Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bidding Farewell to the IPL

Not me, the Aussies and the Kiwis are.

Both sets of players are taking a plane out of the Indian Premier League to prepare for their respective tours to the Windies and England.

Not all the players are happy though. Micheal Hussey said its a pity to be leaving so soon and Simon Katich mentioned that he would love to come back as soon as possible. Symonds said he is disappointed he can't end something he started and that he would stay in touch with the Chargers over the phone from the Carribean.

How many players do you reckon are leaving with mixed feelings?

I think all of them and I think it has nothing to do with the money.

For a change international cricketers are playing without the lingering pressure of the boards and selectors. They are enjoying good support from the crowds and amazing hospitality from the franchise owners. There has been no pressure of home crowds and national colours nor has there been the constant media speculation. They are loving the atmosphere in which they are playing. They are having fun, entertaining the public, and being entertained themselves - something they definitely deserve after the gruelling international calendars that they go through.

Definitely none of them want to leave early.

Here's a look at how the departure of some big names will impact the teams.

Kings XI Punjab

Out-Going: Simon Katich, James Hopes, Brett Lee, Kyle Mills, Shaun Marsh
In-Coming: Ramnaresh Sarwan, Luke Pomersbach

Mills and Marsh have not yet featured in KXIP's plans so their absence will go unnoticed. Hopes and Katich have played interchangeably and their departure will give either Sarwan or Pomersbach the chance. Either way this doesn't really weaken the batting that includes the likes of King Sanga, Jayawardene, and Yuvraj.

However, Lee's absence will be a major blow to KXIP. He has led the attack well and with Yuvraj's team just about finding their feet in the league its a bad time for Lee to leave. He would probably be replaced by either VRV Singh or the U19 fast bowler Ajitesh Argal, neither of whom provide the potency to the attack provided by Lee.

Overall Impact: Negative

Chennai Super Kings

Out-Going: Matthew Hayden, Micheal Hussey, Jacob Oram
In-Coming: Stephen Fleming, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini

Hayden and Hussey are 2 of the leading scorers of the IPL thus far and their absence will hit CSK hard. Fleming is an able replacement at the top of the order but the sort of starts Hayden has provided will be difficult to emulate. Hussey's spot will probably go to one of the domestic stars, which means Suresh Raina will have to play with more responsibility unlike the gay abandon he has played with right now under the protection of Hayden's and Hussey's presence.

Albie Morkel will bring in hitting power and also strenghten the bowling. Oram's bowling though will be missed, which I reckon is ideal for 20-20. Ntini does not have a good record in the subcontinent and he could well be in for some stick.

Overall Impact: Highly Negative

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Out-Going: Ross Taylor, Cameron White, Ashley Noffke
In-Coming: Misbah-Ul-Haq, Dale Steyn

Apart from appearing in the first game for RCB, White and Noffke have been nothing but tourists. Ross Taylor showed some highlights of good form the other night but he is no Misbah. This is one team I reckon will become stronger after losing and replacing its international players. The best 20-20 batsman or not, Misbah is the world's most experienced 20-20 batsman and his presence is exactly what the doctor ordered for a mundane looking batting line up of the Challengers.

Dale Steyn will be joining the team soon and on current form he is the world's number 1 fast bowler. With him attacking with the ball and Misbah doing the same with the bat, RCB will look like an altogether new team.

Overall Impact: Highly Positive

Kolkata Knight Riders

Out-Going: Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey
In-Coming: Salman Butt, Brad Hodge, Umar Gul

Two 1st ball ducks in consecutive innings and Ganguly must have been thinking how to sit the Aussie captain out of the next match. Ponting has looked completely out of sorts and his departure may be a blessing in disguise for KKR as Brad Hodge, arguably the worlds best 20-20 batsman, will be replacing him in the team.

McCullum and D. Hussey's absence though will severely hurt KKR's batting line up. Salman Butt has been in fine form of late but he has a terrible 20-20 record and in no way can cover up for the two departing men. Umar Gul will strengthen the bowling but Gayle's injury means that the batting is set to become a worry for KKR. Ganguly will have to start playing the way he used to 7 years ago.

Overall Impact: Majorly Negative

Deccan Chargers

Out-Going: Andrew Symonds
In-Coming: Herchelle Gibbs

Normally Gibbs would be the first name pencilled in for the XI of an ODI or 20-20 game but with Gilchrist, Symonds, Afridi, and Vaas in the team, Gibbs has been unable to break in. He is the ideal man to replace Symonds in the batting order and brings the same kind of batting strength that Symonds provides. It will also be a blessing in disguise that the Chargers won't have to think about giving the ball to Symonds.

Overall Impact: Neutral

Rajhastan Royals and Mumbai Indians are not losing any players, while the Daredevils will lose only the Kiwi captain, Daniel Vettori, who has played just 1 match for them. These 3 teams remain unaffected by this early departure of the transtasman players.

