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Sunday, May 8, 2022

IPL given rich benefits ! - watch the ball !!

 Downunder, India’s riches came one after the other .. .. and Mohammad Siraj’s bowling coach and former Hyderabad pacer, P Jyothi Prasad, was quoted as saying that he did not want the pacer to develop ‘the bad habit of chucking’ when he was the chairman of the Hyderabad selection committee.  “Siraj was playing a lot of local matches, which were all betting matches that they played in the old city. When he got selected for the state youth side (under-23), I told him to stop those tennis ball matches,” Prasad told Sportskeeda, because many bowlers would chuck there !!  he added -  I did not want Siraj to develop the bad habits of chucking!”   

Just to add lil bit of info -  a  few decades ago, we read interestingly about Cricket  camps before Overseas tours, when Barun Burman, Jyoti Prasad .. .. came close to selection and a young lad Kapil Dev was denied extra rotis,  and was told that there are no pace bowlers in India. In 1970s, we had heard of Abid Ali, Solkar, Madanlal, Ghavri opening the bowling (and even Gavaskar and Bedi ! sharing the new ball) - India’s fortunes changed with the advent of great Kapil Dev !  .. .. remember that in Chennai 1st division league there were young lads bowling fast – not only locals like Rajamannar, Bharathkumar, Arunkumar, Kalyanasundaram, TA Sekhar, Arun – but from MRF - Vivek Razdan, Subroto Banerjee and Ashish Winston Zaidi.  

IPL has changed lot of things and there are many positives too !  Apart from the massive financial boost and enormous increase in fan interest, India's biggest gain from a highly productive IPL competition has been the huge improvement in playing depth.  In 1970s – after Ajit Wadekar’s successful West Indies and England tours – India touched nadir – wins were not that easy, Overseas wins were rarer still.  In this century,   India's overseas reputation has improved immensvely, especially under the captaincy reign of a competitive Sourav Ganguly- and the pace of that ascent gradually increased when the IPL began 15 seasons back, in 2008. The quietly thoughtful MS Dhoni - who is still exerting an influence - built on Ganguly's reputation, which was then improved upon by the highly competitive leadership of Virat Kohli.  Now there are so many new and new bowlers and batters in the fray that Team India can virtually toy with the idea of putting up a new 11 on field ! 

Now the 54th match is on at Wankhede – Kane Williamson lost the toss -   only the second toss he  has lost in 11 attempts this season. "Nice to steal a toss from Kane today," says du Plessis. RCB have turned up in their green jersey for this fixture. They are unchanged.   Sunrisers made two changes with left-arm fingerspinner J Suchith and Afghanistan left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi replacing Shreyas Gopal and Sean Abbott. This is Farooqi's first IPL game, but du Plessis might be familiar with him, having faced him at the CSK nets when he was a support player last season. 

B u t .. .. .. ..  sadly, it was another first-ball duck for Virat Kohli! It was gentle, innocuous delivery, fuller on the pads from spinner Suchith, Kohli chipped it on the leg side but failed to keep it down. A simple catch for Williamson at short midwicket and King Kohli out for another first ball duck, does not augur well for RCB & Team India too. 

There was some news of a question mark hanging over Sunday's evening match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals after a member of the Capitals' contingent has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. ESPNcricinfo reports  that the entire team underwent a fresh round of PCR tests on Sunday morning and was asked by IPL authorities to stay in their hotel rooms until further notice.  The IPL has not issued any comment including whether the match, scheduled at DY Patil Sports Academy, will go ahead. 

Capitals players mingled with Super Kings on Saturday at the teams' training session. It is understood that the Super Kings have not yet been asked to undergo any fresh tests. The news is unlikely to disrupt either Capitals or the IPL. Last month, after a few members of Capitals' contingent, including Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh, returned a positive test, the IPL conducted several rounds of PCR tests before allowing the team back on the field. Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting also had to isolate in his hotel room for five days after a family member tested positive. A couple of Capitals' matches were shifted from Pune to Mumbai to restrict travel.

Be it a league match or whatever, watch the bowl as it leaves the bowler’s hand is the instruction – is that easy ! – every batsman would know !!  - this morning watched a match at Marina ground for a few minutes and here are couple of photos of bowler and the tossed-up delivery !! 

Watch the action, enjoy the game !  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th May 2022.


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