Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sri Lanka Replaces Pakistan

That's exactly what happened today at the Indian Premier League.

3 of the 4 franchises left their Pakistani recruits out on the bench today and replaced them with Sri Lankans.

Deccan Chargers dropped Shahid Afridi and replaced him with Chaminda Vaas.

Delhi Daredevils dropped Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif and replaced them with Tilekaratne Dilshan and Farveez Maharoof.

Rajhastan Royals dropped Sohail Tanvir and gave a game to Dmitri Mascarenhas. Alright, he's not Sri Lankan but of Sri Lankan origin.

I wonder if Arjuna Ranatunga was in India today.

Lets take a look at what led to the dropping of these Pakistanis.

Shahid Afridi
Despite doing reasonably well with the ball, Afridi was dropped by the Chargers for his poor performance with the bat.

47 runs in 6 innings at an average of 9.4 is hardly ideal.

Afridi has been valuable with the ball though. 7 wickets in 7 games, economy rate of 7.50 and a strike rate of 18.8.

On top he is the highest wicket taker in international 20-20 cricket.

Sunil Gavaskar the other day mentioned that Afridi is primarily chosen as a batsman and for his big hitting, while the bowling and fielding comes as a bonus.

I beg to differ.

When will teams and those running them realise that Afridi is not a batsman.

He should be treated as a bowler. Pakistan have finally realised that and bat him at 7-8 or at any time during the final 5 overs. The Chargers need to do the same.

Vaas, the man who replaced him went for 12 an over and picked up 1 wicket. Afridi would have been a better bet. At a time when teams are looking to field spinners, the Chargers are replacing theirs.

Sohail Tanvir
Tanvir hasn't done anything wrong and has been a potent new ball weapon for the Royals.

Ian Bishop termed the move as a going away present for Mascarenhas, who flies back to join Hampshire after his 5-match IPL contract expired with today's game.

The only England representative in the IPL deserved to play at least 1 game, otherwise Mascarenhas would have made $100,000 for warming the bench.

$100,000 for one 20-20 match - not a bad deal!

Shoaib Malik & Mohammad Asif
Before anyone mentions that it was his final over against the Super Kings that led to Malik's ouster, I'd like to remind everyone that Sehwag had the option of bowling himself but he shied away and handed the ball to Malik.

Malik has been a disappointment with the bat. Unlike Afridi, Malik is a batsman and in 6 IPL innings he has managed only 51 runs at 12.75 with a highest of 24.

To be fair he hasn't had much of a chance to bat while the Daredevils' top order has made merry. Malik got one decent opportunity to bat for longer than usual and he managed a run a ball 24.

Asif has picked up 7 wickets in 6 matches but he has been way too expensive. His wickets have come at 30 apiece and he has given away almost 9 runs an over.

The Lankan replacements for Delhi proved to be a good move as their 54 run 7th wicket partnership off a mere 23 deliveries proved to be the difference between a disastrous and a competitive Delhi total.

Sohail Tanvir will come back in the next game. Afridi should come back but I don't know if the Chargers feel the same way. But whether the Pakistan skipper and strike bowler get another match or not in the IPL remains to be seen.

Make your pitch on this post...

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6 Pitched:

  1. straight point said...

    bingo on afridi!!

    its hight time we forget that dude had worlds fastest century...the afridi of today should be treated as bowler who can 'surprise' opposition and his team too...with his batting once in a while. thats it nothing more nothing less...

    Malik had it coming irrespective of that last over...if anything that over made it easier for sehwag to bench him...

    asif began well almost comparable to GM but lost his steam coz he tried too much variety may be trying to prove a point that he is better than him...he should have just concentrated on bowling straight and thing would have been lot easier for him...any how i dont thing he will be benched for long...hope with lesson learned...

  2. Q said...

    Spot on about Afridi.

    Malik could replace DeVilliers if he keeps failing.

    I dont think Asif will come back considering the performance Maharoof gave last night.

  3. straight point said...

    since you blog is the place to make prediction :)) i will stick my neck out and make one...

    i think an 'impact' inning is just round the corner from ABD...

  4. Q said...

    Hahaha, good one SP - we shall find out tomorrow when Delhi takes on my team, KKR!! :-)

  5. Gaurav Sethi said...

    DC is not in synch with Afridi - get the feeling they've attempted communication -role definition, and his non-existent head has exploded.
    malik brings -ve energy, and its infected Asif and the rest. Becoz Mahroof was on the bench he was uneffected.
    vs kkr asif should be back as also Rajat Bhatia.

  6. Anonymous said...

    malik perhaps deserves to be sacked. Of course q! don't bother about anything that old goat gavaskar tells... its usually truck loads of crappuchinho.

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