Sunday, April 13, 2008

IPL Preview



Well .. Being a person who followed(s) cricket like a mad man from a very young age and also one who watches the English Premier League with lots of passion, I was taken in immediately to the idea of Clubs in Cricket when the ICL announced it and since then I've been a supporter of the ICL as I found their cause better than that of the IPL. Never had the time to write a preview for the ICL. So thought why not right a preview for the IPL ! And hence this post.

Disclaimer:These are plainly my views. I am not forcing them on anyone. And being from Chennai, I am bound to favour the Super Kings a little and the huge Rahul Dravid fan I am will also root for Bangalore Royal Challengers.

This is not a big preview as such.Just an analysis of the squads with their strengths and weaknesses in my opinion based on the little knowledge about cricket that I have gained over these years listening to the commentators and so on.

So if u are ready to read a truck load of crap, continue. Else, you can leave [:)].

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Bangalore Royal Challengers

Rahul Dravid (c), Abdur Razzak, B Akhil, KP Appanna, J Arunkumar, Mark Boucher (wk), Nathan Bracken, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Bharat Chipli, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Wasim Jaffer, Sunil Joshi, Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Anil Kumble, Misbah-ul-Haq, Devraj Patil, Dale Steyn, Ross Taylor, Vinay Kumar, Cameron White



Under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid,the Royal Challengers from Bangalore do look like a formidable outfit.They have a good squad of players to pick from though the major criticism emerging about the team is that they are mainly a team of good test match players !

Strength: Their batting order consisting of Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Jaffer, Misbah ul-Haq, Boucher, Chanderpaul etc is very very strong on paper and looks like one of the best in the tournament. Their bowling spearheaded by Kumble, Dale Steyn,Zaheer Khan looks no less formidable.

Weakness: Most of their batsmen are highly classical in their style and may fail to adapt to the
format of T20.

Verdict: Very good chance if the batting clicks

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Deccan Chargers

VVS Laxman (c), Sanjay Bangar, Halhadar Das (wk), Herschelle Gibbs, Adam Gilchrist (wk), D Kalyankrishna, Pragyan Ojha, D Ravi Teja, PM Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, Chamara Silva, RP Singh, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Chaminda Vaas, Venugopal Rao, P Vijaykumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa



Headed by VVS Laxman, the team owned by Deccan Chronicle doesn't have a very good mix of players although it looks unbelievably strong on paper with the presence of umpteen number of all rounders !

Strength:No doubt, it is their batting. Any one would pay to have Afridi, Symonds, Laxman, Styris, Gibbs, Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma batting for their team.

Weakness: Probably their owners thought T20 cricket was all about batting and hence forgot to buy bowlers to match up with their strong batting order! Zoysa,Vaas, RP Singh form the backbone of their bowling but still it looks highly insufficient for the tournament.

Verdict:If only Cricket had just batting, I could give them a place in the finals already!

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Delhi Daredevils

Virender Sehwag (c), Rajat Bhatia ,AB de Villiers ,Shikhar Dhawan ,Tillakaratne Dilshan, Gautam Gambhir, Brett Geeves, Dinesh Karthik, Glenn McGrath, Farveez Maharoof, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Asif, Yogesh Nagar, Pradeep Sangwan, Shoaib Malik, Mayank Tehlan, Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Vettori, Tejashwi Yadav



Lead by the Sultan of Multan, the Delhi team is probably the most youthful team of all the teams participating in IPL. Except McGrath, I cant see any one else who is quite old as far as i know! Attempting to use the standard T20 formula I guess !

Strength:Youth Power. As the latest Pepsi ad puts it, this is Youngistan. With so many youngsters around, fielding shouldn't be a problem for this team.And yeah, they have got a very experienced bowling attack with McGrath,Asif,Vettori etc.

Weakness: With Youth Power comes lack of experience. Lack of experience at the international level for some players may let the team down.

Verdict: Sure Semifinals !

