Archive for the ‘Twenty20’ Category

1. Pulse questions

The IPL website guys keep coming up with some hilarious questions to ask on their website.

As an example, for some reason, Robin Jackman seems to have accumulated a cult following during this year’s IPL. It might be because of his genial way of commentating.

One of the questions asked during a match, when he was commentating, was “Would Jackers have been a force in the IPL?”, to which an overwhelming majority answered yes. In another match, to the question “Is Jackers prophetic?”, there was a huge majority saying yes!

Yesterday, during one of the matches, Harsha Bhogle asked Simon Doull whether New Zealand players were nicer than Australians, to which the obvious answer came “yes”! Later in the match, when Brad Hogg was commentating with Simon Doull, the IPL Pulse question was “Are New Zealand players nicer than Australian players?”, to which 88% answered Yes (I’m able to remember the figure since it was such a hilarious question). Doull fell into fits of laughter, while poor Hogg was speechless….all he could say was “I love Indian people”!

 

2. Brad Hogg

For some reason, the commentating team for this year’s IPL seems more tolerable than previous years…

Actually, let me rephrase that : the IPL commentators this year aren’t the type who talk for the sake of talking.

However, there are still a few of those type remaining.

Most notably, Brad Hogg has been absolutely unbearable. He seems to be in a permanent state of excitement (looks like someone’s been put just adrenaline in his water glass instead of water itself) and has a really unbearable accent which makes him sound like an NFL commentator (I have no idea how that comparison came about, that’s the first thing that came to my mind).

Yes, there’s Danny Morrison as well, who has been in a permanent state of excitement since IPL 2008. However, he doesn’t always resort to stating the bleeding obvious all the time. Instead, his excitement does provide for some good entertainment.

It really IS difficult to describe why, but I just can’t seem to stand Hogg’s commentary…maybe it’s because of the combination of ‘stating the bleeding obvious’ and ‘hyper-excitement’ that makes him terribly unbearable.

 

3. Lack of crass commercialism

This IPL has been much more entertaining than the previous year. A number of reasons for this:

–          No ads in between overs

–          No flying balloon

–          No sight of Lalit Modi on TV

–          Lack of crass commercialism in general.

Also, the introduction of the ultra slow-mo camera has made the whole viewing experience much more enjoyable. I’ve always been fascinated by the whole ultra slow-mo technology and the IPL has fed me an overdose of it!

Also, the hiring of Archana Vijaya to the IPL panel has made the viewing experience much more ‘enjoyable’! 😉

However, I do find one of the presenters extremely annoying. There is one called Shabnam, who comes on with an extremely fake accent and asks pretty lame questions. Knock off the accent, ‘gal!

4. Chris Gayle

How does he do it?

This guy is so laid back, he doesn’t have to take any effort when hitting sixes. Even I find it difficult to hit sixes when playing with a heavy wooden bat in softball cricket!

I like watching sixes where there is a genuine effort made (see Paul Valthaty).

I don’t enjoy watching sixes made by guys like Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Kieron Pollard because they all seem to be what we call in Sinhala, “kanaa shots” (lucky shots).

However, there is an altogetherly different pleasure in watching Gayle hitting sixes.

Perhaps it’s the lack of emotion he displays when hitting sixes. From his reaction after hitting a six, you’d think that he’s just played off a dot-ball.

Leave all the poetry aside, I want many more Gayle-storms!

 

5. Kumar Sangakkara

Some ( I suppose, many) will curse me for life for saying this, but I’m secretly happy that Sanga is failing as a captain for the Deccan Chargers.

This hate might seem a bit surprising, considering the fact that he led us to 2 ICC event finals during his captaincy.

However, what really irked me was when people started ‘mourning’ the loss of ‘one of the best leaders we ever had’ when Sangakkara resigned as captain of Sri Lanka.

Come on, anyone who properly observed his fielding tactics and team selections would realize that he doesn’t really have the tactical nous and the likes, which are pre-requisites for captaincy. Yes, he was a good speaker and all, but being able to speak nice and diplomatically doesn’t qualify you in any way as a captain.

