Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Watch

No I have not run out of steam previewing and reviewing the IPL.

It was a hectic weekend (Friday and Saturday in the Arab world) involving lunches and dinners and get togethers and movies et all. Between Thursday evening and Saturday night I went to about 4-5 different restaurants, visited 3 friends, and went to a couple of sports bars around Dubai.

The common thing between each place was the Indian Premier League. Either a match was being shown live, or the highlights were on, or a news channel was reporting the days happenings, or some experts on the game were discussing the league; and in places where there was no TV, every soul was discussing the IPL.

Its been a week since the start of the IPL and I can safely say that within the UAE and Pakistan, people are loving it. From what it seems, people in India are loving it too. The crowds are coming in and bollywood movies are taking a beating due to people staying home to watch the games. It has taken this region by storm.

How about the rest of the world? Is it the same in Australia? England? South Africa? Sri Lanka? West Indies?

In between my weekend's social activities, I managed to catch some parts of the 4 matches that were played over the last 3 days. Some ramblings from these games:

  • Warne vs Gilchrist never happened but Warne vs Symonds did. And what a battle that was!

  • Symonds finally showed why he was auctioned for $1.35 million. And soon after he also showed why he shouldn't have been.

  • What was Laxman thinking giving the final over to Symonds? He had gone for plenty in his previous overs, and even more in the last few matches. Sehwag had taken him for 30! Sure Warne is no Sehwag but it doesn't require Einstien to figure that Symonds could give away 17.

  • Laxman is the dummy captain. In the first few matches he was doing as Gilchrist was telling him. Now he's doing as Afridi says. Does anyone know what Laxman actually thinks?

  • Warne is the MASTER. He's turned the Royals into a champion outfit. Yuvraj and Laxman need to take lessons from him.

  • Don't count the Deccan Chargers out. Its way too early to count anyone out - the chargers have 11 matches to go. Anything can happen.

  • The Cheerleaders didn't seem to bother Afridi when he was bowling. And what was he thinking throwing verbal volleys at Warne?

  • The Kings from Punjab finally won. Yuvi still didn't look like a captain. Don't count them out either. They also have a dozen matches left.


  • Sanga is King, be it test cricket or 20-20.


  • One man can definitely take you to a decent total in 20-20. Apart from King Sanga, no one crossed 20.


  • Nehra looks in fine form.


  • Bhajji finally took wickets and that too against his home Punjab side. He even slapped a member of his home side. But he wasn't Punjabi though. Was that the reason?


  • Mumbai is missing Sachin. We are as well.


  • Punjab's pace attack finally delivered what they had been promising on paper thus far.


  • A smiling Lee gets a hug from Priety Zinta, a crying Sreesanth doesn't. A hint for all you who want those hugs.


  • Don't count Mumbai out either. It doesn't take much to turn fortunes around in cricket. Just a few thinking heads.

  • Shahrukh Khan didn't turn up and the Kolkata Knight Riders lost their first game. Juhi Chawla wasn't enough.

  • Ricky Ponting won't be missed.

  • Hayden and Hussey will be missed.

  • Joginder Sharma bowled the last over even when the Super Kings bowled first. I stand by it - Dhoni is superstitious.

  • Poor Laxmi Ratan Shukla - bad sportsmanship Dhoni / Parthiv / Joginder. Oh and Laxmi did what Misbah couldn't do in the last over. The Misbah shot for 4 off Jogi.

  • The Super Kings are definitely the favorites. Hayden and Hussey gone will hurt them though.

  • McCullum, Oram, and now Ross Taylor. The Kiwis are turning it on. New Zealand should be a kick ass 20-20 team.

  • I can't believe Dravid left out Misbah. You can't leave that man out of a 20-20 team.

  • Don't count Royal Challengers Bangalore out either. 11 matches to go and Misbah will play all of them.

  • Moment of the match: Warne bowling to Boucher and Greame Smith at 1st slip. What a kodak moment!

  • Dravid on the field looks as clueless as he did as India's captain.

  • Why do both the Bangalore and Jaipur teams have "Royal Challenge" printed on their shirts? Same sponsor for both teams? Why? How? Who?