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Kolkata KnightRiders

Sourav Ganguly (c), Siddarth Kaul, Ajit Agarkar, Rohan Banerjee, Aakash Chopra, Debabrata Das, Chris Gayle, David Hussey, Iqbal Abdulla, Murali Kartik, Saurasish Lahiri, Brendon McCullum (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Ricky Ponting, Cheteshwar Pujara, Prasanta Saha, Salman Butt, Ishant Sharma, Shoaib Akhtar, Laxmi Shukla, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Umar Gul, Yashpal Singh


With arguably the best ever Indian captain at the helm, the Kolkata team owned by Shah Rukh Khan (Red Chillies) is one of the contenders for the big prize in the IPL. SRK has managed to get a good mix for his team and the absence of Shoaib Akthar notwithstanding,they do stand a great chance IMO.

Strength:Their captain and batting order with Ponting, Sourav, McCullum, Gayle, Butt et all looks real strong.Plus the Kolkata crowd !

Weakness: Cant see too many to complain about. Probably a disgruntled owner ! [:p]

Verdict: Strong title contender !

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Mumbai Indians

Sachin Tendulkar (c), Loots Bosman, Ankeet Chavan, Siddharth Chitnis, Gaurav Dhiman, Dilhara Fernando, Harbhajan Singh, Sanath Jayasuriya, Musavir Khote, Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Rajesh Pawar, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohan Raje, Luke Ronchi, Pinal Shah (wk), Swapnil Singh, Yogesh Vijay Takawale (wk), Dominic Thornely, Saurabh Tiwary, Robin Uthappa, Vikrant Yeligati


The Little Master and his troops, owned by Reliance, are another bunch of youngsters less on experience but high on confidence ! They've got a whole truck load of local players and youngsters in the team !

Strength: The local support that the local players and Sachin will command.

Weakness: Too many youngsters probably. A tad too much!

Verdict: Sachin holds the key to the verdict.

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Rajasthan Royals

Shane Warne, Aditya Angle, Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Kaif, Kamran Akmal (wk), Sumit Khatri, Taruwar Kohli, Justin Langer, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Parag More, Morne Morkel, Pankaj Singh, Munaf Patel, Niraj Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Mahesh Rawat, Anup Revandkar, Dinesh Salunke, Jaydev Shah, Graeme Smith, Sohail Tanvir, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Younis Khan



The King of Spin playing dual roles as both Captain and Coach is not going to do the chances of the already not so strong team owned by "Emerging Media" any good. IMO, this is the weakest team in the IPL.

Strength: Nothing in particular !

Weakness: Everything about this team as such. The owners have spent poorly IMO

Verdict:Stand no chance !

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Chennai Super Kings

MS Dhoni (c), P Amarnath, Manpreet Gony, Viraj Vilas Kadbe, S Anirudha, R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji, N Einstein, Stephen Fleming, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Arun Karthik, Suresh Kumar, Albie Morkel, Abhinav Mukund, Muttiah Muralitharan, Makhaya Ntini, Jacob Oram, Parthiv Patel (wk), Suresh Raina, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Sudeep Tyagi



The World Cup winning Indian T20 captain will lead the team from Chennai. Owned by India cemtns, the team looks quite strong on paper and will be one of the strong contenders for the title along with the Knight Riders from Kolkata !

Strength: The batting line up is quite strong. So is their bowling. In all, a very strong team.

Weakness: Depend on Dhoni a little too much!

Verdict:Strong title contender!

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Kings XI Punjab

Yuvraj Singh (c), Ajitesh Argal, Piyush Chawla, Pankaj Dharmani, Rishi Dhawan, Karan Goel, James Hopes, Mahela Jayawardene, Simon Katich, Uday Kaul, Sahil Kukreja, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Kyle Mills, Wilkin Mota, Irfan Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Ramesh Powar, Nitin Saini, Kumar Sangakkara, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Vikram Singh, Sunny Sohal, Sreesanth, Tanmay Srivastava
Yuvraj Singh will lead the team from Punjab. With the dynamic Preity Zinta owning the team and having made quite a few intelligent buys, they do look strong as well !

Strength:For a change, the Mohali team IMO has the strongest bowling attack amongst all the teams. Brett Lee, SreeSanth, Irfan,Kyle Mills,Powar,Chawla,Ajitesh Argal make this the best attack in the tournament.

Weakness: The traditionist batting may find it tough to adapt !

Verdict: Dark Horses !

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Watch the IPL and root for your favourite team.May the best team win !

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