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KKR vs. RCB: The Poor Little Rich Attack

by iplgeek 0 Comments

Chris Gayle made his first IPL fifty in 2 years to give RCB their first win in IPL 2015 (Image from iplt20.com)

On Saturday night, the Kolkata Knight Riders slumped to their first defeat since May 5th, 2014. They played good cricket, but there is little you can do once Chris Gayle has gotten rolling. Even KKR’s famed spin attack – that has been stifling opponents since 2012 – seemed insufficient to take on the Big Jamaican.

I definitely feel that Chris played a major role in RCB’s success, but not in the obvious way. You see, RCB was able to gain momentum and keep the run rate from escalating too high due to the fact that KKR had long gaps of overs where they didn’t have any of their potent bowlers running through overs. And the reason for this can be directly attributed to Chris Gayle. See, Gayle – if you didn’t know – is a left-handed batsman. And most left-handed batsmen, especially those of Chris’ calibre, are known for being able to take on slow orthodox and leg spinners well, because their natural stock deliveries turn into the left-hander. Hence, Gambhir had lost access to two of his main bowlers – Shakib al Hassan and Piyush Chawla – as soon as Gayle had walked out onto the pitch. 8 overs of quality spin down the drain right there. To unlock them, needed to get Gayle out early. This is why I feel he bowled Sunil Narine as early as the second over of the match. If Gayle had fallen to Narine, Shakib and Piyush would be able bowl, and RCB would’ve had a tough path ahead.

However, Gayle survived Narine’s first 2 overs and Morne Morkel’s 3. Now Gambhir was under the pump. Morkel had removed Virat Kohli (who had decided to open the innings), but didn’t have the important wicket of Gayle yet. However, to give Narine another over would leave his death bowling reserves precariously low. Now this situation I think is the result of something that happened before the match even began: the dropping of Umesh Yadav. Dropping their only other specialist quick denied Gambhir another option to bowl the death, and more importantly, another speedster he could throw at Gayle early on. In fact, it was Yadav that removed Gayle the last time these two teams met. Leaving him out for KC Cariappa left Gambhir one less bowler who he could bring in later on. This raises questions as to whether Cariappa should have been brought in ahead of Piyush Chawla instead of Yadav. As shown, Gambhir trusted Cariappa to bowl to Gayle, something that he clearly did not trust Chawla with. If this had been done, Gambhir would have had four extra overs he could gamble with, and would not have been choked for resources as he was.

After Narine and Morkel were removed from the attack, Cariappa and Andre Russell came in to bowl. Neither could make make any impact against Gayle. Then, no one else to turn to, Yusuf Pathan – the part-time off-break bowler – was handed the ball. He produced immediate success, crashing into the stumps of Dinesh Karthik and Mandeep Singh. However, neither was Chris Gayle, so the objective had not been completed. Yusuf was handed an additional 3 overs, with the same purpose in mind, but this turned out to be more of a blessing for RCB than anything else, as both Gayle and AB de Villiers took Pathan apart, ending his spell at 4-0-40-2. This ensured that RCB’s required run rate never creeped above 11, and hence they were at relative ease, which might have made all the difference.

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What have RCB Done Wrong?

 

Image Credits: BCCI

Chris Gayle. Virat Kohli. Yuvraj Singh. AB de Villiers. Albie Morkel. Mitchell Starc. Each and every one of these players is a game-changer in T20 cricket, and has a great reputation of absolutely decimiating oppositions to clinch victories. Inarguably, most IPL franchises would pay big money for any one of these players. But all of them in one team? That’s a “fantasy team legend”…. and the side RCB has this year. When they walked out of the auction with a squad like this most people were convinced that they were favorites for the cup. After all, with that many match winners, someone would get them over the line. However, it has been far from that for the Royal Challengers this year. With 6 losses and 3 wins from 9 games, they now stand at 7th place, just ahead of the Delhi Daredevils. One may ask, how did this happen? Quite understandably too. After all, the chances of Virat Kohli (the man who came out of the T20 World Cup with an average exceeding 100), AB de Villiers (Mr. Awesome), Yuvraj Singh (Stuart Broad’s nightmare), and Chris Gayle (Chris Gayle), fail to make it large? Well, here’s what seems to have happened. Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli have looked very scratchy, and have often given their wickets away cheaply. This is why we have often seen the RCB batting card with 2 in the wickets column well before they would have liked. Also, a scratchy Yuvraj Singh (barring his gallant shows of marvel against RR and DD) has stuck the wheels on RCB, and not allowed them to gain momentum. AB de Villiers has carried too much of the weight, and even he was in indifferent form back in the UAE leg of the tournament, and it took a show against his old buddy Dale Steyn to get him back in color. The other batsmen have done precious little as well, as Parthiv Patel, Rilee Rossuow, Nic Maddinson, Yogesh Takawale, and Sachin Rana all have fallen flat, and not done justice to their selections. Albie Morkel has not looked like the genuine all-rounder he has been known for, as his bowling has not been economic, and his shot selection has been simply terrible, especially considering the situations he often walked into. Mitchell Starc has actually often been smarter as a batsman than he has, and as a result lasted longer at the crease. Their bowling was stellar for the first part, with Yuzvendra Chahal, Starc, and Varun Aaron high in the wickets column. However, in the last two games against KXIP and RR, their fast bowlers received a mauling at the hands of David Miller, James Faulkner, and Steve Smith, and ultimately conceded extremely high totals.

