Thursday, April 21, 2011

IPL Thoughts - April 21, 2011

First up, the larger effects of the IPLon the cricketing world. West Indies cricket is suffering, Pollard, Gayle & Dwayne Bravo have more or less decided that IPL is far more important than playing for West Indies. And with the West Indies season always in a partial clash with the IPL, the situation is likely to go worse. In a sad sort of way, it a good that there are not many West Indians who actually are saleable to the IPL franchisees. So most of the team will still be playing for West Indies rather than IPL.
Cricket Sri Lanka, the Lankan players and the BCCI are involved in another tangle. The board wants the team to prepare for England and leave the IPL early, which the players certainly won't like. The issue here seems more to with politics than anyhting else. Otherwise why would everyone associated with a World Cup runner-up team resign immediately after the tournament. On last count, the captain, vice-captain, coach and the selectors have all resigned. And it will all end with the BCCI named as the bad boy and accused of destroying world cricket.

Now some thoughts on the matches
  • The trend in the IPL seems to be that the team with the higher points going into a game is likelier to lose. Hence the closed points table. Everyone almost bunched together. A rained off game here and there just adds to the fun.
  • The fan loyalties would have been under severe test when Rahul Dravid would have played against RCB in Bangalore. That would have been interesting to watch but the rains played spoilsport.
  • Some of the matches are needlessly close. Others just swing around one way or the other. Predictions are becoming more and more difficult here.
  • Ravindra Jadeja is the comeback hero for all to see. Probably the most abused cricketer in the country today, he has come back strongly in the IPL after being banned the last season. Taking wickets, scoring runs, hitting big sixes, he is doing it all.
  • Manoj Tiwary is another Indian to have impressed so far. One of the unluckiest cricketers, got injured before his likely international debut against Bangladesh in 2007 (place went to Rohit Sharma), he might not make a come back to national contention but is certainly playing well.
  • Similar is the case on Venugopal Rao, played a few ODIs for India then slipped out. Now making big runs.
  • Ishant Sharma bowling at 150+ was a good sight. Hopefully the company of Dale Steyn might bring his speed back on track.
  • With quite a few players likely to be rested for the West Indies ODIs, performances in the IPL could quite likely bring immediate rewards to some. The IPL could act like an extended selection tournament for the Indian team.
P.S. The ICC has finally decided to review its decision on the 2015 World  Cup. A good first step. Lets see what happens next. My views 10 team world cup with evryone playing everyone else is not a bad idea, but there should be a qualification process and everyone has a chance to play there.

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