Category Archives: Cricket

Playing XI Chennai Super Kings vs. Rajasthan Royals

I really feel hesitant in setting up this team. However I have to back up my numbers and go with what I have. The problem I had with Dream XI is the seven player cap per team. I had a problem with choosing two wicket keepers too. The main problem though is the pitch. I have no idea what side will they pick. It will be interesting though to see if they will change their side to suit their new home pitch or will they be able to get the grounds men at Pune to make a pitch closer to the one In Chennai.

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Filed under Blog, Chennai Super Kings, Cricbuzz, Cricket, Fantasy Cricket, India, Indian Premier League, Indices, IPL, Rajasthan Royals, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

Chris Gayle: When Caribbean Calypso meets Punjabi Bhangra

I love the discussions that they have at Cricbuzz. Chris Gayle seems to come up whenever Kings XI Punjab plays. The panel over there kept saying that the main reason Kings XI Punjab bought Chris Gayle was for marketing. I saw Gayle in Goa quite a few years back. He has an aura and confidence about him. I shudder to think what would have happened if Gayle would have played against RCB. The self-proclaimed Universe Boss seems to be dominating once again. The implications this can have is tremendous. I have kept saying that of all the captains Ashwin has used his resources the best. I think he brought Gayle out at the perfect time. It will be difficult to leave Gayle out considering how well he is playing but it may make sense if he is rested for a game or so. If Gayle continues in this fashion then Kings XI Punjab is definitely in the playoffs. It was beautiful to see him hit the ball into the stands. It was surprising to see him scamper for a single so that he could get the strike. I hope we get to see more of him. Chok There by Apache Indian was the best song I could think of to celebrate the music of two wonderful cultures.

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Filed under Apache Indian, Cricbuzz, Cricket, India, Indian Premier League, IPL, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league


The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced a 100 ball cricket league to start in 2020. I strongly believe that cricket has to evolve so that it can grow. I was initially apprehensive about T20 but today I honestly do believe that it has changed the approach by which test and 50 over cricket are played. I approached this news as I did any other piece of breaking news. As much as possible go to the source. Separate the music from the noise. Choose sources and people that are trustworthy and have common sense. This does not mean your view has to agree with theirs.

To put things mildly; ECB is essentially looking to increase interest in cricket in terms of people playing the game, attending games at the venue and viewership on television. Pink ball cricket ie. Day and Night test matches will not work in England. This is due to the long hours of sunshine during the day. Unlike other countries; the test matches between major cricketing nations are nearly always full. White ball cricket is nicely balanced too.

ECB is looking for simplicity. Having 15 overs of 6 balls each and one over of 10 balls does not simplify things so that the common person can understand. I fully support the intention to reduce the time taken. 100 balls are good from that point of view. However, it would have been better to have 10 overs of 10 balls each or 20 overs of five balls each. If a different more exciting format was needed then have two innings of 10 overs each. Similar rules to test matches. If one of the teams played really well then you may not need to play the fourth innings of 10 overs. This would save one hour instead of 40 minutes.

There is the need for change. To understand this need you have to look at the situations in U.K. There is very little parking space close to most major cricket grounds. Public transport starts to get poor by the time a day and night match finishes. Cricket is competing with 90-minute matches. In England, there are two things you cannot change. The first is your mother and the second your football club. In the UK it is difficult to get season tickets for matches. In cricket it is easy. You can become a member of the Middlesex County Cricket Club immediately. Becoming a member of Lords takes 27 years!! Televised cricket also competes with reality shows and other TV shows.

The other thing that concerns me is the amount of cricket that will be played. I love the idea of city franchises rather than county teams for white ball cricket. However having the T20 blast, one day game and test matches in addition to the franchise game may be a little too much. People watch club football because the quality of games especially in the premier league can be better than international games. In England, the quality of cricket, especially at the test level, is lower. This is evident by the inability to find quality openers for the English team. The Indian Premier League is successful because those matches are as good if not better than international T20 games.

I am positive of the fresh outlook by the ECB but there is a very short time period of two years to do a lot of work to get it up and running.

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Filed under 100 ball match, Cricbuzz, Cricket, ECB, England, England and Wales Cricket Board, Football, Indian Premier League, IPL, T20, Test matches, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

Playing XI Kings XI Punjab vs. Sun Risers Punjab preview

I came across an app called Dream 11. It allows you to choose players. The only restriction is the number of credits you can use. This provided me with a good way to test my index as it did not restrict me to other conditions placed by fantasy leagues. The following is the team that came based on my Index.

