IPL 4 – Players to Retain

Now that IPL 3 is done and over with, atleast on field, all the player and team contracts signed before the first IPL are null and void and fresh new contracts need to be signed for every player, coach, other team members etc.

The Mega auction featuring all free agent players, new players for all 10 teams will be held in the month of October after the Champions League tournament in South Africa however the existing 8 franchises will be allowed to retain certain no. of players ( 4 Indians and 3 Non-Indians) as they form the core of the team and they have built their brand around them.

Here’s my view of the players the franchises would like to retain with them. Of course the players would have their own say and might not want to be retained , hoping for a better value in the open auction.

Beginning with IPL 3 Champions –  Chennai SuperKings – They have built their brand around M S Dhoni and they would love to have him, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay ( the find of the season) and perhaps S Badrinath as their 4 Indian players. They can even go for R Ashwin but I think Ashwin would fetch a better price in the auction. As their overseas players they would retain Hayden if he is willing to come back or Hussey if Hayden is not available and Muralidharan for sure. Their major overseas players Jacob Oram and Flintoff were not available this year and knowing their fitness woes one can never tell if they would be available next season or not. They also might want to retain Doug Bollinger but the auction suits him more.

Brand Mumbai Indians and Sachin Tendulkar goes hand in hand and the team is not the same without their brand icon. The would also do well to retain Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan but either of them can be lured by one of the new team with the added bonus of Captaincy. Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayadu and Sathish along with Shikhar Dhawan are the 3 consistent domestic performers for the team but all of them would fetch a much bigger price then their current price in the auction and I doubt if they can be persuaded to stay back. From the overseas department MI would not let Keiron Pollard go and perhaps Dwayne Bravo too.  Lasith Malinga is someone whom they would love to keep as long as he is fit enough to bowl those deadly yorkers.

Bangalore Royal Challengers would be inclined to stick upto Kumble, Dravid ( if he is willing to continue) and perhaps Uthappa and Manish Pandey, however the new franchises might be eying them with a truckload of money. Virat Kohli, Vinay Kumar also performed decently and Vinay Kumar might be retained if he increases his brand value with good performance for Team India. Kohli would sure like a shot at another time which would give him more to do. Kaalis and Peterson become their automatic Overseas choice and perhaps they would retain someone like Ross Taylor although he did underperform this year. Eoin Morgan and Cameron White were under utilized and perhaps they would do better with another team.

Deccan Chargers are hoping that Adam Gilchrist returns and so does Andrew Symonds. Amongst the Indian players they would certainly want Rohit Sharma and Pragyan Ojha to stay back. V V S Laxman is a mystery as on current form he needs to let go the T-20 format but no one represents Hyderabad more than Laxman. They might also want someone like T Suman and  R .P. Singh around. Amongst the other overseas players Ryan Harris is a nice fit in the team, however his stock is rising in the current Australian setup and he might feel he would command a better auction price. Dwyane Smith was underutlised and he maybe headed the auction way and as far as Chaminda Vaas and Gibbs are concerned , the road is more or less over for them, as far as IPL goes.

Delhi Daredevils is a team full of resources they would love to keep back.  Veeru and Gauti are automatic choices and so are players like Dinesh Karthik and Amit Mishra. They might let go Ashish Nehra. In the overseas department they have resources like David Warner, Dilshan, Mahraroof and Dirk Nannes, not to forget A B Deviliers, Paul Collingwood and Daniel Vettori. They would certainly like to retain one of Warner or Dilshan and certainly Dirk Nannes. A B Devilliers didnt play much of second half this year and neither did Vettori. Collingwood looks well settled to be retained.

Rajasthan Royals have a bit of trouble. Unless their Mega star Shane Warne returns they do not have any major International players in he team barring except Graeme Smith who would then lead the side. They would also retain Shane Watson. Amnogst the Indian players Yusuf Pathan is a certainty to be retained and so are players like Naman Ojha and Siddharth Trivedi. Apart from the 2 new franchises this team needs to buy some big international and local players to make it a real competitive team.

