Some Thoughts on IPL 2.0

61 Comments

[Long Post]

Despite being a self-professed connoisseur of Test cricket, I find the IPL a guilty pleasure in the same way that the sitcom “Friends” is.

Initially of course as dismissive of IPL as everyone else I have since come to enjoy its proletariat “masala” pleasures, spending many hours conjecturing as to who will get slapped by whom (the odds are high that KKR will be involved this time in the Lijjat papad thappad), which cheerleader will reveal the DLF maximum and which cricketer gets a Priety moment of success in IPL 2009.

However what really fascinates me about the IPL is that it brings to the game complexities that did not exist previously in international cricket. With national teams, management were restricted to the pool of talent inside its own political boundaries while selecting an eleven. If you were Bangladesh then Habibul Bashar was the best that you got. Period.

But the IPL has removed all political boundaries letting franchisees globally source their assets through competitive bidding in the true spirit of global commerce. Of course its not a question of blindly buying the best talent one can find since the amount a franchisee can spend has an upper bound. The question then of what is “best” is predicated by the price —-Ishant Sharma may be hot but was he really worth his 950,000 price tag? Mashrafe may get a few more eyeballs for the KKR franchise from Bangladesh but is he really worth what SRK paid for him? Then there are the restrictions of only ten non-Indian players in the entire roster and only four non-Indians in the playing XI. Not all players are available throughout the season. The team needs to be balanced at all times. Factoring in all these factors, it becomes evident what an extremely complicated  optimization problem buying an IPL squad is in a competitive bidding situation.

As to the composition of squads, Chennai Superkings and Delhi Daredevils have got it absolutely right. Of course they are reaping the benefits of hitting on the single most powerful strategy for IPL success in 2008 itself. That is to build a core of very strong A-list Indian batsmen and let the foreign imports perform around them.

Delhi has India’s best two T20 batsmen —Sehwag and Gambhir forming the core. And they have a number of other brilliant T20 players (attacking batsmen and most importantly some of the best fielders of the modern game) to supplement their spearheads —-Dilshan, De Villiers, Collingwood and the exciting David Warner. If Delhi Daredevils have any weakness other than Akshay Kumar as their brand ambassador (I am not sure he still is though) it is their bowling department, dependent as it is on the evergreen McGrath. And also to an extent on Daniel Vettori (though playing both McGrath and Vettori would allow them to choose only two non-Indians from their stellar list).

Talking about a stellar list, one needs to look no further than Chennai Superkings. While Dhoni and Raina, fearful as they are, are not Sehwag and Gambhir they are not a lot less. And they have an extremely strong support cast in the form of Hayden, Flemming among foreign imports and “almost A-list” Indian batsmen like Badrinath, Vijay and Parthiv . Where they stand head and shoulders above the Daredevils is in their all-round choices having two of the world’s best all rounders– Flintoff and Albie Morkel in their roster, players who can provide batting as well as bowling firepower. And of course not to forget Ntini and that other bowler …what’s his name…right….Muralidharan.

Another team that had understood the “get A-list Indian players principle” to form the team’s core in 2008 was Kings XI Punjab. Unfortunately in 2009 much of their players are no longer A-listers. V R V Singh has dropped off the radar. Sreesanth has been slapped out of public memory. Irfan Pathan’s star has been in decline. Yuvraj Singh—you never know what he is going to do. To compound their misery, Shaun Marsh and Brett Lee are coming off injuries not to forget that Lee had had a shocking last year. Of course they have two gems in Sangakkara and Jayawardene and with the Sri Lankans available full season, this team depends almost solely on the acumen of these two (considering Yuvraj has shown himself to have so little of it) to progress to the title.

