about. On the other hand the Little Master (who was the oldest person in the Indian World Cup squad) has just gone over the 100th 100 landmark, and will play a lot more aggressive now. And for Sachin, wherever he goes it’s like a home ground for him. So both Sachin and Ashwin will look to undo each other today at Chennai.

Here are the teams I would recommend for each team:


Sachin Tendulkar

Richard Levi

Rohit Sharma

Dinesh Karthik (wk)

Kieron Pollard

Mitchelle Johnson

Harbhajan Singh (capt)

Lasith Malinga

RP Singh

Munaf Patel

Praghyan Ojha


Murali Vijay

Aniruddha Srikkanth

Suresh Raina

Faf du Plessis

M.S Dhoni (capt & wk)

Albie Morkel

Scott Styris

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravichandran Ashwin

Shadab Jakati

Doug Bollinger


MI thwart RCB in finals

by iplgeek 0 Comments

Once again the Royal Challengers have failed to win a single tournament due to a shabby batting show that failed to chase 139. Winning the toss at Chennai, MI skipper Harbhajan Singh asked for a bat first. RCB skipper Dan Vettori said he would have liked to bat first as well. MI got off a quick start, Sarul Kanwar smashing Tillakaratne Dilshan for a big six, sending his first for 9 runs. Later on, however, there was a horrible mix up between Kanwar and Aiden Blizzard. Blizzard hit the ball and began running down the pitch. He did not see Kanwar’s signal to go back until he was almost in the other crease. Later Kanwar fell on 13, as Dirk Nannes took out his middle stump. This was Nannes’ 2nd wicket in the tournament. Later Raju Bhatkal removed Ambati Rayudu who was just settling at the crease. James Franklin (41) and Suryakumar Yadav (24) began to chock in the runs before both men were run out by Dirk Nannes and Daniel Vettori respectively. A few sixes towards the end by Lasith Malinga assured them a total of 139 for 10 in 20 overs. Raju Bhatkal was the most succesful bowler with 3/21 of his 3 overs.

What followed, however, was not a Gaylestorm or a storm by Kohli. It was a batting collapse. They got off to a decent start, Dilshan hitting 5 fours and 27 before being bowled by fellow Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga. Gayle was then silenced by Harbhajan Singh on 5. Kohli then departed and there was nothing to RCB’s lineup. Tiwari, Arun Karthik, Kaif, Vettori. All big hitters. All gone. Abu Nechim had the last laugh by taking out Raju Bhatkal, wicket number 10. So Mumbai walk away with the trophy and it was all because RCB, despite chasing 200+ in their previous 2 encounters, they couldn’t chase 139 in their 3rd. That’s good bowling for you. One last remarkable fact is how 2 teams, 2 injury-ridden teams, probably with the least chance of qualifying, made it to the final. Adidos. See you


RCB announces 15 man squad CLT20

by iplgeek 0 Comments

The Royal Challengers of Bangalore have announced their 15-man clt20 squad. Here it is:

Chris Gayle
Tillakaratne Dilshan
Virat Kohli (vice captain)
AB de Villiers (wicket keeper)
Saurabh Tiwari,
Mohammed Kaif
Daniel Vettori (captain)
Abhimanyu Mithun
Dirk Nannes
Sreenath Aarvind
J.Syed Mohammed
Mayank Agarwal
Raju Bhatkal
Arun Karthik (wicket keeper)
Asad Pathan

As you can see, RCB are missing Zaheer Khan, who was one of the many injured players during the India vs England test series,(strange that either Zaheer or Nannes is always injured) and that Australian pacer Dirk Nannes has returned from an injury which kept him out of IPL 4 (not a bad thing, as if that had not happened Chris Gayle would not have come). The little known Raju Bhatkal is also playing. Now the question is which 4 foreign players RCB will use in the playing 11. Cheteshwar Pujara is also injured and will be out of action for a few months.

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