Apr 17

Most, if not all, people ’round here won’t be aware of a special event happening in India which lasts a month and starts tomorrow night.

It’s the IPL (Indian Premier League). You know, the ‘rogue’ 20/20 cricket competition.

For those who don’t know what is is, it is a ‘formal’ take on 20/20. Local, young Indian players are set alongside some players from around the world who were ‘bought’ by one of the clubs for a certain amount of money. For example, Ricky Ponting was bought for a certain amount of money by the Kolkata club. How do the clubs afford it, you ask? Well, each club is ’sponsored’ by a company or corporation. That’s the way it goes.

This is a very unique way to get young Indian players playing against the greatest players in the world, and in some cases, great players against each other. Some teams are better off than others (like Kolkata, they have Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Sourav Ganguly, Shoaib Akhtar and Ishant Sharma). Believe it or not, Anil Kumble may face off against Ishant Sharma (they’re on different teams).

If anyone read anything into the ‘07/’08 cricket season in Australia, then they would know that Sharma troubled Ponting with his bowling. It is ironic that they are playing in the same team in the IPL.

The first IPL match is on tomorrow night, at 8 p.m. India time. India is UTC+5:30. We are UTC+10. Yes, this means that this match won’t start our time until half-past midnight. Not cool. The fixture is a bit better for some matches, as some are set to start at 5 p.m. Indian time (9:30 p.m. here). The matches themselves are televised on TDT, so those without a Set Top Box are stuffed. If you can get TDT, then I suggest recording the matches, but for some that may not be possible anyway. Therefore, hassle me (with my MythTV PVR setup), and I might be able to record them for you!

1st matchRoyal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders

2008 IPL Wikipedia Link

The Official Fixture

Enjoy, I know I will. I can’t wait to see Sharma in action again!

written by Chris Jacques \\ tags: , , , ,

Feb 11

From washed-out games to poor performances, the typical cricket-loving Australian has seen it all. In the first 4 games of the One Day Series.

Having just watched the great 4th match of the series, I can say that we *really do* have a good series. Sri Lanka may not be playing at their best, as was shown in the 3rd match, but given time (I.e a few matches), they will be up to scratch. India are well and truly flying, and would be way out in front on the leader board if it wasn’t for the washed-out games. Australia are stuck, kinda. Their side was not at all bad for the 4th match, but it needed another specialist batsman. They could have done with Hogg, if the Indians had shown the wicket to spin, which was not the case. Anyway, back to 1 week ago…

All was well and good, both sides looked promising in the first game, India especially so. After the farcical Sydney test, India deserved to have a bit of luck playing Australia with a good looking young team. India had Australia on the backfoot, thanks to some wonderful bowling by Sharma and Patan. If it wasn’t for the rain, Australia probably would have lost that match. However, it was a great ‘practice’ session for India.

The same can be said for the second match, except that it was Sri Lanka’s warmup match. Sri Lanka were on the backfoot, thanks to a great ton by Gambhir. That was well worth watching, however, it was VERY disappointing to see that the game was washed out after the tea break. And that ‘CRAP’ that Nine (Win) put on during that time of regular updates regarding that match, was appalling. There is crap, and then there is pure sh**. But that’s not what I’m talking about, and that’s another issue for another day.

Fast forward to the 3rd match. Australia were looking great, and Sri Lanka were looking bad. A bit of a turn-off game, rather boring. So much for competition. The first match without rain, and it was BORING.

And then there was today’s match. It was worth watching from the very 1st Over, when Gilly got out (to a rather dubious-looking LBW decision). It wasn’t crap batting that rocked the Australians, but the great bowling of Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth that rocked Australia. Sharma has been the one to watch for India, anyone who saw any of the Test series would know this. This guy is incredibly young, and can bowl exceptionally well. At 19, he is almost no older than some of us! Imagine that, going on a tour of a foreign country at that age! Anyway, the Australians went down (batting-wise) without a fight, to be honest. India started off attacking when they batted, until Tendulkar got out to a freakish catch by Lee. The young Indian batsman, Rohit Sharma, and the captain Dhoni steered India home from a very sticky situation (being 5/102 at one stage, with no hope of scoring runs).

Here is some suggestions for the Australian selectors to consider (seriously):

1. Drop Punter. He is not in form, he probably needs a rest, and it would be great to see Gilly captain in the Perth ODI.

2. If Hogg isn’t going to be an addition to the 11-man squad, then consider a proper paceman to cover somebody else (Clarke). Stuart Clarke is not a ODI bowler. He is a bloody good Test bowler, however. I think it is time to see some new blood in the squad (*HILFY*!!!)

3. Bring in some new blood. Seriously. Do what the Indians are doing, cause they look promising. And they are delivering too.

4. Give Gilly a bowl. Please! One of the Nine (Win) commentators suggested this back at the Adelaide Test. Considering Hadden is in the squad, you could always give him the gloves…

Anyway, I praise India for what they have done so far this summer. I not only wish for them to continue it, but I want them to *beat* Australia in this Tri-Series. They should do it for cricket. Anyway, who wants to see one team dominating the cricket? It’s just no fun without competition…

Chris Jacques


written by Chris Jacques \\ tags: , , ,