Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

I turned on my TV probably a couple of moments before the toss, so I wasn’t aware of what was going on in the extra innings pre match session. When Warner walked out for the toss, the first thing that came to my mind was some freak practise session injury to Mahela, then I took my mind to the lighter side that it might just be for the toss as Mahela had a dismal track record so far in this tournament when it comes to the toss followed by the result of the match. When the game began, one of the commentators was having a word with Mahela and the reason was that he wouldn’t be travelling to the next match in Chennai due to political reasons. That was mind blowing. This is the game of cricket we are talking about. Why are external ingredients spoiling the nature of the game? Very disheartening!

Cricket is a funny game. Thinking about the no-ball of Morkel that took Kohli’s edge to the keeper and the drop catch by Sehwag. He deserved a century, 99 is no lesser feat in this format. That’s the T20 key to the code. See off a few balls and then accelerate. This is what Gayle, DeVilliars, Kohli and most other successful batsmen in the business goes about.

Coming back to the Daredevils team, this season was the mother of disaster. IPL is a domestic tournament and this team is totally dependent on 1 foreign individual, KP. That is a bad sign. In cricket 2013, the top teams are the ones who possess 11 match winners in the team. Depending on 1 player or a part of the players of the team is a short cut to disaster. Also its a matter of concern when the entire team is out of form. Why does Delhi boast of a pace battery when the pitch is as dead as possible? Every team has a home advantage to their liking. If they want to get in fast bowlers then they got to do something about the pitch and make it livelier. Else change the concept of using so many fast bowlers in the playing 11.

Sehwag is burnt out. Its not just the scores but his reflexes have dropped down drastically. His reaction to the blows on this body when batting and the drop catch off Kohli doesn’t show a bad day but bad hand eye co-ordination. Viru never had the footwork, now if his reflexes are slowing then he got a problem. Also most teams have clearly pointed out that some of the Indian batting stars like Sehwag, Gambhir and Raina are all uncomfortable to bouncers. Saurav Ganguly’s brigade consisting of Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Nehra, Zaheer and Harbhajan should all go back to domestic cricket. These are not just good players, they are gifted. They need to go back to what they were known for, match winners !

Looking at the Delhi batting, they reached 170 and there was actually no major contribution. Nevermind if we are out of this edition of the IPL, best wishes are with the team to return in the next edition as the leading contenders for the golden cup. Always with the team !!!

Mumbai Indians VS Kolkata Knight Riders (7th May, 2013), Wankhede

The day began with a lot of expectation and the doze of Armour to withstand a heartbreak if Sachin fell early once again. Such is the Sachin effect that I have heard someone say there was this individual who had a break-up with his 5 years old girlfriend and he was devastated. The only thing that got him back on track was the youtube video of Sachin’s knock against Australia at Sharjah. This innings was much needed, considering the slump he was trying to get out off. I guess the duration of bad form was extended for a couple more senior players like Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj.

It was disappointing that in the first 10 overs, Sachin got to bat only for 18 deliveries when he had scored about 38 runs off 18 deliveries. The onslaught of McLaren on the 2nd over and the confident thud when the ball hit Sachin’s bat gave a picture of what was to come, especially the 3rd delivery which was pulled for a 4 to the long on fence. Can’t wait to see him get to the orange cap when the team is playing the finals 🙂

I have a question here. What are the roles of certain individuals in the team? Precisely Dwayne Smith and Harbhajan Singh? Is Smith supposed to be the aggressor and Sachin be the accumulator? Or is Mumbai playing a steady opening to see off the first 6 overs and then accelerate?  It isn’t a pleasant sight to see a T20 match played like a One Dayer. Every format is different. ODI is my favorite but its a different ball game altogether. The middle order is the strength of the team backed by superb bowlers in Johnson and Malinga. Questions still arise on the opening pairs. We all know Tendulkar is not replaceable and no one wants to see Sachin on the bench. Then who should the other person be to play as the specialist opener at the power play stage? Why not give Glenn Maxwell the shot? I think Ravi Shastri did mention his stats during the match. Moreover he will need some match practice before the knockouts begin. Or even if they want to save him at this phase why not get Karthick get in to open with Sachin? Anyhow, the trend of MI has been that a wicket will fall in the first couple of overs, so Karthick is as good as an opener and he did a fine job when the tournament started. Either way, Tendulkar should be paired with a power player like season 1 when Tendulkar and Jayasuriya dominated the powerplays. And Bhajji? The trend of spin bowling is that the spinner spins most of his deliveries and angles a few. With Bhajji, he spins only about 10 balls out of the quota of 24 balls in the match and angles the rest 14. A spinner is one who spins the balls, who he used to be about 5 years back. But all is good till the time the team is winning.