I never place bets or gamble since I started working in investments. For this reason I will not be placing any bets through the site. This reflects the best performers in both the teams and not necessarily what position they play in or the practicality of it. Most of the team picks itself. The only surprise and question is Chris Gayle. After his performance against CSK it will be difficult to leave Gayle out.

The team for my fantasy IPL league is below.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Filed under Blog, Cricket, Fantasy Cricket, Indian Premier League, IPL, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

Indian Premier League Playing XI Match 13th Match

It has taken 13 matches for a significant shuffle of the Playing XI. This is my analysis after Week one.

Based on the conditions I have set in my index this is the new result.

Rahul, Dhawan and Sampson are sitting nicely in the top three. AB De Villiers is precariously standing at four. I was tempted to drop him and bring in Naraine to open with Rahul. Dhawan and Sampson would move one place lower. Nitesh Rana has forced himself into the side. Surprisingly it is the uncanny knack of getting very important wickets at the right time that has caused this. I have placed him at five and put Hardik Pandya at six. However, if De Villiers does not perform well then I may end up dropping De Villiers and putting Rana at four and Hardik at five. I dropped Sam Billings and brought in Shakib Al Hasan. Getting Shakib in meant that I had to drop Markande. I believe the spin department is covered by Ashwin, Hasan and Rana. I have dropped Woakes and brought in Trent Boult. I have dropped Umesh Yadav and brought in Siddarth Kaul instead. These changes have strengthened the batting and have given more bowling options. I expect this list to change again.

I would really like to hear your views on this especially if you have a different View of the playing XI.

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Filed under Blog, Chennai Super Kings, Cricbuzz, Cricket, Delhi Daredevils, India, Indian Premier League, Indices, IPL, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Simon Doull, Sunrisers Hyderabad, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

Indian Premier League Playing XI Week 1

This post has been a long time coming after my first IPL Playing XI. However going forward this should become more frequent. As a reminder below are the criteria that I use in building my team.

  1. The team will have four International players.
  2. There will be a minimum of one spinner.
  3. The wicketkeeper will be a regular keeper for their team.
  4. The captain of the team will be one of the captains of the team.
  5. As much as possible the team will be playing at their regular positions.

Based on the above conditions my Index churned out the following team.

This is slightly different to the IPL XI put up by Simon Doull. His team is below.

The top four is a no-brainer. They clearly are the best people for those slots. Kishan was a contender for number 3 and the wicketkeeper bu Rahul and Samson can keep and their batting after week one is better than Nair. I expected Shane Watson to open but the sheer destructiveness of Rahul and Dhawan has pushed him off the opening slot. He is the third best foreign bowler. Despite this, he does not seem to slot anywhere else. Sunil Naraine was another contender for the opening slot. However, his hit out or get out attitude was too risky to warrant a place. I do not think there can be any arguments about three and four.

The Pandya brothers, Sam Billings and Karun Nair were fighting it out for five and six. I decided to go with Hardik and not Krunal because I needed a fast bowler. There were also better spinners that could be played. I decided to play Billings at six because he has the ability to change a game.

I had to pick Andre Russell. He is a good finisher. I see Bravo and Russell as having similar roles. I picked Russell because so far he has been better especially at bowling.

My first spinner and Captain of the team is Ashwin. I think this is the main difference between my list and that of Doull. The obvious captain from his list would be Devilliers. It is important to me that the captain is chosen from one of the eight or any other captain that may get chosen in the future. Ashwin has bowled well and he is able to make the batting go deeper. I strongly believe that Ashwin and Williamson have used their resources the best.

Umesh Yadav is the best fast bowler so far. Markande is the best spinner. The slot for the final fast bowler and a foreign player was between Chris Woakes and Mustafizur Rahman. I decided to go in for Woakes because he would strengthen the batting line up. He may be more expensive than Rahman but I do believe he is a better bowler and wicket taker than Rahman.

If you have a different view then I would really like to know.

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Filed under Chennai Super Kings, Cricbuzz, Cricket, Delhi Daredevils, England, India, Indian Premier League, Indices, IPL, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Simon Doull, Sunrisers Hyderabad, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

IPL18 Match 6: Rajasthan Royals vs. Delhi Daredevils

This match fascinated me. The reason was the Duckworth Lewis Stern method (D/L) came into play. Rajasthan scored 153/5 off 17.5 overs. This equated to Delhi needing 70 runs off six overs. My index showed that the performance of RR was nearly three times better than Delhi. If I am not mistaken the net run rate for RR would have increased by 1.67 because of the win. This is 14.3% of the run rate of RR after accounting for D/L. I examined my assumptions and calculations after the result and found nothing that indicated that this difference was an anomaly or an existence of a bias against teams batting second. Looking at purely the batting points; the team batting second will get lower base points than the first team but they are sufficient checks to ensure that they will be able to score more points despite this.

