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Posts Tagged ‘Rajasthan Royals

Ashoke Dinda was one of the few Indian pacers to impress in IPL III

The Indian team for the World T20 was announced couple of weeks back and there was hardly any surprises in the squad. Vinay Kumar got his maiden call up to the national team, a reward for his excellent performances in the domestic arena. Piyush Chawla too gets a call up ahead of Ojha and Mishra as the second specialist spinner in the squad. The rest of the team picked themselves.

The fact that Ashish Nehra makes it to the squad right after a prolonged injury break with hardly any practice proves how much the selectors are deprived of options. Praveen Kumar the other pace bowler in the squad has been pretty ordinary in the IPL after few good games at the start. Mithun and Tyagi have been pretty disappointing in the IPL and don’t look like T20 bowlers, similar to Ishant. Ishant himself has been pretty ordinary for the past couple of years.

So we are going into the world cup with two world class bowlers in Zaheer Khan and Harbajan Singh, one debutant, one bowler coming back from injury and one bowler making a comeback into the team. The selection pretty much emphasizes the problem we have with the bowling. So basically the selectors have done the best they can with the limited resources at their disposal.

But heartening thing is that after a pretty bad beginning by the Indian bowlers in the IPL III the second leg has showcased some good young bowlers. Ashoke Dinda of KKR, Sid Trivedi of Rajasthan Royals, Harmeet Singh of Deccan Chargers and Umesh Yadav of Delhi Daredevils have all impressed with their bowling at crucial junctures for their respective teams. The spinners also have been on song like Ravichandran Aswin, Pragyan Ojha and Jakati have been fantastic throughout the tournament.

So it seems we have some gas left in the tank after all. The problem is tapping the talent and giving them breaks at the right time. Bowlers like Mithun and Tyagi should not be ignored either. More than having talents at your disposal, knowing when and how to give them chances are important. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the bowlers and using them appropriately is something the selectors have to look into.

Even though the bowling looks thin for India in the World T20, I am happy that the selectors at least tried something different by giving a break to Vinay Kumar.

Pankaj Singh from Rajasthan signed up by the Royal Challengers does not find a place in the Rajasthan Royals squad

IPL III is in its third week and with the race for semi-final spot heating up every game seems like a knockout for the teams. Even though IPL as a competition has been interesting this year, the length is still a worry. It already feels like too long and I am not sure how we will feel next year with 94 games.

But the length of the tournament aside the major concern for me this year has been the team composition of the franchises. The teams have basically ignored the local talents in the team in search of glory. I thought that IPL was going to be used as a ground for nurturing and finding young talents but as the years passed by the franchises have gotten greedy. For example Ranji champions Mumbai are unable to find players from the Mumbai team to represent their IPL franchise Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan is even worse as they don’t even have a single local player representing them.

Rajasthan has been the worst offender off all the IPL teams. The franchise is been completely made up with Rest of India and the mandatory foreign players but there is no sign of any home grown talent. This I feel is ridiculous and shows how much money hungry the franchises have become. Mumbai Indians play just 2 players out of 8 in their team from the Mumbai team and Deccan Chargers somehow manage to play just one or sometimes 2 local players in their team. How do they expect locals to relate with the team if the entire team is made up of players from different teams? I am not against young Indian players getting a chance but ignoring local players takes away the charm of a city based rivalry.

This is the exact reason the IPL teams will find less success in the champion’s league. If you take Rajasthan for example, except for the 4 weeks of IPL none of their team members play together in any form of cricket unless they represent India. Entire year they play against each other and they are suddenly thrown together and are expected to gel as a team immediately. They will be playing teams in the CLT20 who play an entire year together and are more cohesive units in comparison to the IPL teams. The locals who play for team Rajasthan in Ranji trophy might actually feel little hard done by this situation. Teams like them who compete in the plate championship of the Ranji trophy hardly get any visibility with the selectors and a global tournament like the IPL should be used to showcase their talents.

The other issue is the curious case of Deccan Chargers. Due to the political issues in Andhra currently the Deccan Chargers are playing at other venues which are currently proving to be a disadvantage for them. While rest of the teams has received excellent local support for their home games Deccan have struggled in that regard. Deccan have played both their games against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai which is ridiculous I feel as whom do you think the Mumbai crowd will support in a matchup between these two teams? I feel that Deccan have received a pretty raw deal with the fixtures.

Even though the tournament has been a success and is here to stay, the organizers need to look to correct the above glaring anomalies.

IPL 2 is in its second week now and as I write this article DD are playing RR in their 5th game. Well it cannot get more contrasting for the last year’s champions as they are struggling to find their magic. The Rajasthan Royals led by Shane Warne have found winning hard this year and have struggled with their batting. The tournament has been similar for the last year’s finalists Chennai Super Kings too. For them it’s been their bowling which has deserted them this year. They have had couple of close losses but still languish somewhere near the bottom of the table along with RR, and BRC.

Royal Challengers though continued their horrible run this year too. Yeah they started with a win over RR this year contrary to their start in IPL 1 but since then it has been downhill for KP’s side. KKR too have been ordinary this year and found winning tough. Buchanan’s multiple captain theory received lots of flack from the media and experts and did not help the team spirit I guess. Their over reliance on Chris Gayle and Dada was clearly evident in the first few games.

The biggest improvement of this year has been the Deccan Chargers who have found the right combination at last. They were at the bottom last year with the BRC but are leading the table this year after the first 4 games. Their batting lead by their captain Gilchrist is clicking and their bowling led by RP Singh is doing great. They have been brilliant till now in the competition and have posted good wins till now.

Delhi Daredevils have also been brilliant this year and have continued their good form from last year. Their batting has been brilliant and their bowling has been okay defending their totals. Devilliers and Dilshan have been their stars till now in the competition. It seems like them along with DC will be in the Semi-Finals this year.

Finally Kings X1 Punjab have had mixed results in this year’s competition. Semi-Finalists last year started off with two losses in IPL 2 but won their last two games to end up behind the top two. They have a good side too with Yuvraj, Sangakkara and Mahela forming the crux of their middle order.

Well all in all the bowlers have found it easy on the South African pitches and the batting has not been that easy. The fact that there have been no 200+ score till now in the competition says a lot about the pitches which have been good cricketing surfaces. Targets of 130 have been successfully defended and have made this year’s competition interesting for the viewers.

The oldies have come to the party in SA. Warne, Kumble, Hayden, Sachin, Dravid, Gilchrist have all made significant contributions to their respective teams breaking the notion of T20 being young man’s version. All in all IPL 2 has been fantastic with closer games and fantastic crowds. Hope the same continues in the coming weeks.

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