IPL3 Prediction

Posted on March 18, 2010

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Season 3 of the IPL is back and running with soaring TRP not just in India, but reportedly in UK and South Africa as well. The IPL party is now back in India with special Lounge access to VIPs and with four strategic time-outs in a match. WOW the amount of money involved must be unreal! But lets focus on IPL T20 cricket, with each team having played two games at least, we now could make guesses as to who will reach the semi-finals. Here is my prediction and review of all team in no particular order;

Mumbai Indians

Appear to be very strong, especially after beating bookies favorites Delhi Daredevils comprehensively by 98 runs, yeah you got me right, 98 runs! When one beats a team of such high profile generally tend to carry the momentum throughout the tournament. They have a strong squad and a balanced playing eleven. Sachin’s form is definitely significant, but what’s separating them from other teams is their local talent, they have not just filled up slots but have been instrumental in Mumbai’s both wins. Watching Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu or Aditya Tare play, you wonder where the hell have they been hiding! Having said that, their middle order has never been under any pressure so far. Will be interesting to see how well they cope if both Sanath and Sachin fail. I suspect if that happens they will be under the hammer and will crumble:( Nonetheless Pollard’s gigantic presence under the Little Master’s shadow definitely makes them one of tournament favorites.

Rajasthan Royals

Champions in first edition of IPL, but remain to be the underdogs. Probably you know why from their first two games! Simply, too short of players who could play good Cricket, utter lack of quality. Warne proved a great leader, no doubt, he has been more than a coach for them. I quiet like the way every-time he pretends to have a great team. But now it’s only a question of how long will he keep fiddling around with those Royal school boys. Won’t be too long, I bet. But this IPL the man himself hasn’t been on top of his game. Oz sensation Tait’s fearsome pace has been done and dusted away. Finally with Smith and Mascarenhas running away home (in the name of injury of-course) fearing humiliation; Poker-Crown Warne is in serious need of some his Poker skills, ‘luck’ which I believe has depleted post IPL1. And BTW if you refer to a team with Dravid a test team, I wonder what you call a team with Damien Martyn?!

Hyderabad Deccan Chargers

The holders, an impressive team on paper, finally got their reward in IPL2 after a dismal IPL1. The biggest difference in IPL2 without any second thoughts was captaincy. Venkatram Reddy, got a little too patriotic and let VVS Laxman to captain, but atleast he got it right the second time around. Their strength lies in their batting. Gilchrist and Symonds though doing nothing other than fishing, don’t seem to lose their hard strikes or direct hits. Really, how do they do that, may be that’s what they call Oz grit! Then there is the hard-hitting Gibbs, talented Sharma and of-course our own VVS Laxman. Makes a good batting line-up, doesn’t it. But unfortunately their bowling is a complete contrast to their batting. An attack led by RP Singh! Seriously? Can’t get worse! Hopefully the return of Roach and Smith improves their bowling, because if they make an early exit, you will badly miss gillis and symmos. But I am afraid it might be too late for them to take off and make it to the last four:(

Kolkata Knight Riders

Suspect they might be the dark horse this season, thanks to some good head shown by @iamsrk (as he’s popularly known nowadays). If the John Buchanan-multiple captaincy saga was used as a means to sack Ganguly from captaincy, then for sure @iamsrk can make a good politician, but fortunately it also took a brunt on their performance. So now you have the Prince of Kolkata leading Kolkata (as its meant to be). Can India’s best captain ever script another IPL fairy-tale? Well, he has his best and possibly last opportunity. They lack stars in their ranks but certainly got players who could more than just contribute. Shane Bond (love that name) is a welcome addition, Mathews a good all-rounder, experienced Murali Karthik, young Sharma, Langeveldt and Mendis makes a good bowling line-up. But their batting is a mess, bar Ganguly and Hodge and they badly miss Gayle. These three have to play and play hard if they got to have any chance of making semis. On the other hand, its perfect setting for the likes of Pujara, Shukla and Tiwary to land a place on Chika’s table! But somehow feel being underdogs is their strength right now and might just spring a suprise. And more importantly if they are to give themselves any chance, they need to resist playing the sensational Ajit Agarkar!

