Category Archives: IPL

Reliving Finch’s 67*(54) vs MI

We are reliving some of the best batting performances of the ongoing IPL. Today we have The Gujarat Lions opener Finch’s ice cool innings against Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians posted 143-8 with the help of late burst from Tim Southee 25(11) and Krunal Pandya 20*(11). After the first innings, Gujarat Lions were the clear favourites to win the match considering the modest total and form of the new IPL franchise.

After losing McCullum early, Aaron Finch and the skipper Suresh Raina put a 53 run partnership and it looked like an easy win on the cards. McClenaghan got rid of Raina in the 9th over.That was the breakthrough Mumbai Indians were looking for. And they capitalized the opportunity by picking up wickets on regular intervals that put a brake on the scoring rate.

Finch was going really well at one end but he kept losing partners at the other end. Lions went to 131-7 from 65-1. 13 needed from 8. Raina is not smiling at all. Mumbai smell a victory here.

Finch was cramping(He had an ACL surgery a few months ago). All eyes on Finch. Can he do it with a limping foot?

Yes, he did. He kept his cool and helped his team to a last-ball thriller by hitting a four in the final ball.

IPL does more harm than good to Indian cricket?

IPL has been a blockbuster since its inception. It is a pleasing sight that world’s best in the game fighting it out against each other.

IPL has everything to be a crowd puller. Breathtaking batting, superb bowling spells, brilliant athleticism, last-over thrillers, switch hits, cheeky shots but, IPL do more harm to Indian cricket than good?

Losing home advantage

Teams excel in home conditions because they know the conditions better than their counterparts. Beating Australia in Australia, beating England in England and beating South Africa in South Africa, all are a tough task for every visiting team.

Beating India in India is easy? no, it is still difficult to win against Men-in-blue in the home conditions but, nowadays visiting batsmen find it relatively easy to play in India compared to their predecessors. Why? The answer is simple. It is because of IPL.

How IPL led to losing home advantage?

  1.    Indian conditions are no longer alien to foreigners because of IPL.
  2. They are feeling like playing at home. Crowds love them, Gayle, AB de Villiers, McCullum, Dwayne Bravo all are fan favourites

Lack of emergence of quality Test players

Youngsters like Sarfaraz Khan and Sanju Samson are not afraid of any opposition bowlers, even if Steyn bowls against them, they hit sixes at will but can they excel in Test cricket?

Two-three years ago, if you ask a player, “What is your dream?” 90% say they want to play in the longest format of the game for ample period of time but nowadays, youngsters’ aim is to get an IPL contract because IPL gets you instant fame and money. Who wants to play Tests if that doesn’t give you an identity and financial security?

Solution

  •  BCCI have to send players to participate in other leagues such as BigBash, Caribian premier league or county cricket. That will help them to acclimatize to foreign conditions.
  • The board should take a special care for technically sound players who perform well in Ranji Trophy and reward them with some accolades that will motivate them to excel in Tests.

An open letter to Malinga

Dear Malinga,

I know you have been going through severe pain due to your knee injury. Today I came to know that you will miss the England tour in June and likely to miss Australian series as well. It is really saddening hear all these.

Cricket fraternity missed you in the World T20 and missing you in this IPL. Had you led Sri Lanka in the World T20, then it could have been a different story. Sri Lanka looked like minnows without you. They had an inexperienced side and with only Mathews firing, you can’t expect much from them but your bowling, your captaincy that should have been the X-factor.

When I heard about your injury, I thought you may miss the initial parts of the IPL but missing the whole IPL, that never crossed my mind. There are no better death bowlers than you in the current era, even the great McGrath must have applauded your toe crushing yorkers.

Bowling in blockholes is a difficult trait to master and you have done it with ease. You fire one in the block hole, followed by another one, then another. We came to know, bowlers can consistently hit yorker length and low full tosses only when you showed us.

If the batting team needs only 6-7 runs in the final over say, with 5 wickets in hand then it is game over for the bowling side unless the bowler’s name is Malinga. That is the confidence you have instilled in us over the years.

Who would forget your 4 back-to-back wickets against South Africa in the 2007 ICC World Cup when Proteas were cruising for a victory(206-5 in 45th over). You almost singlehandedly won the game for Sri Lanka as your 4 wickets suddenly changed the complexion of the game to 207-9.

We see bowlers sledging batsman and showering bads words when they were gone for plenty but you are entirely different, all you do is just smile back at the batsman. You are not only a special player but also a wonderful human being.

We miss you, IPL miss you, Mumbai Indians miss you. We don’t know the how big is your injury, but we will surely pray for your speedy recovery.

Hoping to see you back in action soon.

