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Pre-match Analysis

If 6 batsman can't do it 7 can't is favorite commentators cliche which Dhoni has taken it to the next level. Stuffing 8 batsman in a T20 game is like loading your pant pocket with handful of Parle-G biscuits, bound to crush. It's funny and tactful that his opposite number took a dig at Dhoni. It was clearly evident that INDIA lacked a front line spinner to pick wickets and stem the flow of runs. And it isn't a non-asian country that would tumble against our part-time spinners.

Dhoni's so called innovations read stupid moves some times go hey-wire and out of context and using Kohli when wickets have fallen down is criminal. Though Ashwin isn't in his best of the form would definitely do a better job that the part-timers. Omitting the prodigal son Rohit and including Ashwin is the way to go if we even want to salvage the lost pride. 

3 quicks and 1 spinner + 2 part-timer sounds a better plan atleast on paper. Ishant needs to to focus on his bowling rather that nourish his mane and picking street fights and it's not a Delhi thing to pick fight against Pak. Its not unfair to expect him to bowl at the death he is the senior of the lot and is capable of doing it. Expect B Kumar to be targeted this time, Pak will not allow him to settle this time, hopefully he will be prepared.

Jab tak hai shine

The first T20 played at Bangalore has spelled more dooms for the INDIAN team. Yet another close game loss and yet another reason to shield. With no rain and dew factor, it was the batting collapse this time that was blamed. Little would any one question or address the real problem. which is our bowling. Weak bowling can't be hidden by strengthening the batting which is what INDIA does far too often.
In the last couple of years there were very few games that we have lost where bowling is exceptional and batting failed to live upto its expectation. INDIA is a land that produces good batsman from all corners and if some patience and confidence instilled by the selectors we are all set.

The real problem lies in our bowling, both in the spin and pace department. Of the two spin might be of a lesser worry though, pace bowling is a major concern. Its not just about finding a new raw talent and giving him the T20 cap and forgetting about him, but nurturing and grooming him and making sure he learns the new tricks in the trade.

B Kumar is the new kid in the town nice action, great seem position and to top it with mind blowing results. He is a bowler who just didn't pop up from a single IPL season, but was a product of sustained bowling at the first class level. Much like how P Kumar, V Kumar, A Mithun entered scene.
The real problem with these bowlers is that if-its-is-new-I-will-swing condition, they shine with the ball as long as there is shine on the ball. The moment ball gets old they lose their magic wand and they become more of a liability than an asset. So technically they can be productive mostly in T20 as their spell is over before the shine is gone.

Secondly they rely heavily on the conditions ball, ground and atmosphere. They don't have an alternative weapon in case the first one fails, which is bouncer due to their lack of pace. So they would easily be pick and trashed in their subsequent spell even if their first one was a deadly. The real key to fast bowling is movement at brisk pace not necessarily express but at-least good enough to break a bone or two.

There was a time when world cricket had Adam Hollioake , Gavin Larson and Ronnie Irani types bowlers who excelled in what they do. But their time was limited and so was their career. So a lesson to be learned by new Kumars is that variation is the key, and continuous innovation of skills. It's a known fact that INDIAN bowlers aren't fast bowler tall so bounce is out of their question. May be hit the gym add bit more muscle and gain that extra yard pace or may be learn some slow ball variations just to keep the batsman at bay.

Or else it would just be "Jab tak hai shine".

The Great INDIAN Sambar

Back in the days during my Masters none of us knew how to cook and the person with a practical cooking experience was hailed the leader of the house. The food cooked by him was considered divine and since there was no golden taste to compare with, every other food was compared with it. The one who cooked well either had some magical powder that they would sprinkle or had a Harry Potter's magic wand.

Vijay used to make awesome sambar back in those days and would always credit the taste to his mother's magical sambar powder. Nobody really bothered to figure out the truth behind the magic until one day when hunger-the-mother-of-all-tasty-food-innovation led to it. Vijay was on vacation and they tried to replicate or mimic his 3 step process; 1-Open the cooker, 2-pour all the ingredients & sambar powder, 3-close the lid and wait for 2 whistles.