Most of the tactical nous that he displayed as Sri Lankan captain was the input obtained from Mahela Jayawardene, so Mahela was actually the captain from 2006-2011, albeit the unofficial one for the last 2 years.

Therefore, I wanted Deccan to lose as badly as possible so that people can realize that, even with a pretty good team, he’s not really all that good unless he has Mahela by his side.

However, Mahela is just unfortunate to be captaining a side which was selected without consideration to the possible team combination. The players whom the team management selected during the auction were mostly the rubbish ones. For some reason, they let most of the good guys go.

Despite the fairly rubbish side that Kochi has, Mahela’s still managed to get them to 5th place, which is 2 places above the Deccan Chargers. I shudder to think how dominant the Chargers would have been if Mahela was put in charge of them!

Personally, I would have had Cameron White captaining the side since he’s been an extremely successful captain with Victoria, leading them to the final every year in the Australian T20 competition ever since it started. Yes, he’s been pretty scratchy with the bat, but a super captain for a shit batsman is a damn fine trade, I say!

OK, I’ll be really honest here.

There’s going to be nothing in this post about any fire or water in my belly.

The reason I put that as the title was only because that was the first phrase that came to my mind.

Anyways, it’s been nearly 4 months since I’ve put up a proper post on this oft-neglected blog, the main reason being that I always had to carry my laptop outside my apartment to surf the net (off someone else’s Wi-Fi connection).

Well, the next para’s going to be a quick re-cap of the happening in the cricket world during the last 4 months:

India pWNed Australia once again, Dhoni lost a series in Sri Lanka for the first time, Pakistan cricket fucks themselves in the ass once again, Ijaz Butt can’t keep his mouth or his butt (sorry for the pun) in check, Bangladesh clean-sweep New Zealand in the ODI series (who would’ve thought that the Banglas would get their first ever ODI series win against a major test-playing nation by way of a cleansweep?), West Indies name the royally-named Darren Julius Garvey Sammy as captain, Suresh Raina breaks his Test Duck, BCC!‘s batsman Cheteshwar “Chѐ” Pujara impresses all in his Test Debut, Sachin Tendulkar continues to score runs as easily as me taking a shower, Lalit Modi is kicked out of IPL, Preity is kicked out of IPL, Shilpa is kicked out of IPL, Australia’s reserve bowler (James Pattinson) gets injured, lalalalalalalalaaaaaaaa…………..

Phew! That was quite an exhaustive paragraph! 🙂

Onto more serious things.

Sangakkara has started off the Australian tour in style with a really good 110 off 95 balls against a full-strength Queensland side. Thank goodness for that…at least we don’t have to rely solely on Dilshan for some aggressive innings. Chamara Silva also did well, playing at more than a run-a-ball.

Mahela impressed today with a good 58 off 35 in a T20 against a depleted NSW side. However, Angelo Mathews played the type of innings which makes you think, WTF? 24 off 33, especially against a second-string NSW side, isn’t really a very good performance, but, heck, I’m just hoping that the real Angelo Mathews turns up against Australia!

Moving onto Pakistan vs. Australia, it was a real shame that Pakistan had to lose yesterday. If only the damned Pakistani batsmen had showed some more balls (not literally, of course! 😛 ), they’d have stood a chance of winning, especially after a double-wicket maiden from the Grandpa of international fast bowlers, Shoaib Akthar. Hmmpphh!!

Well, other than that, Kochi have officially been terminated. WHOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

….

….

….

Oops! I just read the fine print. Apparently, they have 30 days before they are actually terminated.

BOOHOO!!

I just hope that the BCCI is able to find some fault with 5 other franchises as well, so that we’d have just 2 franchises playing each other in 3 matches (one home, one away and the final) to decide the winner of the IPL. It’ll be done and dusted in 1 week, max! 😀

Man, that was so bad! It’s taken me some time to recover, which is the reason for the 2 day delay.

