Posts Tagged ‘cricket’

IPL season 3

So the season 3 of the mad man’s game is here. So is it Back? Bigger? Better?

Bigger- it might be next year with 2 more teams to join the party

Better- is what we could decide over the next 1 month of action

But, its definitely back.. ya back to India after almost 2 yrs. That’s definitely a reason to celebrate.. Yay!! 😛

So what’s new this IPL? Let’s have a look what each of the franchises have in store this season

1. Chennai Super Kings

Its my home side 🙂 and I hope we win this time after a couple of fairly good outings in the past 2 seasons. We made it to the semis on both occasions. CSK will be as ever blessed with the presence of one of the best captains of the IPL, Dhoni. Couldn’t agree with Director of CSK more when he says, he s a 3-in-1 performer whose contribution can never go without a mention.

Haydos is back and we might get a chance to see him with his Mongoose bat. The one that looks like a Dhobi walla’s. Kemp is in the side too and we might have to wait for sometime to c the blazing opening pair of Hussey and Hayden.

Now putting the other teams in perspective in the order of my backing them 🙂

2. Mumbai Indians

+ Sachin leading from the front and in the midst of an amazing purple patch

+ The Caribbean explosive duo of Bravo and Pollard.

+ They will hope that the Indian Spin and Pace spearheads Bhaji and Zaheer fire along with Malinga’s unorthodox bowling

3. Delhi Daredevils

+ The awesome Delhi opening pair of Viru and his Ranji team mate Gauti. Warner could only add to the woes of the opposition.

+ SA’s ABD and SL’s Dilshan were well worth their money last time. ABD might not be the same on Indian tracks.

+ Nannes and Parnell will form a nice bowling pair

No more favorites.. Listing others in some random order

4. Bangalore Royal Challengers

+ My 3rd fav captain after Dhoni and Sachin. Kumble can trouble any side with balls landing on their seam

+ Kallis couldn’t have hit a good form in anyother better time. Being an excellent all-rounder he comes as a nice package

+ The young Indian contingent of Praveen, Pandey and Vinay kumar should make their presence felt.

5. Kolkata Knight Riders

+ Supposed to be the most glamorous team of the IPL. But the glamour usually limits itself to just SRK. Hope Dada leads them to a decent position this time.

+ Gayle’s flamboyant batting, Mathew’s all-round abilities and Bond’s fiery bowling should come good for them to spell success this season

6. King XI Punjab

+ Much will depend on how good Sangakkara handles the additional responsibility of Captaincy with batting and wicket keeping.

+ Jayawardene, UV and Bopara’s batting will be things to look out for.

+ The Australian pair of Lee and Marsh would be eagerly awaited.

7. Deccan Chargers

+ Gilly Gilly.. all the way. He s one another Batsman-Wicketkeeper-Captain package after Dhoni and Sangakkara. And a main cog in the wheel for the Deccan.

+ The out of form talented-Rohit and lasttime-purplecap-holder RP Singh need to come good.

+ Big man Symmo has been good with both bat and the ball. Vaas seems to be going back to his good old days with some amazing opening bowling spells. Look out!!

8. Rajasthan Royals

+ Royals = Shane Warne. The equation couldn’t get any simpler.

+ Smith’s and Dimma’s injuries have really hurt them. Should more than be compensated by Shane Watson’s return in April.

+ Warne lead a team of underdogs to an emphatic win once. Can he do it again? Wait and watch.

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The day I was blessed

The magician and his wand

Bless my holy angel! Was i really watching this!? I jus CAN NOT BELIEVE!! I felt like I was blessed 175 times today! Its an innings of a life time and something which u can very proudly say to ur kids n grand children that “I was alive when that happened and I watched it live!!”
And for this first time in my life i shud say n am guilty to accept that today something was more important for me than India winning. I was madly hoping that he wud cross 194 n reach whr any ODI player has never been, the magic 200. However it was dreadful that it could not be a fairy tale ending and had to end that way..
Most of us have read about One man show, single man army n all those stuff where an individual brilliance overshadows anything n everything that happened that day. This was that day and Sachin was the man. The Man of the match award for a man from the losing side stands as a little testimony.
Am damn excited and emotions are running high. Penning them all down is a pretty tough ask. I wud have written a blog for every shot he played today, that wud have been lot easier. It had his class written all over, again n again.

I guess am sounding a little lunatic. So, I wud better take a break here n go back to enjoying one of the finest moments in the history of Indian cricket.

The answer was pretty obvious when he was asked post-match as what keeps motivating him all these years. “I care about playing for India, it’s a passion and I have been absoloutely honoured to play for India so long” This is why we love u!

I cant imagine hw things wud b, once this guy retires!! I just cant digest that it might happen some day.. Sachin, Do u really need to retire!? U jus keep playing till eternity. Hope the God gives him a long life and in someway an ability to play till his very very end for the simplest of reason that the law of aging just doesn’t apply for this man.