Kolkata Knightriders have too many good under utilized resources. Amongst the Indian players they would retain Ganguly unless Ganguly makes the correct decision of not playing the next year. Manoj Tiwary is certain to be retained as the local flavour and perhaps they would do right to retain Murali Kartik as well. Ishant Sharma had a lousy season but then most of KKR players had that.  Chris Gayle and Brendom Mccullum are 2 hot favorites to be retained and they also have quality players like David Hussey, Shane Bond, Angelo Matthews and Ajanta Mendis to choose from. It depends on whom the team owners and Ganguly prefer to stay around, also the players should be willing to stay with KKR.

Kings XI Punjab are certainly not the team they turned out to be in this IPL. They are far better than their 8th position suggests. Unless Yuvraj Singh has other plans he would and should be retained by the franchise. Irfan Pathan is too good a talent not to be retained however if he improves a bit, he has fare better chances in the auction as an allrounder. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayavardane are sure to return and perhaps Brett Lee too will give it a last shot. Ravi Bopara and Shaun Marsh are 2 good talents and perhaps the team would retain 1 of them. Piyush Chawala would fill up one of the domestic spot.

Apart from above, I might have missed out on some obvious names and would have named some players who would obviously be dropped for reasons I do not know yet.  The mega auction in October would be real treat to follow.

Meanwhile, the 9th IPL Team and the costliest one owned by Sahara for Pune City has announced its name as Sahara Pune Warriors and they have already chalked up plans to grab and lure major stars both in auction and pre-auction.  There is also a major battle going on between the ex-IPL chief Lalit Modi and BCCI and we never know what new rules might come out for auction and whether existing franchises will be allowed to retain 7 players or more or less.

Lets see how the action unfolds in the time to come.

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IPL – Final 4

The IPL is entering its last stage and big 4 matches awaits us all.

The semifinals are now shifted to Navi Mumbai from Bangalore due to the security issues arising after the low intensity bomb blasts in Bangalore. At the beginning of the tournament I had predicted MI, DD,RCB and CSK to make it to the semis in my post https://chin512.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/ipl-3-0-predictions/ . I have been proven 75% right with DC making it instead of DD and unless KKR does a miracle , that result would remain the same.

KKR needs more than a miracle actually, they need to beat MI by a margin of about 175  runs or so or if the field first, they need to overhaul the target set by MI in about 1 over..both of these sound impossible to achieve i the context of a T-20 match, unless of course Rajnikanth decides to play in place of Ganguly.

IPL has had many a controversies this season, its time for now some good quality cricket to take over. Lets hope the final four matches present top quality cricket and may the best team on that evening win.

IPL could have a 6- way Tie

IPL is reaching a very crucial and interesting state now and with just 2 or 3 games left each team it could be “anybody’s game” as Ravi Shastri would put it.

Mumbai Indians is the only sure shot entry to the semi finals with 16 points and other teams following closely behind. RR- RCB-DD are tied on 12 points and CSK-DC-KKR are tied on 10 points with KXIP occupying the last spot with 8 points.

Considering the schedule of the remaining matches, there could be a 5 way or even 6 way  tie for the remaining 3 semi final spots. The results have to follow a particular pattern which is of course not guarantee to happen however the scenario cannot be ruled out either. Here’s how it can happen

Match Between –  Place –  Result –  2 Points to

DC * RCB – Nagpur- DC Winning – DC goes to 12 points
MI *  DD – Mumbai – MI Winning – MI goes to 18 points
CSK * KKR – Chennai – CSK winning -CSK goes to 12 points
RR * RCB – Jaipur – RR winning –  RR goes to 14 points
CSJ * DD – Chennai – CSK winning – CSK goes to 14 points
KXIP * DC – Dharamsala – DC winning – DC goes to 14 points
RCB * MI – Bangalore – RCB winning RCB goes to  14 points
KKR * RR – Kolkata – KKR winning – KKR goes to 12 points
KXIP * CSK – Dharamsala – KXIP winning- KXIP goes to 10 points
DD * DC – Delhi –  DD winning – DD goes to 14 points
KKR * MI – Kolkata – KKR winning – KKR goes to 14 points

This would result in MI occupying top spot with 18 points and KXIP bottom with 10 points and 6 other teams tied with 14 points.
THIS CAN HAPPEN. Net Run rate becomes very crucial and no one can say which 3 team would qualify, not even Ravi Shastri with his deep insight and Lalit Modi with his deep pockets.

