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IPL Player Draft: Takes

by iplgeek 0 Comments

MS Dhoni will be seen in Pune colors this year. Image Source: www.ibnlive.com

This year’s IPL will feature an interesting twist. The termination of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals left a gap for two new franchises – Pune and Rajkot – and these two teams today picked 5 players each out of the pool of former CSK and RR players.

Here’s what came out:

Pune: MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis

Rajkot: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo

It is no surprise that these players were picked; the only question was which teams they would play for. The biggest talking point is that Shane Watson was not picked. However, this too is not entirely shocking. Watson has been plagued by injuries and very sporadic form over the last 2 years, even in IPL. Hence, he will appear in the auctions for the first time since 2008.



It is interesting to see Dhoni, Faf and Smith – three leaders for their respective countries – all in one team. In Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin, they also have what is arguably team India’s best batsman-bowler combination today. Their team is very “polar” in terms of player specialities selected, as they’ve gone with 4 batsmen and one bowler. For the historically slow Pune track, this is not an entirely bad strategy.

What to Go for in the Auction

Pune’s top order looks in safe hands, with Rahane and Faf both capable of opening the innings, and Smith playing one down. What they should go for in the auction would be some all-rounders and bowlers, to provide some stability. The exact players they should go for is something that will be released when the auction list is.



While I love Pune’s players, Rajkot have probably done a better job in terms of team selection. Going for 3 all rounders in Jadeja, Faulkner and Bravo, they will have a strong foundation of all-rounders upon which to build their squad. In addition, McCullum and Raina are both prime top-order batsmen, and decent captaincy options.

What to Go for in the Auction

Like I mentioned, Rajkot have a strong foundation. Therefore, in the auction I sense they will be looking for more prolific, expensive bowlers, and top- of-the-line hard-hitters to work with Raina and McCullum. However, once again, it is difficult to come up with a definitive list of players for them to buy without a full list of players who will participate in the auction.

We will see the two teams again in the Auctions, which will take place on the 6th of February 2016 (our 5th Anniversary) in Bangalore.



Chennai Super Kings: Season Preview

As before, watch my podcast for my general thoughts on the team, as it looks on paper:

The Chennai Super Kings have undoubtedly been the most successful team in the IPL so far. They are the only team to qualify for every single semifinal since the inaugural edition, and are also the only team to win the league twice. They come into the tournament with a side similar to the one they had in 2013, but with more changes than one is used to when it comes to CSK. Firstly, we see that former clutch players like Michael Hussey, Albie Morkel and Subramaniam Badrinath have been discarded. Also, we see several new faces, such as New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, Australia’s John Hastings, and West Indies’ duo of Dwayne Smith and Samuel Badree. Overall, the CSK squad looks very well balanced, as it always has. The only niggle they will have will be the question of who will be the spearhead fast bowler. Although Ben Hilfenhaus is indeed an option, he hasn’t played international cricket in well over a year now, and bringing him in will mean leaving out either Faf du Plessis or Samuel Badree, two of CSK’s clutch players this tournament. Therefore, it is likely that CSK will give someone along the lines of Ashish Nehra, Ishwar Pandey, or Mohit Sharma that responsibility, although it is a risky move. However, their spin attack is impeccable, with Badree combining with an in-form Ravi Ashwin, and Ravi Jadeja.

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

Brendon McCullum

Faf du Plessis

Suresh Raina

Dwayne Bravo

MS Dhoni

Mithun Manhas

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ishwar Pandey

Samuel Badree

Mohit Sharma


India pull off unbeaten Champions Trophy win

After enduring through consistent showers and shortened playing time, the fans who grouped at Birmingham finally got the result of the final of this last ever Champions Trophy, and it was India who pulled out victorious. Chasing 130 for victory in the 20 over game, on a challenging track, the Englishmen were rocked as they lost their top four inside 10 overs, with the required rate climbing. Then Ravi Bopara – who had shined with the ball and in the field – bugged India once again as he put together a strong 64-run stand with Eoin Morgan. The two of them managed to simplify the equation to 28 needed of 18. Then Ishant Sharma – who’s arrival to the bowling crease that over had been greeted with heavy criticism – went from Zero to Hero in 2 balls as he removed both Bopara and Morgan in just 2 balls. That was the end of England’s chances of getting the cup. Looking at the rainy conditions, English skipper Alastair Cook gave his seamers the first ball. The Englishmen were very disciplined, and never really let India run away with it. Only Shikhar Dhawan (31), Virat Kohli (43) and Ravindra Jadeja (33*) made double digits. It was a marvelous tournament for the Men in Blue, as they were unbeaten throughout; including the Warm-Up games. This is quiet a contrasting result to the one expected by most people, looking at India’s squad – particularly the fast-bowling attack. Still, MSD’s men proved their critics wrong yet again, and shone bright to clench another cup. An example of just how dominating they were was shown as both the leading run scorer and wicket taker were both Indian (Dhawan and Jadeja respectively). This seems to show that India have finally struck a balanced side, and hopefully can carry this form onto their various other tournaments.


