IPL 2021: 5 Things to Watch Out For

IPL 2021: 5 Things to Watch Out For

IPL 2021—ladies & gentlemen, the festival is back in town!

IPL 2020 provided us several moments to cherish amidst the global pandemic—Rahul Tewatia’s bizarre heist, Nicholas Pooran’s superman fielding effort, double Super Overs, and the Mumbai Indians stamping their authority once again.

Who will be the surprise package this year? The emerging player? Here are 5 things I am looking forward to the most in IPL 2021.

Also Read: Top 10 Lessons from IPL 2021, Dream Teams IPL 2020

1. Shine Like a Diamond

From the young Ravindra Jadeja in 2008 & Manish Pandey in 2009 to the inspirational stories of Natarajan & Chakravarthy last year, the IPL has a habit of thrusting new faces into limelight. In 2020, uncapped players like Ravi Bishnoi, Abdul Samad, and Devdutt Padikkal had breakout seasons. Here are some of exciting candidates for 2021:

  1. Finn Allen signed as a replacement for Josh Philippe and announced himself to the international stage with a whirlwind 71(29) against Bangladesh. Will he get a match though in the star-studded RCB line-up?
  2. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy graduates Mohammad Azharuddeen (WK/batsman), Shahrukh Khan (finisher), and R Sai Kishore (spinner) would be quite handy if they carried their devastating forms earlier this year.
  3. Surprise Packages Paul Valthaty & Rahul Tewatia became household names after bizarre IPL seasons. Would love to watch a Chetan Sakariya, Lukman Meriwala, or someone we have not heard much about (yet) rising to the occasion.

2. Can the Discards Find Their Way Back to the Pack?

Due to COVID-19, ICC events have allowed up to 23-player squads. For India, this has provided the window for discarded players like Prithvi Shaw, Dinesh Karthik, & Sanju Samson to squeeze into the T20 World Cup squad in October later this year.

Since the World Cup is scheduled to be held in India, it is also a golden opportunity for players from other countries like Liam Livingstone, the Currans, & Dawid Malan (England), Allen & Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand), & Riley Meredith & Jhye Richardson (Australia) to impress their selectors.

Eoin Morgan has made it clear he wants England to hold both the World Cup trophies. He has even gone as far as suggesting that rivals Rajasthan Royals will open with Buttler-Stokes combination (to help England prepare for the World Cup).

3. This is it, isn’t it?

Christopher Henry Gayle is 41 and has recently stated his desire to win a third T20I World Cup and even play for 5 more years. Imran Tahir at 42 and Harbhajan Singh at 40 are still spinning oppositions.

It is unlikely any of them will play all the 14 games, but their experience will be crucial in pressure situations.

We should just sit back and enjoy because this might be the final chance we get to watch players like MS Dhoni on the field. With IPL 2022 having a large auction, this year is definitely the end of an era.

4. Can Cricket Get Any Longer? Rule Changes For IPL 2021

The limited overs series between India and England have caused direct rule changes to this IPL. Some of those T20I games took up 5 hours and Suryakumar Yadav’s soft-signal caused uproar. Last year, the double super overs went well into the next day. For IPL 2021,

  1. Teams have been accommodated 90 minutes per innings including the Strategic Time Outs. Penalties have been raised for violation.
  2. No soft-signal for catches and obstruction of field appeals.
  3. Time capped for multiple Super Overs. If time elapses, the game will be declared a tie (one point each).

5. The World Must Come Together as One

Before we can enjoy the spectacle, the real question is will we even have a complete IPL due to the pandemic?

The PSL showcased brilliant display of cricket…for two weeks before the insecurity of the bio-bubble packed up the tournament.

Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood & Philippe have already withdrawn days from the IPL, and the likes of Axar Patel & Padikkal have tested positive for coronavirus. Cases are rising in India, and several travel concerns still remain.

With mental health, bio-bubble fatigue, and financial security all at stake, only time will decide the fate of this tournament. Let’s just hope that this virus is defeated, the spirit of the IPL remains alive, and the surprises keep on coming.

If you have not yet read our IPL Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:

  1. Chennai Super Kings – CSK Preview
  2. Delhi Capitals – DC Preview
  3. Kolkata Knight Riders – KKR Preview
  4. Mumbai Indians – MI Preview
  5. Punjab Kings – PBKS Preview
  6. Rajasthan Royals – RR Preview
  7. Royal Challengers Bangalore – RCB Preview
  8. Sunrisers Hyderabad – SRH Preview

Image Courtesy: Image by Creative Hatti from Pixabay

Indian Premier League Auction 2021 Review:  Was Maxwell Overpriced & Alex Hales Unlucky?

