Monday, March 26, 2012

IPL Time!!!

A week from now, Indian cricketers will be sporting colorful outfits instead of the traditional blue for two months summer extravaganza. It is often the time, the event loses the centre of attraction to the actions surrounding it. In the inaugural edition we witnessed the steep rise of Lalit Modi. Despite being a non-player he went on to become familiar face in every household. Not sure an administrator has ever achieved this cult status. In 2009, the FakeIPLPlayer set the tournament on fire. In 2010, the after night parties and the vertical fall of Lalit Modi kept the edition entangled. In 2011, we had the real IPL girl to spice up the event.

So, what is in store for 2012?
At this time, I’m as curious as you for the action to unfold. In the meantime, we can probably use up the moment to analyze the cricket ahead of us.

Chennai Super Kings
Last year, I was supremely confident of Chennai Super Kings to win the tournament. The skipper just won the World cup for India. Super Kings Management wisely dealt the auction cards by retaining most (if not all) of its players. Basically, it was only a question of how Chennai Super Kings cannot win that IPL. This time around, I’m curious myself to see how Dhoni & Co will win the trophy. Post IPL 2011, its all downward slide for the otherwise invincible skipper. Under his stewardship, Team India was whitewashed in England and Australia, Kicked out of the CB Series after league rounds, even in familiar territory India bite dust by not qualifying for the finals of the Asia Cup. Captain Cool is seen losing cool often these days and also occupies headlines for all wrong reasons. So, Super Kings may be strong and talented unit. But curious to see how they can win this Edition. However they will remain serious challengers.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians seemed to have covered their bases well this time. They have wisely drafted Dinesh Karthik into the side. That will reduce the misery of playing Davy Jacobs or eliminate the need of Ambati Rayudu to do the glove job. Also having purchased RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha in the trading window, their bowling unit appears super strong. T20 may be a batsmen game, but a strong bowling unit will always have say in the verdict. The likes of Malinga, Harbhajan, Ojha and RP Singh making up the bowling armory will test even the best of batters. And then the Pollards, Peraras, Munaf Patels, Johnsons, Franklins, Robin Petersons to back up the core will only make their case strong to win the title.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
If Mumbai Indians packed their bowling attack, Bangalore possesses the batting lineup that can damage the best in business. And now with Virat’s new cult status, the line up of Gayle, Dilshan, Kohli and DeVilliers makes the row truly mouth watering. Also the bowling unit of Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar, Nannes, Muralitharan and Vettori are not a bad choice to back up the batting line up. The side success can only be a soothing medicine to the management that is otherwise troubled by financial condition.

Delhi Daredevils
Dardevils are an interesting side in this tournament. Recent additions and meteoric rise of some of their existing players in the international circuit will turn them a mercurial side of the year. I will be extremely happy if Sehwag is relieved from captaincy burden and Jaywaradene is allowed to lead the side. Again, this is one edition Sehwag would like to keep the power to himself only to prove a point. I’m sure the Daredevils will be firing in all cylinders with the squad of Sehwag, Jaywaradene, Ross Taylor, Pietersen, Robin Bist, Irfan Pathan, Russell, Morne Morkel, Bracewell, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Change in Captain, Change in Coach, Change in Jersey, Change in Squad – nothing seems to change their fortune in IPL thus far. I assume the trend will continue this year too unless something dramatic happens. They have the squad to make it to the last four but not sure if they have the squad to dream a title win. Either ways they will keep the competition competitive.

Others as Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers, Pune Warriors, Kings XI Punjab are their only to complete the quota of teams. However wish one of them turn out to become the Royals of 2008. But then it is highly unlikely.

Bottom line: IPL Time. Will the crowd turnaround?

Cricket Lover

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