IPL Game Preview: Delhi Vs Rajasthan

 Delhi Daredevils will take on the Rajasthan Royals on the 31st of March at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi. The Delhi Daredevils seem to have got their IPL 3 campaign back on track and they get the vote to end the recent good run of the Rajasthan Royals.This is one of the most reliable batting surfaces around. Mumbai posted the massive 218 here earlier this season and the other two first-innings scores have both produced run rates of more than 8.8 runs per over. The Hosts: Delhi Daredevils took to flying start at the beginning of the IPL tournament but slowly they lost the fire to win and as a result they have a dropped down the IPL standings. But they made a positive attempt against Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous match showing a lot of promise. They have yet another golden chance against the Rajasthan Royals to turn around the tables and they are not looking bad at all.Dave Warner was the star turn against the Knight Riders with an unbeaten century. Gambhir has returned to action after injury and you get the impression that he, Sehwag and AB de Villiers have still to really click into action with the bat.David Warner and Paul Collingwood have replaced AB De Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan and the pair inspired Delhi to a 40-run victory over Kolkata last time. All eyes will be on Warner following his brilliant 107 from just 69 balls against Kolkata. It truly is a terrifying prospect for new ball bowlers. If Warner doesn't get you, then surely Sehwag will. The latter will be jolly for this match although bear in mind he has slumped of late with only 23 runs in his last three innings. The Visitors: The Rajasthan Royals have had for consecutive wins and they have made a strong come back in the league … [Read more...]

IPL Games: Chennai Vs Bangalore

 Chennai Super Kings will face Bangalore’s Royal Challengers on the 31st of March at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Chennai Super Kings have not played to their potential in most of the matches of the IPL and sadly their captain MS Dhoni was out of the game for a few matches due to injury and even after his return the team has not shown any blistering performance. The last game they played was against Rajasthan Royals and Shane Warne’s team booked their fourth consecutive win against the Chennai Super Kings. And out of the seven matches Chennai Super Kings have managed to win only a couple of them as their semi-final hopes have slumped alarmingly. Venue and conditions: In all IPL matches played at the Chidambaram stadium the average first-innings score is a healthy 168. The lowest total recorded was King's XI's 136 this season which Chennai lost in the Super Over despite needing one from the last two balls when chasing. The Hosts: Chennai Super Kings need to win the upcoming match to turn things around in their favour though it will be a tough task but not an impossible one definitely, as the team has solid players and each one has to do a meaningful contribution in all departments to make a difference. Just two wins from seven matches leaves the Super Kings with an uphill struggle to reach the semi finals. If you include the Super Over defeat to Kings XI, they go into this game on the back of four consecutive defeats. Doug Bollinger has been signed up to bolster the bowling attack but he will not be available until 5th April. In the meantime, Murali leads the way with 11 wickets for Chennai but has lacked support to really put the squeeze on. They have five batsmen who average 30+ although they haven’t really taken … [Read more...]

Match Preview: Kings Punjab Vs Mumbai Indians

 It's top versus bottom in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday as the Mumbai Indians welcome a beleaguered Kings XI Punjab side to the Brabourne Stadium. The Mumbai Indians are top of the IPL log whilst Kings XI Punjab are bottom and home side are favorites. The Kings XI have won just 1 game from 6, and find themselves all alone at the bottom of the league with just 2 points to their name, that too coming from a game where they were outplayed for 30 of the 40 overs. Mumbai in contrast are the complete opposites of Punjab, winning 5 of their 6 games so far and sitting pretty on their lonesome at the top of the league with 10 points. They will be hoping to hit the half-way stage of the tournament with the added cushion of another two points, and the knowledge that a semi-final spot is pretty much in the bag. The Hosts: Tendulkar is leading from the front and he is just behind Jacques Kallis in the leading run scorer chart, averaging 60.60 at a strike rate of 145. The 303 runs Tendulkar has scored so far puts him way ahead of his team mates, Tiwary is second on the Mumbai batting list and has looked very useful at times but although Harbhajan Singh crashed a rapid 49 at the weekend, Tendulkar is the glue that holds the batting together. Sachin’s two lowest scores were 17 against the Royals (where Mumbai scraped home) and 25 against RCB (where they suffered their only defeat). If teams are to beat Mumbai in the IPL this year, they will need to adopt the Douglas Jardine style of thinking where his sole point of attack was how to counter Don Bradman. With the exception of Saurabh Tiwary, the rest of the Mumbai batting has failed to fire, however, such has been Sachin's contribution that they have not yet really needed to. … [Read more...]