Indian Premier League Auction 2021 Review: Was Maxwell Overpriced & Alex Hales Unlucky?

Indian Premier League Auction 2021 – It is time for yet another iteration of the IPL.

The IPL held just last September provided joy to many amidst the pandemic, provided several life lessons, and had its share of Super Overs. Now, in the final season before the overhaul and big auction (may expand to 9 or 10 teams in 2022), a short auction was held last week.

The auction had its moments—Chris Morris, the most expensive player EVER, RCB splurging on lower order allrounders, and Sunrisers just present for the participation points (only bought 3 players).

Here is our review of Indian Premier League Auction 2021: The winners, the losers, early predictions, and expected starting XIs.

Also Read: Top 75 Indian Players: Depth of Indian Cricket, Everything You Need To Know About the PSL Quickly

IPL Auction 2021: Players Sold By Country

Here is a quick review of all the international players sold by country.

  • Afghanistan (Afg): Mujeeb Ur Rahman
  • Australia (Aus): Steven Smith, Ben Cutting, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christan, Riley Meredith, Nathan Coulter Nile, Jhye Richardson, Moises Henriques
  • Bangladesh (Ban): Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman
  • England (Eng): Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone
  • New Zealand (NZ): Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham
  • South Africa (SA): Chris Morris, Marco Jansen
  • West Indies (WI): Fabian Allen

Australia were the big gainers with 8 picks (even though the likes of Aaron Finch and Marcus Labuschagne did not find a team), while Sri Lanka had 0 picks. It seems that the era of West Indies T20 freelance monopoly is coming to an end. England is snatching this tag given their marvelous limited overs depth.

Indian Premier League Auction 2021: Auction Highlights, Starting XI, and Early Predictions

  • *Note: The prices are in Indian Rupees as in the auction (Conversion: $1 U.S. dollar = 73 Rupees)
  • *Teams highlighted in their respective jersey colors

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals: Cheteshwar Pujara (50 lac)
  • Indian Uncapped: Krishnappa Gowtham (9.25 crore), Harishankar Reddy (20 lac), Bhagath Verma (20 lac), C Hari Nishanth (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Moeen Ali – Eng (7 crore)

Verdict: Pujara finally gets an IPL deal while Gowtham & Moeen Ali can add the much needed zeal in the CSK lineup. Balanced bowling line up, local Chennai lads in the squad who lifted the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy, and experience in the batting. Final round for Dhoni, Bravo, Uthappa, and Tahir?

Early Prediction: Barely miss the top 4 due to net run rate (The irony)

Expected Starting XI

1. Faf Du Plessis, 2. Ambati Rayudu, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. Ruturaj Gaikwad/Robin Uthappa, 5. MS Dhoni (C/WK), 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Moeen Ali/Sam Curran, 8. Deepak Chahar, 9. Shardul Thakur/ K Gowtham, 10. Imran Tahir, 11. Josh Hazlewood

Squad: Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, R Sai Kishore, Cheteshwar Pujara, Narayan Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, C Hari Nishanth, Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma

Delhi Capitals (DC)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals: Umesh Yadav (1 crore)
  • Indian Uncapped: Ripal Patel (20 lac), Vishnu Vinod (20 lac), Lukman Meriwala (20 lac), M Siddharth (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Steven Smith – Aus (2.2 crore), Tom Curran (5.25 crore), Sam Billings (2 crore) – Eng

Verdict: Good buys for the reserves with Umesh, Steve Smith, Tom Curran, and Billings (Smith most likely to warm the bench). Settled XI, great balance, but can they capture the big moments and maintain momentum?

Early Prediction: The 2020 finalists go one step further? Champions?