To their surprise it didn't taste the way it was supposed to; so religiously each day one person decided to try out their luck to replicate the magic sambar but in vain; no matter what they did it didn't taste the same. But in the due course each one had made his own version of sambar unique and tasty. They later realized that at the end of this marathon each one had learned the art of cooking through the hard way. And if not the absence of Vijay and urge for tasty sambar they wouldn't have discovered the cook with in them.

Vijay returned back and resumed his sambar, and everyone were happy and had forgotten about their potential until Vijay ran out of his sambar powder or his magic wand. Soon 
tension prevailed and urge for tasty sambar increased. Each of them had personal experience with this magical powder but the challenge was recreating it without the magic wand. With lot of hard work and determination and non-magical powder their sambar attempts were leading towards the goal. 

INDIAN cricket is in the state waiting for Vijay's magic to diminish, if they start now will they might discover their next captain. MS Dhoni emerged to scene amidst Ganguly sacking saga during which INDIAN cricket was in dire straits, Sachin no  willing to step up, Sehwag ignored for his care free attitude. Yuvraj and Harbhajjan ignored for unknown reasons. Selectors handed the cooking duty to MS Dhoni with some fore-thought beyond human comprehension. Giving captaincy to Dhoni was like handing the kitchen keys to a chef, like a seasoned chef Dhoni knew the exact combination of spices to produce the perfect sambar.

Just like nobody questioned Vijay's cooking methods which was very messy and crude because of the taste he brought to the table, nobody really questioned some of Dhoni's stupid and not-so-tactical moves because of his success. Once the magic powder and sambar was gone, there was restlessness in the house and finally someone began questioning his cooking methods. If Dhoni was applauded for this success it is fairer to point out his mistakes and give him a chance to improve. So the time has come for the selectors to wake up and smell that sambar aroma again. 

Much like Vijay's 3 step sambar, Dhoni's captaincy had the method of his own; not necessary the cook book style but methods based on street smartness and out right courage. He took the saying "Nothing succeed like success" to the next level. Just like how a late cut from middle stump against Murli looks classy and stupid depending on the outcome, Dhoni's captaincy had success to back him up and didn't look stupid. Because it worked every move of his had a theory and a postulate written by the cricket pundits. Moving up the order upon a good start and hiding behind when wickets tumbled wasn't mentioned even if was evident. Two world cups and 3 International club league tittles makes him the greatest captain INDIA ever had if result is what every thing matters.

IPL has given that opportunity for the selectors to assess one they many potential captains. Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Virat, Harbhajan have had their stints as captains. Let neither age be the deciding factor for the future because it wasn't when Dhoni was selected, nor form be a factor which isn't with Dhoni currently. So its a matter of stepping into to the kitchen and trying out that sambar. It might not be the perfect in the first attempt, but eventually will get there. 

When kitchen starts to stink it's either the menu or the cook that gets a change, INDIAN cricket is ready for a change in cook. MSD has received enough accolades for what he has
done, time to re-access what he hasn't done. Mind you he is a great ODI and T20 captain but the same might not be true in tests. With recent form with Gloves or Bat he isn't an automatic choice, its a different story that there is not clear 2nd favorite to handle the gloves, that doesn't mean Dhoni can stay. Making me look ugly doesn't make you look beautiful should be the mantra here. 

 When the company is drowning its the CEO that takes the pink slip and hunt for new starts. Let the treasure hunt begin to find a captain who atleast can accept his mistakes rather than finding scapegoat. To be frank we are tired of pitch and weather blame game. Mr Selector I want my Magic Sambar back

It is fixed.

This is isn't an acquisition or allegation on the match; nor is it a view of a disgruntled viewer complaining and cribbing about the cliche  But it’s just a way INDIA team is bats at-least the team I know and care about.

With 2 days left in the game and no signs of rain, we will have full 180 over of cricket. England would be riding high on the 207 run lead though would have like a bit more. That would leave little shy of 6 sessions for two teams to share, which would rule out any possibility of INDIA winning. Neither its 2001, Laxman-David have retired and oh yes Harbhajan isn't playing. It’s just Eden the only common denominator and we are not following on so no miracles.

