Thursday, May 21, 2009

IPL Semi Finals: Disclosed

The 4 semi finalists were disclosed yesterday after the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab royally messed up.

Who the semi finalists were going to play against was left to be decided on the final day of the group matches.

We know that now with the Delhi Daredevils taking on the Deccan Chargers, and Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Before I give my few cents on these matches, I would like to know if anyone predicted these 4 teams to be in the semis.

Did you?

I've seen a number of predictions on blogs and in the comments, but I'm not sure if I came across one that got all the 4 teams - DDD, CSK, RCB, and DC - right.

For if anyone did, they made one hell of a prediction considering that the Royal Challengers and the Chargers were the bottom two teams in the IPL last year.

Who would have thought they would make it to the semis this time round.

Semi Final 1: Delhi Daredevils vs Deccan Chargers

What is the History: They have played 4 matches in the IPL so far and Delhi has won all of them!

What is the Present: Delhi started this year as the favorites, and they played like them too. While Deccan have been the turnaround team of the season after their woeful 2008.

Some Thoughts: It says a lot about Delhi that they have managed to top the table without Sehwag or Gambhir being in any kind of form. On the other side though, Gilchrist and Gibbs have been one of the best opening pairs in the IPL.

Both teams have very strong batting line ups - probably the best in tournament, hence at the end it will all be about whose bowling does better.

RP Singh is the leading wicket taker in the IPL, while Nehra is 2nd on the list. Ojha and Nannes are both among the top 10 wicket takers with the same number of wickets.

That leaves very little to chose between the 2 teams.

What is the Future: The tide has to turn so I say that Deccan will win their first ever match against Delhi and make it to the finals, making a complete turnaround!

Semi Final 2: Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

What is the History: Even stevens, with both teams winning 2 matches apiece out of the 4 they have played each other in. Surprisingly Bangalore beat Chennai last year as well as this year.

What is the Present: Chennai were always expected to make it into the semis, however Bangalore have been the surprise element. Their luck changed completely as soon KP left, and with Kumble at the helm they look like a completely different team.

Some Thoughts: You talk about Sehwag-Gambhir, Gilchrist-Gibbs, and the likes, but Chennai have 1 man who is equivalent to an opening pair all by himself - Matthew Hayden! He stands far ahead of the rest of the batsmen when it comes to the number of runs scored in the IPL this year; the gap would have been more had he not rested out the last 2 matches.

For Bangalore to have any chance against them, they need to get Hayden early.

Bangalore have chopped and changed their opening pairs as well as their batting line up, giving them an uncertain look. Their bowling has also lacked the bite despite a few bursts here and there from Kumble and Praveen Kumar.

Chennai look far too strong in front of them.

What is the Future: Talking about turnarounds, a Deccan-Bangalore final will make it just that! The bottom 2 from 2008, ending as the top 2 in 2009. So while I think they don't stand a chance, here's rooting for Bangalore.

I'm postponing my Q4 report till after the finals, because it doesn't make sense to do one now with just 3 matches to go.

But as far as the Orange and Purple Cap are concerned, it is the left handers yet again who are in contention for that. Its highly doubtful that anyone will overtake Hayden in the runs tally, while RP Singh and Nehra are in the race for the purple one.

Quarterly Reports: Q1, Q2, Q3.

Make your pitch on this post...

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2 Pitched:

  1. life_in_binary said...

    Would have loved to see a DC vs DDD final but...

    for drama sake would want a DC vs BRC final now with DC lifting the trophy! :)

  2. Q said...

    LIB: I would have loved that final as well but it wasnt to be.

    What a turnaround a DC-RCB final wud be!

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