Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
After the euphoric and glorious triumph of team India in the World Cup 2011, it is time for the nation to host the glitzy, glamorous and controversial Indian Premier League (IPL). In the aftermath of the much awaited and coveted World Cup win, after a multi-generational wait of 28 years that has brought ecstasy to the cricket lovers and made the country proud, it’s now time for the nation to witness another season of the moolah machine where national fervor is kept aside and entertainment, that too in a new form, takes the center stage.
The IPL auction this year got bigger and better as the franchises didn’t shy away from spending money on the player they wanted in their team. After a long and dramatic battle of 2 days (January 8 and 9) with a total of 350 players being auctioned due to the revamped format of the game, the teams were finally decided. The franchises realized the importance of the local talent in this format of the game coupled with the fact that big names do not necessarily win matches. The big shockers of the auction included Sourav Ganguly, Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs and Sanath Jasuriya who remained unsold even after the intense battle. Gautam Gambhir , Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa were the most expensive players at 2.4 million dollars (KKR) , 2.1 million dollars (KKR) and at 2.1 million dollars (Sahara Pune Warriors ) respectively. Mahela Jayawardene, the centurion of the WC final, was the most expensive overseas player, brought in to lead the Kochi team for a whooping 1.5 million.
The new team composition seems exciting. Some teams look similar to their early composition whereas others have not retained their players. Here is analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of all the teams –
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – A very well balanced team composition, the icon player MS Dhoni has been retained along with Suresh Raina , Albie Morkel and Murali Vijay. The team has been very consistent since IPL 1 under the captaincy of Dhoni. Also, the presence of all rounders in the team adds to its competency. Their only concern is Dwane Bravo as he will not be available for maximum matches due to the Pakistan and West Indies series. All in all, a team to look out for.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS – Once again Shane Warne and Shane Watson are the key players for this team. Ross Taylor, Paul Collingwood and Rahul Dravid are good buys too. This team depends a lot on local talent like Siddhart Trivedi and Pankaj Singh. Ajhinkya Rahane is prolific in the domestic circle. Johan Botha and Warne together could bring out a lot of variety in the spin department. Shaun Tait completes the bowling attack.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – It is surprising that RCB retained only 1 player i.e. Virat Kohli. But sticking to Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn would have served them better. The team looks good on paper but what is missing essentially is the ‘Bangalore flavor’ since no other player except Abhimanyu Mithun represents Karrnataka. This definitely has disappointed the fans. It’s a young team and under the guidance of the firing duo of Dilshan and AB de Villiers the team could do wonders. Zaheer Khan, Daniel Vettori and Dirk Nannes seem to provide a balanced bowling attack. The major concern for the team shall be wicket keeping since no professional wicket keeper is present in the team.
KINGS XI PUNJAB- the team selection is unbalanced as they are depending heavily on few players. Adam Gilchrist could hitch up the standards with backing from Shaun Marsh and David Hussey. They do have players with potential but domestic talent is missing. Also, Stuart Broad and Dimitri Mascarenhas are a total loss due to their relapsing injuries. Praveen Kumar is their key bowler and Piyush Chawla remains their lone spinner.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – the team looks good with Gambhir, Pathan , Morgan , Lee and Kallis. No player has been retained by SRK. Bret Lee leads the bowling side along with L Balaji, Pradeep Sangwan and Jaidev Unadkat. Brad Haddin and Shakib al Hasan complete the middle order. Bowling can still be a concern for the team. Dropping DADA is not the most popular decision they have made but similar to CSK , they entered the auction hall with a clear agenda and some cricketing sense.
DECCAN CHARGERS – A very strong cricket team but not good enough for the IPL. The team has a lot of foreign players. What they probably forgot was that only 4 foreign agents could play in a match and their domestic players are just not good enough. An Indian all rounder could add the much needed expertise. Letting go off Rohit Sharma was not that wise a decision . Bottom line – the selection could have been better.
MUMBAI INDIANS – The team has retained Sachin Tendulkar that gives them the ‘mumbaiya’ effect .Also, retaining Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan was a good decision. The teams bowling attack seems to be their key to the trophy and their batting line up compliments it. Rohit Sharma could prove to be expensive at a hefty 2 million dollars. It will be exciting to watch Harbhajan and Symonds together after their Australia feud. The team looks very competitive and dangerous. Pollard could be the only disadvantage as he shall not be playing many matches due to the Pakistan series.
SAHARA PUNE WARRIORS – With Yuvraj Singh in full form, Pune has an advantage. Also, he is an experienced player and could lead a new team under his captaincy. The batting side looks good with Ryder and Uthappa. But sufficient Indian bowlers are not present. This could be a concern. Angelo Mathews was a good pick though, but his injuries could be a worry as he would have to sit out for a few matches.
DELHI DAREDEVILS – It seems as if RCB had been eyeing this team since most of their players were bought by them. Virendra Sehwag was the only player to be retained. The opening pair of Sehwag and Warner looks dangerous and could alone win them the matches but Gambhirwould have a stake in it. The team lacks spinners which shall be troublesome. Also buying Irfan Pathan at 1.9 million could prove a waste with all his injuries. All in all, a good team but lacks some ‘delhi masala’.
KOCHI TUSKERS KERELA – Similar to Deccan Chargers, the selection has not been up to the mark. A lot of foreign players are present but only 4 can play which means that quality players shall end up on the bench. The teams bowling is a strong point but batting, on the other hand, is a major issue. Jayawardene’s 103 in the WC final should boost the confidence of the team. The owners should have gone for local talent like Shikhar Dhawan, Abhishek Nayar etc. to provide the much needed balance.
So which team is your favourite? Who do you think shall win the title or has the capability of winning it? Which team looks the balanced and best this time around? What’s your pick?
Get ready for the action as IPL 4 is here.