Expected Starting XI

  1. Shikhar Dhawan, 2. Prithvi Shaw, 3. Shimron Hetmyer, 4, Shreyar Iyer (C), 5. Rishabh Pant (WK), 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Axar Patel, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Amit Mishra/Ishant Sharma/Umesh Yadav

Squad: Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Sam Billings (WK), Tom Curran, Chris Woakes, Avesh Khan, Lukman Meriwala, Lalit Yadav, Manimaran Siddharth, Praveen Dubey, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod (WK)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals: Karun Nair (50 lac), Harbhajan Singh (2 crore), Pawan Negi (50 lac – 1 T20I)
  • Indian Uncapped: Sheldon Jackson (20 lac), Vaibhav Arora (20 lac), Venkatesh Iyer (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Shakib Al Hasan – Ban (3.2 crore), Ben Cutting – Aus (75 lac)

Verdict: Shakib & Ben Cutting big steals for KKR, but not too sure about Harbhajan Singh & Pawan Negi? Envious finishing prowess, inexperienced Indian fast bowlers the concern, but the real question is—will Brendon McCullum’s notes produce the correct line-up?

Early Prediction: Top 4 Finish

Expected Starting XI

  1. Shubman Gill, 2. Rahul Tripathi/Karun Nair, 3. Nitish Rana, 4. Shakib Al Hasan, 5. Dinesh Karthik (WK), 6. Eoin Morgan (C), 7. Andre Russell/ Ben Cutting, 8. Pat Cummins/ Lockie Ferguson, 9. Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Pawan Negi, 10.Varun Chakravarthy, 11. Prasidh Krishna/Kuldeep Yadav

Squad: Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, Tim Seifert (WK), Harbhajan Singh, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Venkatesh Iyer

Mumbai Indians (MI)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals: Piyush Chawla (2.4 crore)
  • Indian Uncapped: Yudhvir Singh (20 lac), Arjun Tendulkar (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Adam Milne (3.2 crore), Jimmy Neesham (50 lac) – NZ, Nathan Coulter-Nile (5 crore), Marco Jansen (20 lac) – SA

Verdict: Backups in the form of Chawla, Milne, Neesham & Zaheer Khan the mastermind behind the 20 year old left arm pacer, Marco Jansen. IPL 2021 is just an exercise to see how many different ways Mumbai Indians can come with to win the trophy.

Early Prediction: Just to change things a bit, they fail to qualify for the Top 4. Champions in the reverse direction (Who am I kidding?)

Expected Starting XI

  1. Rohit Sharma (C), 2. Quinton de Kock (WK), 3. Ishan Kishan (WK), 4. Suryakumar Yadav, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Krunal Pandya, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Rahul Chahar, 9. Trent Boult, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11. Adam Milne/ Nathan Coulter-Nile

Squad: Dhawal Kulkarni, Saurabh Tiwary, Jimmy Neesham, Jayant Yadav, Aditya Tare (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Marco Jansen, Mohsin Khan, Yudhvir Singh Charak

Punjab Kings (PBKS)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals:
  • Indian Uncapped: Shahrukh Khan (5.25 crore), KC Cariappa (20 lac), Jalaj Saxena (30 lac), Utkarsh Singh (20 lac), Saurabh Kumar (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Jhye Richardson – Aus (14 crore), Riley Meredith – Aus (8 crore), Dawid Malan – Eng (1.5 crore), Moises Henriques – Aus (4.2 crore), Fabian Allen – WI (75 lac)

Verdict: Dawid Malan, current word’s best T20 batsman, & Fabian Allen were quite the deal. Looking forward to Shahrukh Khan, the finisher, and hopefully Jalaj Saxena, the first class veteran. Definite contenders this time around. The change of name to PBKS to bring the luck?

Early Prediction: Top 4 Finish

Expected Starting XI

  1. KL Rahul (C/WK), 2. Mayank Agarwal, 3. Dawid Malan/Chris Gayle, 4. Nicholas Pooran, 5. Deepak Hooda, 6. Shahrukh Khan, 7. Fabian Allen/ Moises Henriques, 8. Arshdeep Singh, 9. Chris Jordan/ Jhye Richardson, 10. Mohammad Shami, 11. Ravi Bishnoi

Squad: Murugan Ashwin, Prabhsimran Singh, Riley Meredith, Ishan Porel, Sarfaraz Khan (WK), Jalaj Saxena, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Saurabh Kumar, Utkarsh Singh

Rajasthan Royals (RR)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals: Shivam Dube (4.4 crore)
  • Indian Uncapped: Chetan Sakariya (1.2 crore), Kuldip Yadav (20 lac), Akash Singh (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Chris Morris – SA (16.25 crore), Mustafizur Rahman – Ban (1 crore), Liam Livingstone (75 lac)

Verdict: All weak points from IPL 2020 fixed. With Shivam Dube and Chris Morris, the double Rs may not have to rely on Tewatia magic alone. The foreign 4 pick themselves, but Miller, Livingstone, the Fizz, and Andrew Tye are T20 specialists themselves.