Traditionalist would like to draw a Du-De inspiration and would jump in for a draw. What Francois and Abraham did was something heroic and something INDIA would have done in the past, not the current team. With pitch crumbling making Monty Python spit like a viscous cobra constantly at the batsman. Swan would be at the batsmen all the time drifting spinning and darting at the stumps. With a scuffed ball Jimmy’s accurate reverse swing will test batsman patience and technique, Finn’s pace and bounce would catch the batsman fishing.

See-the-ball-hit-the-ball would bat cautiously and punish lose deliveries giving a sense of re-assurance to the spectators and commentators. Who would speak about his application and his role in team and would credit or dis-credit to commentator’s curse cliche when a half defense would edge it to slips.
Double duty Che Guevara would bat and bat and boar the opposition out, I recon swan will get the better of him.
Bhisma-pita-ma would block indefinitely as if he is on Anna Hazare morcha and get into a shell where he forgets how to score and gets busted the first shot he plays
Virat would hit couple of cracking cover drive against the spin of swann, some sub-continental flicks of Monty and then would give a dolly to covers and look at the pitch.
Test specialist UV will bat as if he is playing minesweeper cautious defense, gets beaten by the spin, drives along the ground, straight sixes and finally gone with the straighter one.
Dhoni would bring the bat from all directions and ball would hit the bat. He would freeze until the No 11 comes to bat then out of no-where would score some mesmerizing shots and reach a respectable 50 and would be given a martyr status when he gets out.

Well I sincerely hope the above doesn't happen and the INDIAN teams proves me wrong as the many of you would. Lets see over the next 2 days what transpires. Comments are welcome.

Market for Each Inch

Technology takes a giant leap exponentially and every 5 years where have a product that teaches us how to use our fingers in a different ways. 
I still remember those days of laptops where the only discussion was whether to buy a 14 inch and 15 inch one and it didn't matter 
if cell phones were flip or candy style and frankly we never knew what the size of our phone screen was. 

The idea of carrying a huge CD disc-man along irked people, sooner Sandisk and Sony came up with mp3 players of varying size and memory. This has the capability to hold large no of songs in minute device. 
But the problem was seeking through the songs was linear and would take ever to seek to the end of the list.

Soon the market was flooded with mini and micro music players and which were almost reached saturation point until egoistic ipod took control and told us that wheels could be used to cover large distance in with limited effort. Navigation through 1000 songs end to end with couple of wheel strokes was cool and less frustrating. But the problem was still carrying two small gadgets namely the phone and music player. Sony then tapped the next market where user could use their phone as a music player. This was the birth of the Sony Walkman phones which ruled the cell phone market for a while. Screen size of 2 inch and 500 Mb of memory literally flattered us. Music video player of 6 inches were in the market but failed to impress due to their larger size and not so affordable costs.

Then technology took a Trippe Jump where it showed the world that thumb could be used to swipe and scroll rather than just press buttons. This was the birth of iphone which integrated phone, music, video and of-course the touch technology. This was a technology revolution and it redefined the term smart phone. Until then we had black-berry and Palm-Teo and Windows Mobile 5 on Motorola which held on to the market and were called smart phones.

And then it was the birth of Andy Ruben's Android, termed G phone or G1 which was romped against the mighty iPhone. Technologically Android OS was superior compared to the iOS in terms of its features it bundled with; But from a user experience it still remained a beta product. Surely a polished leather shoe is well appreciated compared to a unpolished rather stronger sturdy shoe. Even though Windows Mobile & HTC tried to cash in this 3 inch space with million touch / touch - keyboard devices, failed miserably. 

Human quest for bigger wider better resulted in TABLETs, which was the smart part of the smart phone. This was the birth of 10 inch tabs. Apple's 
iPAD just made people crazy. Samsung capitalized on the market with its Galaxy tab and sold millions even before Google / Motorola came up with Xoom. Soon Acer, HP's (Web OS) and XYZ companies tried to hijack the 10 inch market but in vain. Microsoft's surface needs a resurface. 

Amazon had their eReader kindle which was a market leader in its own domain. They ventured into 7 inch market with Kindle fire  which was just a colorful Kindle. It sold millions due to its easy integration with Amazon ecosystem of course worth for the cost. Amazon literally stole the 7 inch market and showed the world that 7 inch is still a bigger real estate. The Success of Kindle Fire provoked Google / Samsung to come up with Nexus 7 which in turn forced Apple to announce iPad mini. Completely against the late Jobs who once had said 7 inch is too small for tablets.

