Tag Archives: Sunil Narine

IPL 2013 – Dream Eleven

Ganesh Subramanian draws out his dream 11 based on the performances of stars in IPL 2013. Do you agree. 

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1. Mike Hussey: The orange cap winner can walk into any team based on his reputation alone. But as is the quality with great players, they hardly rest on their laurels. Mike Hussey takes the opener’s spot in the playing eleven purely on the basis of his consistency this season. Only in four innings in this year’s IPL does he have scores of less than 20. That should tell us something about this Western Australian’s amazing run of form this year.

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2. Chris Gayle: If we look at consistency, Gayle would have struggled to find a place. But given that he has changed his game a little bit particularly in this year’s IPL where he took his time, saw off the threat of the new ball (atleast for 2 overs. I know threat of new ball in T20 hardly makes sense) and then went about his merry ways and pulverized bowling attacks, makes him even more fearsome. I am sure Pune Warriors would agree with this.

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3. Rahul Dravid: Having batted at this position for India for years, he is no stranger to walking in and trying to repair the innings in case of early loss of wickets. Although Dravid opened in most of the matches for RR, still I slotted him at number three for the stability factor.

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4. Shane Watson: This batting mainstay of Rajasthan also finds a spot easily purely on his allround abilities. Providing crucial breakthroughs with his bowling & batting with a demonic power makes Watson an invaluable asset to any team.

5. A B Devilliers: A brilliant fielder, an excellent wicketkeeper and a freakish batsman, ABD has the ability to turn matches on its head by his sheer genius. His unorthodox batting at the death overs has left many a bowler bewildered.

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6. Dwayne Bravo: The purple cap holder on current form finds a place in the eleven. Despite getting his wickets at a higher economy rate, he has been the go-to man for CSK in the death overs often tilting matches in CSK’s favour in the end overs. Plus with Dwayne around, there would be no need of an entertainer too.

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7. M S Dhoni: Captain of India has also continued his success story well into the IPL. Leader of the most successful and the most consistent franchisee in IPL history, MSD’s finishing capabilities will see him walk into any playing eleven with ease.

8. Azhar Mahmood: This Pakistani born British citizen has often helped Punjab with hi experience this season. Apart from picking wickets regularly for Punjab, his promotion to the No. 3 slot helped him rediscover his batting abilities as well.

9. Sunil Narine: Amongst the top 5 wicket takers in this year’s IPL, Sunil Narine is a definite pick for the spinner’s slot given the mystery he brings with him. Even if he doesn’t pick wickets, he has ensured that the run rate doesn’t increase by bowling economically.

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10. Lasith Malinga: The slinga from Srilanka after a quiet start to the tournament has got his rhythm back in the last few games. He was instrumental in derailing Chennai’s chase in the final by picking up Hussey and Raina with well thought out deliveries. His variety at the death makes him indispensable.

11. Amit Mishra: Again on current form in the IPL, Amit Mishra picks himself. With crucial wickets in the middle overs and a potent googly making his leg break more effective, Amit Mishra has played a major part in Sunrisers getting into the playoffs.

This list aims at picking at the eleven best possible players to form the dream team. Lot of excellent players may have been left out and this list in no way should be considered demeaning them.

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Five Reasons KKR Don’t Deserve To Retain Their IPL Crown

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As KKR lose another one, Ganesh Subramanian writes why he thinks Kolkata Knight Riders might not win the IPL 6. 

Captain RED: I call Gambhir captain RED because he has been a personification of anger all through the season, yelling and screaming at the bowlers and fielders. He looks more and more like a wrestler in a steel cage match than a senior pro in KKR. One could argue that Gambhir was always aggressive but venting out and yelling at players especially when your team is losing is not the right example that is expected from a captain. He can take a leaf out of MS Dhoni’s books but will he, considering the love-hate relationship between the two.

