IPL – 3 Review
I have never thought I will post about IPL here. But still suddenly I am really crazy about it. I am always a cricket crazy person, as you all know… but still IPL never caught my imagination in the first 2 editions but this time I am just following every bit of news with so much passion. Also there is a competition going on in my office where we have to select 11 players for each match and get the scores accordingly. Some rules are there and I don’t want to bore you all with them.
After the first 2 editions, the team owners have become really sensible and also came to the reality of; if they have to win the championship they should have some good Indian players as they are the 7 out of 11 players and overseas players who will be available till the end of the IPL. Now team management has wasted money on the players who will be out for international duty for the entire length of the tournament.
Even the fans have come in terms with the IPL as I have seen a huge fight going on in the comment section of the cricinfo on which team is better?Chennai or Bangalore. So the IPL going to stay here just like the EPL.
Here is a little preview about all the teams with the little knowledge I gathered.
Kolkatta Knight Riders:
With the awful results in the first 2 editions of the IPL after all the hype created, they seemed to be come to the ground and focused on the game. They have bought some real good players in Angelo Mathews, Owais Shah as always and the big buy by them is Shane Bond who will be their trump card once he joins them.
Their bunch of overseas players (Hodge, Gayle, Bond, McCulum, Shah, Mathews, Langevelt and Mendis) is really good but the Indian players are not that good. Of the Indian lot only Ishant, Murali Kartik were good. Dada was out of international cricket for a long time and Agarkar was not the one who can be trusted upon to deliver always. They have got Ganesh Vignesh, an ICL star, in their team who will come handy with his experience in T20 cricket.
On watching their first match, I sensed that for the first time they are playing as a team and enjoying each other’s success. It was missing in the previous editions and that’s a big plus. And then there is Dada’s captaincy. Batting ability may diminish with age but not the leadership qualities and KKR are for sure will be benefitted by Sourav’s captaincy.
Strengths: Overseas players, Sourav’s captaincy.
Weaknesses: Not so good Indian players, Fielding.
After the dismal performance in the first edition, they turned it around big time in the second edition and won the cup. But are they having enough firepower to clinch the cup again? They have bought Kemar Roach as a replacement for Fidel Edwards this time and no other big buys. Even though they have almost the same team this time too, conditions in India and South Africa highly differs which won’t help their bowling.
Once again Adam Gilchrist is there to lead and he is in great touch too. But Gibbs and Symonds are not in good touch which will hurt them a lot as they are powerful strikers of the ball. Ryan Harris will be a good option for them in bowling and they also will need Kemar Roach to do some early damage. They have got some talented Indian players in Laxman, Ojha, Rohit Sharma and RP Singh. But the Hyderabad state players should improve themselves so that DC can have a shy at the cup.
Strengths: Adam Gilchrist, a strong bowling department.
Weaknesses: Out of form players, a very weak batting line-up.
They are only team along with KKR who didn’t reached semis yet. They have some real good talent in both Indian and Overseas players but yet something or other makes them to stumble. The list of overseas players of MI is stunning. In Jayasuriya, Bravo and Pollard they have real good all-rounders and Lasith Malinga was a real good bowler in T20. In Sachin, Harbhajan and Zaheer they have got very important core players of Indian team. In my view they have got wonderful bowlers who can contain any batsmen.
One area they have suffered last 2 times was with the remaining Indian players. But this time they have got wonderful players who were returned from ICL. Pick of the lot is Ambati Rayudu and R Sathish. They have proved their worth in first match itself. Now they have real good chance of making semis under the guidance of Master.
Strengths: Very strong bowling and equally impressive batting, Sachin’s cricket brain.
Weaknesses: Some injury prone players are there and also they don’t have good finisher while chasing.
As the underdogs of 2008 edition, they have won the cup then. Lot of things went their way in 2008 and when the action shifted to South Africa they struggled in the bowling friendly wickets. Now the IPL is back in India and they will back themselves to win more games.
