Monday, April 21, 2008

Battle Royal

After 6 matches of the Indian Premier League, in which all 8 captains failed to fire, with some failing more than once, today's Kings XI Punjab vs Rajhastan Royals finally saw both the captains play key roles.

Shane Warne picked up 3-19 and Yuvraj Singh knocked a 34 ball 57 thanks to Darren Lehmann and Mohammad Kaif.

Have I mentioned how great it is to watch Shane Warne bowl again. The Champion was at his best today. He led from the front and picked up 3 huge wickets - Hopes, King Sanga, and Yuvraj. He would have had Yuvraj even earlier had Lehmann held on.

Today's IPL match involved many a battle.
  • It was a battle between the monarchs: The Kings of Punjab against the Royals from Rajhastan.
  • It was a battle between the brothers: Irfan Pathan against Yusuf Pathan.
  • It was a battle between the Aussies: The retired duo of Warne and Lehmann along with Shane Watson taking on Lee and Hopes.
  • It was a battle between the friends and old team mates: Yuvraj and Kaif.
Besides these individual wars, there was drama aplenty in today's game, which showed that:
  • An international line up of Yuvraj, King Sanga, Jayawardene, Lee, Pathan, Sreesanth, Hopes, and Chawla can't win u a 20-20 match against retired cricketers, Indian domestic players, players ditched by India and Australia, and a Kamran Akmal.
  • The Royals are like a retired Australian team - all field discussions happened between Warne, Lehmann, and Watson. Lehmann and Watson were involved in a crucial partnership. And Warne seemed to take all the wickets.
  • Sreesanth doesn't need an Aussie to spur him on - He was giving Kaif the stares.
  • The IPL has turned Kamran Akmal into a wicketkeeper - a catch, a stumping, and a runout - Thats more than he's done for Pakistan all year.
  • Catching balls hit by your brothers and friends are most difficult to catch - Kaif dropped Yuvraj and Irfan dropped Yusuf.
  • A 6 in these IPL matches can be hit with broken bats. Maybe Ottayan is right about the insigificance of 6s in this tournament. Shane Watson hitting them is quite insignificant actually.
  • Who said leg spinners were rare? As many as 3 played in this IPL match. And that too after Pakistan's debutant leggie picked up 3 wickets in his 1st ever over in international cricket against Bangladesh yesterday.

And you still say the IPL doesn't interest you?

I have just heard reports regarding the TV ratings of the IPL coverage in India. The ratings for the first 2 days of the competition are higher than all ratings achieved during the 20-20 world cup, and higher than that of all 20-20 matches played thus far. (This is for India only)

Now thats something.

There's a potential cracker of a match coming up tomorrow - The Deccan Chargers taking on the Delhi Daredevils. Two of the strongest teams of the league. If the Pakistanis in these teams take the same jet Kamran Akmal used, tomorrow's match will have a number of interesting battles on display.

More on that tomorrow. Stay tuned.


Make your pitch on this post...



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10 Pitched:

  1. Homer said...
     

    Q,

    Since you have been keenly following the IPL, what is your take on the captaincy?

    How well have the captains ( especially Dhoni, Yuvi and Sehwag) marshaled their resources and whats your take on the tactics/strategy?

    Cheers

  2. Sree J said...
     

    Hey

    Can you tell me where you got the info on the TRP ratings for IPL? I've been looking around the web to find out what the ratings for the IPL look like.

  3. sharu said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. Ottayan said...
     

    SreeJ,

    You can get it online at agencyfaqs.

  5. Ottayan said...
     

    SreeJ,

    You can get it here : http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx?id=fbab86cc-3ccb-429a-8feb-01002c6d320fIPL2008_Special&&IsCricket=true&Headline=TV+viewers+lap+up+IPL+Twenty20+show

  6. Sree J said...
     

    Thanks a lot ottayan! I really appreciate it..

    Homer,

    If you don't mind me butting in I think Yuvraj's captaincy has been pretty ordinary, Dhoni's impressive as always and Sehwags..well.. can tell only after a few more games..

  7. nestaquin said...
     

    Another thing that is becoming clear is that Australian cricketers are dominating.

    All the obvious matchwinners so far have been terrific yet I've been very impressed with Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath. The first 6 overs when the field up is crucial and these two have made it hard to score and picked up some top order wickets.

    Aussie cricket is strong despite the constant cravings of the rest of the world for the system to fail.

    Most are only in the IPL for a few more weeks so enjoy the high levels of skill, cunning and commitment while they last.

    And by the way, Warne's captaincy has been the most creative so far in the tournament. And as usual the umpiring has at times been less than ordinary. Aleem Dar especially.

  8. Q said...
     

    Hi Homer. I agree with Nesta here - Warne has thus far looked the best out of the captains. I've liked Ganguly too. And Dhoni as always has been great.

    Laxman and Harbhajan have been too defensive. The natural flair of a captain is missing in them in the matches so far.

    Sehwag, Dravid, and Yuvraj have been unimaginative really.

    I was waiting for some more matches to go down before I write about the different tactic the teams seem to be using.

    Let all of them play 2-3 matches and It'll be more clear.

  9. Q said...
     

    Sree J - I heard about the ratings on NDTV last night.

    Thanks Ottayan for the links.

  10. Q said...
     

    Nesta - McCullum isn't Aussie, neither is Boucher :-)

    Pollock has been just as impressive as McGrath and Lee. Actually Lee has still been hit around a bit but the other too have been outstanding!

    Even when the Aussies go of for their Windies tours we will still get to see Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Lehmann, Watson, Ronchi, Geeves, etc.

    Thats enough Aussie talent to rock the boat.

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