Category Archives: Writing

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

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

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

www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-videos/27626/simon-doull-gets-his-wish-rashid-khan-wins-man-of-the-match-award

www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-videos/27623/do-bowlers-not-get-enough-man-of-the-match-awards

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

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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Filed under Blog, Chennai Super Kings, Cricket, England, India, Indian Premier League, IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders, Politics, Twenty20, Vivo Indian Premier league

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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Filed under Blog, Chennai Super Kings, Cricket, India, Indian Premier League, Indices, IPL, Mumbai Indians, T20

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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Filed under Chennai Super Kings, Cricket, India, Indian Premier League, Indices, IPL, Mumbai Indians, T20, Writing

Cricket Index Soft Run

I have been developing my cricket index and I am happy with the tweaks I made. I have decided to have a soft run of the index with the Indian Premier League before I run it starting with the test match between Ireland and Pakistan followed by the Pakistan tour of England. Test, ODI and T20 will have different weights for the same factors.

My methodology is essentially to treat a team as a portfolio with each player an investment. The value of the team is the total of the individual performance of the players. I am curious about the results of the soft run. There cannot be a better baptism of fire for my index than the Indian Premier League. The main reason I started this project is that I believe that the ranking that is given by the ICC has little relevance to the actual performance of the team.

I believe I have either eliminated or reduced the biases that indices have especially cricket statistics.

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The Serious Implications of Sandpapergate

I was on my way to church and were running through the chords of the songs we were going to sing for the service when I first started to read about the ball tampering incident between Australia and South Africa. I more or less tweeted immediately that Cameron Bancroft should have been red carded for the event. I have since then intentionally kept quite on this topic. The fact is that Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and Steven Smith colluded together to tamper the ball. They were given punishments based on what the ICC and Cricket Australia have in their statutes. The BCCI had no option but to ban Steven Smith and David Warner from the IPL. Cricket Australia banned the trio from international and domestic cricket. I believe that allowing Smith and Warner to play in the IPL would have reduced the value of the IPL. The apologies from Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft combined with them accepting their bans makes them seems genuine. Lehmann seemed remorseful too in his press conference. The silence of David Warner thunders above them. Candice Warner interview has not helped him either.

I have not changed my view since my first tweet. The red card system should have been more exhaustive. Most of the drama could have been avoided if something significant was done there and then. An attempt was made to tamper the ball. The umpires should have awarded South Africa penalty runs, changed the ball and red carded Bancroft. Further punishments could have been given if deemed fit at the end of the day or the innings. Footballers are penalised if they are deemed to have acted as if they dived or if they feign an injury. Similar punishments should be done in cricket. Tampering the ball will be high on the least. I would add time wasting especially to save a test match or get through the end of a session. The addition of the third umpire and review system has been great for cricket. Not only has it increased the number of right decisions but it has raised the standard of umpiring. Decentralisation has been really good in this case. However I believe that more power should be given to the umpires to curb problems that arise on the field.

The heroes of this saga are first Fanie de Villiers who tipped the camera crew that the Aussies may be cheating. The second are the Australian public who took a really good stand. This article clearly states the reason for the outcry. The Australian government should not have got involved. Politics and cricket should be kept separate.

The thing that troubles me the most is none of the Australian bowlers were part of the plan. I find this very hard to believe. James Anderson and Stuart Broad are obsessive about the ball. The English team in general are. Alaistar Cook is allowed to handle the ball because his hands hardly sweat. Fielders are instructed to handle the ball properly once the ball has developed. I find it hard to believe that none of the bowlers was involved in some form or that they did not notice that the ball suddenly had scuffs.

Hopefully ,this is the last of this. There is a month to the start of the English season and the IPL in between should provide a nice break. I am looking forward to the forthcoming season. The teams from the subcontinent will be in full force. Ireland and Afghanistan have one off tests. West Indies will also be playing. I will be taking my cricket index live this season onwards. I believe I have tweaked it properly. I hope that the season will be in the news for all the good reasons. We need something to celebrate cricket after everything that has happened.

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Filed under Ball Tampering, Blog, Cricket, Cricket Australia, England, IPL, Test matches