  • The Rajhastan Royals are looking like the team to beat. Everyone has roles, they are playing like a team, they are enjoying their cricket, and the spirit looks amazing. Did you see their catching? Did you see Smith guide the batsmen? Warne is the MASTER.

  • Who said 20-20 is loaded in favour of the batsmen? Senior citizens McGrath, Warne, and Kumble along with Asif have shown what good bowling in 20-20 can do. Bowlers need to stop cribbing and pick up their game.
And finally, here is my semifinal line up: Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajhastan Royals, and either one of Deccan Chargers / Kings XI Punjab / Chennai Super Kings.

On current form CSK look like it but Hayden and Hussey are going. As I said DC and KXIP still have a dozen or so matches left. Lots can happen.

As always, stay tuned for IPL action on Well Pitched.

Make your pitch on this post...



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14 Pitched:

  1. Ottayan said...
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  2. Ottayan said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. Ottayan said...
     

    Fine anlaysis. However you forgot to mention that the cheerleader (photo)looks hotter than Preity.

  4. Soulberry said...
     

    Nice post as usual Q. Perform and you get the hugs, otherwise you weep alone...

    First real test for 3D today. KKRs failed their first big test.

    The thing is Royals and 3Ds are the only ones who will be unaffected by the players moving out to test series...so I am not sure CSK will remain dominant.

    All other teams will be affected by players leaving for their respective national series.

  5. Q said...
     

    Haha, yeah Ott. I think the botox has done harm to Ms. Zinta. But the dimple till looks cute!

  6. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    Past the age where I was ahem... satisfied watching a dimple.:)

  7. Q said...
     

    Thats right SB.. The true test for these teams will come when the Aussie stars leave.

    Thanks for the comment :-)

  8. Q said...
     

    Haha.. right forgot that ott ;-)

  9. Sree J said...
     

    Vijay Mallya is actually co-sponsoring other IPL teams besides his Bangalore team. Even the Delhi Darevils are co-sponsored by Kingfisher.

    I disagree with your view that it was poor sportsmanship on the part of Dhoni, Joginder and Parthiv. It was smart thinking that allowed them to dismiss the batsman who would have been more of a threat. It is this attention to detail and on-field tactics that most captains/teams lack.

  10. Q said...
     

    Thanks for the info Sree J. Thats really interesting that a franchise owner is sponsoring other teams as well. Isnt there a conflict of interest there?

    Sree J the reason I say that it was bad sportsmanship was cos obviously Ishant Sharma was walking off knowing that he was run out and poor Laxmi was just consoling him, not attempting a run or anything like that.

    It was smart / quick thinking but i'm sorry it was in very poor light..

  11. Chennai Super Kings Fan said...
     

    Hi..

    How could you leave out Chennai Super Kings out of the semfinal lineup? They are surely going to be there in semifinals.. Yeah.. CSK will miss the services of Hayden, Hussey and Oram.. But Fleming, Ntini and A Morkel are adequate replacements. It is not only CSK.. All the teams are going to be affected... because of the Aussies and Kiwis leaving.. (Except for Rajasthan royals.. )

    Also Punjab Kings have started winnig because the leadership of the team is slowly shifting from Yuvraj to Sangakkara.. Yuvraj is and will remain a bad captain.. (take for example.. today he lashed out on the young Srivasta, (on debut) for missing a single).. That is not the way captains would or should handle the younger members..

    - Robin

  12. Q said...
     

    CSK fan, I haven't left ur team out of the semi final line up - I've said that most probably they will go through but the Kings from Punjab and the Chargers also have a chance.

    Delhi will also be unaffected by the departure. None of their players are leaving besides Vettori who hasn't played much.

    I think CSK will be hurt the most because Hayden and Hussey are their form players. Fleming is a good bat but no where near the class of the other 2. Ntini is a great bowler but doesn't have the hard hitting power of Oram. And in this format Oram's bowling is more economical than Ntini's will be I think.

    Albie Morkel is a strong player. He could be their trump card.

    As i said on current form CSK look like it. But you can't count the other teams out.

  13. Q said...
     

    Oh and yeah poor tanmay. Yuvi needs a slap ;-)

  14. aliens said...
     

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