Category Archives: Chennai Super Kings

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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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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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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IPL18 Match 5: Chennai Super Kings vs. Kolkata Knight Riders

Oh what a circus, oh what a show. That seems to be the only appropriate words to use. CSK has truly brought the league to life. The changes that were made was extremely interesting. Jadhav had to be left out because of his injury. A simple swap could have been made. The changes that were made were inspirational. Two changes were unexpected. Getting Sam Billings for Jadhav and replacing Mark Wood with Shardul Thakur was great. The move paid off. Billings played amazing innings.Thakur bowled below the average run rate and he took a wicket too. These changes meant that CSK started higher in my ranking. The Change made by KKR to bring in Tom Curran for the injured Starc was brilliant. Replacing Johnson with him made me feel even more proud. The pain of the loss of the Ashes disappeared momentarily. I loved the way Curran reacted after getting Watson out. There are reports that Curran called him a pie thrower. I do not care. The IPL is a huge gladiatorial festival. It is good to see controlled aggression and people wearing their hearts on their sleeve. I am a big fan of the Curran brothers and I am sure that Tom’s stint in India will help him. This match showcased England and Windies cricket.

This match may have gone down to the wire but my numbers show that CSK outperformed KKR by 18%. CSK’s last match was saved by Bravo. This time it was the combined performance of the team that gave them the victory. That being said you really have to feel for Andre Russell and Sunil Naraine. Naraine has been given a license to kill. If he is successful like he was with RCB then he can be destructive. If he gets out cheaply then it will not matter because he would not have wasted any balls. The people in Chennai could not have asked for a better opening game.

I do not question the value of Dhoni in the team. I do have to question his value in my Playing XI. He is currently the worst batsman in the team. Wood, Chahar and Thakur are the only players worse than him. With the performance of Billings, I seriously doubt whether Wood will be able to get back into the side barring any injury of course. CSK gave a nice welcome to their fans with this match. Sadly it may be their last because they will not be playing in Chennai this season and there is talk that they will not play in Chennai next season because of elections. Politics and cricket do not mix well.

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Indian Premier League Playing XI Match 1

This is the playing XI based on my index. The parameters I have used are as follows

  1. The team will have four International players.
  2. There will be a minimum of one spinner.
  3. The wicket keeper will be a regular keeper for their team.
  4. The captain of the team will be one of the captains of the team.

This list will be updated after the last game of each day. The comments will change based on the team.

Openers: Ambati Rayudu played well at the Top of the order. Shane Watson is very comfortable opening the innings. Having him on the team and opening makes the team flexible because Watson fulfils the role of the foreign player, all-rounder and opener.

Wicket Keeper: Having Ishan Kishan bat at three is a blessing. The best place for a keeper in ODI and T20 is either in the top three or as a finisher. You have to look at Adam Gilchrist, Brendon McCullum, AB De Villiers and Quinton De Kock as examples. A premium has been paid for wicket keepers this season. The restriction on the number of foreign players makes Indian keepers very valuable. The keeper with the best batting record will get the slot.

Bowlers: The quality of fast bowlers gave me the freedom to choose two specialist spinners and Wood. However I am not sure how long these bowlers will be able to keep their places. I think Markande will continue to be there. Imran Tahir may get replaced by Rashid Khan. Mark Wood will have a hard time keeping his place.

Foreign Players: I have gone in for Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Mark Wood and Imran Tahir. It may be difficult for Watson to be replaced. The rest are up for grabs. Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo made a huge impact in the game. I expected more from Imran Tahir and Mark Wood.

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IPL18 Match 1: Mumbai Indians vs. Chennai Super Kings

The general consensus is that this year’s avatar of the Indian Premier League would be the most closely fought so far. All the teams bought players to create a well-balanced side. Big names did not matter. The number of years a person spent in the team, their seniority or even if they were a captain had no bearing. If the first game is anything to go by then we are set for a great competition.

The loss of early wickets followed by a good recovery by Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya. The icing on the cake was the bowling of Dwayne Bravo in the last over. There was the last ball injury of Hardik Pandya too.

Chennai Super Kings started well. Then they had an absolute brain freeze in the middle order. Mayank Markande and Hardik Pandya bowled beautifully. I am looking forward to seeing more of Markande. Dwayne Bravo came in and brought CSK within touching distance of victory before he got out. Seven runs needed off six balls. They were nine down. Kedar Jadhav who had retired hurt earlier came back to bat. He did not score anything in the first three balls but then followed it with a six and four. CSK won by one wicket with one ball to spare. Joy Bhattacharya who was the former team director of Kolkata Knight Riders compared CSK to The Expendables at the show on Cricbuzz. It was so refreshing to hear their commentary.

My index indicates that Mumbai Indians outperformed Chennai Super Kings in each and every area. The difference between the two sides was clearly Bravo. His score was 50% more than the next highest player who was Krunal Pandya. Hardin Pandya just edged past Markande as the best bowler.

At the end of the day the best all-round performance by an individual in a team with nothing to lose and who had to prove their critics wrong deservedly won.

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