Young Indian Stars of IPL 3.0

At this midway stage of the tournament it would be nice to compile of list of star players of IPL 3.0 so far, especially Indian players who have played better than expected and won games for their team or rescued the team and performed consistently for their team.

Listed below are some of the Indian stars who have performed superbly so far,  yet the common factor amongst them is that NONE of them are chosen to represent Indian team for World T-20 which begins right as the IPL ends.

Chennai Super Kings clearly have Murali Vijay as their brightest star. From nowhere , this ‘made for test match‘ player has come and played few remarkable innings to shock the oppositions out of the game and have made selectors thinking that why he is not a part of the Indian team of World T-20 . Indian Captain Dhoni has also been a pillar of strength for the team and has put his full faith in Vijay and allowed him to open the innings and deliver the goods.

Delhi Daredevils has some of the strongest batting lineup with Sehwag, Gambhir and Warner firing, but it is Amit Mishra who has delivered consistently with his slow leg spin and fooled quite a few batsmen with his turn and bounce and his clever wrong ones. He would surely be feeling unlucky about not getting selected for World T-20. Another bowler to watch out from DD camp is Umesh Yadav who has shown pace, which none other Indian bowlers have shown so far.

Another slow bowler who has impressed is Pragyan Ojha for Deccan Chargers and has been taking wickets by the bundle and also being a miser with the bowl although his team has been a failure as a collective unit.

Naman Ojha and Siddharth Trivedi have been a revelation for Rajasthan Royals. Naman Ojha is not the best of wicketkeeper but he is an explosive batsman and certainly worth considering as a backup option for Dhoni rather than Dinesh Kartik atleast in T-20s. Siddharth Trivedi has been a clever bowler, consistently amongst the wickets and the last over he bowled against the Deccan Chargers to deny them an easy victory was an example of his cool and sharp mind.

The Mumbai Indian youngsters namely Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayadu and Shikhar Dhawan have really been the real surprises and under the leadership of the ‘Master’ they have blossomed to be a real India prospect in near future. Also R. Sathish has done whatever is required from him quite well, hopefully these youngsters would continue to perform with same intensity as the tournament approaches its end.

Bangalore Boys Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey have also taken a huge load of batting upon them and delivered consistently for their team.Manish Pandey could have almost made it to the World T-20 team but for the selector’s preference over Rohit Sharma, who can bowl a bit too. Uthappa has been good in patches and not very consistent although it seems he is getting his form back.

Other notable perfromers are Manoj Tiwary for the KKR team and Manvinder Bisla for the Kings XI Punjab, although their collective team effort are not good enough for them to be in real contention.

There have been other good performances in IPL from established Indian stars like  Sehwag, Yusuf Pathan, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and of course the one only Sachin Tendulkar. But its clearly the young stars that have outshone the senior players.

As I wrote above, none of them are in the squad which flys to west indies for world t-20 but the good things is that all of the above star performers are young and with their experience of IPL in their resume, they would only get better. Good for Team India.

IPL – Midseason Review

Now that IPL 3.0 is more than half way through and is entering its most important phase, the race for semi final spot hots up. Few teams have leap-frogged over others and some have fallen behind badly.

To begin with Mumbai Indians led by the maestro Sachin Tendulkar is leading from the front and is as good as qualified for one of the semi final spots unless some real bad catastrophical mathematical combination occurs. Delhi Daredevils and Bangalore Royal Challengers look to grab the 2 spots in semi final. The battle for the 4th spot is tough and is a close call between Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Superkings and surprise surprise Kolkata Knightriders.

The other 2 teams Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers though still have a theoretical chance of qualifying , but I assume their IPL battle is over for the year and they have another race to fight, to avoid the bottom place.

