Who Will Win IPL 2015?

Who Will Win IPL 2015?

Love it or hate it the IPL is one of the most exciting cricket competitions. It always brings to light potential young stars of Indian cricket as well as future world stars. What I love most is the team spirit of those players who last month hated each other. As always it is hard to call a winner. Please vote below as who you would like to win and write a comment explaining why you want this team.

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The Stars & Flops of IPL 7

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As IPL 7 draws to a conclusion Simply Cricket Blog takes a look back at some of the best performers and those who have not lived up to their high expectations. The biggest surprise has to be Mumbai Indians going from champions to a bottom side. Conversely Delhi Daredevils form has not been a surprise at all.

The stars of IPL 7:

The undoubted star of this IPl has to be Glenn Maxwell. Before this tournament started he was considered a player with a good track record at domestic level, but not anything of note in international cricket. I now feel he has taken his profile to be considered in the top bracket of T20 players now. The IPL can be considered on par with international T20’s due to the vast number of international players competing. Kings X1 Punjab have a number of players who could be in this list.

20 year old Akshar Patel is another who has impressed for Kings X1, a relatively unknown player before this competition started. He is now on the minds of the selectors who will undoubtedly monitor his performances over the coming year. He is officially listed as an allrounder but we have only seen the best of his bowling as yet. Could he be a long term successor to Ashwin?

Dwayne Smith has been the best player so far for Chennai Super Kings. His new partnership with Brendan Mcullum has been pretty successful. It is ironic that he was part of the winning squad last season and his former side now lay at the bottom of the league. Mike Hussey went the other way and he has totally flopped.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar currently holds the purple cap and is now showing that he is capable of playing all forms of the game. I believe him to be the natural heir to Zaheer Khan’s throne and this could be a big few months for him with the England tour coming up. He is part of the fierce Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack, also containing Dale Stein amongst others.

Others who make a list of IPL 2014 stars are JP Duminy, who is fighting on his own for Delhi. Miller and Bailey again from Punjab. New Rajesthan captain Shane Watson who looks to have remembered that he is an allrounder again. Talking of resurgences Robin Uthappa looks to have found some of his best form again, just in time to give Indian selectors a slight headache.

The Flops of IPL 7:

If it were possible I would list the whole Mumbai Indians squad in the list as well as Delhi Daredevills minus JP Duminy. His captain Kevin Pietersen has made the list purely on reputation, much was expected from him at Delhi and he has just not lived up to this.

Rohit Sharma makes this list, everything he did last season turned to gold, this season is another story. His squad have let him down and the pressure of managing a team on poor form has affected his own game. Another Indian who makes this list is Parthiv Patel. He used to be a fluent batsman and a brilliant wicket keeper, so far for RCB he has not shown this. A former world star Mike Hussey, has been woeful during the competition. His retirement from cricket seems to have hindered his performances.

The IPL finishes up on Sunday 1st June, I would love to see Punjab take the title this season.

Delhi need KP and RCB show why they are favourites!

The IPL is back, sorry I meant Indian T20 League. We have a bizarre re-branding of the popular IPL name and also we have two teams who’s official names have changed. Who am I to advise these expert marketers but most people will still call this the IPL.

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Stupid Name Changes:

The worst of the three name changes has to be the competition its self. Over the last few years the IPL has built up a brand, in my opinion it will always be known as the IPL now. As for Rajesthan and Punjab it seems there are a few reasons for the name changes.

I am not sure if the new name have been forced onto the sides, so that all the teams are city based and not state based. This could be true because the sides are listed as Mohali and Jaipur in the league table on the official site but still called by the old names on other parts of the site. Other reasons I can think of are that Kings XI Punjab was an unlucky name and Rajesthan Royals are desperate to shift the spot fixing name.

The First Two Games:

The two favourites for the tournament Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have been in action over the first two games, to differing results. Mumbai were blown out of the water but Kallis and his KKR side. The veteran allrounder showed that their is still life in the old dog. The break from international cricket seems to have refreshed him. The same didn’t seem to apply for Mike Hussey on the opposing side, who had a début to forget. as with all good players I am sure he will come good. Looking at Mumbai’s players they should be relaxed to know they can esily turn this loss around. KKR showed enough in this game to be ranked as one of the top sides.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are my favourites to win this year. They showed exactly why in their first game. Unfortunately for me they did it against the side I have allegiances to Delhi Daredevils. The north Indian side lacked their leader Kevin Pietersen. The whole side was changed including the coaching set up, but on the field not much has changed. They are still ultra reliant on KP and do not have the quality in their batting. Their opponents today left out Chris Gayle, yet they still eased to victory.