Mumbai Indians looks interesting this year. Their philosophy, after the transfer of Zaheer Khan for Uthappa, has been to build a strong core of Indian bowlers (as opposed to batsmen) and with India’s two best T20 bowlers in their squad—Harbhajan and Zaheer they do look strong in that department. Their batting looks more suspect, depending largely on the performance of Sanath Jayasurya and Sachin Tendulkar and to an extent on Shikhar Dhawan, who despite being a stand-out performer in IPL 1.0, can at best be considered a second-rung Indian batsman. And no I am not forgetting JP Duminy , the flavor of the season. Still largely unproven at the international arena, his astronomically high price was a result of his immediate form leading upto the auction just like Ishant Sharma’s was last year. It will be interesting to see if he is able to live upto his high price, or whether he will flounder like Ishant Sharma.

Rajasthan Royals has always been the most innovative of the franchises. Though this time, they may have made a strategic mistake by dropping Ila Arun’s fearsome “Ar ar ar” war-cry for the comely Shilpa Shetty. Jokes aside, I am apprehensive about how much of last year’s success they will be able to replicate. True they have Graeme Smith in his own den and the specialist Henderson, IPL 2.0’s potential surprise packet. But their main strength from 2008—-Asnodkar, Yousuf Pathan and Jadeja, with their techniques, might have trouble adjusting to South African pitches to a greater extent than their more illustrious A-grade Indian colleagues. Combined with the fact that Shane Watson is coming off an injury, Shaun Tait is tremendously inconsistent, Kaif is a no-body, sensational Tanveer is absent and Rajasthan Royals are once again the underdogs. Which of course perfectly suits their style of cricket. Yes I see the paradox.

Bangalore Royal Challengers got their selection totally wrong last year. This year the wearer of Gandhi’s specs, the beer-king of India, has pulled out all stops and assembled a dream line-up. There is Dayle Steyn (the world’s best fast bowler) and Nathan Bracken (one of the world’s best T20 bowlers). There is the experience of Boucher and Kallis in South African conditions. There is the expensive superstar Kevin Pietersen whose abilities are boundless. There is the smoking hot in-form batting duo of Ryder and Taylor. Sounds mouth-watering? Only one problem. Only four of them can play at a time. And once that four is selected, the rest of the squad is pretty light-weight depending solely on Rahul Dravid and on the questionable technique of Robin Uthappa whose staying power in South Africa will be tested.

Kolkata Knight Riders has a problem similar to Bangalore. It does not have a core of A-list or even B-list Indian batsmen and relies solely on the likes of McCullum, Hussey, Gayle, Hodge to score runs. How match-fit and mentally “there” Ganguly is will be interesting to see though he typically does the best when challenged. Laxmiratan Sukla and Wriddhiman may have done the job in Indian conditions but South Africa might be a bridge too far for their talents. Bowling wise, Mendis will not be as big a factor as he would have been in India while Agarkar can always be safely relied upon to win matches for the opposition, even if the game were to played on the moon.

Deccan Chargers. One can be excused for forgetting that they even exist. They changed their jerseys recently. That’s about as much strategy that they have shown. However they have Symonds in their ranks. And that makes them worth watching. For various reasons.

Moving away from specific teams, one of the things that I will keep my eyes on is John Buchanan’s multiple captain experiment, which has now been watered down to “one captain but several strategists” but whose essence remains the same.  Stripped off all the management soft soap that Buchanan lathers on (which evidently team-owner Shahrukh Khan buys at face value, possibly to his ultimate detriment) what John essentially wants to do is to totally undermine the position of the traditional captain and make the coach i.e. himself all-powerful. (According to Gavaskar, another of John’s objectives is to give his near ones a steady income).

This is not the first time that Buchanan has tried to make himself the supreme overlord. Even as Australian coach, his consistent philosophy was to try to concentrate all authority in his hands — a fact that did not go down well with many Australian players at that time. Now at KKR and having been given a free hand to do whatever he wants, Buchanan wants to bring to fruition that old agenda of his—to reduce the captain to a cipher who does the toss and does the press conference. Because the concept of rotating/concurrent captains (as opposed to a single captain and some other senior players given charge of certain limited responsibilities which is what many teams including Ganguly’s national team has tried out) with the composition of the oligarchy depending solely on the coach’s whims essentially implies that there is no single point command center left in the playing eleven and all the real power rests with the coach.