So my earlier prediction made before the start of IPL, of semi final spots almost seems to be correct. MI, DD, RCB and CSK or RR would make it and KKR I dont think will.

Welcome Pune and Kochi, Sorry Ahmedabad !!

Pune and Kochi were the chosen cities for the 2 new IPL teams to be added to the existing eight from the next season in 2011. The entire bidding process was earlier cancelled and bids were re-invited and winners were declared today in a much hyped press conference in Chennai.

When the bids were yet to be opened, cities like Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Nagpur, Pune, Vizag, Indore, Kochi etc. were in the fray and it was learnt that 5 proper bids were received. It was widely thought that bids from Videocon group, Sahara Group, Adani group etc. would be the winners and most people expected Ahmedabad and perhaps Pune to be the host cities of the new franchises.

Sahara Group turned out to be the highest bidder with 370 Million $ and they chose Pune as their host city. The next highest bidder was a consortium of 5 companies named Rendezvous Sports World who bid 333.33 million $ for the franchise to be hosted in Kochi. The other bidders bid close to 320 million $ each but of course only 2 teams were to be chosen and they lost out. The losers included Videocon group, Adani Group etc.

Sahara Group opting for Pune over Ahmedabad and Nagpur was perhaps more a business decision than a cricketing decision. Pune being a city on par with Ahmedabad in most ways is almost a twin city of Mumbai, who already have a powerful franchise in Mumbai Indians, thus their cricketing catchment area would most certainly overlap. In Ahmedabad you had a huge catchment area comprising of 3 Ranji teams of Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra, waiting to be tapped. Sahara surely had other reasons to select Pune over Ahmedabad.

Kochi was a complete surprise, even for the IPL head honcho Lalit Modi himself. Post the announcement he struggled to name the winning group and its leading person and later when asked about who the actual owners were of the team, had to refer to his notes and finally had to take help of the winning team head to declare who actually the owners were. It turned out that owners of Rendezvous Sports World are a group of builders, real estate developers based in Kerala. Kochi at present, does not even have a proper cricket stadium and uses a football stadium to host international matches,  however the real estate developers in the winning team would certainly be licking their lips at the thought of building a brand new stadium.

Ahmedabad is perhaps unlucky to lose out on a lucrative offer of hosting an IPL franchise. The 2 new franchises gave the IPL an amount close to Rs. 3200 crores which is more than selling of previous 8 franchises put togather, Rs. 2,800 crores. Lalit Modi announced that there would be no further expansion of IPL, atleast in near future. But with the kind of money available and the interest shown by leading coroporate houses in hosting an IPL franchise one can never say, never to the idea of more teams say in 3 years time. Ahmedabad can perhaps try their luck that time.

Any guesses for the names of the 2 new teams. My guesses would be Pune Panthers and Kochi Cobras.

IPL 3 – First Impressions of Teams

Now that I have seen at least one match of each of the 8 teams, I think now is a good time to mention my first impressions of the teams.

To start with –  Mumbai Indians –  It looked like grandfather Sachin and Sanath playing with their grandkids, atleast when the team was announced. With their combined age 77 it did seem that way. The team looked lacking middle order strength BUT they proved me wrong and the new recruits seems like a good choice. Aditya Tare, Saurabh Tiwary, Sathish and Ambati Rayadu look well in their part and they won the match despite Seniors not doing much, Harbhajan injured and Yusuf Pathan blitzkrieg.  Perhaps Lucky to win that day, but if they continue to play that way a spot in the semis is there for the taking.

A team you love it or hate it but cant ignore it ,  Kolkata Knightriders. Surprise ! Surprise !  The team is playing as a ‘team’ and have left behind their past 2 nightmarish seasons, at least it looks so far. Ganguly is leading them from the front and his fielding and batting maybe a bit rusty but his captaincy is as sharp as it was during his peak. Angelo Matthews has to be the most underrated ( and cheap) all rounder just like most Lankan players are. Brad Hodge is playing well and Laxmi Ratan Shukla seems to have a got a second wind. The team should continue to do well especially in home games with massive Eden Garden support behind them and half of Bollywood cheering for them. With superstar overseas players like Hussey, Bond , Mccullum and Gayle yet to arrive , things can only be better. Perhaps a semifinal spot for them.