A batting line up that includes Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB Devilliers and Albie Morkel will always be considered favourites for T20 competitions. Their biggest issue is if Kohli can keep a lid on his erratic captaincy and if they can convert their strong home form away from home.

 

IPL 2014: Delhi Daredevils axe their whole squad

IPL 2014 Delhi Daredevils

The big news from the Delhi Daredevils today was that they will not be retaining any player from their IPL 6 side. This news is a little surprising because they have some of the worlds best players in their squad. The axing of these players could backfire, as they could perform for any other side. World stars such as Sehwag, Pietersen, Warner, Morkel and Jayawardene will all be up for auction, as long as they want to be apart of the upcoming tournament. This decision probably will end the concept of the Galactico’s (famously used by Real Madrid).

Topping the group stage two seasons ago, the Delhi fans had very high expectations for last season. The lacklustre performances have forced Delhi’s hand. It is unsure if they will bother to bid for any of their players in the auction, but these will all now be on the open market.

If I were in charge of the franchise I personally would have unleashed some of the younger players complimenting David Warner, Mourne Morkel, Johan Botha and Kevin Pietersen as the foreign players. These are players who will instantly be snapped up by any side in the IPL. Morkel has been one of the leading bowlers in the IPl, over the last few years. He is up there with Malinga and Narine. Youngsters such as Manpreet Junaja and Unmakt Chand deserve another chance with the franchise.

The success of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings can be attributed directly to having a very settled side. Once Delhi get in their players this auction they should look to retain as many of these for the future. It will be very interesting to see what players the franchise wish to pursue at the auction, I predict that they will go for players such as Yuvraj Singh, Steve Smith and George Bailey.

Spot fixing scandal the only blip on the best ever IPL:

This season of the Indian Premier League will stand out in my mind as one of the best as well as one of the most controversial. The early pace was set by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but as soon as they were installed as favourites they spectacularly fell away. It is no surprise that their batting centred team did better at home in Bangalore where the boundaries were shortest.

As with most IPL seasons Dhoni guided his team to the playoffs, once again proving he is a great captain. His record as captain probably excuses the poor performance in the final by his Chennai side. The West Indies are always very well represented through the tournament, this year these players were the stars of the show. Dwayne Bravo ended the season as the leading wicket taker, Pollard came into his own towards the end of the tournament almost single handily guiding Mumbai to the title. The other big West Indian provided the most memorable moment of the competition, Chris Gayle’s 173 not out will be remembered for a long time.

The season also saw many endings, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist will not return as players and there are doubts that we will ever see Muralitharan either. Sahara Pune Warriors also ended again, their owners have cancelled the contract to bring them back next season. This season also saw Delhi Daredevils go from top of the league last season to a bottom of the table battle, probably due to injuries to key players such as Kevin Pietersen. The rebranded Deccan Chargers were many peoples favourite to be at the bottom of the league at the start, they surprised many by qualifying strongly.

It was also a season to showcase two potential future Indian captains in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. In my opinion the Mumbai captain showed off better captaincy credentials and could overtake Kohli when the call has to be made.

The coverage of the IPL in England has been brilliant, ITV4 showing that cricket can work on channels other than Sky Sports. They only complaint with the coverage was their decision not to show cricket on one the other ITV channels when British Touring Cars was being shown. It is clear that the popularity of the competition has increased in the UK, and the sport is now on a par with NFL.

The only negative to come out from this seasons Indian Premier League was the spot fixing scandal. This is something that will rock the sport and seems much deeper than what has already been revealed. Some famous names have been caught this year, with Sreesanth claiming he has been framed. The arrest of Gurunath Meiyappan an alleged associate of Chennai Super Kings will bring Indian cricket to its knees, as he is the son of the head of Indian cricket. The on-going story has many chapters still to write, lets just hope it does not implicate too many big names. 

Despite the shocking spot fixing news that came out towards the end of the competition I will remember this season for many good reasons. 


Rohit Sharma is India’s future

Watching this seasons IPl it is evident that Rohit Sharma is a man on a mission. His aim is to cement his place in the limited over squads and to make the step up into test cricket. It is a little surprising that a player with his ability has yet to grace test cricket, especially as he is now twenty six years of age. 