From what we have seen in IPL 2008, it seems that Buchanan’s experiment runs counter to “best practices”. The most successful sides in the last edition were those with the dynamic captains (Warne and Dhoni) who were on the field and not in the dug-out. As a matter of fact Rajasthan Royals did not even have a separate coach with Warne being the player-coach, and by all considerations a very successful one at that. This year Chennai Super Kings has gotten rid of last year’s coach Kepler Wessels and made Stephen Flemming the player-coach. The reason for Wessels losing his job is evidently because he overrode Dhoni’s decision and sent Kapugadera ahead of Badrinath in the finals, a decision that spectacularly backfired. This leaves no doubt as to how Chennai Super Kings, which I think has consistently made some of the best decisions so far, views the captain vs the coach battle.

One of the things I will be keeping a lookout in this year’s IPL will be whether Buchanan will be able to go through with his plans, walk the walk and realize his “vision” (reminds me always of the last coach from Australia we saw with a vision). Or will he like, last time, remain the guy sitting in the dug-out scribbling away at his note-pad (strategy or sketches of the cheerleaders we know not) while his team plummets towards ignominy.

Another thing that interests me about the IPL is the role of retired, supposedly “over-the-hill” foreign players in the squads. Logically they should be stupendous failures in IPL because 1) they all come from an era when there was no T20, 2) T20 (we have been told) is an young man’s game requiring agility beyond the limits of the old-timers and 3) how would past greats from foreign lands motivate themselves to give their best for city-teams? However from what we saw in IPL 1.0, as opposed to being creaking old men merely going through the motions, people like Warne, McGrath, Pollock and Gilchrist excelled themselves with one of my best memories of IPL 2008 being the sight of McGrath mumbling angrily to himself everytime he got hit (he did come away with one of the best economy rates in the tournament), a glowing testament to the “pride of performance” that true professionals have.

This time my attention will be on Matthew Hayden. A made for T20 batsman and forced out of the Australian team after a run of poor form, he will be desperate to make a point, eager to show his critics that he still has many more obnoxious weeds to yank out. This provides him a strong motivation, beyond professional pride, to excel. Last season, it was Shane Warne who sought to prove to his critics that he had it in him to be an exceptional captain, an opportunity denied to him during his playing days. And boy did he put the “chuna” on the faces of his detractors including a particular super-coach from another franchisee. If Hayden can bring to his game even half the “Take that” passion that Warne brought, then sympathies to the opposition.

And finally of course, the greatest IPL spectacles will be the owners of the respective teams. Somehow IPL reminds me of the glories of the zamindari raj in Bengal, when rich indolent members of the landed gentry with infinite time and resources on their hands would spend their waking hours competing with each other organizing pigeon fights and grand Durga Pujas to outshine their rivals with the zamindars of yore being replaced by the Ambanis, the Mallayas and the Shahrukhs.

Just like the zamindars, the “team maliks” treat their players like pigeons. The bad zamindar (the Mallaya) shouts and does a Queen of Hearts-style “off-with-their-head” to the trainers (Charu Sharma, Martin Crowe) and the head pigeon (Dravid) when he feels slighted, the good zamindar (Shahrukh Khan) sends motivational SMSs and gifts end-of-season baksheeshs to his under performing pigeons and puts even greater trust on the questionable pigeon-master while the pretty zamindar just caresses the feathers of her pet pigeons and expects them to fight harder.

Yes IPL is about money and profits. But it is also about planet-sized egos. Whether it be Shahrukh Khan telling Sunil Gavaskar to buy his own team before teaching the Khan about cricket or whether it be the same SRK telling his bidders to go as high as needed but to not let Priety win or when SRK tells his team that winning is a matter of his “izzat” this is about as close to the khandani “zamindari’ style that we will ever get to see.