Some potential remedies:

The batting needs to begin to settle. They need to find a combination at the top which can play a calm, composed game to build partnerships, and set a strong foundation for the finishers. Parthiv Patel looked good for this, but effort to try and go big too often in the last few games has sucked him in. Vijay Zol played some very good shots against Rajasthan before he fell, and would not be a bad opening partner for PP, if Gayle is unfit.

The Bangalore track has offered good purchase to spinners. However, the RCB attack – with only one pro spinner – has been unable to take advantage of this. With the poor form of Ashok Dinda, they may want to consider using Shadab Jakati, the experienced left-arm spinner from Goa. He had a good stint with Chennai from the 2008-12 era, and will have plenty to offer for RCB.

If they can do this, RCB might achieve a turnaround, and achieve the already-improbable semifinal berth.

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Kolkata Knight Riders: Season Preview

As done with the last several posts, watch my podcast for my ideas on the squad as it came fresh out of the auction:

Following their purchases in the 2014 IPL Auction, the Kolkata Knight Riders received much criticism from people for picking a squad of either out-of-form or rejected players. While that is true, one cannot forget that the players in their lineup are match-winners, and have made a great impact in the IPL. For instance, Robin Uthappa has not played an international match since 2012, but we all know what he has done on the IPL platform in the past. Vinay Kumar had what was probably the worst night of his life during the final India Australia ODI in Bangalore, where he went for 102 in 9 overs, but his death bowling for RCB is still something to remember. Piyush Chawla also came into their ranks, and while he is not the most reliable spinner in the world, he may be a wicket taking partner for Sunil Narine. Nonetheless, this IPL will need to be a wake-up call for Yusuf Pathan, who despite being brought back by KKR, received only Rs. 3.25 crores (roughly $540,000), which is a 75% paycut from his original $2.1 million in 2011. On paper, the KKR squad looks fairly strong, with other quality overseas recruits like Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, and Chris Lynn. Although the rustiness of their armor might turn on them, KKR still have the potential to pull off something spectacular.

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

Manish Pandey

Jacques Kallis

Gautam Gambhir (c)

Robin Uthappa (wk)

Shakib Al Hasan

Ryan Ten Doeschate

Yusuf Pathan

Vinay Kumar

Piyush Chawla

Sunil Narine

Umesh Yadav

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IPL Final 2013 – An interesting fact

Well, IPL 2013 has come to an end. It was all over after CSK were unable to score the required total of 149, giving the Mumbai Indians their first IPL cup – something that has evaded them for six years. This win also made them the second team to win both an IPL and a CLT20 (need I say who got it first?). After watching the men from Maharashtra seal this feat, it reminded me of another such clinical performance they put up in the Champions League final. They were very similar circumstances, you see; both times they were up against the wall; without key players, up against a team that was playing at the top of it’s form. So here are some similarities between that night back in 2011, and the game on 26th May 2013:

 