Delhi just succumbed to the pressure. Munro getting run out without playing a ball had a huge impact. Maxwell and Pant did not contribute to the cause either. They were not able to get the required run rate from any bowler apart from Jaydev. The fate of the game seemed to have been decided as soon as the runout happened. Everything else was just a formality from that point onwards.

Rajasthan Royals and Delhi have huge problems to iron out. Munro is the weakest link in the team. To have that in the form of an opener is even worse. DD needs Munro to score, He is not like Naraine where any run by Naraine for KKR is a bonus. Morris has to start bowling better. For Rajasthan Royals, the biggest elephant in the room is Ben Stokes. His performance so far has not justified his price tag. Both these teams have to improve if they would like to get into the playoffs,

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Filed under Blog, Cricket, Delhi Daredevils, India, Indian Premier League, Indices, IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

Commonwealth Test XI

I am a great believer and supporter of the commonwealth. In tribute to the commonwealth games, this would be my commonwealth XI. The question that came up though is who will this team play. For this reason, I decided that there would be no English players in the team as the game would be between England and the “colonies”. I have taken only test playing nations. Only those players who currently are eligible to play and play test cricket have been included. The impact of this is that David Warner, Steve Smith and other cricketers who focus on white ball cricket are left out. I also would like it to be as diverse as possible. Only those countries where the Queen is the head of state are eligible to have additional players in the team.

1) Jeet Raval (New Zealand)

2) Aiden Markram (South Africa)

3) Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

4) Virat Kohli (Captain) (India)

5) Shakib Al Hassan (Bangladesh)

6) Kyle Jarvis (Zimbabwe)

7) Sarfaraz Ahmad (Pakistan)

8) Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

9) Kemar Roach (Barbados)

10) Pat Cummins (Australia)

11) Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad)

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Filed under Australia, Commonwealth, Commonwealth Games, Cricket, David Warner, England, Monarchy, Politics, Queen Elizabeth II, Steve Smith, Test matches, United Kingdom

Politics and Cricket is just not cricket

I disdain people who mix politics and cricket. People who protest by hurling slippers onto sportspeople should be banned for life from the stadium. I am originally from Bangalore. I was in Bangalore when the Cauvery riots broke out. I am sensitive to the sentiments of all the parties involved. Like it or not there is no easy answer to the water sharing problem. Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan are two actors who I really like but his statements are absolutely uncalled for. Chennai Super Kings are back in the IPL after a two-year hiatus. The people in Tamil Nadu and Chennai should be given something to celebrate. CSK has had two great wins against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. I support the idea of wearing a black. Andy Flower and Henry Olango did it successfully. They did give up their cricketing career too because of that. The question then is what can be gained if the CSK players wear black armbands. Will it make any difference to them? How many players are actually affected by this issue? How many players are from Tamil Nadu who can make it to the playing XI of CSK? Will RCB and their fans be safe or will there be a bloodbath? Understandably the IPL decided to move CSK home games. I feel sorry for the people in Chennai. The timing though was bad. As always Cauvery has become a hot topic in the forthcoming elections, The BJP does not want to do anything lest they upset the apple cart. South India is important for the BJP because they have found it difficult to form the government there, The North-South divide is clearly felt. The enforcement of Hindi by the centre does not help. The sad truth though is people love Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan more than they do CSK. The Tweets by CSK clearly shows how saddened they feel. The fans deserve more and I am certain they would have got it this season.

I hope better sense prevails. That seems to be in short supply though after Shahid Afridi’s and Shoaib Akhtar’s tweets on Kashmir. The Australian Prime Minister should not have made statements about the ball tampering issue. My wife’s father fought in the Indo-Pak wars. He drove a tank. Some of the stories he told me made Saving Private Ryan look like a Disney movie. The other stories I heard are those that made my heart melt. During the ceasefire, they were very cordial with each other. Cricket is a game that should strive to unite people and not divide. The ICC has appointed a panel to hear the dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board and BCCI. The best way to settle the dispute would be to start playing the bilateral series once again. Due to politics, it will be hard to play the games in India and Pakistan, I would propose having Pakistan play their home games in Sharjah and India host Pakistan in Afghanistan. That will be something to look forward to.

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Filed under Blog, Cauvery, Chennai Super Kings, Cricket, India, Indian Premier League, IPL, Leaders, Politics, Rajnikanth, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

Finally a bowler gets recognised

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Filed under Blog, Cricket, Indian Premier League, IPL, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, T20, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league