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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IPL 4 update and the composition of Indian team to tour West Indies.

IPL 4 has been different – so many matches, occurring immediately after a successful WC 2011, watched and enjoyed by millions albeit it was a 50 over a side affair.  The race between the 10 teams to finish within the top 4 is culminating into hard fought battles and some interesting displays. With most teams having  two matches save Kochi which has one,  CSK leads the table followed by MI, KKR & King XI as of date.

IPL has unearthed lot of new talent but the Indian selectors seemingly have ignored the performances in IPL.    In the team that was announced for the solitary T20 and 5 onedayers at West Indies, Gautam Gambhir leads a side depleted by top players like Sachin, Dhoni.  The squad of Gautam Gambhir (captain), Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha (wk). – has not thrown any great surprise. 

Badrinath has been knocking the doors strongly and Rohit Sharma has performance.  Board has been relying on the keeping skills of Parthiv Patel and Vinaykumar, Ishant and Amit Mishra returned replacing Nehra, Sreesanth and Piyush Chawla.  Praveen kumar is also back recovering from his injury in the spot created by the rest of Zaheer.  Sehwag is injured.  The heores of IPL -  Ambati Rayudu, Valthaty,  Rahul Sharma have   missed out.

Watching the IPL matches, one does wonder the quality of Varun Aaron in a Nation starved of genuine quickies.  Earlier I had posted one about him touted to be fastest ball in Indian soil.  Varun is reported to be bowling consistently above 140 kmph.  He was not picked by his team Delhi Daredevils in all matches but did get a chance against CSK at Chennai on a batting pitch. The third over he was on view in the 4th over and his 4th ball clocked 147.6 kmph thudding on to the gloves of the keeper.

It was the exhibition of the other side in another match.  Munaf Musa Patel was once hailed to be a pacer – now his supporters are hailing him for his line and length.  Already he is a poor fielder, who would not bend or put in that extra effort in saving a single or going all out for a ballooned hit.  DC were struggling and the last over was to be bowled by this bowler who was once hit all over the park for all fours by Sarwan.  This time, it was lesser batsmen (Dhawan and Amit Mishra).  The first ball was hit over midwicket by Dhawan for a 6.  next was a single.  He ran into bowl to Mishra, who does not have tall claims to be a hitter.  Third – short pitched on leg stump, top edged and landed just short of the ropes for a 4; Munaf let out some missives from his mouth in an ungainly gesture.  4th a full toss dispatched over square for another 4.  Munaf runs in and tries to stare hard at Mishra.  5th – a slower one, cut fine and another 4.  Mishra collides with Munaf and there is war of words.  Last ball another full toss hit over midwicket for another 4.  (6,1,4,4,4,4) – a poor last over which changed the game and more than the over the display of ire was ignominious.  Expression of frustration from somebody who did not did not have his basics right.  

RCB with 17 points are ensured of a place but lot would depend on which team finishes on 1 & 2.   CSK and MI have 16 points each but will have some trouble if Punjab were to win their last  two games by a huge margin.  Earlier MI were running away with victories and the poor 87 all out against Punjab has adversely affected their NRR.  They have an easy match against Rajasthan and a win would see them easily through.   It is interesting to see whether Kolkata Knight Riders  who have not qualified in any of the 3 previous editions does it this time. 

This is a different format wherein 1&2 play – winner goes to Finals; 3 & 4 play – winner of 3 & 4 plays loser of 1&2 to qualify for the Finals and then there will be Finals.  Team 1, 2 & 3 qualify for the Champions League.  That makes it more lively………….

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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