Early Prediction: Top 4 Finish…in the first half. Then momentum is lost, and they end up in the bottom two. The usual.

Expected Starting XI

  1. Jos Buttler, 2. Yashasvi Jaiswal/ Manan Vohra, 3. Sanju Samson (C/WK), 4. Shivam Dube, 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Rahul Tewatia, 7. Chris Morris, 8. Jofra Archer, 9. Shreyas Gopal, 10. Kartik Tyagi, 11. Mayank Markande/Jaydev Unadkat

Squad: Riyan Parag, David Miller, Liam Livingstone, Mustafizur Rahman, Andrew Tye, KC Cariappa, Anuj Rawat, Chetan Sakariya,

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals:
  • Indian Uncapped: KS Bharat – WK (20 lac), Sachin Baby (20 lac), Rajit Patidar (20 lac), Mohammed Azharuddeen (20 lac), Suyash Prabhudessai (20 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Kyle Jamieson – NZ (15 crore), Glenn Maxwell – Aus (14.25 crore), Daniel Christian – Aus (4.8 crore)

Verdict: They won the Indian Premier League 2021 Auction battle—Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, & Dan Christian. Finishing problems fixed. With basically the entire Indian bowling lineup returning from Australia’s success, promising uncapped openers, & the golden touch of Christian, RCB may finally cross the line.

Early Prediction: Finalists.

Expected Starting XI

1. Mohammed Azharudeen, 2. Devdutt Padikkal, 3. Virat Kohli (C), 4. AB de Villiers (WK), 5. Glenn Maxwell, 6. Daniel Christian, 7. Washington Sundar, 8. Kyle Jamieson/Daniel Sams, 9. Mohammed Siraj, 10. Navdeep Saini, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Squad: Harshal Patel, Joshua Phillippe (WK), Kane Richardson, Sachin Baby, Shahbaz Ahmed, KS Bharat (WK), Pavan Deshpande, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

Auction Highlights

  • Indian Internationals: Kedar Jadhav (2 crore)
  • Indian Uncapped: Jagadeesha Suchith (30 lac)
  • Foreign Recruits: Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1.5 crore) – Afg

Verdict: Kedhar Jadhav is a good backup choice for Vijay Shankar in case of injuries & Nabi-Rashid-Mujeeb together in Hyderabad, wow! They have the options, but can they figure their best XI in time?

Early Prediction: SRH lose several matches at the start, out of contention early, but will break the dreams of the teams in the middle at the backend of the tournament. Bottom 4 Finish.

Expected Starting XI

  1. David Warner (C), 2. Wriddhiman Saha (WK), 3. Manish Pandey, 4. Kane Williamson, 5. Vijay Shankar/Kedar Jadhav, 6. Priyam Garg/Abdul Samad, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Jason Holder/Mohammad Nabi/ Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. T Natarajan, 11. Sandeep Sharma

Squad: Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Mitchell Marsh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shrevats Goswami (WK), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Tamphi, Jagadeesha Suchith, Virat Singh

The Broken Dream: Players That Went Unsold

Since this is the final IPL before the big auction in 2022, this small auction was expected to have several players unsold.

Broken Dreams of IPL 2021 Auctions:

  • Hanuma Vihari—hero of Sydney. Unpicked in the first couple of rounds, his name was called again for the final auction round. Still unsold. Insult to injury. Literally. (The only prominent currently in the Indian setup to not have a deal since Pujara was picked).
  • Aaron Finch—one of the best T20I players of all-time just could not manage a consistent IPL season.
  • Shaun Marsh, an end of an era. Along with Shane Watson, was the bright overseas star. KXIP stalwart in the early years, Orange Cap of IPL 2008, but could not buy any buyers.
  • Alex Hales. Enough said.