Samsung ventured into the 5 inch space and called it Galaxy Note, which is basically a very BIG phone a very small tablet. Sounds a lame idea but was very effective among the business executives for its ease of use in addition to stylus. Yet to see any other company come up with their 5 inch. Galaxy Note was such a popular brand that Samsung released Galaxy Note 10 inch version too. 

In the current market, apple is like a idly shop that only sells idly from morning till evening and makes millions out of it. He has no branches and is unique in his approach; 
Samsung is like a multi cusine restaurant, he relies on the fact that it has a product for each type of audience and can cater to his needs 

Edges win Matches

Catches-win-matches is an age old cliche that is running in cricket ever since Tony Greig made is famous. But little did any one realize that it's the edges-induced that really win matches. And the bowling lineup that produces those catches would be a captain's dream. In our era the attack comprising Mcgrath, Lee, Gillespie and Warne induced more edges than the rest of the world put-together.

Whenever a batsman gets out caught, we always owe it to a rash shot or a mishit by the batsman; never-ever does one realize the pressure buildup that led to this. They say every time the bowler gets past the edge or get an edge, the confidence level of the batsman is halved; some smile and some look perplexed. It takes courage from the batsman to attempt the same shot again; and consecutive edges past the bat and you have a set a bait for a false shot. At this point you either witnessing a wicket or a single depending upon the greatness of the batsman. Irrespective of the outcome the bowler has won this battle. 

The common denominator of successful teams is the no of wickets taken behind the wicket, same is true for any batting collapse; number of caught behinds and slip catches. Even though there is a positive correlation b/w the type of the wicket and mode of dismissal, the credit shouldn't be take away from the bowlers. 

And this statistics isn't restricted to fast bowler. It gets a bit interesting with spinners, take top 3 spinner, Murli, Warne & Kumble. Their most common mode is dismissals are LBW which is a direct effect of the number of edged they induced and foxed the batman with their other-one. So is true with their deep catches and wild slogs over the cow corners. That is why you see spinners pushing their field back after 4 good balls, they sense storm after the calm.

Ball just doesn't kiss the bat, it even manages to kiss the batsman's brain good bye.

Every spell of great bowling atleast in test cricket is always preceded with a bunch of edge-inductions, take either Ishant-Ponting-over where he beats ponting's bat couple times and ponting eventually edges one to Dravid or the Flintof-Ponting of the 2005 ashes the over which completely changed the momentum the series, same is true with the less-famous Flintof-Gilchrist encounter during the same series. The first ball Flintoff balls an outswinger to gilly around the wicket and beats the bat after he had confused him with in-swinger and outswingers the first innings. And there is a rye smile on Gilly's  face acknowledging the master act.

Simon Jones proved that even a tea break can't erase the mental block of the ball going past the edge in the all famous Jones-Clarke incident. Jones went past clarke's bat with his outswingers all after noon, and the first ball after tea he brings the ball back in and Clarke shoulders arm and ball crashes onto middle and leg; I mean middle-leg. These were a few examples where each time the bowler looked twice as effective and batsman half as confident due to the edges that were induced. There could be tons of incidents Wasim, Waqar and Mcgrath had gone past the edge and eventually got the batsman out. 

On the lighter side it's not the batsman that are only influenced by these edge-induction even the spectator feel the pinch. Imagine a legal betting ground and the odds are high on the batsman to succeed, and there comes a bowlers who does nothing but gets some to pass the edge and some take the edge, definitely the odds to succeed would remain the same.

I sure one day our commentators analyze this and come up with a new cliche 

PS: This theory and many more theories don't apply to Sehwag!

Teesra Kaun

First there was Dilip Kumar next Amitabh and then there is day light when we talk about bollywood superstars. One could argue the self proclaimed King Khan could be the next big thing. But again Aamir Khan with his heart touching and versatile performance could give SRK a run for his money. 
Running with the same analogy INDIA have struggled to produce the next bowling superstar since Kapil and Srinath. One could argue that Zak could have come close if only he was injury free.  