For many years people have dubbed Rohit as the next Sachin Tendulkar, this unfair comparison may have affected his past performances resulting in him being in and out of squad. It seems that Sachin is now very close to calling it a day in all forms of cricket and a possible replacement for him could be Rohit Sharma. The poor form of the other openers (Sehwag & Gambhir) resulted in him being drafted into the openers role for the last ODI series against England. This was a very interesting move, as  he was given the  chance after the much fancied Rahane had failed.  

In limited overs cricket I see him being an opener, this suits his game very well. I feel he is ready for test cricket and a position at either number four or five should be an option. This season Rohit has seemed to mature as a player, taking over as captain of Mumbai Indians in place of Ricky Ponting. When he was appointed as the captain I was unsure if he could handle the demands of the position, especially for Mumbai the most glamorous side in the IPL. Although he has not had too many tests of his captaincy he seems to be calm and confident with his decision making. 

Other than being a good batsman and captain he is also a stand out player. His batting form has also shown consistency, him having the sixth highest average in the IPL this season. Out of the other five players above him in the list only Chris Gayle has played as many innings. One could argue that his form has been more consistent than Gayle as the West Indian has his average inflated by that one big innings of 175 not out. 

Below is a table showing his career:

Matches
Innings
Runs
Highest Score
Average
Strike Rate
ODI
88
83
2,065
114
30.82
78.22
T20
35
28
531
79
29.5
127.64
IPL
90
86
2405
109
33.87
132.14

The above table highlights both his huge potential as well as his inconsistent form. It shows that he can score quickly as well as heavily, the batting average in ODI cricket shows there is space for improvement. 

If I were to do a straw pole of Indian cricket fans I am pretty sure that most of them would say that Kohli is the best young player. I do not disagree with this statement but feel an argument could be made to support Sharma’s case.  It all bodes for exciting times for Indian cricket, taking many back to the early days of the last great group of players. Comparisons of Sharma, Raina, Kohli, Pujara and Dhawan could be made to Sachin, Ganguly, Sehwag, Laxman and Dravid.

There could be another argument in the future about the next captain. Right now vice captain Kohli is a shoe in for the role, but if the selectors go against his overly aggressive style then again Sharma or Raina are an option. Like Tendulkar he oozes class when batting, the only issue is if he can handle the pressure. The future for Rohit Sharma looks very positive, it is all in his own hands as to how much of a name he could make. 

Delhi Daredevils are IPL’s unlucky team


This years IPL seems to have been one of the best yet, nearly all the matches played so far have been very close. There has already been two super overs, both involving Chris Gayles team RCB. He has also smashed the record for the fastest century as well as the highest ever T20 score.

It has also seen Pune Warriors bottom of the group once again, there problems seemed to have started with appointing Angelo Matthews as their captain from the start. Him being captain resulted in probably their two best allrounders sitting on the side, Steve Smith and Luke Wright. There has also been two hatricks, one for Amit Mishra and the other for Sunil Narine. The biggest surprise for me is how Delhi Daredevils went from being the best team in last years group stage to being one of the worst this. 

In the IPL it is very hard to turn around a bad start, this is exactly what the Daredevils had. They started the tournament without their star bowler Morne Morkel, their premier Indian batsman Sehwag and one of the best batsman in the world Kevin Pietersen. They also got David Warner and captain Mahela Jayawerdene off relatively poor international form. 

Somehow Delhi have clawed themselves back into a position where they could scrape through to the next round. They have to win every game from now and hope other results go their way. I still think they can do it, although it will now be a shock for many if they manage the feat. 

I have been saying this from the start that on paper Delhi have as good a squad as CSK. The balance they have with world class talent is amazing, its a shame they have mainly been off form. Teams like RCB or Sunriseres do not have the balance they do. They are either a batting side or bowling side, this is a reason why CSK have been so successful in the past because they have the best all round team. 

In my opinion if Kevin Pietersen had been there we would be looking at the table very differently. Same could be said if Morne Morkel, last years leading wicket taker had been playing from the start. The spinning option in Shabaz Nadeem is not bad either a very underrated bowler who could be a good answer for India one day. 

I do not believe that Delhi will win the competition this season but feel they have been the most unlucky of all the teams. To lose on a super over is all ways hard, it is even harder when you haven’t won a match before playing it. 


Categories IPL