Mumbai bowled brilliantly and in fact both the sides fielded well. The catch by Morgan was one of the brightest stars in this match. What smart thinking !!! Mitchell Johnson’s bowling figures in this match : 4 overs, 13 runs, 2 wickets, 3.25 economy, 14 dots. So the batsmen scored 13 runs off only 10 deliveries. Outstanding.

Wankhede has become a fortress of the Mumbai Indians. Love the sound of the roaring crowd. I am still waiting to see some fireworks from players of the caliber of Pollard, Yusuf Pathan, Warner, Sehwag. Simply love the tournament from this stage !!!


Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders

What a match !!! I didn’t see my home team with such dominating force this time until this match. Just when i was fearing a lame surrender, the dream started. Delhi became a brute force when they were virtually out of the tournament. I witnessed an intent on the field, be it bowling, fielding or batting.

Two things set up the pace for the DareDevils. The run-out of Gambhir and the delivery from Yadav that castled Bisla. Its a mix of taking the opportunity and ripping through with talent. What followed by the rest of the bowlers was a perfect bowling battery. My concern would still be Nehra and Agarkar. I don’t think they actually find a place in the playing 11. Or maybe if IPL happens to be played abroad in swinging conditions, then maybe get them back in. We need another spinner. 3 fast bowlers and 2 spinners is an ideal combination. Not taking anything away from the team. Great job ! everything is good till the time the team is winning.
Along with the victory the other good thing is that we are still live on the race. We can still make it to the playoffs. If the team happens to win from here, it will be nothing short of a Cinderella story. And who doesn’t like good stories?

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

My first wish for IPL6 was that it should have a classy soundtrack with a lot of energy related to sports. The jumpin japak thing by Farah Khan just spoilt everything. Anyhow, then I was expecting for the main thing, some good cricket and so far there has been some brilliant performances by teams and individuals. I can only hope the tempo will further intensify and the tournament will bring some memories that we fans will cherish for a long time to come.
I haven’t written anything about the RCB VS PWI match. Actually that was one of those matches which goes down well in the memory and very few can bring them to life on the paper. I am among the one who can keep thinking about the GayleStorm for a long time. My conclusion would be, what Bradman was to tests & Tendulkar was to one dayers, Chris Henry Gayle is to T20. Somehow I wouldn’t like to hear Gayle being called a T20 god, The T20 Monster sounds better on the gentle giant or perhaps the bowler slayer!!! Thank you for the fond memory, Chris Henry Gayle.
Coming back to the current match, I was hugely disappointed with Ponting sitting out on the bench. Yes there has been examples of team captains who sat out on the bench while the action was on. That was on sheer performance. But here we are talking about Ricky Ponting, skipper of the team that won 3 world cups and dominated world cricket for about a decade. He might not be scoring runs but he is more of a leader, rightly said by Ajay Jadeja at pre-match session with Sunny Gavaskar and Samir Kocchar. Moreover, he is among those few rare players who played on 1st change in all formats of the game. That’s his speciality. We have seen what happened to Sachin Tendulkar when he used to bat at #2 for India in ODIs.
The next surprise was the appointment of Rohit Sharma as the Mumbai Indians skipper! This talent house is already rare on his brilliant innings, why add the load of captaincy on his shoulders? On the other hand, there was no good choice either. Maybe this will turn out to be one of the finest moves but what we need now is a batsman who is the consistent form of Rohit Sharma. We don’t have to worry about a captain for the Indian team in either formats. Dhoni is irreplaceable now and he has done good for Indian cricket. His resume is super impressive. And I hope to believe that the BCCI is keen on grooming Kohli for the future. Rohit Sharma should only focus on his batting. Period !
However, the skippers plan of challenging Yusuf Pathan with Bhajji was pathetic. Yusuf Pathan against an off sipnner who is out of form for a long time and in his home ground, Eden Gardens ? That’s a big blunder but every skipper learns from mistakes.
Bhajji needs to make sure he is still passionate about the game and his main reason to play for India should still be the love of the game and not what the game brings. I won’t like to agree that a top player like him can be out of form for close to 4 years if not more. Also, thinking about Manoj Tiwary, I wonder if that’s the best local talent KKR has? Is there no-one in the team who is better than him to replace wrong. If not, Bengal cricket is in danger.
Coming to my sports icon Sachin Tendulkar. Many happy returns of the day, master !!! May this year bring heaps of runs off your bat in every format that you play. However about this match, i was let down yet again. Not taking away anything from Naraine. Beautiful delivery, the perfect off spinners weapon. The frustration is why Tendulkar faces such deliveries in more frequent basis ? Is he losing his immortal touch of scoring off anything bowled at him? Are the bowlers bowling extra special deliveries to get the wicket of the extra special batsman?
I am worried about the batting of Mumbai. Hope they very soon get Rohit Sharma to open with Sachin Tendulkar followed by Ricky Ponting, Karthick and Pollard.
The tournament is going to get intense very soon !!!

Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians

3:50 pm : The first news i heard about todays match is of Sir Vivian Richards now being a part of the Delhi Daredevils team management. What a move !!! 10k claps. If the team is looking for inspiration to play out of their skins and still remain in contention of the trophy, then this great man is best suited to turn the tide for favourable results.
On the other hand Mumbai still don’t have their opens figured out. Pondulkar (lol) isn’t working. It doesn’t take a think tank to analyze that, its so obvious. They need to change the combination. Ponting on 1st down and maybe Rohit Sharma to open with Tendulkar. And If a slot has to be replaced than it has to be done with someone who is scoring, not someone to test. Rohit did bat well for Deccan as an opener.
I am also thinking about the moment in this match when my cricket hero Sachin Tendulkar will perform or fail. Irrespective of that, i will be bound to feel the emotion for him. Then i think about the tournament. We need to win this match to break the losing streak.
4:15 pm : What a brilliant start by Delhi. That’s how a fast bowler starts bowling for this team. Great start by Irfan. And am glad that Ponting is not out to open. Smith is a good move but I would really like to see Rohit Sharma open with Sachin for a couple of innings.
5:08 pm : I knew this bittersweet moment will come in the match when my national team favourites Sachin and Rohit would perform, I am glad to see them score but also pissed about scoring against my team. On the other hand, Delhi seems to be operating with a mission but messing up with the fielding. Teams like CSK and RCB are brilliant fielding units and this department of the game actually brings results.
8:08 pm: I simply needed some shelter from the ViruCane. This is the proof of the statement ‘1 man army’. Long have the Delhi and all cricket fans waited for such show of batting display. The Innings was a perfect blend of brute force of a shot gun in Sehwag and the finesse of a sniper rifle in Jayawardene.
In one of the interviews of Sir Richards during the match, the anchor asked him about his way of putting some value in the team. Richards told them ‘do them before they do to you’, said the West Indian who created havoc in the bowling world. And thanks we did get inspired. For the Mumbai Indians, ViruCane was the dark day with thunder bolts all around.
Splendid, I got to watch two of my favourite batsmen in Mumbai (Sachin & Rohit) score good and most importantly, dominate. And then my home team launched the run chase, unleashed from the mental block of uncertainty & won the match with ease. The road might be end for Delhi this year but they can still make someone else’s day bad when it will come to single point at the top of the table. As Mr Gavaskar said, Delhi was careless in the last 6 matches, today they were carefree. Waiting for the team to dominate the rest of the tournament as a team !!!

The beginning of ends.

Delhi debacle continues. Am a local supporter and its heart breaking to see that my home team is at the end of the points table, losing 6 of the 6 matches we played so far. All this while I was thinking about a match winning innings by one of the players that would inspire the entire team to get back to their winning ways. We need 2 of the top 4 batsmen to deliver. Sehwag and Warner looks totally out of league. Came across a piece of writing somewhere where the author sympathises for Warner as his losing streak in India still isnt over. Agree. He needs to get back to scoring some runs and on a winning purpose now. The team looks upon him to deliver. He will be back. Its just a bad patch he is in. I am actually concerned about Sehwag. He has looked off track since the world cup. Fans of DD, symbolises Viru with the team and he has let his fans down so far. It was very disappointing to see him not going for the super over against chennai. Injured? If there is an injury then he should think in terms of resting for the entire tournament. If the injury is not that serious then he should have come for the super over. His team needed just 1 over from him to win the match and he let me and i think others down.
DD always has a good team. Think about the playing 11 on the first edition. They were simply worldclass. Players kept changing but the potential of being a threat never ceased for any opposition. This year their bowling performance is not impressive either. People are looking for players like Morkel, Nehra and Yadav bully the team into victories.
Seasons have passed, time disappeared and my wait for Irfan Pathan’s form hasn’t rested. His inswing has disappeared and he is useful in scratches. A good all rounder wins match for the team by either departments. Wins, not just plays.
Still waiting for that matching winning performance by one of the players that would inspire the entire team to get up and stay in contention for the trophy in 2013.