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The ineffective smiling assassin: Baptized as “The Smiling Assassin” by commentators, L. Balaji has hardly given any reasons for his captain to smile this season. In fact his smiles have reduced this season. Balaji has been at the receiving end of a volley of fire from his captain on more than one occasion. His effective performance was one of the reasons behind KKR’s title run last year with 11 wickets at an average of 14.72 and an economy rate of 5.40 in 8 matches. This year in 8 matches he has taken 5 wickets at an average of 52.60 and an economy rate of 8.34. Death bowling which was his forte looks like his biggest Achilles Heel.

The Unreliable Mr. Reliable: Jacques Kallis has struggled with the bat thereby negating the team’s need for stability at the top of the order. In previous seasons, when Kallis opened the innings he generally batted as many overs as possible thus making the other batsmen revolve around him or if he batted at one down, in the case of quick wickets, he provided the much needed stability to the middle order. This is lacking this season and Kallis lacklustre batting has robbed KKR of the stability needed. Although his bowling still remains potent, KKR would be expecting more form the bat of the South African veteran, if they are even to be in with an outside chance of making it to the playoffs.

Yusuf “Flop” Pathan: Yusuf Pathan has become a liability for KKR. With a reputation of a big hitter, he has hardly done anything to preserve the reputation this time. Even changing positions in the batting order hasn’t helped his cause. Although he has chipped in and been amongst the wickets, KKR needs Yusuf – the exploding dynamite, rather than a handy offie.

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Over dependence on Sunil Narine: Although Sunil Narine has been among the leading wicket takers in the tournament so far, the team’s over dependence on him has left Gambhir with few options. GG tends to use Narine often after the 12th over, thereby rendering the opposition’s batting onslaught ineffective. But as CSK showed the other day, on good batting tracks, the threat of Narine can be countered. The only wicket that Narine took in the match against CSK was more of the batsman getting out trying to up the ante rather than Narine outfoxing Hussey. Teams have started to play out Narine or better still attack him on flat batting tracks.

While die-hard KKR supporters may argue that these problems can be fixed before the end of the season and Kolkata can reach the playoffs, I think it’s difficult especially with Kolkata on 6 points with 3 wins in 9 matches. They have to win 6 out of the remaining 7 matches which is a tough ask.

4 Reasons Why We Love Rajasthan Royals

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An underdog and low-cost side, Rajasthan Royals have always performed, risen to the occasion, delivered and had one star puller. Here are 4 reasons you cannot deny being a fan.

  1. First Shane Warne and now Rahul Dravid, this team has always had one leader around whom a brigade of young players play. This icon player is chosen with due diligence. He is senior and credible enough to motivate and inspire and makes sure the team hinges around him. A clear case of a leader in charge vis-a-vis other teams where we almost on all occasions see everyone a part of the discussions and multiple thought processes working.
  2. The underdog quotient works big time for them. They neither have Dhoni, nor Tendulkar, nor Yuvraj Singh, but what they do have is a bunch of youngsters like Kevon Cooper, Ajinkya Rahane, Siddharth Trivedi and the likes who lift the spirit when needed the most. Who perform out of their skins to show they are no less, at least in a format which requires flamboyance more than any other thing. Take for example their last game against Kolkata. Sunil Narine was bowling his last over of another great spell and the Royals were struggling to get to 140. Who came to the party, a relatively unknown Dishant Yagnik. He hit a six and four and damaged a spell that could have so well been a match winning one.
  3. This is one team which has taken the setbacks of losing their stars pretty well. If Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja were two key players for them in their winning first season effort, they lost both of them in the re-auctions. The loss probably impacted the players more as both Jadeja and Pathan have looked a pale self after having been disassociated with the Royals.
  4. Like all Indian rulers, especially from the state of Rajasthan, this team has made their home ground a fortress of sorts. They hardly lose a game, leave losing a game, it is pretty difficult to have them on the mat here even on occasions. Someone or the other pulls off something spectacular and victory comes home. This is one of their most attractive capabilities which need to be mentioned about them.

Not that there aren’t any more reasons (yeah Shilpa Shetty is definitely one reason which attracts loads of eyeballs) but to me these four are the key ones. We like this team because of a spirit and fight we don’t see from many other big sides in the tournament and we also like them because with Rahul Dravid at the helm they always keep the spirit of the game on top, even in a format where aggression is justified on occasions. 

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