But for now silence. The musicians are here. The lights have been lit. The zamindars have thrown in their first lot of gold coins on to the stage.

Let the ta-thaiyaaa begin.

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61 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on IPL 2.0

  1. I want to understand about Lalit Modi’s past – he seems to have suddenly gotten into the limelight. [edited: no unsubstantiated allegations here please]

  2. And yet, will they get the same viewers as the last time around? Half the fun in v1.0 was going to the games and telling others to go for them and have fun – 7 matches in each city multiplied by an average crowd of 30,000 (not even counting the Eden, where you can cram three times as much) gives scope for at least 2 lakh people in each city to watch a game (not counting repeat visitors). 2 lakh * 50 games is a crore people who can spread the word. All missing this time ’round.

    Of course, it doesn’t matter much to me as I’m out of country; but wonder how things are back home…

  3. A good read.. what’s this ipod/eyepod story?

    expecting post on ‘shoe hurling at our Home Minister’.

    Rgds,
    g2

  4. Chennai Looks like the team to beat..

    my predictions on the Semifinalists
    Chennai
    Delhi
    Mumbai
    Hyderabad (Underdogs) -hoping they perform better this time around

    for the record IPL 2.0 will be a success and by the look of things it seems that the stadiums are going to be filled to capacity for most of the tournament.

  5. “spending many hours conjecturing as to who will get slapped by whom (the odds are high that KKR will be involved this time in the Lijjat papad thappad), which cheerleader will reveal the DLF maximum and which cricketer gets a Priety moment of success in IPL 2009.”
    LOL! GB humor at its sharpest…i loved IPL 1.0 and I hope IPl 2.0 is just as good but I do feel some of the atmosphere will be missing as it is South Africa… But then that does allow us a greater degree of freedom in the “Cheerleaders performance category” 😀

    Seriously I feel Delhi look the best team now especially with the 4 players max in playing 11.

  6. hilarious post. well done..
    why you left lalit modi alone? he deserves something for all the stunts! 😉
    and fingers crossed for kkr. and i think Srk is trying to make it just KR..

  7. Yep GB, even though I did not enjoy the first installment too much, but I did find it interesting in parts, and especially for all the dynamics you mentioned.

    Regarding the senior ‘over the hill’ players, I guess the difference is we in India are used to seeing players actually go over the hill, start their descent gather pace and only then let go off the national team.

    Whereas in Australia, these players you mentioned were just near the top of their hill and so weren’t actually expiry date players so they had actually cricket left in them.

    Just compare the performances of these players with those of Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and you see the difference.

  8. I am strongly registering my protest here for writing only a small paragraph about Deccan Chargers. Deccan Chargers has the only batsman who is superior to Don Bradman,i.e., V.V.S. LAXMAN. Title is ours this time.

  9. Its okay to compare SRK or Mallya with pigeon-fight organizing zamindars and IPL players with pigeons, but not acceptable to compare IPL followers with pigeon-fight viewing peasants? Weird logic! I was only taking your own observation to its logical conclusion, GB.. ;):D

  10. In some way, this shifting is good for Indians,
    watch IPL on TV, no security problem, no headache for gov., very good chance for BCCI to earn revenue as TV viewership will be very high, chance for Indian t20 toddlers to take a taste of SA pitches.
    what else, opportunity in disguise. 🙂

  11. My biggest gripe with IPL 1.0 was that it just went on and on. From my interactions with family/friends/colleagues during last year’s IPL, I could sense the interest level going down considerably towards the latter half of the tournament. I’d rather prefer two groups of four teams each. That should help cut down the total number of matches by 50% or so. Though, knowing the age-old Indian penchant for excess plus BCCI’s craving for money, I dont think the two-group format will ever get implemented, unless the number of franchises get increased to 10 or more.

  12. My money is on Delhi this time. Regardless of Dhoni and Raina’s capabilities with the bat, they are not as good as Sehwag and Gambhir.

