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Saturday, May 28, 2011

IPL 4 drawing to a close – the tour to West Indies and Abu Nechim- who ?

By the end of today, [28th May 2011]  the IPL  4 extravaganza would be complete – whether Dhoni is able to extend his charm or would the channaites get blown over by another Ga(y)le would be known.   IPL window has provided great entertainment and has unearthed many a new talent.  The one who partnered Gayle – Mayank Agarwal is yet to make his first class debut. 

Sure you heard of Frankenstein’s monster – first appeared in Mary Shelly’s novel.  An 8-foot-tall (2.4 m), hideously ugly creation, with translucent yellowish skin  is an ogre of demonic proportions.   Is IPL saga another demon created by BCCI ?

Players, as individuals know themselves better and are the better ones to judge on when and where to play.  Sounds logical but not when some prefer the lure of the money over the National interests.  We have seen some foreign players ducking the call to come over and play in the minefield of money where over 3 months, you play 14 – if at all you are selected in all – and for a bowler the role is about delivering 24 legitimate balls.  And when the National call comes, players speak of being with their families, wanting rest and revealing their injuries !!

Now it is the time for the Indian Board to feel the heat – Virender Sehwag pulled during the show, Gambhir towards the end – Sachin, Zaheer, Yuvaraj all require rest.  Dhoni keeps away from one dayers and lot of things happening.  Is it the player, the IPL owner or the BCCI who is to be blamed ?  Gauti’s lucre was $2.4M [11  cr +] for less than 70 hours of playing time. 

In football where the Club fancy is a rage, players return for National duty for major events.  Almost who have played for India in recent times ran in the IPL race but now it is a depleted team which is touring the West Indies.   Sure the players deserved a good break to be with their families or doing whatever pleased them after the sternous World Cup – but why none preferred it during these 2 months ??  It is common in any professional sport for the athletes to make financial choices but it would be unfair to laud them as National heroes later, if they decide to keep away when it comes to representing the Nation.  The game does not require cheerleaders but independent watchdogs to ensure that their own creation does not cannibalise them. 

The withdrawal of Yuvraj and Sachin and the injuries has provided scope for some.    The ODI squad is :

Suresh Raina (capt), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh (vc), Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan.

The Test squad is  MS Dhoni (capt), VVS Laxman (vc), M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel (wk).

-         this would be no fair means to judge the performance of the new coach Duncan Fletcher who has the advantage of a weak opposition and disadvantage of depleted side. 

For those of you who want to know, here is the itinerary :

Only T 20 : Jun 4  :  10:00 local : 19:30 IST -Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad
1st ODI   June 6 :  09:00 local 18:30 IST       -Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
2nd ODI  : June 8     09:00 local18:30 IST       -Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad     
3rd ODI :  June 11 :9:00 local 18:30 IST          -Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua
4th ODI :  June 13 09:00 local 18:30 IST - Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua
5th ODI :  Jun 16 :  09:00 local 19:30 IST        Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica   

1st Test : Jun 20 - Fri Jun 24 - Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
2nd Test: Jun 28 - Sat Jul 2 -Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
3rd Test : Jul 6 - Sun Jul 10 -Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica

At Chepauk yesterday, MI were in for a crude shock or perhaps they invited it by asking Abu Nachim to bowl to Chris Gayle. 

Abu Nechim Ahmed was a promising pacer who surprised everyone when he joined ICL leaving Assam Cricket Association in 2007.   The defection took place when they were in Chennai to play Buchi Babu invitational event.  He had earlier represented India in U19.  He was ousted from the Ranji side – palyed for Royal Bengal Tigers

Royal Challengers Bangalore 185 for 4 (Gayle 89, Agarwal 41, Munaf 2-27) beat Mumbai Indians 143 for 8 (Tendulkar 40, Vettori 3-19, Aravind 2-27) by 42 runs

Yesterday at Chepauk, he must be wondering his ill luck as he ran into bowl to Gayle and get torned.    MI had Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel but somehow chose Abu to bowl.  The first over sequence was Wd2; 0; 4;4; wd5; 6; 2 & 4 = 27 runs – the worst possible start.  Mayank partnered brilliantly and even when Gayle left 11 short of a century, a score of 230 + beckoned.  RCB failed and ended up 185/4 which in the end proved too much for MI who finished at 143/8 with Sachin getting out a left arm spinner – another ICL returnee Syed Mohammed.  Again the logic of Harbhajan coming up at 3 and keeping Kieron Pollard in for longer was unimaginable.  Pollard was caught brilliantly by Abhimanyu Mithun on the longon one handed.

So are you whistling for CSK today ?  or will Gayle produce one more knock ??

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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