7 REASONS WHY CSK ARE STRUGGLING

7 REASONS WHY CSK ARE STRUGGLING

CSK has now played 7 games and are ranked 7th with 2 wins and 5 losses in IPL 2020.

A team that has emerged victorious thrice and always qualified for the semi-finals or playoffs are second from the bottom at the half-way mark. Their impeccable record displayed below is in danger.

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

From the golden days from 2008-2015 to the Dad’s Old Army comeback win in 2018, CSK have managed to find a way. After the pandemic and subsequent international retirements of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, something just does not feel right this time around.

Apart for Faf du Plessis’s acrobatics and consistency at the top of the order and the revelation in Sam Curran, nothing is going right for the Chennai Super Kings. Even Ravindra Jadeja is dropping catches and missing direct hits.

Let us find out why.

After the 7th game, here are 7 Reasons Why CSK Are Struggling.

Embed from Getty Images

1. CSK Prepared for Chennai

Chennai went into the IPL 2020 auction with the MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chepauk) in mind. The pitches at this ground are known to be slow and turning.

At the 2020 IPL auction, CSK acquired Piyush Chawla (leg spinner) and R Sai Kishore (left arm orthodox) to bolster their already strong squad of spinners:

Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh along with Kedar Jadhav and Suresh Raina

Although Sam Curran and Josh Hazlewood were strong buys, CSK are currently lacking middle order stability and varied fast bowling options on these UAE pitches.

Some of the players they released? Mohit Sharma, Scott Kuggeleijn, David Willey and Sam Billings.

2. Harbhajan and Raina

Before the tournament started, concerns of the bio-secure bubble in CSK’s camp jolted their preparation.

Although 13 players tested positive and later recovered, the casualties were Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. Both opted out of IPL 2020 for personal reasons.

What are we missing here? Let the stats tell you the story:

Raina: 193 matches, 5368 runs, best of 100*, 1-100/38-50s, and the arguably best IPL inning of all time.
Harbhajan: 160 matches, 150 wickets (5th highest), 7.05 economy, best of 5/18

Suresh Raina has been the best batsman in the IPL and an icon for CSK. CSK are missing a left-right combination at the top, a part-time spinner, and a wonderful fielder.

Without his services, CSK are clearly struggling.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

3. Injuries

Ambati Rayudu had led CSK to victory in the opening game with an unbeaten 71. A hamstring injury ruled him for the next couple of games, which further exposed CSK’s brittle middle order.

Add to that Dwayne Bravo’s knee injury that kept him out of the first five games, CSK really did not have much of a squad to play with.

Without four of their key players for the majority of the first 5 games, it is not difficult to see why CSK are in the current position.

4. Lack of Gametime

In March, the world stopped and so did cricket.

Courtesy England, cricket restarted in the middle of the summer. England, West Indies (international and CPL), Pakistan, Ireland, and Australia had all played some cricket.

Rajasthan Royals have Jos Buttler, Steven Smith, Jofra Archer, Tom Curran, and now Ben Stokes – all having played intense international cricket for the past few months.

CSK is just another story. Sam Curran and Josh Hazlewood (common theme, isn’t it?) are the only two players with decent domestic and international cricket behind them.

Most of the other players have retired from international cricket or domestic cricket. Players like Watson only play IPL and PSL in the entire year.

Dhoni has not played since that run-out. Yes, that one. You know exactly what I am talking about.

  • Dhoni’s previous game before the IPL? 9 July 2019
  • Ambati Rayudu? 17 November 2019
  • Murali Vijay, just a tad better. 9 December 2019
  • Kedar Jadhav – played 2 ODI’s in February 2020 with returns of 26*(15) and a patchy 9 (27) against New Zealand. Before that 25 December 2019.

That was 4 of CSK’s top 6 at one point. Just digest that for a second.

The other one in top 6 being Shane Watson, who except for one innings, has looked out of sorts.

5. Bravo

509 T20 wickets and 6331 runs. What a player.

Dwayne Bravo’s designated role is to be the death overs bowler and lower order finisher for CSK.

He was one of the players expected to be in rhythm with some game time under his belt from the CPL. What actually happened?

He sustained a knee injury in the later stages of the CPL with TKR’s unbeaten run to the top. He was in the team in the final but did not bat or ball.

Hence he missed the first few games for CSK. So apart from having a struggling top 6, CSK were also missing the services of talisman Dwayne Bravo at No. 7.

Embed from Getty Images

6. Lack of Intent and Batting Order

Kedar Jadhav was brutally trolled on Twitter after his lackluster display against KKR a few days ago.