With love,

Your fan

Aggression+timing+flamboyance+class=De Kock

If someone overshadows the combined brilliance of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Shane Watson and takes his team home comfortably, then we have no choice other than stand and admire. He is none other than Quinton De Kock from South Africa. He singlehandedly beat Royal Challengers Bangalore on their home turf, with a 48 ball 100 while chasing 191.

The stylish southpaw from Johannesburg has been a revelation since his debut in international cricket across all three formats of the game. His fearless attitude and elegance make him special. People even started to compare him with the legends of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.

The wicket-keeper batsman grew up as a baseball player and even considered a move to the United States but his father convinced him to pursue cricket instead. His performance in U-19 World Cup in Australia was nothing short than spectacular as he scored 284 runs at an average of 47.33. He followed it up with a good Champions League T20 for Lions and selectors rewarded him by giving a national call-up.

He was first selected for South Africa’s T20I series against New Zealand in 2012-13 as a wicket-keeper in place of De Villiers. But his dismal performances in that series and subsequent Sri Lankan series did not help his cause as he was dropped from the national side.

Good players take axing as an opportunity to improve and De Kock did exactly that. He was back with a bang against Pakistan by scoring a century and then, he smashed Indian bowlers all over the park to score three consecutive centuries when India toured South Africa. It was the turning point of Quinton’s career as he impressed one and all with his swashbuckling batting.

He never looked back after the series and he became a regular member of Proteas ODI team. He is only 23 years old and already has 10 ODI hundreds along with a Test ton. If he continues to the play like this, then he will break a lot of records.

If you want to see aggression, timing, flamboyance and class, then watch Quinton De Kock bats.

How KKR perform well even without high-profile cricketers?

Kolkata Knight Riders don’t have any big guns like Gayle, AB de Villiers or Brendan McCullum, still they have performed consistently well across IPL seasons. How have they been performing well even without the so-called superstars?

Opening partnership of Gambhir and Uthappa

Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been consistently performing well at the top. Though they are not giving any explosive starts, they set a solid platform for guys like Andre Russel and Yusuf Pathan to explode later in the innings. Gambhir also holds the record of most 50+ scores in IPL, which speaks volumes of the kind of consistency he has shown over the years.

Sunil Narine Magic

You can’t get a better T20 bowler than Sunil Narine. He bowls economic spells and picks up wickets at regular intervals. He bagged 74 wickets at an impressive economy of 6.01 and average of 18.09 in IPL. If a bowler concedes less than 8 runs in an over in T20s, he is considered as a good bowler, but this guy from West Indies concedes only 6 an over, mind boggling!

 

All-round ability of Andre Russel

We don’t need any introduction for the hard-hitting ability of West Indian batsmen, Russel is no exception. He hits sixes at ease and even his mishits go for boundaries. His strike rate of 180+ is the highest by any batsmen in IPL.

He is more than handy with the ball and his athletic ability in field marks him as a complete package for any captain.

Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan

Yusuf Pathan doesn’t score 30+ every day, but when he scores he makes sure that he makes it big. He is the one who led Rajasthan Royals to the first-ever-IPL title. He performed well even after being drafted to KKR.

The best thing happened to Bangladeshi cricket in the last decade is Shakib Al Hasan. He is the No.1 all-rounder in limited overs cricket. He replicated his international success to his IPL franchise too.

Once a next-big-thing, now a farmer

Anyone who watched IPL will always remember Kamran Khan. He was impressive in hist first stint with Rajasthan Royals in 2009. Shane Warne had banked upon the young seamer, choosing him to bowl the first ever Super Over of IPL. He repaid the faith was put in by the Australian legend by dismissing hard-hitting Gayle and scripted a win for the Royals.

The then, 19-year-old was bowling at 140 Km/hr and his ability to hit the block holes at will was commendable. Had BCCI managed him properly, he could have become the next-big-thing in the Indian cricket but where is he now? He works at his brother’s farm. Yes, you heard it right. Unbelievable, heart-breaking yet true.

BCCI gets a lot of money from IPL but does they use it for nurturing prodigies? Kamran Khan was not the only example, Paul Valthaty , Swapnil Asnodkar to name a few.

Time has come for BCCI to spend some money for youngsters to find their feet in international cricket else next-big-things will become big zeroes

Mysterious Mishra

If anyone asks who is the best bowler in India, most of them say it is Ravichandran Ashwin. What about IPL? Still people will say Ashwin’s name but, in reality, Ashwin is 5th in the list of top 5 Indian wicket takers of all time. Surprised, aren’t you?

Delhi Daredevils’s Amith Mishra leads the list with 116 wickets.

Top 5 Indian wicket takers in IPL:

Amith Mishra – 116

Harbhajan Singh – 112

Piyush Chawla – 112

Vinay Kumar – 98

R Ashwin – 91