It was sometime in the early 90's a sober looking thick mustached bowler with an in-swinger that broke Lanka De-Silva's teeth emerged into the scene. Srinath was a bowler with genuine aggression in his deliveries not in his looks or words. Neither did he swear nor abuse the batsman but seldom rattled their stumps n bones, was rightly called the Mysore express.

Partner-in-Crime Prabharkar was a genuine talent but never rose to the occasion. He was a captain's dream, opening the bowling and batting in the same game was a rare talent (only possible in gully cricket) which only a few have achieved it. His ability to swing the ball late and both ways made him special, but lack of discipline in his bowling yielded . And his in-ability to bounce back and resort to spin coupled with politics and fixing allegation closed the doors.

If Steve Waugh started to bowl the back-of-the-hand slow ball, Venkatesh Prasad mastered it. He along with Srinath formed a in-swinger-leg-cutter duo which had only made Ravi Shastry's boundary-to-end-the-over famous. Prasad's lack of pace coupled with slower-ball over kill not only ended his career but ended india's next.     

Amidst this chaos there arose a lean but large hearted Agarkar who surprised the bastmen with his extra pace. He had the skill and hunger that a fast bowler needed to succeeded, but his appetite to consume runs back fired more often that not. The fact that he leaked far too many runs completely overshadowed the valuable wickets he took. 288 ODI wickets @ 27 a piece in comparison with  Srinath's 315 @ 28 and Zaheer's 278 @ 29 isn't bad, but that fact that he wasn't reliable just explains why cricket is just beyond numbers.

Year 2000 was a turning point for INDIAN cricket, spectators finally saw an INDIAN running in and firing yorkers and bouncers at will. Finally INDIA had a bowler who could scare and menace the batsmen, Zaheer had the right attitude and aptitude a fast bowler needed to possess; but his injuries and weak lower body yielded far too frequently. But post English county stint he re-invented himself and has emerged more skillful and tactful south paw since the great Wasim. He still has a long way to go to be the 3rd best.

Nehra possessed a skill no fast bowler ever exhibited before; laziness & lack of commitment. He is a perfect example for right aptitude and wrong attitude; bad mouthing and sledging your own fielders can only take you so far. Couple that with a weak and fragile body is just short of disaster.The highest point of his career was in the 2003 WC where he and Zaheer were instrumental in INDIAN's success, but that is the farthest he could go. 

Irfan Pathan with little or no first class experience had the right attitude and hunger a fast bowler needed to possess, he achieved instant success both at home and abroad. Coupled with decent batting touted him to be next Kapil, he couldn't bear the weight of the expectation. Generally fast bowlers gain pace and learn variation during their learning process which Irfan didn't. Learning to swim or cycle is a skill that can't be unlearned, so is bowling. But Irfan began to unlearn his swing that made him what he was. Either it was a technical issue or a mental block he never could get back his original self. He made multiple come back and each time looked mediocre at best. Now with dozens of fast bowlers emerging from all parts of the country one can only hope we get back the original Pathan.

That one extra over bowled by Ishant to Ponting is still one of the best overs by an INDIAN. After 4 years and 45 test matches Ishant is just 23 years and he should have been a spear head now but still bowls like a new-comer. He neither can be played as a strike bowler nor as a bowler who stems the flow of runs. He has the right attitude but one can doubt the aptitude. One can just hope that he tests the batsman's patience and not the selector's

With little of what we have seen Umesh Yadav has shown a lot of promise, genuine swing pace bowler. Finally INDIA gets its first bowler who looks like one, wide shoulder and big biceps helps him generate pace. One can only hope that he holds on to the burden of bulk of the bowling on his wide and broad shoulders and keep our hunt for the Teesra Kaun - ON

The Fabulous Quartets

Marshal, Roberts, Holding and Garner were the corner stones on which the West Indian team of the 70's was build. They formed the pace quartet which battered rest of the globe for 15 years. If Marshall had the outswinger at brisk pace, Roberts played with batsman's mind and could move the ball both ways of the track, Holding was the whispering death, silently knocking the batsman down. Garner the meanest of the lot in terms on runs given, delivered yorkers at will from the sky. 