Rajasthan Royals was the team of 10 players and Shae Warne in the first edition, now its perhaps 10 players and Yusuf Pathan. The man is in peak of his form and can do no wrong. Breaking several domestic records in last 2 months he continues to pummel the opposition bowlers with his huge sixes and massive drives. Royals were unlucky not to win their first match. However apart from Pathan other team members looked bit out of touch. Warne didnt turn the ball much and none of the other bowlers were impressive. Although its mindless to predict based on just 1 game but I think Royals might just miss out on the Semis spot this year.

Another team that looked rusty was Chennai Superkings. Even with massive crowd support behind them, they couldnt muster up a decent fight to the Chargers. Their bowling looks weak and even Muralidharan seems  struggling. They are also missing Flintoff and Oram and they seem to rely too much on Dhoni and Hayden at the top. Someone like Suresh Raina, Badrinath etc. have to stand and deliver. They have to improve and improve real soon.

Deccan Chargers rolled over the superkings succesfully after suffering unexpected loss against Knightriders. They seem to have the right team combination with Gilchrist and Gibbs at the top, Symonds and Rohit Sharma in the middle. Their bowling also looks decent with R P Singh, Vaas and Prgyan Ojha. Their slightly weaker link is I think VVS Laxman. Laxman is the most elegant player when its comes to batting in a test match, however in this format of the game he looks out of place especially when he is opening the innings along with fluent Gilchrist. Perhaps they need to make him bat at 4 or 5, although I cant see him slogging in the final 5 overs either. Maybe drop Laxman altogether.

Bangalore Royal Challengers looks a great team when you have experience of Kaalis, Dravid, Kumble to combine with young brigade like Manish Pandey , Robin Utthappa and Virat Kohli and with Dale Steyn leading the bowling attack you have one of the best balanced team. However they were simply outclassed in the first match by KKR. Perhaps they would soon get their act together and be a team they were last year.

Kings XI Punjab to me looks the weakest team of the tournament. Somehow the middle order of Mahela, Yuvraj and Sangakkara looks too sedate and their bowling minus Brett Lee lacks serious firepower. Irfant Pathan needs a speedy dose of aggression from his brother Yusuf Pathan. Ramesh Power and Piyush Chawala looked clueless on slow pitch. They need Brett Lee to be back , mercurial Sreesanth to be consistent and maybe someone more aggrasive like Shaun Marsh at top of order should be good. Whats Mohhamad Kaif doing in the team?

Finally, the team to beat, Delhi Daredevils with the strongest batting lineup of this IPL, they would be the team every other team would be afraid of. On their day any of Sehwag, Gambhir, Warner, Dilshan and AB Deviliers can blast any bowling attack out of the ground. They have a wonderful bowling attack as well with Dirk Nannes in top form and Amit Mishra with a new found confidence. A semifinal spot is almost a guaranteed if they continue to play like they do and they can. Who knows maybe even the championship !

IPL 3.0 Predictions

IPL 3.0 begins today. 60 matches and 6 weeks, long way to go. 8 Teams, each almost as good as another and T-20 is as unpredictable as it gets. But I am being brave and predicting the 4 semifinalists. I could turn out to be a total gool or a wizard, but here are my predictions.

Bangalore Royal Challengers, Delhi Daredevils , Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will be the 4 semifinalists.

Only the time will tell. Let the games begin.