IPL Auction 2021: Entire Unsold List

Foreign: Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Evin Lewis, Aaron Finch, Glenn Phillips, Alex Carey, Kusal Perera, Sheldon Cottrell, Adil Rashid, Ish Sodhi, Qais Ahmad, Sandeep Lamichhane, Rovman Powell, Shaun Marsh, Corey Anderson, Devon Conway, Darren Bravo, Rassie van der Dussen, Martin Guptill, Marnus Labuschagne, Oshane Thomas, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Naveen Ul Haq, Ben Dwarshuis, Thisara Perera, Ben McDermott, Matthew Wade, Sean Abbott, Josh Inglish, Scott Kuggeleijn, Wayne Parnell, Reece Topley, Chris Green, Isuru Udana, George Linda, Jack Wildermuth, Gerald Coetzee, Tim David

Indian Internationals: Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh, Varun Aaron, Mohit Sharma

Indian Uncapped: Himanshu Rana, Gahlaut Singh, Atit Sheth, Himmat Singh, Vishnu Solanki, Ayush Badoni, Vivek Singh, Avi Barot, Kedhar Devdhar, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujtaba Yousuf, Kuldeep Sen, Tushar Deshpande, Karanveer Singh, Sudhesan Midhun, Tejas Baroka, Kaan Sharma, KL Shrijith, G Periyasamy, Siddhesh Lad, Tajinder Singh, Prerak Mankad, Simarjeet Singh, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Ajay Dev Goud, Harsh Tyagi, Pratyush Singh

Your Opinion Matters: Was Maxwell Overpriced & Hales Unlucky?

Let us know what you thought about the auction by commenting here below:

  1. Was Glenn Maxwell overpriced? Is 2021 the year or are we still carrying IPL 2014 nostalgia?
  2. The likes of Adil Rashid and Alex Hales do not find a team. First team England ditch Hales & now after top scoring in the BBL, no buyers. Contender for the unluckiest player of All-Time?
  3. Steal of the Auction: Shakib Al Hasan, Dawid Malan, Fabian Allen, or Ben Cutting?
  4. KKR’s buy of Harbhajan Singh? Why?

Here were my biggest winners and losers from Indian Premier League 2021 Auction. What did you think? What are YOUR predictions? Comment Below!

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Copyright (2021: 2/21/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Sources: Cricinfo

Top 10 Life Lessons From IPL: Beauty of Cricket

Top 10 Life Lessons From IPL: Beauty of Cricket

What is life without its beautiful life lessons?

As nineteenth-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

In this age of fast-paced technology and instant gratification, we sometimes focus too much on day-to-day activities and forget to appreciate life at the fullest. Here at Broken Cricket Dreams, we seek inspiration in our lives from cricketing events, relive childhood memories, and share our broken dreams.

Earlier, we did a piece on Cricket’s Reflections of Passion, where we discussed how each and every cricket is motivational in their own right, whether they have played 100 tests or just one. Similarly, today we discuss the life lessons from from IPL 2020.

IPL is a tournament where dreams come true. T. Natarajan, Mohammad Siraj, Yashasvi Jaiswal, the Afghan duo of Rashid and Nabi, and architect Varun Chakravarthy are just few of the countless examples. Their journeys are already so inspirational, even before taking the IPL in consideration.

This year has been different though due to the pandemic. IPL 2020 has provided the fans an ounce of relief that was needed. Here are 10 life lessons that IPL 2020 has provided us.

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The Life Lessons

1. Soil Fertile Elsewhere

Moment: IPL moving to the UAE

With the growing pandemic situation in India, it was never feasible to hold a full-fledged IPL there. The BCCI took the bold decision and moved it to UAE, putting all the safety precautions in place. Hats off to all the organizers, staff, commentators, and players for making this happen.

Seeds need the right environment to grow, and sometimes the soil is fertile elsewhere. In this case, soil was literally fertile elsewhere. It is completely okay to acknowledge that and nurture the seed where it is best poised for growth. So how can we apply this in our lives?

Life Lesson 1: Spread goodness and good ideas. Recognize that you will not be the center of attention all the time. Sometimes just stepping aside, encouraging others, and lending them a hand is just as important.

2. The Audacity of Hope

Moment: Rahul Tewatia’s heroics

After struggling at 17 (23) in a mammoth chase of 226, Tewatia roared back with 5 sixes in an over against Sheldon Cottrell ending with 53 (31). The initial struggle even provoked the commentators to propose the ‘retire out’ option.

He battled and stayed in the game. Only someone with immense self-confidence and inner mental strength could overcome such pressure. This reminded me of Barack Obama’s iconic 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address:

“Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope.”

This is exactly what Rahul Tewatia has taught us this season.

Life Lesson 2: When life gives you lemons, weather the storm with the best of your abilities and come back with a bang. Hang in there. Before thinking of quitting, reflect on why we came into the profession in the first place.