Bedi, Prasanna, Venkat and Chandra formed the spin quartet of 60's and 70' which became the most destructive force and a deadly combinations in world cricket, especially on the dusty subcontinental pitches. Though they only played 1 test match together, these men contributed towards INDIA's memorable victories. Bedi was the spinner with pacer's aggression, Prasanna was an illusionist who could fool the batsman with his flight, Call it GOD's gift for his inability to rotate his shoulder smoothy Chandra's pacy leg spinners were tuff to handle from around with wicket and men around the bat. Venkat had variations that was needed for an offspineer to succeed. 

Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly formed the first batsman quartet of the 20th century under whom INDIA won many matches than they lost overseas. Tendulkar milked the runs by attacking at will and it was pretty amazing that that most bowlers only sledged once and never after, Dravid bored the opposition out with his patience, Laxman made bowler re-think where his offstump was, it didn't matter which direction the ball was moving the direction of ball leaving his bat was unpredictable. Ganguly relied much on his gutsy instincts and timing, the fact that he could thread the ball past 3 fielder b/w cover point scared the hell out of the bowlers.

Steyn, Morkel, Kallis and Philander definitely are touted to be the Big 4 of our generation. On seaming and bouncy tracks of South Africa they have ripped through the thick batting line up. Their real test is when they start bowling on the National Highways in INDIA and the flat track bullies start butchering them. Steyn and Morkel have proved what pace can do even in the slow subcontinent pitches during the IPL, Kallis always thrived with his change of pace. The real test would be whether Vernon Philander would spit out his Venom when he arrives to the subcontinent. Add a bit of humidity and stickiness in the wicket and you land in Sri Lanka.   

Right after Ganguly was asked to retire from Test Cricket back in 2008 INDIAN team was in the hunt for the next fab 4. Yuvraj was the obvious choice for Ganguly's replacement but couldn't cement his place despite some useful knocks at crucial times. His technique and temperament rather lack of it yielded under spin, seam and swing. Raina is a proper mathematical union of Ganguly's problems and Yuvraj's problem, one only wished he had intersection of their class. Make no mistake he is a good ODI and CSK batsman and that is far he can go.

Four years ago if they said Virat would play test cricket it would have been a joke but he turned that joke into reality and could be one of the future fab 4 INDIA is looking for. His temperament and technique was no doubt amongst the best but his inability to play the shot ball was exposed in the Caribbean. But his gutsy maiden ton in the down-under series have raised a few hopes. He is among few cricketers who has re-earned his test cap in such a short time span.

As humans we all like to do the what-if-analysis, and Rohit is a perfect candidate for this. It's the out-of-nowhere innings that Rohit plays gives us the picture of what he could achieve. And fortunately for Rohit things are going in the right direction; good IPL and if followed with good INDIA A series he might earn a test cap. And if things fall in place he could be the second of fab 4.

It took just 2 innings in IPL5 for Rahane to show the world what his firstclass-avg-68-avg couldn't; that he was a talent worth investing. He along with Dravid showed that T20 cricket could be played with straight bat and a high elbow. He has the right technique to play the moving ball but his temperament is yet to be tested in the longer format. With the glimpse of what we have seen in England and IPL it wouldn't be wrong in projecting Rahane as the 3rd of fab 4.
Pujara is one of those where-is-he-from cricketer whose projection is based on the 72 that was scored in the 2nd innings against AUS. Nobody really knows what his best shot is nor does any know his weakness. But should he could earn the test cap with the shear runs at domestic is debatable. His gutsy 96 n.o against West Indies A team might eliminate any doubt and could be our last of the fab 4.

Captan key funday

Captain's influence on the team's performance is much like the electric-assist on the bicycles. You need to put in the initial couple of pedals for the motor to kick in and then your subsequent pedals are eased off with the electric assist. Failing to pedal at any point will only slow down the bicycle putting extra pressure on legs. So a bad motor read non-performing-captain will not only slow down the bike but also make the manual pedaling tougher so is the converse true. 

While the nation awaits for the one last show at 2012 IPL championship, its time for some retrospection from the captain's perspective for the future. During this course of 70 odd games for over 6 weeks of INDIAN summer we have noticed some stunning individual performances. Some crucial moves and some lame team selections and some brain freezes from the captains. Some players have stepped up and have answered a few if and but questions, some continued to be a flash in the pan and some have proved that they are still mediocre and will continue to be as is. There would be time in every cricketer's life i-wish-i-captained-a-team moment. Some earned it, some were entrusted upon.  