Get Lost XI

The topic ‘#getlostXI’ is quiet a popular topic on twitter, so we here thought why not create our own get lost XI? So here we present the IPLgeek Get Lost XI for IPL 2012. Hope you enjoy 😉

Richard Levi (MI, about $400,000)

In the Player Auctions 2012Player Auctions 2012 Levi came under the hammer with a base price reading $50,000. Despite that he went unsold. Later in 2012, Levi smashed a whirlwind century, which got his name in the record books for the fastest T20I hundred. Mumbai, who’s problem was to find a suitable opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar, snapped him up at around $400,000 as a replacement for Andrew Symonds, who had just retired then, and was automatically sent up to open with Sachin, ahead of Hershelle Gibbs. He started his IPL with a flyer, scoring a fiery 50 in just 35 balls. After that though, he managed only one 20+ score in the rest of his IPL career and was not surprisingly dropped from the MI playing 11 soon. Even if he wasn’t good enough for the MI playing 11, he got a well earned spot in our get lost XI

Brendon McCullum (KKR, $900,000)

McCullum is one player who nobody, including myself, could have believed to be a part of this get lost XI so I write this from the heart. After his brilliant 158* in the very first IPL game, he had a very ordinary 3 years with Kolkata, as they finished 6th, 8th, and 6th respectively. He then moved to Kochi Tuskers Kerala, for whom he gave an entertaining season, and ended as their highest run scorer with 357 runs from 13 innings at a strike rate of 129.81. After the KTK franchise was terminated by BCCI, McCullum was paid $900,000 by KKR, who warmly welcomed him back into their ranks. However, he had his most un-McCullumish season for KKR, scoring 289 runs in 12 innings with only one 50 and three sixes (yuck!) at a strike rate of 109.19. Such an performance, which is so unnatural to the Brendon McCullum we know has unfortunately booked him a place in our get lost XI.

Paul Valthaty (KXIP, $5400 (uncapped player) )

Paul Valthaty. A relatively unknown all-rounder from Mumbai first made his mark on IPL history when he came to the crease and hit 120* against CSK in IPL 2011. After that his superb batting performances always kept him in contention for the Orange Cap, and his bowling was economical with a few wickets, which was very useful for the Kings XI. He finished IPL 2011 with 463 runs from 14 games at a healthy strike rate of 136.98, and 7 wickets from 9 innings, at 7.82 per over, with best figures of 4/29, a performance worthy of the Citi Rising Star Award, which unfortunately he did not get. Still, he walked away with the Volkswagen Power Performance of the season for that 120* that he hit vs CSK. When he came into IPL this year, he had an air of expectation surrounding him. Unfortunately, he failed to click at all, scoring a measly 30 runs from 6 games, and he was given only 1 over to bowl, which yielded 16 runs, and was unceremoniously dumped from the KXIP playing 11 for a majority of the tournament. Such a performance itself doesn’t condemn a player to our get lost XI by itself, but such a performance coming from a player who has done such brilliant things in the past does. And Valthaty HAS done brilliant things in the past, and such a miserable performance coming from him is a shame. So it looks like Valthaty will have to prove himself in IPL 2012 or suffer our get lost XI for even longer.

Ross Taylor (DD, $1 million)

Ross Taylor was traded from the Rajasthan Royals side mainly because DD wanted a strong overseas batsman because David Warner, Kevin Pietersen, and Mahela Jaywardene were all fulfilling national duty for their respective sides and would be unavailable for DD’s first few games. Unfortunately, Ross injured himself in the South Africa tour of New Zealand which took place just before the IPL began. When he arrived, though, he had a dismal season, scoring only 197 runs from 12 innings at an average of 19 and a strike rate of 115.20; which is most unlike the Ross Taylor from IPL 2, playing for RCB. Unfortunately for him, his unsuccessful stint with Delhi earned him a place in our get lost XI

Saurabh Tiwari (RCB, $1.6 million)

Does everybody know what happend to Lalit Modi? One day chairman of IPL, popular, loved by everybody for being the brains behind what is arguably the World’s best T20 tournament, and next day (actually 3 years later 😛 ) removed from his post of chairman, sent to prison, and is now not in such a good position as he was 3 years ago, anyways. Saurabh Tiwari suffered the same fate. He gave such a brilliant performance in IPL 3, a performance worth the citi rising star award. He was immediately picked up by RCB in the auctions at a massive $1.6 million, but he had a very ordinary IPL 4 and an even more ordinary IPL 5, and is yet to score a fifty in RCB colors, despite sitting out for only 1 game. He was also the only batsman in the top 50 batsmen to hit less than 10 boundaries. So he has unfortunately been given a one-way ticket to our get lost XI, and will have to work hard to get a ticket out.