3. Rise Like a Phoenix

Moment 1: KXIP need 1 off 3, Mayank Agarwal fails to close the chase after a brilliant 89. DC win the Super Over.

Moment 2: The Double Super Over – Agarwal comes in clutch with a brilliant save and hits the winning runs with 8* (2).

Although he could not take KXIP across the line in the first attempt, he learned from his mistakes and made amends the second time around.

One of the stories of IPL 2020 was Mayank Agarwal. His toil in domestic cricket is well recorded. After years of piling the runs without national selection, he finally made it to international cricket.

Life Lesson 3: It is not the end till the end. Disappointments will occur. The important thing is to learn from this setback, not drag on the disappointments, and come back stronger.

4. Make Most of Your Opportunities

Moment: Anukul Roy and J. Suchith, aka specialist substitute fielders of IPL 2020.

They both changed games themselves by taking diving catches at crucial junctures of the game. In Hindi, Anukul means favorable. Throughout the tournament, he did just that—made situations favorable for himself.

Life Lesson 4: It is easy to get disheartened when you are on the sidelines or not getting that promotion, but you never know. Always be prepared. When your opportunity arrives, cash in. This may be the moment you have prepared all your life.

5. Synergy Above All

Moment: Team spirit of SRH and MI pushes them to the the playoffs (and championship)

Synergy is defined as “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of individual elements, contributions, etc” [1]. Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians were prime examples of this phenomenon in this tournament.

SRH were dealt with injury blows all throughout the tournament—Mitchell Marsh, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Kane Williamson on and off. Just take a look at SRH’s man of the match winners:

Rashid Khan, Priyam Garg, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Kane Williamson.

Notice something? David Warner, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad do not even feature in this list.

Similarly, MI had contributions from each team member. Even the little contributions from Jayant Yadav in the final and Suryakumar Yadav’s sacrificial run-out for the betterment of the team turned out to be momentous.

Life Lesson 5: Teamwork, harmony, unity is more important than just individual contributions. This can be applied to sports, work, or education. Invest in collaborative efforts.

Embed from Getty Images

6. Small Hole Can Sink a Ship

Moments: 5 Super Overs including 3 in one day

With plenty of Super Overs and Double Super Overs, this IPL was not short of excitement. Catches win matches, direct hits changes games. Still holds true. Given that the points table were extremely close at the end, these super overs may have changed some fates.

Life Lesson 6: Focus, Focus, Focus. Every moment matters, every detail matters. It is easy to be complacent and declare victory prematurely, but a small mistake can come back to haunt you.

7. Carry Old Baggage At Your Own Risk

Moment: Delhi Capitals and the Chennai Super Kings

Delhi Capitals were on a roll for the first half of the tournament, but they lost momentum drastically. Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis blew hot and cold, ranging from match winning contributions to absolutely nothing. Holding on to older performances may have hindered DC to rise to the next level.

Another team that held on too long? CSK. Their old stars carried the baggage and credentials for maybe one season too long.

Life Lesson 7: Keep on Improving. Holding on to past performances, and achievements may hinder your present. Stay in the present, and “keep it simple, stupid.”

8. When One Era Closes, Another Opens

Moment: Dale Steyn and CSK on the way out, Padikkal, Garg, Gaikwad, and co. come to the party

Sports can provide legendary status to some during their careers. Dale Steyn and MS Dhoni are legends and will always remain so. IPL 2020 confirmed that their careers were on the last lap, and honestly it was a sad sight.

On the other hand, the Indian youngsters showed promise. They were so good, we could even make an uncapped XI out of them.

Life Lesson 8: Transitions are a part and parcel of life. Sometimes it is hard to let go, but it is going to be okay. We can relieve the old memories, but moving on at the right time is crucial.

9. Fix Roof When Sun Is Shining

Moment: Warning to Indian cricket for the future

The talent emerging in Indian cricket is tremendous. With nurturing from U-19, India A, and IPL squads and mentorship with people like Rahul Dravid, these cricketers are already a ready, mature product.

Although we have to take care of these youngsters, both physically and mentally, the BCCI needs to make sure these talents do not go wasted.

Mayank Agarwal barely made it, talents like Manish Pandey and Rishabh Pant have been mishandled, and Suryakumar Yadav is in the danger of not being selected in his prime.