  • Sachin Tendulkar was injured both times.
  • It was not MI’s first-choice captain who was leading the side (Rohit this year; Harbhajan in 2011).
  • Both times MI won the toss; and elected to bat.
  • Both times MI’s Indian opener was bowled by the second bowler (Tare was bowled by A Morkel vs CSK; Kanwar was bowled by Nannes vs RCB).
  • The other team was fresh off scoring a giant total (CSK had just scored 192 vs MI; RCB had just scored 204 vs NSW).
  • MI were restricted to around 140 in both matches (148-9 vs CSK; 139-10 vs RCB).
  • It was the efforts of an all-rounder who scored 40+ that got them to a par score (60* by Pollard vs CSK; 41 by Franklin vs RCB)
  • Lasith Malinga was asked to bowl at an unexpected time, and picked up a crucial wicket (M Hussey vs CSK; TM Dilshan vs RCB).
  • Only one opposing batsmen scored fluently (Dhoni hit 63* in 45 for CSK; Dilshan scored 27 in 20 for RCB).
  • Only 3 other opposing batsmen scored double-digits (Vijay 18, Bravo 15 and Morkel 10 for CSK; Kohli 11, Agarwal 14 and Tiwari 18 for RCB).
  • Both teams lost by an unexpectedly large margin (CSK lost by 23 runs; RCB lost by 31 runs).

 

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DD vs KKR – A Preview

Well, IPL 2013 has finally arrived. Less than 3 hours away is the first match of the season. Yaaaayyyyyy!!!! Anyway, this preview is something I have been itching to write for a long time, and now here it is. So let’s look the two teams: The Delhi Daredevils and the Kolkata Knight Riders. Both were relatively quiet, finishing with 3 and 2 players respectively. KKR brought in Sachithra Senanayake and Ryan McLaren, whereas DD roped Jesse Ryder, Jeevan Mendis, and Johan Botha.

Now let’s look at the teams. Delhi have had something to worry about in the form of their inexperienced middle order. Now without Ross Taylor, spots 4, 5, and 6 are quiet vulnerable, should the opposition bowling have the required quality. Also, Virender Sehwag is injured. So what I think should be done is this: plug in David Warner and Unmukt Chand to open the innings; and allow Mahela to drop to number 4. This should work, at least till Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder get back. For their bowling, Morne Morkel will not play the opening game either. Hence, there is one more overseas spot up for grabs. This will most likely go to Roelof van der Merwe, who will form a good trio with Johan Botha and Pawan Negi to slow the ball down. Also, van der Merwe has exhibited excellent quality batting at number 3, which would really be of help to the Daredevils today. The pace bowling shouldn’t be too much of a worry, considering that DD now have Ashish Nehra, who will join hands with Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan to spearhead the visitors’ attack.

DD Potential XI:

Unmukt Chand

David Warner

Roelof van der Merwe

Mahela Jaywardene (c)

Venugopal Rao 

Naman Ojha (wk) 

Irfan Pathan

Johan Botha 

Pawan Negi

Ashish Nehra

Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav

KKR are considering becoming the “second CSK” this year as they try and defend their title. To do that, they will need a balanced and backed-up side like the one the two-times champions have got. However, for this first game at least, they will miss Brendon McCullum and James Pattinson, in addition to Shakib Al Hasan, who is away playing on national duty and will not return till May. It is most likely that Manvinder Bisla will keep wickets, and open with skipper Gautam Gambhir. This means that there are still two overseas slots left. One of these should go to Sachithra Senanayake, who was brought by the Knights at a massive $625,000. Senanayake will form a good spin duo with Sunil Narine. The other will most probably be Ryan McLaren, who had moderately good outings in South Africa’s recent clashes with Pakistan and New Zealand. Jacques Kallis – despite having just recovered from injury – should stand tall at number 3, while the middle order is filled by Manoj Tiwari, Debatra Das, and Yusuf Pathan – who is in desparate need of some form .

KKR Potential XI:

Gautam Gambhir (c)

Manvinder Bisla (wk)

Jacques Kallis

Manoj Tiwari

Yusuf Pathan

Debatra Das

Ryan McLaren

Rajat Bhatia

Sachithra Senanayake

Sunil Narine

L Balaji

CLASHES TO WATCH:

Irfan Pathan vs Gautam Gambhir: Irfan has wrecked the top order of many sides in the past, and will try to do the same today. However, if Gauti latches on to him, game on.

Sunil Narine vs Mahela Jaywardene: Narine is KKR’s most succesful spinner, and Mahela is easily DD’s best player of spin. It will be crucial that Mahela take on Narine, lest let his other inexperienced batsmen suffer his wrath. Although Narine has breached Mahela’s defences before, the latter can still take on spinners very well. Let’s see what happens today.

David Warner vs L Balaji: David Warner is one of those batsmen who likes to latch onto bowlers from ball one. However, if Balaji can repeat his heroics from last year and defuse Warner early on, nothing like it.