Suresh Raina introduces the Indian version of ‘Mongoose’

 By: Meenal Johari (Agra) With Mathew Hayden bringing in all the storm with the ferocious ‘Mongoose’ in his hands during the third season of the Indian Premier League, his Chennai team mate Suresh Raina is no behind and has endorsed the Indian version of it. The Indian sports equipment manufacturer Sanspareil Greenlands (SG) is in the process of introducing the bat, specifically made for the Twenty20 format of cricket, in the Indian market next month before the commencement of the forthcoming T20 World Cup. The bat, which is still waiting to get named, has already been put to use in the IPL match by Raina against the Mumbai Indians on March 25. The Head of SG, Paras Anand explained that unlike the Mongoose, this Indian variety takes the looks of a conventional cricket bat but is bound to be almost ten percent heavier owing to its thicker blades with around 25 percent extra wood which will allow the batsmen to hit powerful shots. He further said that the extra weight should not be matter of concern to the batsmen due to the short duration of the Twenty20 format. Suresh Raina, the man who initiated the use of the bat in the IPL, believes that “this bat can be used successfully on Australian pitches as well as on the sub-continental pitches.” He added that, “We have a number of quality pitches in India where ball comes to the bat nicely. It can be successfully used in the domestic circuit as well.” The left-hander who himself is used to using lighter bats is, however, still unsure of putting the same into action during the coming T20 World Cup though he asserted that he “did not face much problem to get used to the bat that is a bit bottom heavy.” The Indian manufacturer mentioned that the sweet … [Read more...]

Harbhajan fined after outburst against Suman

 Mumbai Indians spinner Harbhajan Singh has been fined USD 15,000 for abusing Deccan Chargers batsman Tirumalasetti Suman in last night's IPL match in Mumbai. Suman was dismissed caught and bowled by Harbhajan, after which the bowler gave him an invective-ridden send-off. IPL chief executive Sundar Raman said Match Referee Gundappa Viswanath found Harbhajan guilty of level 1 offence and fined him USD 15,000. "Harbhajan fined USD 15K by the referee. Found guilty - level 1 offence," Sundar Raman wrote on his twitter page. Harbhajan was in his element in the match, smashing an 18-ball 49 to lift Mumbai to a good score, and then snaring three wickets to help them defend 172. His all-round performance was enough to win the Man of the Match award. Harbhajan's fine is the first disciplinary action taken on a player during this IPL. During the course of the tournament, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara have been slapped with fines for the failure of their sides to complete their overs on time. Kings XI Punjab emerged as a repeat offender, as a result of which their captain Sangakkara was handed a one-match ban. "It was a heat-of-the-moment act. We needed a wicket at that stage and Harbhajan is always high on adrenaline. Let's not make an issue of it," said the IPL franchise's director (cricket) TA Sekar here today. Sekar said his team respected the IPL and the fine would be paid but he was not clear whether the franchise would pick up the tab or the errant player for the breach. Harbhajan's latest discretion, however, pales in comparison to his violent outburst in the inaugural edition of the IPL when he had slapped Kings XI Punjab pacer S Sreesanth to incur fine and ban from the … [Read more...]

IPL Match Preview: Kolkata Vs Delhi

 The IPL points table is bunching up and Monday's match features two middle-ranking teams who recently arrested their respective slumps with vital wins. The Delhi Daredevils entertain Sourav Ganguly's Kolkata Knight Riders at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Monday night. A victory for either side will put their IPL campaigns right on track where as a defeat may start another of those dreaded losing streaks, which both teams will be desperate to avoid. Venue and Conditions: The Feroz Shah Kotla achieved notoriety last December when a one-day game between India and Sri Lanka was called off after twenty-three overs due to an unsafe pitch. But fast bowlers who were anticipating having some fun in Delhi have been disappointed in the tournament so far. In the first game, Mumbai piled up 218 and in the second, Chennai easily overhauled the home side's total of 185. The pitch is flat and true and offers very little for bowlers of any description. Team Performance: Delhi will be desperately hoping that their two injured players will be fit for this game. Without Asish Nehra, the bowling looks threadbare and Captain Gautam Gambhir's steadying influence at the top of the order is sorely missed. Their other decision is whether to recall Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was dropped for the last two games. Kolkata have options but may decide to stick with a winning team. David Hussey has gone straight into the team at the expense of Owais Shah and is sure to be given a decent run. Charl Langeveldt and Ajantha Mendis don't look like getting a game any time soon but they consider drafting in spinner Murali Karthik. These teams secured vital wins last time out, but of the two victories, Delhi's was the more impressive, … [Read more...]

IPL: The Injury League

 The third edition of the Indian Premier League is very well getting itself christened as the Injured Players League or the Injury Prone League. With the tournament heading its halfway mark, it is not just the action-packed excitement of the game that is making all the news but also the not-so-welcome trend of injuries to the players that is attracting the headlines. Almost all the teams have faced the same fate as far as the injuries to the players are concerned with Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Daredevils being the worst hit teams. Here’s a quick look at the list of injured players in the season three of the IPL so far- Gautam Gambhir: The Delhi Daredevils received a major setback when its skipper Gautam Gambhir managed a reasonably serious hamstring injury while fielding during the match against the Mumbai Indians on March 17 which forced him to stay out of the IPL action. Wayne Parnell: The South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell, representing the Delhi Daredevils, got ruled out of the IPL after having sustained a groin injury during a warm-up session and had to return home without playing a single game. Graeme Smith: It came as a twin blow for the Rajasthan Royals when two of its key players Graeme Smith and Dimitri Mascarenhas got injured during their clash against Delhi Daredevils in Ahmedabad on March 15. The South African captain fractured his right middle finger while diving to take a brilliant catch of Virender Sehwag which brought to an end his IPL campaign. Dimitri Mascarenhas: The English all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas incurred an ankle injury while getting back into the crease in time during the Royals' innings in the Ahemdabad encounter. He is ruled out of the entire IPL action. Yusuf … [Read more...]