Yusuf Pathan (KKR- $2.1 million)

The 2nd KKR player in the team. What a disappointment. Yusuf Pathan began his IPL career for the Rajasthan Royals, who were the least likely team to win the IPL, but his power batting took them to the title. The Kolkata Knight Riders took note of this, and we’re determined to add him to their ranks, and were perfectly willing to pay him the $2.1 million that he came at. He came up with a good show in IPL-4, scoring 283 runs at a strike rate of 140.79 and 13 wickets at an economy rate of 6.10. He was expected to carry that show into IPL-5, but unfortunately that did not happen. He managed only 194 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 114.79 and took 4 wickets at 8.16 per over. And now because of this his path to the Indian T20 team no longer looks as breezy as it once did. Still, with such performances the only assured path he’ll have is to our get lost XI

Ravindra Jadeja (CSK- $2 million +)

Probably the only player who’s here because of money-wise expectations. Jadeja was doing pretty well for India with the ball and a little bit with the bat as well. So before the auctions, there was an air of rumor surrounding him saying that he will be wanted by many teams. And he was just as expensive as he was rumored to become. He was purchased in the tiebreaker by CSK for a rumored price of $5-6 million. So what CSK really expected of him, I think, was a good performance with the ball, as well as some good batting that would have helped them form a good balance in their side with and all -rounder trio of Jadeja, Morkel, and Bravo. This way CSK could have risked experimenting with their opening combinations or bowling attack without to much to worry. However, the mediocre show he pulled off was way below the expectations CSK had for him and in the end, despite being a bowling all rounder, Jadeja was barely ever trusted with the ball, and was scheduled to come in at No.8 during many games. He may have looked good as he hit a healthy 48 of 29 and took IPL 5’s best figures of 5-16 in 4 overs, but after that, nothing went right for him. Now he’s got a place in our get lost XI and will have to do well to get out.

Parthiv Patel (wk) (Deccan Chargers, cost: $650,000)

Patel was very inconsistent as a player for DC. His height gave him a disadvantage behind the stumps, but despite that Sangakkara still gave him the keeper’s gloves and that really didn’t pay off as Parthiv failed to hit the stumps at least 4 times in their crunch game vs Mumbai. Other than that his statistics card reads 194 runs from 13 games at a strike rate of 117.57. So after all this the Chargers preferred to have Sangakkara open rather than him, and he was normally slotted in at No.6 or 7. So poor little Parthiv has become the wicket-keeper for our get lost XI, and until he learns to hit the stumps from behind that is where he will stay.

Harbhajan Singh (MI- $1.3 million)

Bhajji!! Tum yaha kyaa kar rahe ho? A question I’m sure many of you are going to ask when you see the name of Harbhajan Singh written here in the list of players for the get lost XI but then ask yourself this, “what did he do to stay out of it?”. His bowling was simply miserable, with 6 wickets in 17 games, which was equaled by Dhawal Kulkarni in 2 games, and was overtaken by Praghyan Ojha (9 wickets in 9 games) and RP Singh (10 wickets in 11 games). Other than that, he abused the importance of the captaincy which was handed to him by Sachin Tendulkar. Bhajji did brilliantly to lead the injury ridden MI side to a CLT20 win, but since then he’s barely coped up with the expectations of captaincy, which includes making some shrewd bowling changes and not utilizing all of his bowlers. For example, during MI vs KXIP, he gave the first over of the innings to Robin Peterson, and he yeilded only 3 runs. And after that Peterson didn’t bowl again, and Bhajji preferred to give 4 over spells to Clint McKay (4-0-36-1) and Munaf Patel (4-1-41-0). Then again in the eliminator vs CSK, Bhajji himself had opened the bowling and had bowled figures of 2-1-1-0, and then he took himself off the attack, and when he returned, he was hit for 19 runs and finished with figures of 3-1-20-0. Other than that he also contributed to MI’s last-place finish on the FairPlay awards when, in MI vs DC, Sangakkara inside edged a Munaf Patel delivery onto his stumps but then the ball ricocheted onto Dinesh Karthik’s pads and back onto the stumps. The umpired decided to declare Sanga not out assuming that the ball had hit the stumps only after hitting Karthik’s pads. Seeing this Bhajji rushed to the umpire and apparently asked him why he did not refer it to the 3rd Umpire. It was eventually referred and Sanga was made to walk, but it left a mark on MI’s FairPlay points. Other than that, he was fined for slow over rate twice, most for any team shared by Ganguly’s PWI. And if Bhajji continues behaving like this he may never escape our get lost XI.