    As for Kolkata, riven as they are with dissension and politics, they will be happy to end up anything but last. Barring a spectacular personal performance (doubtful) this is Sourav’s last IPL – SRK and Buchanan will not have him around next time for sure. Unfortunately the Kolkata crowd will miss personally seeing him in action in an international tournament for the last time. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    Buchanan has taken the football style of coaching very seriously; he considers cricket to be nothing more than a series of “plays” on field, according to specific pre-determined, anticipated situations. We know that in all sports where the opposition moves can be anticipated, the coach is king (American football, basketball, football, gymnastics – even chess. However in sports where the individual skills and idiosyncrasy matters, the people on the field are paramount – baseball, cricket, tennis etc.

    Buchanan is, as did Chappell before him (is this an Aussie thing?), trying to change cricket to a planned sport – which, mind you, is not necessary a bad idea in theory (the same efforts are on in most organizations in the world, standardization through systems and processes led by certifications like ISO and syatems like ERP)- but in practice goes against the grain of what cricket stands for. It’s the same kind of thinking that wants standardized pitches, ground sizes, turf and balls – anywhere in the world. It’s the McDonaldization of cricket.

    We can be derisive about it, and we might be right. But remember McDonalds IS, after all, the most popular food chain in the world. Sigh.

  13. The Superkings have Mike Hussey too. He is miles ahead of Hayden in the T20 format. He is the one to watchout for.

    As for my ‘home team’, the Chargers, they’ve done little to fix their biggest problem: the bowling attack. Fidel Edwards is the Shoaib Akhtar of West Indies, only withoyt the drugs and the haircut.

  14. Good job summing up each team.
    But summing up the IPL itself, you did great last year when you said it is all
    ‘Paisa phenko, tamasha dekho’
    Let the fun begin

  15. I feel you too did a much better job with the posts last year.. GB on IPL v 1.0 was way ahead of v 2.0

    This was a lot more serious than it should have been.

    Having said that, nice analysis. The Agarkar comment

    “while Agarkar can always be safely relied upon to win matches for the opposition, even if the game were to played on the moon”

    was spot on.

  16. Delhi Daredevils look strong contenders but they are constrained by the captaincy of Sehwag. His captaincy during IPL 1.0 and more recently the second NZ test was bad.

  17. great post..

    BTW Arnab, didn’t you once remark ‘I wish the IPL fails’ when you were writing on ICL if i remember right.

  18. Yes I did. I hate the BCCI and its Triads-like attitude towards the ICL. However I cannot deny that I love the IPL also. BTW I said that before I watched a single IPL game.

  19. Excellent write-up, except that i did not like the running down of Indian players who have performed well till date under different as well as difficult conditions. Each one of them have exhibited fighting spirit and skills and finally that is what matters.

  20. If the team owners are the zamindars, then lalit modi must be the english raj. seems like, no matter who wins or loses, he still wins.

  21. Swayambar
    Rakhi : Agar koi mujhe haath lagaye to
    Varun : main uska haath kaat doonga.
    Rakhi : Agar koi mujhe honth (lips)lagaye to
    Varun : main uska honth kaat doonga.
    Rakhi : Agar koi mujhe … lagaye to
    Varun : main uska … kaat doonga.

    Rakhi garlands Varun

  22. GB,

    You missed out the phenom called “Atul Sharma” who is an unknown drafted by the Rajasthan Royals. Ian Pont he of the “Fast bowlers bible” fame has been spreading titbits about Atul Sharma of how he can bowl at 105 mph etc.

  23. It is quite likely that IPL.2 would not draw as much crowds as IPL.1 did,but that must have been anticipated. Still, if it is even 60% as sucessful as IPL.1 was,it would open up new vistas and opportunities.The taste of the pudding is in eating it!

  24. I was checking the Knight Riders team online and found out that it has the biggest team in terms of numbers. Some of those “budding stars” have not even played a single domestic T20 game. What is the coach thinking ??? Is this some sort of training ground for future Zee TV ICL cricketers !!!!

