Tuesday, April 22, 2008

D3 Power, Mixed Feelings, Need for Inspiration, & Tomorrow's Biggie

The Delhi Daredevils are Very vEry veRy verY VERY strong.

2 matches, 2 wins, and no one below number 3 has got a hit in the middle yet.

This is due to the exact same reason I pointed out right after the Indian Premier League auctions - the Daredevils have managed to pack their side with a powerful Indian batting line up. With Sehwag, Gambhir, and Dhawan in the top order followed by Kathik and Tiwary in the middle, very few bowling line ups will be able to contain these men.

I haven't even talked about the International recruits yet.

Glenn McGrath didn't take any wickets today but the 2 men who consider him to be their idol, Mohammad Asif and Ferveez Maharoof, wrecked the Deccan Chargers' top order with 2 wickets each. The 4th international player Shoaib Malik wasn't even required to do anything.

This is the strength of the Delhi Daredevils.

Mixed Feelings
5 days into the tournament and I am experiencing the first feeling of mixed loyalties associated with the IPL.

Thus far I have pledged my support to the Knight Riders solely based on my support for King Khan and the excitement associated with Ganguly, Ponting, Gayle, Ishant Sharma, and Shoaib Akhtar being in the same team. Akhtar hasn't arrived and the Daredevils have decided that Malik and Asif are starters in their XI.

The Daredevils are playing outstanding cricket and with Sehwag in the kind of form that he showed today in a 41 ball 94, its hard not cheer them on.

So am I shifting loyalties?

Nope. I'm rooting for a Daredevils vs Knight Riders tie for the finals. And I'm also rooting for more exciting cricket from both.

There were some more mixed feelings during the match as well. I didn't like it when Rohit Sharma smashed Asif over long on for 6. But when he did it to Mahroof, I didn't really mind it and actually enjoyed his decimation of the bowler. The same happened when Sehwag hit Afridi for a 6 over long off and then went on to destroy Symonds with a patterned sequence of 4,6,4,6,4,6!!!

But then thats the excitement associated with the IPL.

Skippers Need to Inspire
The Deccan Chargers along with Kings XI Punjab have lost both their matches. Along with Mumbai Indians, they are the only teams yet to win a match.

Before the tournament started, the Chargers and the Punjabis looked like one of the strongest teams on paper. However thus far, the matches have shown that putting together a bunch of international stars does not make a team. Their key problem, in my view, has been the uninspirational leadership of Laxman and Yuvraj.

To make a mark in the tournament, the captains will have to lift their teams. There are a lot of matches left in the league stages but both teams need to make an impact sooner rather than later. Both will lose key players in Symonds, Hayden, Hopes, and Lee for the last 2 weeks of the league, which will make it tougher for them to come back in the later stages.

At least Yuvraj needs to do something. I don't want to see Priety in tears.

Another Big One
The IPL extravanganza marches on tomorrow with the Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai's Super Kings. Its Sachin's team against the team of the man he recommended to the selectors as India's captain - Dhoni!

More on this tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Make your pitch on this post...



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7 Pitched:

  1. miriam said...
     

    Can I just say it's so nice to see someone give this a chance and get properly excited by it.

  2. Q said...
     

    Thanks Miriam. I have been excited about the IPL since it was launched. And that has to do with me wanting to see something like this 15 years ago.

    Ever played book cricket?

    I used to play that in my chemistry classes and my teams used to be Asia XI and World XI.

    Asia XI would open with Saeed Anwar and Sachin and De Silva will come at 1 down followed by Inzi and Azhar. The bowling would have Wasim and Waqar and Kumble. On the World XI side I would have Mark Waugh open with Alec Stewart with Brian Lara at one down followed by Steve Waugh and Jonty Rhodes. My bowling would have Donald and McGrath and Warne and Walsh...

    I always wanted to see the different stars play against each other.

    So in a way this is like a fantasy come true.

  3. Trideep said...
     

    Q,
    A similar kind of feeling is being felt by me. Being a Mumbaikar and a big fan of Tendulkar, I cannot see Mumbai losing. But with my roots going back to Kolkata, and also that they possess some of the biggest names in international cricket, I like when they win. I might go to watch the match when KKR come down to Mumbai. Can't say which win will give me more satisfaction.

  4. Straight Point said...
     

    Q

    in first match his reluctance to bowl off spinner cost the match to DC

    and then viru gave him helpline number 464646 to get some tips of bowling... ;-)

    will after this IPL experience roy wont be adjudged batting all rounder?? or is it too early to say?

  5. Q said...
     

    Thats the kick of the IPL Trideep :-)

  6. Q said...
     

    I read somehwere that Delhi gave less $$ for McGrath, Asif, and Mahroof than Hyderabad gave for Symonds alone.

    Egg on the face?

    Ur right SP - Symonds has been a disappointment thus far.

    I loved what Sehwag did to him last night. Plus whats more suprising is that the crowd was mum.

  7. Bilal Farooq said...
     

    I do agree with ‘Q’ regarding the mixed feelings towards the Knight Riders, i believe they have a little too much Glamour in store rather than cricket. Gathering big flashy names does build up a strong line-up but at times this does let teams get carried away with arrogance, pride and over-confidence, (like Pakistan in 2003 WC had its best players sorted to gather to be hot favourites for the tournament, yet the loses, though much pre-conceived, were awfully disappointing)

    As regards to Q’s loyalties for the Daredevils, I rank Chargers higher. Their batting is much more powerful as compared the Daredevils and also i believe that its the middle and the slog overs in a 20-20 match that can upset the game and Chargers with Afridi, Symonds and Styris can make the required damage. However, I would certainly, have to admit that yesterday’s game was always in favour of Daredevils once Gilly, Symonds and Afridi altogether could only manage 22 runs of 29 deliveries, and also Sehwag got away with a PLUM leg before decision facing his first delivery.

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