Win this for the team, Win this for the fans.
IPL is about unexpected results and the fans witnessed one last night. DC beat RCB by 13 runs in a surprise defeat to keep their hopes alive of making the semis. I hardly slept! I just could not take one more defeat. I was dejected, all mu wishes for the team was being washed off by a storm called Harmeet Singh. 6 Power cuts with an interval of 2 minutes in-between made life even more miserable. May be it was god’s way of protecting my TV from taking any more damage from me. May be god didn’t know the TV remote was the first victim to a RCB defeat 😛 But thank you god, I wasn’t at the stadium watching this happen. I wonder what RCB fans from Nagpur must be feeling. An irresponsible play by some of the batsmen that broke hearts of 1000’s of fans who just couldn’t sleep through the night without praying for a chance in the Semis. What went wrong?
About the match
It was heartening to see RCB not concede more than 40 runs in the last 5 overs, specially after the performance of bowlers at the depth in the last few matches. Praveen Kumar was rightly dropped for Appana, while Cameron white maintained his spot as a potential all-rounder. KP sat out the 2nd game despite his match winning 50+ in the previous match he played! DC batted first, Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist walked to a Dale Styen delivery caught behind. They soon lost 3 more wickets in a hurry leaving the team fighting to reach even a 100. DC however finished the innings at a score of moderate 151, thanks to Rohit Sharma & Monish Mishra.
RCB dropped Sriram after looking at him as yet another Wasim Jaffer, and yet another bad choice. Manish pandey lost his stumps and his potential chance to open for RCB again in IPL 2010. Rahul Dravid walked into a situation he is so much used to. The team struggling at 2 for 1 at the end of over no. 1 was in the hands of two greats, Kallis and Dravid. Kallis helped himself to another boundary and to another orange cap. Dravid helped himself onto a 50 in just over 30 balls. RCB required some 90 runs in the last 10 overs with 9 wickets in hand. RCB were looking good for a Semi final berth until dravid was caught at the long off boundary mistiming a slower delivery from Symonds! The start of what was a turn around! Kallis followed soon, after which wickets just kept tumbling.
Uttapa survived a long haul when the ball landed in between two fielders, but somehow managed to keep himself and his team in contention. Not for long, Requiring 30 odd from the last 3 overs, Harmeet Singh cleaned up Uttapa, followed it up with a lbw of dale steyn and finished the tight over conceding only 2 runs! Anil Kumble & Vinay Kumar could only last to 19.4 overs, faced with a defeat of 13 runs!
Everything seemed right for RCB until they entered into the second half of the tournament. Faced with a string of defeats, captain Kumble & Coach Ray Jennings made some changes to the team only to find it a mistake all along the match. The team came back to the original self last night, but only to taste a loss once again!
Kallis opening the innings, A mistake?
Ask me this question before the start of this tournament and I’d tell you a confident ‘Yes’ straight away! That’s probably because he’s a defensive kind of batsmen, lacks the power to play the big shots. His only chance of contributing with the bat is at the top, and given his consistency with the bat, who better than Kallis to give the team a good start that is always required. Ask me the same question now, and I’ll say “His current form is good, but I guess the form of other batsmen is far better! Kallis could use a place lower down the order” Uttapa is in the form of his life, but struggling against the spinners, him opening the innings with a Rahul Dravid is a wise choice.
A lot you may argue again about the Dravid style of batting. Yes, But we have seen a different batsmen in him altogether! How many times have u seen him dance down the pitch and smack the bowler for a huge six? Dravid is the most ideal choice to open with Robin Uttapa.
Poor application from other batsmen?
Yes, most other batsmen just have no clue of what they are doing. Kohli played a few good innings initially, but now seems to have lost all of it! I wonder if Ross is told to be his natural self and smack every ball out of the park, but really I’d suggest him take a single almost immediately after he’s hit a six, unless otherwise there is a free hit or a juicy full toss! I’m not even able to recall some of the other names as they haven’t made an impact thus far. The batsmen need to step it up and take responsibility now! My choice for middle order is KP over White.
Are we missing Boucher?
No not really, Uttapa is doing a great job behind the wicket. Why do you require a specialist keeper anyway, because all your bowlers are easily being smacked leave no chance of Uttapa getting the feel of the ball 🙂
Bowling the weak link?
We have Dale steyn, and he showed us what he’s capable of yesterday, but Steyn is just about raw pace. He hadly bowls any slower balls and is only effective with the short of good length delivery. Every single ball he’s pitched up, I remember the batsmen trashing him for a boundary or a six! Vinay Kumar has given enough reasons for the national selectors to choose him, and in the current scenario, he looks like the best RCB bowler. Anil Kumble is weaving his magic as usual, but when wickets don’t fall, specially in his over, batsmen have enough wickets to get a good 12-14 runs per over at the end. Appana is a good choice to bowl with Kumble, Kallis is doing a fair job with the ball too. All Ray has to do is get these guys to take responsibility & take charge to ensure that no team even touches that 150 mark!
I’m looking at the squad that we have got, and I’m looking at batsmen who cannot make any difference to the team with their addition. A lot of untested players and u are forced to go back with Pandey! Same goes with bowlers. I hope the re-auction in september helps us the most. We need good indian talent in the team and for now we have not many! My XI for next game looks like this (In exact batting order): Uttapa, Dravid, Ross Taylor, KP, Kohli, Kallis, Manish Pandey, Vinay Kumar, Dale Steyn, Anil Kumble, Apanna
Overall, the team may look well settled and happy off the field, but the problems seem obvious on the field. Coach Ray Jennings & Captain Kumble have a lot to do to get that win that will ensure their place in the semi’s. As a true fan, all I can say is I was unhappy to see the way the team played, but am still Ur supporter, will keep talking, blogging and do everything about it! Win this one for the team, for the fans! 🙂