Yusuf Pathan vs Johan Botha: Yusuf Pathan is now in a really desperate need of some form. Now with Shakib’s absence, Yusuf is the platform for KKR’s middle-order fight backs. Botha is easily DD’s best spinner at the moment, and if he comes down hard on the KKR line up, it will be Pathan’s duty to take him on.

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DD- A Pre-Auction Review

by iplgeek 1 Comment

The Delhi Daredevils are a team I’ve been wanting to talk about for quiet a while now. They are probably the team that benefited the most from the auction and trading window from last year. They beefed up their batting unit, and managed to storm into the semis of the IPL, where a stupid-looking decision of opting to leave Morne Morkel out cost them a place in the finals. When the DD squad for the CLT20 was announced, many eyebrows were raised as Pawan Negi was the sole full-time spinner in the side. However, their decision to play 4 pacers on the rain-soaked tracks of South Africa paid of wonderfully as they became the second Indian team to beat an Australian side in CLT20 history and, were the only team to qualify for the semifinals. Unfortunately the Highveld Lions showed no mercy as they beat DD clinically in the finals. Now we ask the question: what do Delhi need? Well, here are some points about their squad:

  • Their spin attack is inexperienced, meaning that they can be taken on.
  • Sehwag wasn’t in his best form in Delhi’s last few games.
  • The fast bowling seems to suffer in the absence of Morne Morkel

Looking at that, we can say that what they need in the auctions is either a strong spinner, or a fast bowler. A good buy might be Moises Henriques, as he can hit some shots down the order, and provide some good bowling. Andre Russel was decent for Delhi, but having another fast bowling option as a reserve might prove to be more helpful. For example, someone like Dirk Nannes or Charl Langedveldt could do good for the Daredevils. For the spinning option, Aaron Phangiso could do some good.

Potential Squad:

  • Virender Sehwag
  • Mahela Jaywardene (c)
  • Kevin Pietersen
  • Unmukt Chand
  • Ross Taylor
  • Naman Ojha
  • Irfan Pathan
  • Ajit Agarkar
  • Pawan Negi
  • Morne Morkel
  • Umesh Yadav

Notes:

  • If extra spinner is needed: Nadeem comes in for Agarkar/Yadav (overseas- Aaron Phangiso comes in for Ross Taylor
  • If extra pacer is needed, Nannes comes in for Taylor, Nagar comes in for Agarkar/Yadav
  • If an extra all-rounder is needed, Henriques comes in for Taylor

 

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Semifinals of the CLT20

The CLT20 has finally reached the semifinal stages. There are many unique statistics regarding the teams that have qualified this year. For example:

1) This is the first time 2 South African sides have qualified

2) This is the first time only 1 IPL side has qualified

Still, with the threat of rain looming, this might be a flop show worse than any other. So definitely, everyone will be praying that nature decides to spare the last 4 days of CLT20 2012. Our semifinalists are the Sydney Sixers, who stormed unbeaten into the semifinal, the Titans, who have played exceptionally good cricket, except for their unsuccessful encounter with KKR, the Highveld Lions, who have put on an excellent show with both ball and bat to qualify, and the Delhi Daredevils, who’s pace battery and beefed up batting lineup have not yet failed. So far this CLT20 has been more of a bowler’s game. The highest score is 188. That says it all. And because of the constant rains, I think the pitches are supporting swing and seam better, which would explain DD’s success with the ball. So expect some cracking cricket. Here are the upcoming fixtures:


Delhi Daredevils vs Highveld Lions (Today, 8:30 PM) 

Titans vs Sydney Sixers (Tomorrow, 8:30 PM) 

THE GRAND FINALE! (28th October 2012, 8:30 PM) 

So now you know when to get the popcorn out, let me brief you on some of the key players:

Morne Morkel: He has been brilliant so far. He has led the Delhi attack strongly, but can he click when it matters most?

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Morne Morkel

Neil McKenzie: The Highveld batsmen has been in good form throughout the tournament, and if he can get going, the Lions will definitely have something to roar about.

Neil McKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Smith: Though his batting has not been extraordinary, Smith has shown maturity as he has batted according to the conditions, and he will be a deciding factor for the Sixers

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Steve Smith

Jacques Rudolph: He’s shown extreme maturity on the top of the order, and laid foundations for many of the Titans’ innings. And his performance could well be the deciding factor for the Titans.