I mean, was Mahela Jayawardene playing on one strip and the other Lankan batsmen on another?

Mahela, the purist, plays an aggressive knock of 81 off 51 (SR 158), while Dilshan, the flamboyant and inventive batsman, makes 3 off 19 (SR 15).

I had to admit, after the raining fours and sixes in the IPL, the slowness of the pitch was hard to absorb as runs were hard to come by.

After crying hoarse (to myself, not on the blog 😛 ) that bowlers are being unfairly dealt with in the IPL, it took some getting used to when the bowlers finally did get something going their way.

Mathews gave an absolutely fab start like how he did last year in the semi-final against West Indies. A wicket-maiden was the best possible way to start the innings. Though Chanaka did give it away a bit with 10 runs off the next over, it was still game.

However, New Zealand were getting into a similar position like SL when Jesse Ryder was seeing the ball clearly while the others seemed more like they needed a cataract operation.

His dismissal triggered a period where only 16 runs were scored in the next 6 overs.

Mendis bowls his last over, the 17th over. This, IMO, was the turning point of the match.

At 16.4 overs, the situation was 38 runs from 20 balls.

At this point, I was feeling preeeety smug. Jacob Oram, who is a member of the club, “Most Overhyped Cricket Players”, was on strike. After him, there were only Hopkins, McNullum, Southee and Bond.

However, the 2 sixes that he struck in the last two balls (the second of which was one-handed), made the situation much more easier for the Kiwis. 26 from 18 is much more gettable.

The rest, as they say, is history, as Dan the Man sacrificed his wicket to ensure that McNullum (member of the club, “Most Underhyped Cricket Players”) took them home.

Now, TBH, I’m pretty worried.

Why?

We play the Zimbos tomorrow.

They have 3 spinners (4, if you include Greg Lamb) in their line-up. All of them are preeety good….

OK, I have an admission to make.

I am a bit scared that Sri Lanka might not make it to the next round.

It may be a strange proclamation to make, considering that, on paper, Sri Lanka are better than the Zimbos.

Moreover, we all know that New Zealand are as clueless against spin. They’re as clueless as virgin boys to sex.

However, the Zimbos have come up with 2 unexpected results in the warm-up matches.

They won by a run against Australia (14-a-side) and, more convincingly, by 12 runs against Pakistan (15-a-side).

The pessimistic in you may argue that, to lend these games more credibility, they should have been between 11 players.

However, just check out the scorecards and you will notice that both Australia and Pakistan fielded their best batsmen and bowlers for the matches.

To get an idea of how good their spin troika (Graeme Cremer, Ray Price and Prosper Utseya) is, check out the highlights of the T20 they played against West Indies in Trinidad earlier this year.

The fact that pitches have slowed down in the West Indies in the past decade or so has been well documented as the reason why there aren’t as many express pace bowlers coming out of the Caribbean than before.

In addition to putting the subcontinental teams as the favourites for the trophy, I’d throw Zimbabwe into the hat.

Therefore, my wish for today is that the bloody miser, Dan Vettori, has a bad day.

Ditto to Nathan McC.

And let’s also  hope that the parlimentarian scores something and gets some wickets!

Also, here’s something off-topic.

If you look at it, the two-hour bus ride from the airport was more tiring and difficult for us than the last few weeks of the IPL

MS Dhoni, India’s captain, is enjoying the travel in St Lucia

The quote and the sentence in italics are taken from Cricinfo. How dumb could they get? MSD is enjoying? Really? :S


Well, it wasn’t really a retirement in the Mohd. Yousuf style. Nevertheless, the main reason for my not posting, as I mentioned in my last post, was because the IPL was too congested to actually dedicate seperate blog posts to it. Instead, I went for tweeting for the course of the tournament.

So, what happened between that post and today?

1. Lalit Modi is suspended/fired/(you name it)

Well, after my short campaign to get rid of Lalit Modi, it seems to have bore fruit. Lalit Modi has, according to the BCCI, been suspended.

