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.

Is Jadeja an opener and India’s team dilema

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When Jadeja first started his international career he was seen as a bit of a makeshift allrounder. He was a useful part time spinner, a pinch hitter. He was labelled as nothing more than a handy T20 player. Over the past year and a half this has all changed. He is now a vital cog in the Indian side, even displacing Ashwin in the last two tests that India have played.

Not only is his spin bowling impressive, he is one of the best fielders in the side aswell as developing his batting to more than just pinch hitting. When thinking of similar players to Jadeja over the last decade one name springs to mind. This being Dilshan of Sri Lanka, he started out as a part time bowler and lower order pinch hitter just like Jadeja.

The fielding similarities are there also, Dilshan like Jadeja could field anywhere even wicket keeping. I haven’t seen the young Indian keep wicket yet but am sure he could do a steady job if called upon. One thing that happened for Dilshan was that he was moved up to open the batting.

I feel that Jadeja is very capable of this role, in fact I feel that this move would favour the balance of the Indian test side. In my opinion India are lacking one more bowling allrounder. In the first test against New Zealand the bowling attack was made up of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma,  Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. I feel that against the bigger sides outside of India they need five bowlers and not four.

The batting line up currently is perfect for India, they have a good opening partnership, a great number three and four and good lower order batsmen. In my opinion they need to find a place for either Ashwin or Bhuvneshwar in test cricket, to supplement the four already there.

The options are to drop Rahane and move Jadeja up to opener, let the very apt Ahwin or equally good batsman Bhuvneshwar develop into the bowling allrounder. The other option would be to drop Murali Vijay and push either Rahane or Jadeja up the order.

I would favour the second option. It would be unfortunate for Murali Vijay who has done nothing wrong but sometimes big decisions need to be made. Both Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar are capable number seven batsmen. They would also give the side great balance between the batting and bowling. Having five bowlers will benefit India especially in England in the summer.

Cricketer’s who didn’t fulfil their potential

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Sport has always been littered with people who seemed destined for great things but failed to live up to the hype or potential. For every Tendulkar there will always be a Kambli. Some of the players are injury hit and others just cant handle the pressure, many different reasons can be given. So here is a list of some talented players in modern cricket who have not fulfilled their potential.

1. Mohammed Amir:

This boy was probably the most talented bowler of his generation. He looked to be another classy Pakistani bowler in the mould of past greats. He was the youngest bowler to get to 50 test wickets and it looked like he could have gone to the top of the fast bowling records. His misdemeanour’s have robbed the world of a potential great. He may come back one day but will never be held in the same esteem that he should have been.

2.Shaun Tait:

Shaun Tait came at the back end of the great Australian side, he did win things but will not go down as the player he could have been. The name “wildthing” has never left him, when he burst onto the scene he was part of an attack that included Lee and Johnson. Whist the other two have proved to have achieved more. Injuries did not help the paceman.

3. Graham Hick / Mark Ramprakash

When considering the great batsmen of county cricket these two names will always be at the top of the list. Their careers are very similar in the fact that both were super talented but didn’t make the international scene their own. At youth level Ramprakash was rated just as good as Brian Lara. I believe they played in an era of turbulence in English cricket, meaning that they never had a settled run in the England side. What could have been if they had an arm around their shoulder?

4.Irfan Pathan:

When he first came onto the scene India took note of him. He seemed to be the allrounder that India had craved since Kapil Dev. A fast swing bowler who had a batting game for all outcomes. He has even opened the batting for India. I believe he could have continued to bat in the top order for India, but injuries and mismanagement have taken its toll on him. Ten years on from his international debut Pathan is still in and out the India team. Playing the odd good match in the IPL. Definitely one that got away for India.

5. Mohammed Kaif:

Kaif came to the international stage at a similar time to Yuvraj Singh. He was tipped to be a future captain and mainstay of the Indian side, especially in test cricket. His biggest disappointment must have been that he never got a fair crack of the whip at test level. In all honesty he was a good cricketer but the change to speedy cricket pretty much killed his ODI career. Probably one of the best fielders India had seen before the current crop of players turned up.

6. Shaun Marsh:

Son of a great player he has always had pressure on him. Shaun Marsh is actually a very good player, we are just waiting for him to cement himself in international cricket. We have seen him drift in and out of the Aussie test and ODI side, it looks that he may be given one last chance in test cricket as the number six batsman, lets see if he gets the chance and if he takes the opportunity.

7. Vinod Kambli:

How he is not a great for India is hard to know. He was the other player in the world record partnership stand with Sachin Tendulkar at school level. Kambli was so good that he scored two double centuires and two centuries in his first seven test matches. He will also be remembered by Shane Warne for hitting him for 22 runs in an over, not too many people did that. I believe he was just as talented as Sachin Tendulkar just probably not mentally as tough. Shockingly for such a talented player he played his last test match at the age of 24.

8. Graham Swann:

A surprise inclusion in this list, because Swann did achieve alot during his career. He will go down as one of England’s best spinners but what could have been for Swann? He waited eight years to play his second international game after his first. The reason sited for the exile was his personality clash with senior management and players. Imagine if Swann had played for eight years more? Whats more is that he left his side half way trough a series when the chips were down.

9. James Foster:

This may be bit of a bias vote. I have seen Foster play on many occasions having personally spoken to him, I can say he has to be the most genuine guy in sports. All that aside he was always dubbed as being the best wicketkeeper in England. What surprises me is that he has only ever been called up once to the squad. On that occasion he got injured before the series started and for some reason never got a call up. He also is captaincy material, I guess England have missed the boat with him now.

10: Parthiv Patel:

He made his debut in England as a fresh faced kid. Since this time he should have pushed on and cemented his place into the side as either the main wicketkeeper or just a genuine batsman. Dhoni overtook him in the pecking order as did Dinesh Karthick. Patel was always famed for being a good batsman but even this has not improved in the manor we all thought it could have. I believe a career in indian cricket politics is for him now.

Virat Kohli will get close to Sachin’s ODI Record

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The huge gap left by Sachin Tendulkar has finally been filled. The prince of Indian cricket has become the king. Virat Kohli has the world at his feet, the vice captain of the side, the best batsman in Indian cricket and probably the best ODI player around currently. He is also rumoured to be dating Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, it seems that life is all too good currently.

At the age of 25 Kohli could already be listed with names such as Sehwag, Ganguly and Dravid. If he stays injury free he still has many years ahead of him to surpass these players. The one name that he could match is Sachin Tendulkar. With eighteen ODI centuries to his name Virat is number three on the list of Indian ODI century makers.

It will be pretty tough for anyone to get close to Tendulkar’s forty nine centuries, but if there is one guy who could do it its him. The amount of limited overs cricket India play I can see this happening in the future. Sachin’s test record however is one that will probably stand for a longer time. The reason behind this is that India play so little test cricket that it will be hard for an Indian to break this.

Two players more likely to break this feet are Alistair Cook and Michael Clark. The only issue I have with these are that they both have had injury trouble and a dip in form through their careers. So in my opinion the only current player to break the century record will be Kohli in ODI cricket.