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Jacques Rudolph

Another player who will be of importance is AB de Villiers, who recently underwent fitness tests. It’s unlikely that he will play, but if he does, then the Titans will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Well, adios then, catch you at the games! 😉

 

 

 

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What a T20 side needs

So everybody knows about the T20 World Cup which is coming now right? So now here I’m about to give some advice on what a good strong T20 side needs. So here we go:

1) Always have a 6th and 7th bowler : A 6th and 7th bowler can be very useful and can offer a hand should 1 or 2 of your bowlers go expensive. If you have a fragile, or inexperienced bowling attack, then you must have 2 back-up bowling options. Chances are that you won’t have to use them, but better safe than sorry. You can either use your 6th and 7th bowler up-front and run through a few overs just in case, or keep them until 1 of your bowlers go expensive. These back-up bowlers need not neccisarily be fully-fledged all-rounders, but simply batsmen who can bowl, like Tillakaratne Dilshan or Virender Sehwag.

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Virender Sehwag

 

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Tillakaratne Dilshan

2) Play experienced bowlers over experienced batsmen Just as important as it is to have good experience in your batting, it’s very important to have experience in your bowling. Also on slow pitches, it’s important to have a bowler who can use the conditions to his advantage. And other than that they can give advice to the younger bowlers of the side, and also be the ‘go to’ man if the bowling plans don’t work. This is very relevant because even if your batsmen put up a sturdy total, it’s important to be able to back it up or else the opposition will plunder your bowlers. A vivid example of this is when the Deccan Chargers played 4 overseas batsmen and despite putting up a daunting total of 187-4, Delhi Daredevils chased it comfortably in 16.4 overs. All because of inexperience in the bowling lineup. So no total, not even 293 is useful unless you are able to defend it. So its always important to have an experienced bowler in your bowling attack. People like Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga fill that role with pleasure.

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Lasith Malinga

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Zaheer Khan

3) Always play bowlers who can bat: Having bowlers who can chip in a little with the bat is great in all 3 formats of the game, especially in the T20 format. The special part about having a strong tail, is that they can hit the ball well, irrespective of the pitch conditions, and give you a bit of extra insurance in conditions where the pitch is slow, or high scoring. So if you have 1 or 2 bowlers in your lineup who can bat, then you can be assured of a few runs extra down the order even if you lose a few batsmen cheaply. And in the T20 format, even those few runs can be the margin between victory and defeat. Bowlers like Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumarare good at this.

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Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar

4) Always have good fielders: In the T20 format, it’s very important to save as many runs as possible in the field, because in T20s, the results can be decided by a margin of even 1 run. And also good fielding can choke the batsman for runs, forcing them to do something rather rash and get out. Also, very quick fielders can turn singles into wickets, and win lost games. And other than that, the runs saved on the field will come back as a bonus on slow or high-scoring tracks. Also, even if you are unable to include all of your more better fielders in your playing eleven, then you must use them as substitutes for slower fielders. players like Virat Kohli, and AB de Villiers are some of the greatest fielders of our time.

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Virat Kohli

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AB de Villiers

5) Always have a fully-fledged all-rounder: It may be the last point, but is easily the most important. You must always have an all-rounder who can be equally dangerous with both ball and bat. This is very useful as he can run through 4 overs for your side, as well as hit some runs for you with the ball. Also an all-rounder can be the pivot around which your side is balanced. For example the Chennai Super Kings side was balanced around their all-rounders Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo, who did their job very well. Another few such all-rounders are Jacques Kallis and Andrew McDonald. Both of them, put in a situation, can fire with both ball and bat. And if they fail in any 1 department ,you can trust that they will do well do well in the other.

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Jacques Kallis

Andrew McDonald

 

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5 of the most famous pairs of cricketing brothers ever

Here are 5 of the most well known pairs of brothers in the world of cricket. Hope you enjoy:

1) The Pathans (India)

Elder: Yusuf Pathan

Yusuf and Irfan Pathan form the first pair in the list. Statistically, they are somewhat the best pair to have in the set, but they unfortunately posses a streak of inconsistency. On one hand, Irfan, a strike bowler and a dangerous low-order batsman, and on the other hand, Yusuf, devastating with the bat, and a decent off-spinner. Together they made the most expensive pair in the auctions 2011, ranging at $4 million. Both of them have been outstanding for India when in form, but will need to work on consistency.