Sangakkara banned for slow over-rate

 By: Meenal Johari (Agra) The already languishing team of Kings XI Punjab was dealt with a further blow after their fifth loss in the tournament on Saturday when the captain Kumar Sangakkara received a ban for one match due to the slow over-rate of his side. The declaration regarding the ban was made by IPL chief executive Sundar Raman on his Twitter page as "KXIP slow on over rate again tonight. Sanga (Sangakkara) banned for 1 game" shortly after Kolkata Knight Riders’ thumped a comprehensive victory over Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. This was the third time round in just six matches of the tournament when Sangakkara was found guilty of not completing the overs on time. The captain was earlier found guilty for falling short of the completion of overs on time along with three other captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir after the first three games of the third edition of IPL where each of the captains faced a fine of $20,000. The second offense brought a fine of $40,000 for Sangakkara, being a repeat-offender, on March 24 following the clash against the Rajasthan Royals where each of the Punjab team-members also received a fine of $10,000 for the same reason. Falling at the hands of the IPL’s strict policy in dealing with the captains for slow over-rates for the third time invited a harsh punishment for Sangakkara which resulted in a ban for one match. For a team seated at the bottom of the points table with five defeats in six games and struggling hard to climb the rungs of the points table, this one-match ban for their captain shall definitely add to Punjab's woes which is all set to face the table-toppers Mumbai Indians in their next IPL encounter this season on March 30. … [Read more...]

IPL team analysis: Rajasthan Royals

 Rajasthan Royals: Team Analysis Rajasthan Royals is a franchise cricket team based in Jaipur that plays in the IPL. The team is led and coached by Shane Warne. The team's mascot is a lion named Moochu Singh. The team anthem, 'Halla Bol' is sung by Ila Arun. The promotional video that aired on national networks before and during the first edition of the IPL was directed by Indrajit Nattoji of Blink Pictures. Leicestershire spinner Jeremy Snape signed on with the Rajasthan Royals as their high-performance coach and team psychologist. They became the champions of the inaugural IPL tournament in 2008. The Rajasthan Royals franchise is owned by Emerging Media group and is Chaired by Manoj Badale. Other investors include Lachlan Murdoch, Aditya S Chellaram and Suresh Chellaram. The Group acquired the franchise for $67 million. Incidentally, this was the least expensive franchise in the Indian Premier League and probably the least fancied team in the league at the beginning of the tournament. Bollywood actress and Celebrity Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra paid approximately US $15.4 million for a 11.7% stake before the start of IPL 2 in early 2009, therefore valuing the team at $130 million. It made a pre-tax profit of $7.5 million in 2009.  Players’ Profile: Shane Warne: At first there were nerves and chubbiness. Then came wild soaring legbreaks, followed by fame and flippers. For a long while there were women, then a bookmaker, then diet pills, then more women - and headlines, always headlines. Now he has come out the other end, his bluff and bluster and mischief and innocence somehow intact. The man who in 2000 was rated among the five greatest cricketers of the 20th century was, in 2006, bowling better … [Read more...]

New players in IPL 2010 for Chennai and Rajasthan

 Couple of new faces will join IPL for Chennai super kings and Rajasthan Royals to boost team bowling and batting department. Chennai Super Kings: Australian left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger will replace injured Jacob Oram, who was ruled out of the entire Indian Premier League 2010, in the Chennai Super Kings team. Bollinger will join the team on April 5. Oram suffered a patella tendon tear shortly after New Zealand's home series against Australia began and was advised rest for up to a month. Bollinger's inclusion will bolster Chennai's bowling attack, which sorely lacked a genuine strike bowler during a disappointing start to their campaign. Bollinger, who came in to the Australian Test side in January 2009, has emerged as one of the team's best strike bowlers in the last year. He had an outstanding 2009-10 home season, taking 25 wickets in five Tests, against West Indies and Pakistan. He also took 15 wickets in eight ODIs against the two teams and began the Test series in New Zealand with a five-for in Wellington. Rajasthan Royals: Rajasthan Royals have drafted Victoria batsman Aaron Finch into their squad for the 2010 IPL season. Rajasthan Royals lost Graeme Smith and Dimitri Mascarenhas to injuries but Finch was included because they had an extra overseas slot free, and not as a replacement player. Finch, who represented Victoria during the Champions League Twenty20 in October, last year, has already joined the team in India. Finch's inclusion came shortly after Rajasthan cut former Australian batsman Damien Martyn from their squad. We have to see whether these new players can get chance and prove their worth in IPL 2010.  … [Read more...]