Munaf Patel (MI- $700,000)

Munaf’s entry into our get lost XI is not because of his overall show, which is quiet respectable (15 wickets in 12 games at 7.86 an over); but a few simply horrible shows that made up for it all. Munaf was also a part of the Sangakkara bowled incident and he and Bhajji were wagging their fingers at the umpire and spoiling the team’s name. After that in the RCB vs MI game, getting the wicket of Gayle was about the only good thing Munaf did for MI as he bowled 3 overstepping no-balls in 1 over (with another little chat withe umpire, by the way), then made a comical misfield on the boundary, and was then smashed for 24 of the last over of the innings by Mayank Agarwal. Then vs KXIP, he was bowling full-tosses in the death to Davids Hussey and Miller, and they made him pay royally, finishing him with figures of 4-1-41-0 despite the maiden over. The Munaf Patel we saw this IPL was not even half of the Munaf from the victorious Indian World Cup side, or the Munaf who gave Chris Gayle a ‘well played’ after getting him out, which was a fantastic gesture. So if you want proof that just bowling well isn’t everything and you must be respectful to be successful, remember Munaf Patel, who ended up in our get lost XI almost solely because he raised a finger in anger at the umpire.

Sourav Ganguly (PWI- $400,000)

Dada fans, look away now. You have been warned. Now even if you are not a Dada fan, you will be curious to know on what grounds I am sentencing him here. A fair question, which deserves an answer. So let me take you back a few years in time. Sourav Ganguly, captain of India, 11363 ODI runs with 72 fifties, and a top score of 183, Dada was named the 6th greatest ODI batsman in the World. After such a career, Dada could have comfortably retired and gone down in flame and glory like most of his other Indian teammates once did, and could have still got a lot of money commentating. Unfortunately, that was not enough for Dada as he stepped up to captain Pune Warriors India in the absence of Yuvraj Singh. He started well as a captain, with a superior bowling unit spearheaded by an in-form Ashok Dinda, and backed well by Murali Kartik and Marlon Samuels. In fact, PWI were actually the last team to lose a game. Then, they played horribly, winning only 4 games in the entire tournament, for which Ganguly is quiet responsible as both captain and batsman. His strike rate of 98.88, worst for a full-time batsman, crippled the PWI batting as the in-form players, such as Steve Smith, Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder never got enough of the strike to do their job and perished trying to accelerate. Even though PWI were comfortably out of the contest, Ganguly ‘rested’ himself for only 1 game and came back in the next game. He never hit a 50 for PWI, and struggled to cross the 20 run mark. His lax running was like a joke as he pulled out the dive about 3 seconds after he’d been given out. So poor Dada now cannot go down with flying colors as he could have then, and after a short debate, we have also decided to name him captain of our get lost XI for 2012. And even retiring from PWI’s captaincy won’t let him retire from captaincy from our get lost XI and he will definately have to pull of something extraordinary to retire. We are sending him in at No.11 because even if he runs like a comedy piece, the only person he generally won’t run out anyone serious, and we want to give everybody in our team a fair percentage of the strike, including Munaf Patel, because they all can score at a strike rate of 100+ for sure.


10 things about the DLF IPL 2012 that I bet you didn’t know!

Hey guys, Here are 10 very interesting facts about this year’s IPL that I’d bet at least 80% of you don’t know. Hope you enjoy 😀

  1. The first run was scored before the first ball was bowled
  2. The first three was run before the first single was
  3. The first six was hit before the first four was hit
  4. MI lost to KKR for the first time since 2010
  5. RR lost to DC for the first time since 2009
  6. Pune Warriors India conceded the worst losing streak in IPL history (9 matches)
  7. Sunil Narine became the first bowler to win the Player of the Tournament in IPL history
  8. Murali Vijay became the first right-handed batsman and the first Indian to get two IPL hundreds
  9. Ravindra Jadeja took the best bowling figures for an all-rounder in IPL history (5/16)
  10. RCB created the record for highest unbeaten stand for any wicket in T20 cricket (204 by Gayle and Kohli vs DD)

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.


India return with fury

On the 20th of October India got back at England for the England tour by beating them 3-0 in the England tour of India ODI series. Built up on the efforts of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, and Gautam Gambhir. 300 in the first game thanks to MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. That was an excellent match. Vinay Kumar and Jadeja helped bowl out England for roughly 170. This tour should have been called ‘Youngsters reunion’ or somethng like that. Come on, no Anderson, no Broad, no Sehwag, no Zaheer, and no Tendulkar. Just Gambhir and Dhoni vs Cook and Bresnan when it comes to experience. I really feel that Munaf and Harbhajan should be bought back into the side. They are people who Umesh Yadav or Varun Aaron can never replace. I wish Eoin Morgan returned as well. And hopefully India will bring Sehwag back into the side. Then at least they can throw out Parthiv Patel.


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