They have got some great individual batsmen in Yusuf Pathan and Graeme Smith who can win the game on their own. Asnodkar rocked the IPL 1 and he will be handful in Indian pitches. Warne said that Paras Dogra was also a batsman to watch out and he played well in the first game.
They have got great tactician in Warne but they really lack decent bowlers. They have got Shaun Tait who will play key role with his express fast deliveries. But others are not that good. Even Warne lost his magic deliveries. They will be feeling the loss of Ravindra Jadeja now.
Strengths: Warne’s ability to galvanize a bunch of players, match winning batsmen
Weaknesses: Very poor bowling attack.
They are the team who was considered as hot favorites for Ist and IInd edition and 3rd edition is no different. They have good mix of Indian and overseas players. They have got the strongest batting line-up among all the teams and all are in real good form. A top order comprising Sehwag, Gambhir, Warner, Dilshan, De Villiers and Karthik has very less chance to fail.
But the real problem for them is whom to pick from overseas players as everyone is too good a player to miss out. They have got good T20 bowlers in Nannes, Nehra and Mishra. And their latest buy Parnell provides them lot of options. Only thing they don’t have is experience in leadership. Gambhir is new and all the players in the team don’t have the experience of captaining in international stage.
Strengths: Explosive, reliable batting line-up and a decent bowling.
Weaknesses: No apparent weaknesses.
Kings XI Punjab:
This is the team which looks in complete shambles with injury list and poor Indian bunch of players. Lee is out and Yuvraj is returning back after an injury. They will be hoping that Hopes comes soon to lend a balance to their struggling team. Even though Yuvraj comes out from injury, lot hinges on him to deliver.
They have got Sangakkara who was exploding each passing day and good spinners in their ranks. It will be interesting to see how Sanga manages his resources.
Strengths: Individual talented players who are match winners.
Weaknesses: Don’t have good Indian bunch of players to fill the 7 out of 11 and will implode under pressure.
Royal Challengers of Bangalore:
A team which called as Test team in the Ist edition turned it in the second edition with some good buys and planning. This time too they have got one of the interesting talents in the current world cricket, Eoin Morgan and he will boast the already good Bangalore line-up.
They have a determined captain in Kumble and then a very impressive line-up of batsmen in Dravid, Kallis, Manish Pandey, Goswami and Kohli and a very good wicket keeper in Boucher. The biggest strength of this team is their bunch of very good Indian players. Overseas list of players are not behind which comprises of Ross Taylor, Peiterson and Morgan.
Their bowling clicked big time in South Africa but the same can’t be said now as the Indian pitches are really flat and they have do some heavy scoring to win the matches. They have got Steyn, Praveen and Van der merve to take care of bowling and they will good enough to contain the opposition batsmen. With this kind of players they are easily the second best team behind Delhi Daredevils.
Strengths: A very solid bunch of players in all departments and determined Kumble.
Weakness: Bowling which will be under pressure if they don’t have big score on board.
Chennai Super Kings:
One of the most consistent team in the first 2 editions of IPL starts in backfoot for 3rd edition with no world class bowlers except Muralidharan. As in the previous editions, their strength is their solid batting which comprises of Hayden, Raina, Dhoni and Hussey. They have bought Perara this time a heavy hitting all-rounder from Sri lanka who will come handy for Chennai.
They have got one of the best captains in Dhoni who never allows the situation to get into him and Chennai’s fate lies on how well Dhoni manages his poor bowling resources. And if a batting collapse happens to them like the match today then no one can save them.
Strengths: A great batting line-up which can force the pace easily, Dhoni’s captaincy.
Weaknesses: Very poor bowling resources.
And my favorite teams are Kolkatta Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings. KKR for Dada and Chennai being my home town. But they have to play really well to qualify for semis and Delhi Daredevils has got the real of lifting the cup this time. Hope they don’t choke this time.