– A Sachin Fanatic

ICC Awards 2009

Its that part of the year when the Cricket players are honored. And they have something to brag about officially!! This year the awards had a very good Indian presence. Hope it gets better with years 🙂

ICC World Player of the Year – Mitchell Johnson [Australia]

Test Player of the Year – Gautham Gambir [India]

ODI Player of the Year – MS Dhoni [India]

Twenty20 International Performance of the Year – Tillakaratne Dilshan [Sri Lanka]

Emerging Player of the Year – Peter Siddle [Australia]

Spirit of Cricket – New Zealand

Umpire of the Year – Aleem Dar [Pakistan]

World Test Team of the Year – Led by Dhoni [India]

Gautam Gambhir (India), Andrew Strauss (England), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka), Michael Clarke (Australia), MS Dhoni (India, capt & wk), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Stuart Broad (England), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Harbhajan Singh (India, 12th man)

World ODI teamLed by Dhoni [India]

Virender Sehwag (Ind), Chris Gayle (WI), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL), Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Martin Guptill (NZ), MS Dhoni (Ind, captain, WK), Andrew Flintoff (Eng), Nuwan Kulasekara (SL), Ajantha Mendis (SL), Umar Gul (Pak), 12th man: Thilan Thushara (SL)

Women’s Player of the Year – Clare Taylor [England]

Associate Player of the Year – Will Porterfield [Ireland]

Thanks Cricinfo, from where the content was heavily borrowed 🙂

The clash of the champions

Would have anyone thought that something like this cud happen at the beginning of the Champions Trophy!!?
  • NZ, Eng and Pak comfortably thru to the next round.
  • Particularly Eng who just came out a 6 match losing streak against Aus
  • SL being thrown out of the tournament despite their good form
  • India and Aus fighting for a spot in the semis
  • SA (regarded as one of the title contenders) finishing at the bottom of the table at the end of round 1
  • At the end of round 1, India, the no. 1 team in the official rankings at the start of the tourney has been pushed out
Phew!!
Points Table (At the end of league matches)
Group – Group B
Teams Matches Won Lost Tied N/R NRR Points
New Zealand Cricket: New Zealand Cricket New Zealand 3 2 1 0 0 0.782 4
England: England and Wales Cricket Board England 3 2 1 0 0 -0.487 4
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Cricket Sri Lanka 3 1 2 0 0 -0.085 2
South Africa: Cricket South Africa South Africa 3 1 2 0 0 -0.171 2
Group – Group A
Teams Matches Won Lost Tied N/R NRR Points
Pakistan: Pakistan Cricket Board Pakistan 3 2 1 0 0 +0.999 4
Australia: Cricket Australia Australia 3 2 0 0 1 +0.510 5
India: Board of Control for Cricket in India India 3 1 1 0 1 +0.290 3
West Indies: West Indies Cricket Board West Indies 3 0 3 0 0 -1.537 0

Current official ICC Rankings for ODI teams

Rank
Team
Points
1
AUS
Australia
126
2
IND
India
124
3
SA
South Africa
121
4
PAK
Pakistan
112
5
NZ
New Zealand
109
6
ENG
England
107
7
SL
Sri Lanka
106
8
WI
West Indies
76
9
BAN
Bangladesh
55
10
ZIM
Zimbabwe
26

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Meanwhile, somewhere in South Africa, Pontings speaks sense. Thats a news really!! 🙂

Ponting paid tribute to Tendulkar, the leading run-scorer in ODIs and Tests. “The number of innings of his I have been able to sit back and watch, I think he is an amazing player,” he said. “Look at his stats and records and it’s quite incredible for someone to have stayed in the game for 20 years. He has set benchmarks for guys like me to chase him and get as close as we can. If I had to last 20 years, I would probably be batting in a wheelchair.”

He sits at third behind Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in the list of all-time ODI run-getters. Ponting is the only Australian with over 10,000 runs. In Tests, Ponting is also third to Tendulkar’s 12773 runs with 11345. Like Tendulkar, Ponting has stepped down from playing Twenty20 internationals for his country.

Good on ya mate!! 🙂

Time to fantasize

The IPL II comes to an exciting end today. It being a Sunday of underdogs in South Africa, with two retired war horses in Gilly and Jumbo leading their pack to the finals. No one would have expected them to pull this off given they were the wooden spoon holders last time around finishing 8th and 7th respectively.

One of the best things about this season’s IPL has been the Fantasy cricket, I have been playing throughout. It was really exciting to take a manager/captain’s role and pick the best 11 for your fantasy team.

So as a finishing touch, here is my hand-picked fantasy team with the best in this season so far.

Ram's 11 - My Fantasy team

Ram's 11 - My Fantasy team

Icon player [1]

It was a tough choice. Other contenders were Sachin and Dravid, but Yuvi has been good in parts with both bat and the ball, if not consistent. He has scored 346 runs and picked 6 wickets including double whammy of hat-tricks. His bowling and powerful hitting made him edge over Sachin. Dravid has been sort of in and out of the team, so he had an unsettled look. Sorry Viru, VVS and Saurav, better luck next time. But one small change, the icon player doesn’t get to be my captain.

