Done and Dusted. Almost. The chances are pretty slim. Let’s look forward to 2013 already. Let’s use the remaining three games to see whether Sudeep Tyagi and Doug Bollinger are worth carrying in the squad or any reinforcements need to be brought in for next year. Hopeless.
I was holding out a lot of hope until a fellow Chennai Super Kings fan and some kind of Microsoft Excel Wizard, Thejas, threw at us – well actually, he tweeted it – a way to go through all sorts of permutations and combinations to figure out how the teams might end up at the end of the round-robin stage or the Not-Business stage of the tournament.
The lot of hope I was holding out got a lot lesser.
If the teams play out to their form and ability they have shown in the last five weeks or so, and Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors seem determined to stick to their role of punching bags, the chances Chennai Super Kings can make the playoff stage are pretty remote.
Dhoni is batting as if he is waddling through a pile of crap that M Vijay seemed to have left on the pitch, and going by Vijay’s batting form so far, that is a pretty accurate description. Chennai don’t seem to know when to send Albie Morkel in. The Chennai Management seem to believe Morkel wouldn’t know how to handle himself if given more than three overs to spare and want to only send in absolute backs-to-the-wall scenarios where he can go hell for leather from the word go. Sure, it did come off in two matches; once against Royal Challengers Bangalore and again versus the Rajasthan Royals but that just leads to many CSK fans ending up at the ER.
Dwayne Bravo – Bless his heart, agile fielding and the dance moves – shouldn’t really be batting ahead of Morkel but continues to do so. No team would ever be so stupid to hold back an explosive South African batsman who can destroy any bowling attack… Oh RCB!!!
R Ashwin is certainly headed in the path of Harbhajan Singh and I don’t mean that in a nice way – An attacking, wicket-taking bowler who morphed in to a “restricting” bowler and soon is found to be just throwing down darts. Ashwin was pretty “cash” in the previous edition to come on and take vital wickets whenever he is thrown the ball by Dhoni but this season, he has one of the best economy rates (6.48) – for bowlers sending down at least 16 overs – but only has 7 wickets to show far. The fact that rest of the bowling lineup isn’t exactly a well oiled, wicket-taking machine, Chennai are getting ruthlessly exposed. Even a Hilfenhaus who was in great bowling form got taken for 14 runs in three deliveries by a fellow who just stepped off the plane. Sure, Hilfenhaus kept bowling that good length that was in Dwayne Smith’s wheelhouse without changing pace or even trying a short delivery, Dhoni of the past would have put the long on and long off dead straight as he did in IPL 3 final for Kieron Pollard.
I know I said in the first of this series of blogs that Chennai will “three-peat” and even after some early setbacks and phenomenal job of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I was buoyant… Screw that. I am turning 180 degrees.
Chennai are not going to make the playoffs. They can sit at home or wherever they sit when they don’t play for CSK and watch Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore vie for the honours. When you are dependent on Aniruddha Srikkanth to come off the bench and launch a few to even keep you alive, you know you are in very dire straits. Well, so long 2012. Bye Bye IPL V. We’ll see you next year. If the Mayans are proven wrong, that is.