Indian cricket needs to take the right decisions when the time is good. Otherwise, semi-final losses will become an excruciating pattern…

Life Lesson 9: Make hay when the sun shines. Everyone goes through high and lows. Just make sure to capitalize when the going is good, because it will not remain so forever.

10. Sportsmanship and Passion for the Game

Moment: Harsha Bhogle’s quote of the IPL, “That is what sport should be about. There is humanity off the field; competition on it and the two are never at odds with each other”

Sport is tough and competitive in nature, but outside of the stadium, all the players are human. The T20 leagues have definitely helped in building relationships across boundaries, and it would be great if cricket is actually played like the ‘gentleman’s game.’

Finally, without spectators, the will of the players was on display in IPL 2020. They played for the love of the game. The players did their best and competed with complete energy even without any external applause.

Life Lesson 10: Internal Motivation vs External Motivators – One should always give their best without expecting in return. Just keep on improving, give it your all, and leave the rest.

If this happens with the sportsmanship, then we have a win-win situation here. I would like to leave you with:

What is life without cricket? What is cricket without the life lessons?

Let us know which life lessons were your favorite in the COMMENTS below. As always, please share and subscribe for FREE below!

Embed from Getty Images

Life Lessons Inspired by conversations with Dad

Sources: [1] Dictionary.com, [2] IPLT20.com, [3] Cricinfo
Image Courtesy: Sourav Ganguly.jpg: Hashir Milhanderivative work: Legolas2186, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
IPL 2020: The Dream Teams

IPL 2020: The Dream Teams

With the end of IPL 2020, fans and experts chipped in with their choices of the Dream Teams. Recently, social media went ablaze with Virender Sehwag’s highly debated IPL XI. Virat Kohli and David Warner at 4 and 5—it is easy to see why that was the case.

So I decided to join the party!

Here is my IPL XIs, with a couple of twists, of course.

Today’s Twist:

I will build two IPL Dreams today—the Obvious XI and the Non-Obvious XI. The goal is to see if my team could beat the Obvious Team of the Tournament. Here are the rules:

  • Have at least one uncapped player in each team
  • The IPL rules apply – 4 foreign players maximum
  • A wicketkeeper and 5 bowling options are necessary
  • The Obvious XI will contain the winners of the Orange Cap, Purple Cap, and MVP awards
  • The two teams should not have any overlap.

The Catch:

In IPL 2020, the foreign fast bowlers were on fire—Jofra Archer, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, but how many can you fit in? Additionally, the Indian squad have prolific wicketkeeper batsmen, but will all of them make it?

Tough choices to make…

IPL XI – The Dream Teams

The Non-Obvious XI

Here is my choice — the not-so-obvious Dream Team.

*Note: Bolded players represent the foreign players

  1. Mayank Agarwal
  2. Wriddhiman Saha (WK)
  3. David Warner (C)
  4. Suryakumar Yadav (U)
  5. Kane Williamson
  6. Sam Curran
  7. Rahul Tewatia (U)
  8. Anrich Nortje
  9. Thangarasu Natarajan (U)
  10. Varun Chakravarthy (U)
  11. Mohammad Shami

*WK – Wicketkeeper, C – Captain, U – Uncapped

In the batting front, this team has sparkling openers, the experience of Warner and Williamson, Suryakumar Yadav’s flamboyance, and Sam Curran/Tewatia as floaters.

With Sam Curran and Shami as the opening swing bowlers, Nortje as the pace spearhead, Natarajan as the designated death bowler, the mystery of Varun, and the leg-spin of Tewatia, the bowling line-up is balanced. If necessary, even cool Kane Williamson can role over his arm.

The Obvious XI

  1. Shikhar Dhawan
  2. KL Rahul (WK)
  3. Devdutt Padikkal (U)
  4. AB De Villiers (C)
  5. Ishan Kishan
  6. Hardik Pandya
  7. Rashid Khan
  8. Jofra Archer
  9. Kagiso Rabada
  10. Jasprit Bumrah
  11. Yuzvendra Chahal

*Orange Cap (Most Runs), Purple Caps (Most Wickets), Most Valuable Player (MVP)

With left-right hand combination (overrated but still) till No. 6 and bowling line-up of the decade, this is a pretty strong team. So, you decide, can my team defeat the Obvious XI?

Jofra Archer vs. David Warner, anybody? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW! Let us know of your IPL XI as well!