    SRK says he has no money ….well then get rid of the flab in the team ….the 100s of support staff and these useless players …. man this is so annoying. Another season when the KKR are going to bite the dust.

    BTW anyone playing Fantasy cricket this time ?

  25. This is my Team “TheGangsters” :
    GC Smith at 95000
    G Gambhir at 100000
    SK Raina at 95000
    SA Asnodkar at 75000
    JA Morkel at 95000
    IK Pathan at 100000
    RA Jadeja at 75000
    MV Boucher at 75000
    Harbhajan Singh at 95000
    Z Khan at 95000
    DW Steyn at 95000

  26. STOP KNOCKING AGARKAR. He was’nt great. but was really amongst the best ODI bowlers we had at that time. mentally fragile, maybe, but so was everyone else. He could also have been a good test bowler, but was never given enough chances. If anybody remembers the 1999 series in Australila that we lost 3-0, they will know what I mean. he bowled some good spells there.

    S

  27. just a bit of sad news for all KKR fans out there . it just got worse ..
    Wridhiman Saha is out of IPL.2 due to finger injury during practise game.
    He was hit by guess who .. Dinda !! i guess Arnab’s prophecy of lijjat papad thappad already coming true .. it wont be long disgruntled teammates take out their rotating captains at the nets .. !! Its going to be a nightmare this time round for KKR .. god save them .. !!!

  28. John Buchanan’s multiple leaders’ concept got off to an inauspicious start on Tuesday, when the Kolkata Knight Riders lost both warm-up matches in Bloemfontein.

    The IPL franchise’s cricket manager, however, didn’t sound too disappointed. The Knights lost while chasing and after setting a target.

    “We didn’t have as good a day as we would’ve liked, but some good still came out of the two games (against Free State)… You’ve got to remember that we played T20 after a long time,” Buchanan told The Telegraph on returning to the team hotel.

    HAHAA….Wonder what good zamindar is doing now at the sight of his sorry pigeons

  29. @Kishor
    GB can be forgiven here for writing two big paragraphs about Chennai Super Kings and Bangalore Royal Challengers. I think that compensates for Deccan Chargers.

  30. Maybe the team that wins will be the team that has the best Item song 😛 and with shilpa shetty also having an IPL in her kitty…it would be…:P

  31. Even KKR wanted David Warner in their ranks but as I heard from the horses’ mouth that they were not able to recruit more than 10 international players and they have hired Hodge and Mendis already… Guess KKR’s loss is DD’s gain… Although they have to settle for Moises Henriques from SA.. and considering that IPL 2.0 is being played in SA that might not be a bad bet…. And I dont think DD’s has a better batting lineup specially when we see Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum in KKR… And we all know how Dada behaves when cornered … People have always dismissed him every now and then and he was back with a bang… Actually John has done a good thing by trying to dismiss Dada and we might as well see something special this time… But what confounds me is why the hell KKR recruiting Charl Langeveldt in their ranks???

  32. And again you people are actually blaming John for the mutliple captaincy theory… What you people have failed to notice is what KKR trying to do for Indian Cricket ??? Dibyo above has stated that KKR has a large talent pool … And thats what was one of the useful by-products of IPL is … It has thrown up a fresh talent pool for Indian Cricket and giving more oppurtunities … Let me cite you one example… Orissa is one of the states that has almost nil representation in India Cricket … Cricket there is so riddled by corruption that good talent always make way for the selction committee’s son or the patron’s nephew or the MLA’s friend… KKR has actually tried to scout talent in there without the board’s interference and give those a chance to those who are languishing because of reasons above… The end result?? People like Basanta Mohanty and Nataraj Behera being handed over a 1 year contract in KKR… Don’t you think that’s good ???

    In the interim John has arranged pratice matches for the KKR for the honing of the skills of the various players in the Australia and considering the conditions in Australia and SA … I think his hardwork will pay….