But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that he will actually be back. The charges laid out against Lalit Modi sound serious and, even if one of those charges are proved to be true, you can be rest assured that cricket won’t be infected by Lalitmoditus again. Heck, he might even migrate to the US and try to take over cricket there!

However, anyone reading this (yes, even the current cricketers and administrators) should realize that I have a power.

We all know that Purna, of Cricket Minded fame, has the power to get cricketers back into the team.

However, with my power, I can screw the person concerned in a big way.

Look at LKM. He was going “Wow” to a Pollard six in the IPL final and, now, there’s a decent chance he might be going into jail.

So, the moral for the day?

Don’t mess with Thiru Cumaran!

2. Chennai SuperKings win the title

Most consider this a big anti-climax since there was a chance that CSK would not even reach the semis after just 2 wins in the first 7 games.

However, with 7 wins in the last 9 games (including the finals), MSD taught us all one thing.

Make sure you win the games that matter.

I’ve always been a firm believer of this concept. It’s no point winning all the league games, only to stumble when it really matters.

A case in point is India. India started off fairly scratchily in the first couple of matches in the 2003 World Cup. However, since they had 7 matches in the group stages, they managed to rediscover their mojo and reached the finals.

Come 2007, the same thing happens, but, TBH, it’s worse. They lose to Bangladesh and find themselves on a sticky-wicket. They have to beat SL to advance to the next round. However, SL was in really good form and knocked them out before the Super 8s.

The point I’m trying to make is, if the 2003 World Cup had a format similar to the 2007 WC, India may not have made it to the Super 6s.

It’s all a matter of who turns up on the particular day. I just had a gut feeling that Mumbai, having not experienced any pressure whatsoever during the tournament, may not be able to withstand the heat.

On the other hand, Chennai had already been through plenty, having had to make 52 runs in 4 overs to get to the semi-finals. Therefore, there was no question of Chennai not being able to soak the pressure. Heck, even S. Badrinath managed to let off a whole load of pressure by sweating a lot! XD

Pollard, IMO, is over-hyped. Yes, he’s changed games, but look what happened when the team really needed him.

Tendlya deserved better. Yes, I am a Chennai fan, but who couldn’t feel sympathy for the only ODI double-centurion, the only 600+ run scorer this year?

3. Zimbabwe beat Australia, again

In case you were polishing your specs and looking at this post again don’t be too worried. It’s true. The Zimbos beat Australia again. After beating them in the T20WC 2007, they’ve beat them again in the Caribbean.

Yes, it was a 15-a-side game, but, still.

Despite Australia being really mediocre when compared to the class of, say, 2005, why do I still get a smug smile on my face when I see the words “Australia” and “defeated” in the same sentence?

4. The T20 World Cup starts tomorrow

Well, this isn’t exactly something that already happened. However, I am genuinely happy to see international teams taking on each other.

Yes, most people are complaining of T20 overburn after having watched a mind-boggling 60 games between 8 “domestic” Indian teams.

However, it isn’t the domesticness of the tournament which has left a sour taste in the mouth for me. It’s the crass commercialisation. I mean, the finals was as crass as it could get, with 2 ads within an over.

That’s right, 2 ADS! The collection of logos on the uniforms also makes it sickening to watch.

However, ICC-sponsored tournaments provide a rare spectacle in that there are no sponsor logos on the tees. Barring a max of one, there is barely anything (some regulations by them which stipulates that teams can’t put the name of their sponsors on their tees).

It is truly refreshing. There’s less nonsense from the likes of Ravi Shastri & Sunny Gavaskar. Instead, we have more of Anil Kumble, Shane Warne (hopefully), Ian Chappell and David “Bumble” Lloyd.

I’d like to raise an issue. Could we not have any more ICC-sponsored events in the Carribean?

Tomorrow’s curtain raiser between Sri Lanka and New Zealand starts at 10.30 in the night! The next match is at 2 in the morning the next day!

!#$***$!#%%^