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Bipolar Cricket

by Naked Cricket


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KKR – #IPL7PervView

by Naked Cricket

This team has more baggage than Louis Vuitton. Most of the Final  XI are no longer part of their national squad.

Skipper, Gambhir, has a team of amazing has-beens. The very reason for this team is the nostalgia they serve at the post match party.

The memory chest overruns with Gambhir and Kallis on top.  Manish Pandey was the first Indian to score an IPL 100. Uthappa hasn’t done much since he doffed his imaginary hat vs. Pakistan in 2007. Yusuf Pathan.  Where do you start with Yusuf? You could ask his dad? Or Irfan? Or speak to his chewing gum. They all will have a tale to tell.

“..and what a time it was, it was...”

And if this wasn’t enough, there’s the Blast-from-the- Piyush Chawla.

If only these guys could play in sepia.

But all play they will, for Gambhir has to prove them wrong. The Avengers come to mind. Only KKR does not have an A in it.

But there is thought to this team, and it challenges Gambhir, Yusuf, Uthappa, Chawla – to start thinking, from has-beens to wannabes to will-bees, to who knows, maybe even a Beatle. Chawla would be Ringo. Gambhir, Lennon. Uthappa, Paul. And Yusuf, George.

Vinay Kumar would be the 5th Beatle.

But what will Umesh Yadav be? From being India’s go-to bowler, he’s either injured or benched, even Varun Aaron’s beamers play before him.  Yadav has played only 1 T20 international.  Ishant Sharma has played 14, going at 8.63 runs per over, 8 wickets, average 50. Their IPL numbers though are woefully similar. As are most Indian medium fast types.

Other firangs have their own baggage: Shakib, KKR barely play him, not foreign enough for them.  Should be their first overseas’ player.  Kallis started with Wasim Jaffer and Chanderpaul in RCB’s famous Test Playing IPL team. Since then, he’s retired from Test cricket. Kallis can bat, bowl and grow hair. But in spite of all his greatness, there’s way too much method in his batting to be your go-to-T20 batsman top of the order. Can’t you see that dot played straight to cover with that beautifully angled bat?

Andre Russell inhabited the DD bench more than Tiwary, India’s. And when Russell did play, he bowled that one over, that invariably was his last.  Morne Morkel was dropped by DD for a qualifier/semi-final/Eliminator ; yeah, one of those things, when he was their top bowler. And he’s seen some bad days in the IPL, bowls length, almost as readily as Ishant. Gets hammered, like Ishant. But can run through the batting, unlike Ishant. But if you watched him slide and sort-of-field, your heart with bleed for the turf and his limbs in equal measure.

And then there’s Sunil Narine, who doesn’t quite fit into this team but won them the tournament, outsourcing it’s called.

Likely Playing XI (batting order)
1 Gambhir
2 Kallis
3 Manish Pandey
4 Uthappa
5 Shakib
6 Yusuf Pathan
7 Ryan Ten Doeschate / Chris Lynn / Cummins / Morne Morkel
8 Piyush Chawla
9 Narine
10 Vinay Kumar
11 Umesh Yadav / Bisla

KKR could make the playoffs, either for the top four or the bottom two: depends how far can one man’s belief in his jaded army can take them?   

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From MI to MIK - Mumbai Indians (Keepers) #IPL7PervView

by Naked Cricket

Why Dinesh Karthik was not retained by the Indians is a mystery – he could have been the standby wicketkeeper for the other five in the squad.

Ben Dunk(26), CM Gautam(27), Ambati Rayudu (28), Aditya Tare(26), Sushant Marathe (28) are the five keepers on board.

At 28, Karthik also falls into the favoured age grouping of MI keepers, 26-28.

But Karthik was picked by his old team, the Delhi Daredevils, who prefer buying their discards (Ross Taylor’s in too) just so that they remember why they didn’t retain them in the first place.

But this is not about Delhi and Mumbai, this is Mumbai vs. Mumbai.

As always, Mumbai’s dugout outclasses those off the bench – SRT, Kumble, John Wright, Anita Ambani and the numerous kids she will pose with.

What does MI have other than their five wicketkeepers?

Rohit Sharma. Captain. Defending Champion. Pout-face. Dot balls on top will be vital in playing out the power play without taking undue risks. Followed by a brainfade in over 6.2, batting on an accomplished 28 (26), 1 6, 3 4s. Is best suited for four, but will open. But he’s captain, should bat at four, this is not Team India.  

There’s Pragyan Ojha, who is now resigned to not playing for India again, yet again.

Ojha has played 6 T20Is – how he squeezed those many can only be attributed to Bhajji taking off for his recording duties.

He played these games between June 2009 – June 2010.

The rise of Ravindra (a.k.a Jadeja) ended whatever faint hopes Ojha might have had; and unless he can quickly acquire a tag as flash as Sir, say Menial, this could be it.

Also, ever since VVS retired, Ojha has lacked the same deranged motivation in his running.

Ojha, who should be MI’s strongest spinning link, could go missing this season.

Which leaves us with Harbhajan Singh. Yes, he’s still playing cricket.

Michael Hussey will open the batting, and I envisage, the Mathew Hayden of old (make that very old) in his last season making a guest appearance – he could also be possessed by Ponting’s last Waltz last year.

There’s Malinga, who if he’s not captaining, and not taking orders from others, will not be able to dish out Yorker-Fries outside off that even The Greatest IPL Player Of All Time, Dhoni, was unable to counter. To err is Divine.

Zaks, if he’s back from the French Riviera again, will look leaner yet again. He will play initially, and half way through the season he won’t.

Corey Anderson and Keiron Pollard of reputations so great, the IPL will bow before them.

How Corey Anderson goes will decide MI’s season, or maybe it won’t, but I think it could. He should bat no lower than four, ideally at three.

MI though, has in the past been reluctant to bat Pollard anyway higher than eight, though I recall he did come in at seven once, but had to return for a photo-shoot.

Hell, Santokie may not get a game. But Bumrah could, and with that mad-hatter action, will be the best thing for MI this season.

The Playing XI: (batting order)
1 Michael Hussey
2 Rohit Sharma
3 Corey Anderson
4 Ambati Rayudu
5 Pollard
6 Tare / Gautam / Marathe*
8 Zaks / Bumrah / Shreyas Gopal
9 Bhajji
10 Malinga
11 Ojha

*Could play away games too. 

MI won't win this season. They don't have a reason.

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Venn India Plays Pakistan

by Naked Cricket


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When the IPL comes to the U.A.E.

by Naked Cricket

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Mohammad Kaif Plays Politics

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Virat Kohli's Reaction to No. 1 Ranking

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Shakib vs Srini

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Shakib crotch-grab video

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Cricket Travel

by Naked Cricket

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h/t Babu

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Brendon McCullum: Before & After Triple Century

by Naked Cricket

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h/t Aanchal on photoshop

Brendon McCullum's 302 lasted 775 minutes. 

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