Honorable Mentions:
  • Quinton De Kock, Trent Boult, Jason Holder, Ben Stokes, Marcus Stoinis, Faf du Plessis, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Abdul Samad, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi

I had a tough time leaving QDK and Boult out. Both were magnificent, but the 4-foreign player quota came into the equation.

Notice something? None of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, or Shreyas Iyer (captains of 3 of the top 4 teams) make it into either of my XIs or the honorable mentions.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this…COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW! Also share ahead and subscribe to our email list below:

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Conclusion

This was a peculiar tournament in terms of player performance. While the foreign players and the Indian uncapped players impressed, the current and former Indian players disappointed.

Although Dhawan, Kohli, and Iyer were among the runs, none of them looked consistently convincing. Similarly, former IPL stars like Robin Uthappa and 2019 World Cup squad members — Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, and Kuldeep Yadav — all had a sub-par season.

On the other hand, a 15-member squad could be created out of the impressive uncapped youngsters themselves:

  • Padikkal, Gaikwad, Kishan, Suryakumar, Garg, Samad, Sharma, Nagarkoti, Mavi, Bishnoi, Varun, Natarajan, Arshdeep, Tyagi, Prasidh Krishna

IPL 2020 was the beginning of the end of the 2007 T20 World Cup and IPL 2008 era. The early stars are slowly fading away in the background, while the newer generation are storming to the forefront.

Embed from Getty Images

Image Courtesy: Getty, Suryakumar Yadav – Sirshak9927, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

CSK All-Time XI: Dad’s Army Most Consistent

CSK All-Time XI: Dad’s Army Most Consistent

CSK All-Time XI, let us start with the obvious. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina – the twin retirements that shook the world. Now that international cricket is off their mind, who knows they might play even better!

In the All-Time CSK XI, Thala and chinna thala are the two pillars of CSK, but who else is a guarantee?

Even after the two year exodus, CSK has come back with the ‘Dad’s Army’ and won it in style. How long can do they with these old stars? Only time will tell.

CSK has ALWAYS made it to the playoffs—they are just that good. When the odds are in their favor, they win. When the odds are not in their favor, they definitely win.

Anyway, VOTE BELOW AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

Meanwhile, here is our All-Time CSK XI.

*Note: CSK were banned between 2016-2017, so these players played for other teams then.

The Catch

  • In slow turning Chennai pitches, Ashwin, Jadeja, Jakati, and Harbhajan have all played monumental roles – can you fit all four of them in?
  • At the top of the order, it seems CSK have a revolving door of Australians – Matthew Hayden made way for Mike Hussey, who was eventually replaced by Shane Watson (there is a Faf in the mix too). Who do you pick?

The Highlights

  • 2010, 2011, 2018 – (Champions), 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019 (Runners Up), 2009, 2014 (3rd)

MY CSK All-Time XI

  1. Mike Hussey (2008-2015)
  2. Murali Vijay (2009-2013, 2019)
  3. Suresh Raina (2008-2019)
  4. Ambati Rayudu (2018-2019)
  5. MS Dhoni (2008-2019) – Captain/WK
  6. Subramaniam Badrinath (2008-2013)
  7. Ravindra Jadeja (2012-2019)
  8. Albie Morkel (2008-2013)
  9. Dwayne Bravo (2011-2019)
  10. Ravichandran Ashwin (2009-2015)
  11. Imran Tahir (2018-2019)

Honorable Mention: Shane Watson (2018-2019), Deepak Chahar (2018-2019), Shadab Jakati (2009-2012), Faf du Plessis (2012-2019)

Audience Poll – CSK All-Time XI

  • Pick 11 players from the list – with 4 foreign players maximum.
  • You need to have a wicketkeeper and at least 5 bowling options.
[yop_poll id=”4″]

Thank y’all for voting! Share with your friends, comment below on your XI, and subscribe to the blog/ follow our social media pages!

For other IPL All-Time XIs, check this page out.

Sources: Cricinfo StatsCricinfo IPL All-Time XI

Image Courtesy: Ravindra Jadeja – Amrapahal Pahanswan / CC BY-SA 4.0; MS Dhoni – Pulkitsinha / CC BY-SA 2.0; Albie Morkel – YellowMonkey/Blnguyen / CC BY-SA 4.0; Matthew Hayden – Eva Rinaldi / CC BY-SA 2.0; Suresh RainaNAPARAZZI / CC BY-SA 2.0