Thursday, March 11, 2010
Chennai Super Kings preview
Chennai Super Kings have been a formidable unit in the IPL. CSK finished runner up in the first IPL and were able to reach the the semifinals in 09. The title has eluded them on both occasions, but they would again be considered as strong contenders in the third edition of the IPL.
As we know that CSK are captained by the present Indian captain Dhoni and by the looks of it he is a very good man manager. It has to be said that Dhoni and Fleming make a very good combination of captain and coach respectively.
Of course among the Indian players the first name that can come to anyone's mind would be Dhoni. He has been fantastic for India, especially in the shorter formats of the game. He has shown enough times that he isn't just a powerful hitter, but can also play with a cool head and rotate the strike well. Surprisingly he hasn't done that well for India in the T/20 format as he has a strike rate of just over 100, but there is no doubting the fact that he can be fantastic in the T/20 version as well. His wicketkeeping too has improved and as I said before, as a captain he seems to be a very good man manager. Parthiv Patel has again been selected in the squad. The former wicketkeeper of the Indian team has improved his batting and did reasonably well for the CSK team in 08 as he gave good support to the bully Haydos, but on the bouncier tracks of South Africa he did struggle a bit as the bowlers were able to cramp him for room easily, maybe he can again do better in Indian conditions. He is powerful square off the wicket and the bowlers would better stay away from giving him the width. Vijay too has played for India and he is a fine strokemaker, but didn't done well for the CSK team in 09. If he gets some form under his belt he can open the batting with Haydos as Patel is more of a stop gap option at top of the order. Raina did well in 09 and his aggressive game is suited to the shorter formats of the game. Another player, who likes width and on his day can just make a mincemeat of the opposition bowlers. Badani is a experienced cricketer who also has played for India. I don't know whether this fluent stroke-maker would get a chance to play as the side does look strong. Badrinath has scored tons of runs in domestic cricket, but may not be suited to the T/20 format as he may struggle to score quickly. Among the all rounders, they do have Ashwin. He did get selected for the one-day series against the Saffers, but wasn't selected to play in any of the matches. He seems to be a utility cricketer, who can bowl steady off spin and can score quickly. He is the sort of cricketer that most team would like to have in the T/20 format.
Among the Indian bowlers, they do have Gony, Balaji, Jakarti, Tyagi and Ganapathy. A good bunch of bowlers and it can tough for the management to select the bowlers as there are some fine foreign player too.
Balaji got injured a few years back and as a result seems to have lost pace. He may never again play for India in test cricket, but has developed good variations of pace and disguises it well. He has a very effective slower bouncer. Gony is tall and gets bounce and did well in the first IPL, but can also give width and get smashed. He is still too inconsistent for my liking. Tyagi can hit the bat hard and enjoyed the bouncier tracks of South Africa as it suited his bowling, but would be tested in Indian conditions. He is also known to get reverse swing and that may just help him to get a place in the side as reverse swing has become a important weapon in the subcontinent. IMO Tyagi can be a fine bowler for the Indian team. Jakarti did well last year in the IPL as well. He can bowl restrictive left arm spin and as I said before, left arm slow bowlers like him can be hard to get away and can be a asset to the side in the subcontinent. Ganpathy has a good record in domestic cricket, but may have to warm the benches as there are some fine bowlers in the side.
The squad has some fine Indian players and that should help them. One has to always remember that seven of the 11 players in IPL should be Indian players and foreign player won't be available all the time.
Among the foreign recruits, one can't easily look past Haydos. He uses his reach and has the ability to just bulldoze the bowlers down the ground. Thankfully for other nations he has retired from international cricket as he would have been devastating even in the T/20 format. Just like last year, he would be the key player at top of the order. CSK have also bought Kemp. He is another player, who likes to hit down the ground. He did play for a brief period in the ICL, but has made a come back and has been in good form in South Africa's domestic cricket. His bowling may not be as useful as it used to be, but can be a good buy for the CSK team as he is a fine striker of the ball. I have never been a huge fan of Albie Morkel, though he has been rated highly. He hits only in certain like either he would make room and hit it through the off side, or would look to heave it through the mid wicket region. If the bowlers do look to cramp him for room he can really struggle. He is a bit better against the slower bowlers but IMO is overrated. His bowling too is very inconsistent. Hussey too is in the side and he can be useful in this format. IMO he is a bit underrated in T/20 cricket. He can rotate the strike well and has the shots to score quickly. If he plays at number 5 for the team he can be very useful. Hussey is also a fine fielder and that is another plus for the side. The only caveat though, is just like few other players he is at present playing for Australia in the Kiwiland. Bailey seems to be a decent prospect and did reasonably well for the Tassie side in the Ford Ranger cup. Oram, the big all rounder at present is injured and to be honest other than Bangladesh, I can't remember the big Jake scoring lots of runs against any other team for ages. Perera, the young all rounder from Lanka can smash it a long way and can surprise the batsmen for a bit of pace. Ntini is still in the squad, though one could see in the recently concluded against England that he is a spent force and may have to warm the benches.
I do rate Kemp higher than Morkel and he is in good form in South Africa's domestic cricket. I do have a feeling though, they would go for Morkel purely based on reputation and maybe as he did well in the first edition of the IPL, but off late he has been found out by the opposition bowlers and has lost form as a bowler. As Huss would play test matches in NZ, I may have Bailey for the first few matches of the tournament as he would be available after Australia play those five onedayers in the Kiwiland. I'm not yet convinced about Badri, but he seems to be a better option than Patel. I do rate Tyagi better than Gony as he is more consistent and Ganpathy is perhaps a bit unlucky to miss out, but there can only be 11 players in a side!
CSK have suffered a few injuries yet, they do have the required artillery to be considered as one of the contenders for this edition of the IPL.