IPL 3.0 Teammembers

Given Below is a list of Team members of all the IPL 3.0 Teams

Based on below I have joined Cricinfo Fantasy League for IPL 3.0 – My team name – Chin512 Champs

CSK DC KKR DD
BOWLERS BOWLERS BOWLERS BOWLERS
R Ashwin PP Ojha AB Agarkar R Bhatia
L Balaji Harmeet Singh VR Aaron A Mishra
C Ganapathy RP Singh AB Dinda DP Nannes
MS Gony KAJ Roach M Kartik A Nehra
SB Jakati R Sharma BAW Mendis AM Salvi
M Muralidaran BATSMEN CK Langeveldt PJ Sangwan
M Ntini AA Bilakhia I Sharma U Yadav
S Tyagi HH Gibbs Iqbal Abdulla WD Parnell
BATSMEN VVS Laxman Eklakh Ahmed S Ladda
KB Arun Karthik DB Ravi Teja MB Parmar Sarandeep Singh
S Badrinath RG Sharma BATSMEN VY Mahesh
GJ Bailey TL Suman BJ Hodge Y Nagar
ML Hayden AS Yadav CA Pujara BATSMEN
MEK Hussey Anirudh Singh OA Shah G Gambhir
SK Raina ALL ROUNDERS MK Tiwary AB de Villiers
M Vijay RJ Harris Harshad Khadiwale TM Dilshan
HK Badani DR Smith ALL ROUNDERS M Manhas
ALL
ROUNDERS
A Symonds SC Ganguly V Sehwag
T Thushara WPUJC Vaas AD Mathews DA Warner
JA Morkel Y Venugopal Rao G Vignesh KM Jadhav
JDP Oram MR Marsh LR Shukla ALL ROUNDERS
NLTC Perera B Sumanth Rohan Gavaskar MC Henriques
JM Kemp MD Mishra Harpreet Singh MF Maharoof
WK AA Reddy Mandeep Singh Joginder Singh
MS Dhoni WK WK WK
PA Patel AC Gilchrist WP Saha KD Karthik
KXIP RR RCB MI
BOWLERS BOWLERS BOWLERS BOWLERS
L Ablish SK Warne A Kumble CRD Fernando
B Lee Kamran Khan KP Apanna Zaheer Khan
PP Chawla M Morkel D du Preez DS Kulkarni
RR Powar MM Patel A Mithun SL Malinga
SJ Srivastava Amit Singh Praveen Kumar Harbhajan Singh
S Sreesanth SW Tait DW Steyn R Shukla
VS Malik SK Trivedi R Vinay Kumar BATSMEN
YA Abdulla BATSMEN BATSMEN SR Tendulkar
Amanpreet Singh SA Asnodkar R Dravid S Dhawan
BATSMEN GC Smith V Kohli J-P Duminy
AB Barath DR Martyn MK Pandey AT Rayudu
K Goel MJ Lumb LRPL Taylor SS Tiwary
DPMD Jayawardene FY Fazal RV Uthappa ALL ROUNDERS
M Kaif AA Jhunjhunwala Eoin Morgan DJ Bravo
RS Bopara AG Paunikar ALL ROUNDERS ST Jayasuriya
SE Marsh SA Quadri B Akhil R McLaren
TM Srivastava AS Raut Bhuvneshwar Kumar GR Napier
Yuvraj Singh JH Kallis AM Nayar
ALL
ROUNDERS
ALL ROUNDERS KP Pietersen KA Pollard
IK Pathan AD Mascarenhas RE van der Merwe I Malhotra
JR Hopes YK Pathan CL White AG Murtaza
RS Sodhi J Botha Steven Smith R Sathish
Bipul Sharma S Narwal S Sriram KS Sahabuddin
WK SB Wagh WK WK
Kumar Sangakkara WK MV Boucher C Madan
MS Bisla NV Ojha SP Goswami AP Tare

IPL 3 is here…

IPL Version 3.0 is here upon all of us and you like it or hate it, but you just cant ignore Lalit K Modi’s grand extravaganza exploding soon at a stadium, cinema hall, youtube or television near you.

Eight franchises will play each other on home-away basis to win the grand prize over 45 days and 60 matches across 12 locations within India.

Team I am rooting for –  Mumbai Indians and not because i hail from Mumbai but because that team has Sachin ‘God’ Tendulkar and I would support any team which he plays from.  The  team I totally dont want to win is KKR and mainly because of Shahrukh Khan, no excuses. I think Delhi has a great batting firepower and Bangalore has quite a few exciting prospects. But as the first 2 season proved, you can never guess anything till the last ball is bowled.

Cant’ wait for it to begin.