Chennai Super Kings

Potential Semi-final contenders Chennai Super Kings are considered to be the most consistent. A team stuffed up with talent, there’s hardly anyone to be considered amateur, unlike other teams. Have got great balance to their team with a powerful batting line-up and for a change a bowling line-up that’s on par. Haydos, Morkel, Kemp, Oram, Hussey, Murali make the foreign talent and add to it the locals Dhoni, Raina, Badri, Vijay, Tyagi, Balaji woo makes your head spin! Most players in the squad have been in Indian colours sometime/someway (partly because of Chika, but still…) which can be a massive boost when it comes to pressure situations. What’s more they have the coolest captain. But have already lost one out of two, can they cope with Dhoni’s absence, what happens if Dhoni abstains himself longer in national interest, how good is Raina’s captaincy, Hayden’s form are some but not all questions they need to address quickly. As I said semi-final is all what they could achieve, nothing further.

Delhi Daredevils

Bookies favorites, all hard hitting team, excellent fielding side, have world’s four of best cricket ball strikers, yet didn’t play like one of them. But you can’t just write them off, one game is by no means any measure. They have the dream T20 batting line-up. Warner, Sehwag, Ghamdir, Dilshan, ABD woah, doesn’t get any better! Have India’s best keeper Dinesh Karthik (Its not Dhoni, if you were wondering) and T20 specialists Nannes, Pernell. This time think they have got their combination right with local guys Manhas, Sangwan and Ladda, messed it up last season with Salvi, Bhatia. They still don’t make a formidable bowling line-up, but have got the batting power to compensate which is why i think they will make it to the finals.

Kings XI Punjab

I really don’t get what is it with Preity Zinta in the dug-out clapping every-time a four is hit (understandable), but dancing every-time when some one has a mis-field or slides down or drops a catch (very unusual). And the WSG cameramen must stop zooming into her every-time a wicket falls, they need to spare a thought for those people who hate dimples (not many, but still..). But it has to be said she has become an exhibitionist, an obnoxious exhibitionist. She probably doesn’t realise it, but soon someone will have to tell her. As far as their cricket is concerned, were pathetic to say the least in their last two games. And they simply don’t stand a chance. There appears to be a problem within the team (did you notice as well?), Yuvraj’s sacking from captaincy might make a good reason. Feel sorry for Bopara, the lone warrior but iam afraid he’s in the wrong place:(

Royal Challengers Bangalore

The come back guys! In season 2 Mallya’s men gave fitting reply to those who termed them a test team. Showed what world’s finest test cricketers can do in a T20. IMO terming RCB team as a test team and unfit to play T20 was an all time low in cricket and a dent on T20 cricket rather than RCB. Because saying so, you only agree to the fact that real crickets who play true Cricket shots have no place in T20. Then that’s not cricket, you should then rather name T20 cricket as T20Mania or The Great Slogfest or The Premier Hoiking League. I want to see elegant drives, upper cuts, wristy flicks and not some blindfold guy swing at everything that’s white. Hats off to Mallya, who didn’t panic during the crisis, kept faith in the boys and was rewarded with a breath-taking performance in IPL2 wherein they missed out on the title by a whisker! Jumbo is a character, an inspirational leader, someone who taught Team India to play with intensity. Dravid and Kallis are prime examples of what you need in a T20; skill, technique and temperament and not just a bat. They have the fierce Steyn and crafty Boucher, currently the best bowler and the best wicketkeeper in the cricketing world. Then there’s Virat Kholi, tipped to be the next superstar and captain of Team India, Robin Uthappa once Sehwag-like now getting back to terms, Manish Pandey who impressed all in IPL2 and on the verge of becoming a regular in Team India, Praveen Kumar India’s best swing bowler, Abhimanyu Mithun only bowler in India who could regularly clock 140km, Van der Merve most economical T20 bowler and Eoin Morghan the next sensation in England and tipped to be the next Peterson. And incredibly this is the weakest they can get, because they are still awaiting the arrival of Ross Taylor currently Newzealand’s best batsman, Kevin Peterson one of best English batsman ever, Cameroon White who is now Australia’s backbone, Steve Smith Australia’s future hope. Oh my gosh! the opposition will have to come with something special to beat this ominous team. My sympathetic heart goes out to those taking on RCB, may god bless you with all the strengths on this inconceivable task!

Verdict

Semi Finalists

Doesn’t make any difference

Finalists

Delhi Daredevils Vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Winners

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Who is your bet on: Please feel free to predict your winner and have your say in the comments

PS: Content in this article is only my personal opinion. No offence intended.


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