Foreign players [4]

Orange capped Haydos and his good old team mate Gilly were automatic choices. Mr. Priest, the walker gets to be my captain for his ability to lead from the front. Bowling slot was sweeped by Malinga given his consistent performance thru out the series. I couldn’t make a quick decision reg the 4th slot. Should it be a bowler or a batsman? If a batsman then, ABD or Dilshan or Duminy. Else Nannes / Abdulla / Murali. I would love to have Abdulla in my team. This guy was amazing picking 14 wickets in 9 matches. He was unlucky to have Lee back in the side and he automatically fell out of favour. But inorder to maintain a balance, I have to go with a batsmen. And it’s the first centurion of this season ABD.

Indian under-22 [2]

Blore’s Kohli, Chennai’s Tyagi, Deccan’s Rohit n Suman, Delhi’s Sangwan, Punjab’s Sohal n Chawla, Kolkata’s Ishant, Mumbai’s Abishek, Rajasthan’s Kamran Khan n Jadeja have been really impressive and outstanding. I was really happy to see these kids perform well in the big stage, after all, IPL is all about identifying new talents like these. Now coming back to my pick, Rohit Sharma goes straight through. He has even been named the ‘Citi under-23 success of the tournament’. He rightfully deserves it. 2nd slot was a tough fight between Ishant, Sangwan and Chawla. Sangwan gets picked for his wicket taking ability (He is 8th in the top 10 wicket takers of this tourney) He bowls good left-arm medium-pace like his idol Wasim Akram.

Indian over-22 [4]

Purple cap holder RP Singh, the underdog and revelation of this season Ashish Nehra (I never expected him to be this successful) and namma Chennai’s very own super king Raina pick themselves up. The only remaining slot had the Pathan brothers from Baroda in a tussle. But, Yusuf lost it to his younger brother Irfan for his exceptional all-round abilities picking 17 wickets at an avg of 22.94 and scoring 196 runs @ a strike rate of 124.05.

All said and done, if there were no restrictions like Icon/Under-22/4 Foreigners etc., then the one below would have been my dream team.. Looks sexy na 🙂

My dream team

My dream team

Let the games begin

I’ve lost track of days.. I don realise time flying by around me.. Days go on faster than nights.. I know wt u r thinking rite nw. No no! am not in love, but the Cricket carnival is back with a louder BANG!!

As sad as I am that it isn’t played in India this time, am as happy tht it gets to be played at all. SA – the land of Goldmines, natural beauty, wildlife n all the action – gets to set the stage this time around. Hoping to have a cracker of a season. My favorites, namma Chennai Super Kings  look better this time around with Haydos available for the whole tourney, the Million dollar baby Andrew, the captain himself on a roll after successfully touring with the Indian team around the world.

dlf-ipl-2009

DLF ILP 2009


The 2008 finalists Super Kings n Raj Royals might start as favourites but I will hold the cards close to my chest. Look out for the Daredevils, MI and a rejuvenated Chargers and Knight Riders. I can’t place the Royal Challengers anywhr. But somehw I feel Raj Royals n Punjab r gonna b a let down.
We r already a few days into it.. n there ve been few positives n negatives picked so far

preity-cheering-on

+

  • The carnival, big party and the opening ceremony
  • English in IPL this time.. we ll get to see wt the kevins and Andrews get to do.
  • No more Indians-led-pack. Last time it was all abt Indian war horses, young n old, leading the teams (with the exception of Warny). But this time common sense seems to prevail, with proper captains leading the pack (tho am nt sure if McCullum is better than Dada)
  • All the Bollywood glam dolls being part of the franchises. Last time it was only Preity, this time we ve Shilpa, Juhi n Katrina joining her.
  • N of course all those Cheer leaders. They really keep the game going 🙂

  • ARUN LAL – no offense meant. but its getting really tired to hear him day in n day out during each break.
  • One suggestion: Pack Arunlal off to Africa (so that we get to c him very less) n bring Mandira back on studios. I really miss the deadly combo of Charu n Mandira. Not that Mandira is anywhr near ‘hot n happening’, she looks overdone n old. But anyday she is better than few mokkai mannars. Not to mention the first day when I was really pissed off watching 2 Lal’s (Arun n Lal chand rajput) discussing the 1st day’s game.. I was like wt the hell!! the perfect way not to start the big games. Btw, all these with due respect to his contribution to cricket. It wud ve been better if he had only stopped thr.
  • Big things come with controversies. All those things abt multi-captaincy, Pak players being withdrawn, few aussie players pulling out. Many turned out to be dampeners.
  • The strategic time breaks, introduced to reduce the time taken for an innings, as the big-heads feel that  more time is wasted to discuss strategies during a match. Tho i feel, this has not helped much, only benefit being to the organizers who ve found more time to sneak in their ads.
  • CSK has started on a losing note. They ve lost 2 of thr 3 games!! 😦 Tho they had fought well, its really sore to be on the losing side. Hoping for brighter days ahead. So Goooo on CSK.. We r always behind u 🙂
Chennai super kings

Chennai super kings

And don miss my fellow IPL blogger Mr. Fake IPL Player, he deftly seems to pack a punch 😉