DJ Hussey, Gambhir have been the stand out electric-assists who have made use of the resources and turned them into gold. Nobody had given Kings Punjab a chance pre and post Gilchrist limp, but DJ inspired his troops with some tactical and logical moves. Probably only DJ figured out that Praveen Kumar is worth gold only when used 4 overs upfront. If only Punjab had consistent foreign players the out come of the games would have been different. 

Gambhir realized that he is the best opener in the hut and KKR's fortune took a giant leap. He brought back the left armers charm back in to cricket making a mockery of the commentary's theory of can't-play-2-left armers-in-a-team. Eden has proved to be a slow track and he chose his bowlers based on that. He has proved that playing your best bowler in a game is the key, even if it means playing all 3 spinner. In a era where off-spinners-can't-be-attaching Gambhir used Sunil Narine as an attacking bowler which made him even more deadly. No wonder batsman chanted Narayan Narayan.  

Sehwag's captaincy began to yield much like his batting on green conditions. He inspired DD with his attacking bowling options and murderous batting. 3 bowlers bowling at 90 Mph is a Neighbors-envy-owner's-pride moment, bundle it with 2 good left armers is beyond decent attack. Suddenly lack of logic or baseless instincts got the better of him. Nobody can decipher why Taylor was batting so low down the order, or why Morkel was expelled at Russel's exp or why Venugopal played so many less games. Who and why was Sunny Gupta bowling his first over of IPL on a crucial game? Frankly all these have one word answer Sehwagology. Your guess is a good as mine, yup see-the-ball-hit-the-ball. 

Harbhajan believed in the theory that every bottle needs new opener each time. The fact that who opens with Sachin was decided with a role of dice on the roulette table is pretty amazing. Only thing that was consistent in the team was Malinga's boot yorkers. Not playing Pragyan Ojha meant he didn't enjoy too many variations and options, just like his bowling his captaincy was guiless, flat and straight. And no-of-balls Pollard bowled out numbered the balls he was allowed to face only meant, Bhajji was promoting INDIAN batsman. Assuming that a bowler will bowl with the same accuracy in two different spells is like assuming a first innings centurion to score another in the 2nd innings. There is something called rhythm and condition which the bowler was in, breaking it is a sin and was evident in Dhawal's bowling. After bowling 2 good overs decision to give a 3rd over is the tipping point for a team in this IPL. Of-course cricketing logic doesn't prevail when malinga is bowling.  
Ganguly with his limited T20 abilities could only take a team so far; inspiration, motivation and strategy can only be productive when there are legs to execute it. Pune was low cost motor with weak legged cyclist who had a huge heart. It would be an under-statement to say they over-achieved with the talent they had. They had second string players from each team and who lacked big game abilities. Nothing much needs to be spoken about Ganguly's captaincy it's all proved and up for display.

Kohli couldn't in fact use Spin-King-Murli a suffocating-bowler than a bullet-in-the-head bowler was the reason why RCB were in the situation which they didn't want to be in. Lack of competency from the locals/Virat meant Vetori had to step down to play Murli. And Gayle-can-chase-anything led to the defensive bowling. Also Gayle-de-Villiers heroics and Vinay-n-co's anti-heroics made captains role inconsequential overshadowing any role a captain could play. 

One innings of murdering mediocre bowlers plus one-off-day-for-malinga neither makes Dhoni a good T20 batsmen nor his lackluster on-field captaincy and could inspire any one. Fact that all his misfire-ploys are treated as experiments by the critics is baffling. He is the only captain in the entire sporting history to manipulate his batting positions based on situations. Looking after teams-interest is one view not-exposing-weakness is other view, intelligent can take their pick.
It's a conundrum how people just up their game when playing for CSK, neither Morkel nor Bravo have played so consistently for any other team for such a long duration. The fact that Vijay n Ashwin step up when they play for CSK led us believe there is something magical about the team meetings.

So its not just CSK vs KKR this Sunday, but its a battle 2 future INDIAN ELECTRIC-ASSIST MOTOR banking on its strong foreign legs to cross the finish line.

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