Players like Hayden, McCullum, Hussey, Lee, and Symonds who have set the IPL on fire will be going away. Does that take away a considerable dosage of entertainment?

It sure does but the likes of Misbah, Steyn, Gibbs, Albie Morkel, Ntini, Gul, and Pomersbach are capable replacements. For the cricket and for the entertainment.

The IPL will march on and Well Pitched will keep you posted.

Make your pitch on this post...

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14 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Excellent analysis, however, if there is one player happy to leave it must be Ponting. He rarely scores runs in India and now he can return to his real job, captain of Australia.

    Also the beaches, fishing and island life of the Caribbean are very attractive to Aussie cricketers.

  2. Anonymous said...

    With the pitches worsening with each round, i don't think Chennai Super Kings would miss Hayden that much... But Hussey would be tough to replace.. But on the other side, it will help talented players like Raina, Badrinath, Morkel to get some strike.. :)

    With Ntini in, CSK's weak bowling would be highly strengthened.. So when we sum everything up, i don't think it will affect Chennai Super Kings much..

    But anyway.. i m a CSK fan.. so expect me to biased..

    - Robin

  3. Gaurav Sethi said...

    cracker post Q.
    Expect RC to get better too,coz they can't get any worse. VVS' relaxation with Gilli should relax Dravid.

  4. Anonymous said...

    Nice post! Very detailed and informative! But I don't think David Hussey is leaving as yet. He isn't in the test squad and the ODI series doesn't start until May 24. He is probably going to be around for a little while longer. I'm pretty certain about this.

  5. Anonymous said...

    I think Ponting is still bitter that he went cheap in the auction.

    I heard Ganguly, worried about Ponting's form, asked Punter if he felt ok. Ponting said, "Look boss, runs don't come cheap. I may not have set slight the scoreboard but this is what you get at that price."

    Jokes apart, I don't see franchisees making a beeline for Punter in the next season, when you would be deemed as good as your last season.

  6. Jrod said...

    KXIP- your pretty much on the money.

    Superkings- Your spot on.

    Bangalore- Slighlty wrong, because Noffke and White may have played only one game, but they are both top notch players who would have dominated if given more than one game. And Taylor is at least as a good a batsman as Misbah. But Steyn is the good pick up.

    KKR - Not sure if it's majorly negative, for all they hype McCullum has only played one top innings, and so has Hussey. Ponting got in Hussey's way. And all three players coming in can provide an impact. Hodge is a different bat than hussey or mccullum, be he scores alot of runs in this form of cricket. Butt will be interesting and you'd have to say Gul will be more use than Ponting.

    Deccan - wrong cause Gibbs aint the same gibbs he once was and Roy just proved he is still deadly.

  7. Q said...

    Nesta -I agree, Ponting would be the happiest of the lot taking that plane out of here. Symonds said last night that its always good to go to the Carribean but he'll still miss being around the IPL.

  8. Q said...

    CSK - Ntini will get hit around in this format. Oram is a better bet as a bowler. Hayden will surely be missed. U r biased :-)...but time will tell how the CSK progress..

  9. Q said...

    NC - RC = Royal Challengers, Bangalore. I did say in the post that they are the only team who will be better off with the replacements..

  10. Q said...

    Sree J - Australia is holding a training camp and I think all the players in the test and ODI squad are leaving. I may be wrong but this is the impression i got. Thoe part of the ODI squad, i.e. D. Hussey and White may come back to India and then leave for WI for the ODIs and the test players, i.e. Katich, Noffke will come back after the tests.

  11. Q said...

    Good one Som.

  12. Q said...

    Uncle J - I agree with u that White and the ani-matrix Noffke are great players who were sidelined by RCB after one bad game - my only point was that they won't be missed because they hadn't played. No one in India / RCB knows what they are capable of, which is why their absence will go unnoticed.

    I do think that overall Misbah is a far better batsman than Taylor, but when it comes to the 20-20 game here is no comparison. Misbah is God. I know u dont believe in that so i'll just say Misbah is the daddy of all 20-20 batsmen ;-)

    Now that I think of it, I might have got KKR wrong. Hodge and Butt seem like capable replacements up the order but its still one batsman less than McCullum, Ponting, and Hussey. Gul will surely be a better bet. So yeah not majorly negative, maybe slightly. I'm leaning towards neutral actually.

    Deccan - Symonds did play a brute of an innings the other night but I reckon Gibbs can do the same. Remember, class is permanent. Gibbs will bring the same or rather more energy in the field and DC will thank god they wont have to use Symonds the bowler.

  13. Anonymous said...

    hi, soz, just a quick question, is hopes and david hussey leaving or not? some of u think they are, some dont? cric info says kings eleven punjab will be keeping hopes. the west indies one day tour doesnt begin till june 24, i think. how sure are u that hopes and hussey are leaving???

  14. Q said...

    Anon - Hopes and D. Hussey are not leaving. Sorry, my bad.

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