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2) The Morkels (South Africa)

Elder: Albie Morkel

The Morkels are easily the bargain for money pair of IPL cricket, coming at a total of about $975,000 Albie has been playing for CSK in almost every single game, and has been brilliant for them, causing them to extend his contract to 6 years. Morne, on the other hand, had an uneventful first couple of years in IPL cricket, but then made his claim to fame as he took the Purple Cap in IPL 5 with 25 wickets. Both Morne and Albie are skilled bowlers, but Albie is a more powerful batsman, who can strike the ball freely and give a little push to his team in the end, while Morne cannot bat as well, but is on the rankings in the World’s best ODI bowlers.

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3) The Husseys (Australia)

Elder: Micheal Hussey

The Husseys are quiet the opposite of the Morkels. The Morkels, on one hand, are a bowler and a bowling all-rounder, whereas the Husseys have a batsman and a batting all-rounder. David is one of the World’s best T20 batsmen, along with a bit of useful off-spin. Dave is also a good ODI batsman, along with good captaincy skills that helped the Kings XI Punjab stay on the competition despite Adam Gilchrist’s injury that kept him out of the tournament. Despite all this, David still dosen’t completely overshadow Micheal. Mike is a very established batsman in all 3 formats of the game, and has saved Australia from many tight spots. They were a good value for money, coming at $1.825 million.

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The Marshes (Australia)

Elder: Shaun Marsh

The second Australian pair. What a surprise. Anyway, The Marshes are very similar to the Husseys; one batsman, and one batting all-rounder. Shaun was the leading Orange Cap winner in IPL 2008, and came very close in 2011, but other then that he hasn’t really been the Shaun Marsh we have come to know and love. Mitchelle, on the other hand, did not have a very interesting first couple of IPLs, but his good all-round shows in Pune’s otherwise dismal campaign for 2011 were very nice to watch. Like the Husseys, Shaun and Mitch have risen to Australia’s call whenever necessary, and have done well. Both of them are devastating in the T20 format of the game, but as devastating as he is in T20s Shaun needs to gain a foot hold in the longer formats of the game if he wishes to be a regular member of the Australian side like the Husseys are. Mitch, I feel, is being given too little opportunity, which could also be due to untimely injuries.

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5) The McCullums (New Zealand)

Elder: Brendon McCullum

Both Brendon and Nathan McCullum have been pivotal in New Zealand’s success in many cases. Brendon, on one hand, a power-packed wicket keeper batsman who is about as predictable as a bag of fireworks with a badly lit wick; you just never know when he might go off. Nathan, on the other hand, is a good off-spinner, and a good low-order batsman. Brendon has been playing IPL right from game 1 and has been exploding and defusing. Both of them were handed contracts in 2011, and Brendon made good use of his, finishing as Kochi’s highest run getter while Nathan got only 1 game for Pune where he went wicketless with the ball and did not impact with the bat. However, Nathan’s great performances have mostly been in the ODI format, so that’s probably why he wasn’t given many games, especially with T20 specialists such as Mitchelle Marsh and Alfonso Thomas present in the PWI side.

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Do-or-die for Deccan

Today the Deccan Chargers take on the Chennai Super Kings in a do-or-die affair. With  only 5 points in 9 games, DC need to buck up and win as there are only 7 games more to face, and they cannot afford to lose even 1 of them if they want an assured semifinal berth. They will be happy to see skipper Kumar Sangakkara and vice-captain Cameron White in such good form after their encounter against the Pune Warriors. CSK, on the other hand, come from back-to-back losses against the Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders, and will be low on confidence. Their batting has been heavily reliant on South African Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina. However, Raina hasen’t been in best of forms this IPL, despite being the first player in DLF IPL to cross 2,000 runs. However, Faf has been batting brilliantly this tournament, and is CSK’s only representative in  the top 20 for the Orange Cap standings. Their golden bowler Ravichandran Ashwin has not been threatning to the batsmen, despite having best individual economy rate of the tournament (6.44). In last year’s IPL, Ashwin was containing Chris Gayle, who won the Orange Cap last year. This year, however, when CSK met RCB, Ashwin was clobbered at 10-per-over by Mayank Agarwal. In the past, CSK were known for getting very average scores, but defending them ferociously. Now CSK’s bowling has simply not been up to the mark. Their highest representative in the Purple Cap standings is Doug Bollinger, who is 22nd on the list. As for DC, they really have to be better on the field. Dale Steyn is their lone bright spot in the bowling, and if you look at the number of catches they dropped, you’d wonder how they beat Pune. So the match will be screening at 8:00 PM IST. Adios 😉

The South African clash- Faf du Plessis vs Dale Steyn

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