Monday, May 28, 2012

Arbit Statistics - 16

This headline caught the eye after the IPL final.

IPL1 Final - 2008 - Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings 
IPL5 Final - 2012 - Kolkata Knight Riders beat Chennai Super Kings 

Only common player in both winning elevens - Yusuf Pathan (Lots of common losers though in the CSK sides)
So Yusuf Pathan becomes the 1st player to be in the winning XI in the final for 2 different teams.
Laxmipathy Balaji is the only other 2 team winner but wasn't in the playing XI.
Ravindra Jadeja in the mean time becomes a winner for RR (2008) & runner-up for CSK (2012). Achievement shared with Dwayne Bravo (runner-up (2010, MI) & winner (2011, CSK).

Headline worth an arbit stat.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

IPL5 - Post 4 - Qualifier2 Thoughts

Hadn't planned on writing much during the IPL. And a single match review was certainly out of the question. But the way the events in the 2nd Qualifier between Delhi Daredevils & Chennai Super Kings unfolded have left quite a few uncomfortable questions in my mind.

Chennai played extremely well. After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, their entire batting line-up came good while Delhi's bowling failed. The score of 222 was highly unlikely to be chased down and Delhi imploded in the run chase. Nothing much to be read out in the way the game played out. A one-sided game in the knock-outs is nothing unusual and in itself shouldn't warrant any suspicion except in some nutcases. But there were quite a few events which lead to lets just say, doubts in the mind.
  • Morne Morkel not in the playing XI. Why? No cricketing logic can explain the absence of the lead wicket-taker of the tournament in a knock-out game. And if he was injured then why aren't Delhi open about it.
  • Shahbaz Nadeem had a good start to the tournament, winning 2 Man of the Match awards.. Then later on was dropped in favor of Pawan Negi (maybe because of Negi's better batting abilities). But still did not return for the eliminator. Instead a newcomer Sunny Gupta was handed an IPL debut. Logic of playing Sunny & omitting Nadeem, if any exist, are not easy to figure out.
  • Murali Vijay, who was a bit out of form steps down the track to loft Sunny Gupta's first ball for a boundary. The confidence probably coming out of a sense of familiarity. After all, Sunny plays Ranji Trophy for Tamil Nadu. But why was he handed the first over. As a shock weapon?
  • Some fielding mishaps. Happens. Not much should be read in here.
  • Now for the chase. Sehwag, for the first time ever in IPL does not come out to open the innings. The logic looks quite dodgy given that he is the best bet to chase down the target.
So a series of strategic(???) decisions which Delhi took backfired badly on them. And CSK romped home in a pretty convincing fashion. But for the neutral viewer, all the events taken together make it look really fishy. Its hard not to jump on to the "scripted" conclusion. And N. Srinivasan's conflict of interests (BCCI & CSK head) makes the jump even easier. 

I hope the match was clean. But there has been a seed of doubt sown in the mind. (And not just mine, my facebook & twitter feed also has similar views). 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

IPLV: Post 3 - More Scandals & Less Cricket

IPL becoming less about cricket and more about drama.
  • To begin with a so-called sting operation from a 3rd grade TV channel. They had good material exposing the underhand dealings for domestic players & franchisees. Instead attempted to turn it into a more sensational "fixing" scandal. Haven't seen much worse journalism. But then can't expect much more from a channel whose primary content is showing aliens abducting cows and similar stuff.
  • Then some team owner vs stadicum fracas. Don't give a damn.
  • One player arrested. Charges very serious. But its for the player to handle. Dear Media, don't blame IPL for this.
  • Politicians calling IPL corrupt (Perfect example of pot, kettle, black etc.). One ex-cricketer turned MP goes on fast against IPL (Annaji, see what have you done to the country).
Now over to the real stuff, the cricket
  • Chris Gayle - redefining T20 standards. I can only redirect to a far better write on the subject (The Old Batsman)
  • Rajasthan Royals crash out. Every neutrals favorite team couldn't make it to the play-offs. Just wondering - Is Sunday going to be the last innings for the Wall. Will Dravid return next year? (Want to see him play, dont want him to do be gone like Dada)
  • KKR have finally started winning. Good to see them being on top. Some toned down egos probably doing the team a world of good.
  • Its not too late. Parvinder Awana should be fast-tracked into the India A squad for West Indies.
  • The least likeable team. On current on-field behaviour has to be the Mumbai Indians.
  • Indian death bowling - only one conclusion can be drawn. It does not exist.