    You know GB, that one thing I liked about Deccan Chargers in the last IPL … They have lost maybe each and every match in their homeground in Hyderabad … Yet the fans used to turn in hordes to watch and cheer their team…

    You will say it’s because of the cheerleaders … I think I will say its because I think they love their team

    And strangely enough , I think you don’t have the same feeling for your team…

  33. GB,
    Disappointed to see that in the summary for KKR, you missed out mentioning Ashok Dinda.. he should do well in SA conditions. I will also love to see Goni play and get back in reckoning for the international call-up.

  34. Whatever one’s views may be on his arrogance, boorishness etc, one has to hand it to Lalit Modi. Ensuring that the show goes on despite so many last minute hiccups while carrying so many franchises along is no mean task. That man is a doer!

  35. RahulK: As to what you heard from the horse’s mouth, that’s actually an IPL rule. You cannot have more than 10 non-Indian players in your franchise. The selection of Mortaza was after they decided not to go for Warner so they still had slots open. And oh Moises isnt from SA where the tournament is being played. He is from Australia like Warner. Charl Langeveldt was their last moment stop-gap arrangement after Mark Cameroon opted out due to injury.

  36. Hey KKR won the only game against the Eagles in which Dada plyaed and scored 60 odd runs. My favourite domestic “upcoming” Indian batsman Pujara scored as well. I hoppe that kid sorts out his “short-ball” problem.

  37. Clarke backed out of the bid and was never contracted. Ponting and Michael Hussey wont get their payment for this year. And yes as far as I know, players are paid proportionately to the games played—thats why Gayle and the other West Indians were threatening to boycott national games and stay the season in IPL.

  38. @GreatBong : You got it wrong… They were allowed to have Mortaza only when IPL allowed them to have a replacement for Umar Gul… They were the first ones to go after Warner even b4 his much touted debut….

    See in IPL 1.0 all teams have hired 8 international players … KKR went out of way and went to hire Mendis and Hodge and used up their two remaning slots…

    Moises Henriques was hired when they released Shoaib Akhtar from their ranks

    and Yes I was wrong about Moises Henriques part … I always confuse him as a SA player….

  39. I think Dada is lying when he says that he didn’t know of the multiple captain theory. He knew this last year itself. Here’s the proof:

  40. The problem with kkr as somebody said in diffrent context.

    They can’t bat (macchulam, gyele excluded), They Can,t Bowl, They Can’t Field.

  41. @RahulK,

    “They were allowed to have Mortaza only when IPL allowed them to have a replacement for Umar Gul…”

    No. It is you have got it wrong.

    “Additionally, Shah Rukh and Co. have chosen not to release Umar Gul, but to seek a (one-year) replacement for him”.

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090206/jsp/sports/story_10494099.jsp

    Mortaza is not a replacement player but a permanent player. At the time of auction, KKR had 8 foreign players available. Gul was the 9th but he was not sought to be cancelled. So they had one slot open. That slot was taken by Mashrafe. The replacement for Gul was Charles Cameron who then got injured.

    A replacement for a replacement!

    Getting one is today a priority for the Kolkata Knight Riders as Australia’s Mark Cameron, the first-choice replacement for Umar Gul, is injured and won’t be featuring in edition No.2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

    “Cameron, unfortunately, is out of the scene now… At the moment, South Africa’s Charl Langeveldt looks well-placed to join the Knight Riders,” somebody associated with the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team told The Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090311/jsp/sports/story_10656244.jsp

  42. Hi…could anyone tell me whether dish network broadcasts IPL 2009 matches in the US? If yes, is it on Setmax or any other channel?
    Thanks.

  43. Korbo lorbo jeetbo….. Ask the opening players to adjust to the conditions & play, no matter if they score only 40-50 runs in 8 overs. Tell them that if they survive for more than 7-8 overs they can destroy the momentum of the oppositions & no one can stop them once they start destructing the bowlers…..

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