Botched chases have been common for CSK this year. Taking the game deep is no longer an option. Here is CSK’s score at the halfway stage (10 over mark) in each of their games:

  • 70/2 chasing 163 vs. Mumbai Indians (Won)
  • 82/4 chasing 217 vs. Rajasthan Royals (Lost)
  • 47/3 chasing 176 vs. Delhi Capitals (Lost)
  • 44/4 chasing 165 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (Lost)
  • 101/0 chasing 179 vs. Kings XI Punjab (Won)
  • 90/1 chasing 168 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (Lost)
  • 47/2 chasing 170 vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Lost)

Two phrases that have come up in every post-match analysis thus far?

Lack of urgency and lack of intent. On air, Kevin Pietersen was extremely critical of Ambati Rayudu’s absence of intensity and energy in running between the wickets in his innings of 42 (40) against RCB.

In each game lost, there has been similar innings’ from the middle order.

  • Dhoni 9(12) (before hitting 3 sixes to get to 29 (17) and the team to 200 vs RR)
  • Vijay’s 10 (15) and Watson’s 14 (16) vs DC
  • Dhoni and Jadeja pushing the required rate up. Needed 78 off 24 before accelerating vs. SRH
  • Kedar Jadhav’s 7 (12) vs. KKR
  • Rayudu’s 40 (42) vs. RCB

The lack of game time is causing each batsman to bide their time, which is hurting the team’s overall performance. Maybe Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja should be pushed up the order in the next few games.

You can play for the Net Run Rate as much as you want….but you need the points on the Points Table in the first place for all that to even matter.

For more such articles, subscribe below!

Embed from Getty Images

7. Team Management And Aging Squad

CSK is filled with match-winners.

Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni are known to back people even when they are struggling. The most famous example is the team management persisting with Shane Watson. Watson repaid the faith in 2018 qualifiers/finals and almost took them home in 2019 as well.

Even this year Shane Watson came back with an unbeaten 83*(53) after struggling initially.

The downside of backing match-winners? Players of the quality of Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Santner are warming the bench and young Indian talent like Jagadeesan not getting many chances.

And of course, the older the squad, the lower the fielding standards.

Where Can CSK Go From Here?

Is there still hope? Yes. CSK fan’s are recalling the 2010 campaign, when they came back from a similar position to win their maiden IPL trophy.

The Chennai Super Kings can still win, but they need to up their intensity, correct their batting order, put faith in youngsters, utilize the mid-season transfer window wisely, and some magic.

My take? Every great team has its ebbs and flows. Even a once-in-a-generation Spain football (soccer) team of the 2010 FIFA World Cup glory had to bow out in the group stages after an unbeaten run.

Every good thing comes to an end.

Some people are calling Shane Watson to retire. Others have been calling for Dhoni’s. I think it is time that the entire CSK team just retire.

Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have led CSK to greatness consistently for over a decade. It is time the Chennai Super Kings start afresh again.

2020 has been a grim year. CSK not qualifying for the playoffs will just set that in stone.

Sources: Cricinfo, IPLT20.com, Cricbuzz
Image Courtesy: Getty Images; Suresh Raina – Image courtesy of Public.Resource.Org via Creative Commons 2.0
Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD

Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD

In this world, nothing is certain except death, taxes, and South Africa failing to win a World Cup. Faf and ABD know this too well. South African fans know this too well. The 2015 semi-final still hurts (as if the 1999, 1992, 2007, and 2011 World Cups were not bad enough).

Just to rub salt in the wound, even England (and kind of New Zealand) won in 2019 while South Africa endured a dismal campaign.

Embed from Getty Images

This image still resonates. Dale Steyn on his knee, Grant Elliot in a moment of great sportsmanship. On the other side, captain AB de Villiers in tears and Morne Morkel—completely shattered.

Faf and ABD: Tale of Two Heroes

Fast forward to September 2020. The IPL is back. So are Faf and ABD.

Usually it is the West Indians who dominate T20 leagues, but this IPL has been South Africa’s so far. In IPL 2020, Anrich Nortje has been a revelation, while Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock continue to show the world why they are South Africa’s torchbearers to the next generation.

If you saw AB De Villiers’ finishing assault on Bumrah or Faf’s consistency in batting and acrobatic catches, you know that they still have it.

Initially, I was going to write two separate articles about Abraham de Villiers and Francois du Plessis, but that is not possible. You just cannot separate them. They are like brothers from another mothers. If AB is the graceful artist, Faf is the resilient leader. Both are legends of South African cricket.

Today we will talk their careers, their friendship, the heartbreak, what could have been, and what could still be.

While AB De Villiers has retired from international cricket (for the time being), Faf continues on. Can Faf fulfill the broken dream of ABD and win South Africa a trophy?

*as of 19 November 2021, AB De Villiers has retired from all cricket because “the flame no longer burns.” Faf Du Plessis himself was ignored from South Africa’s team for the 2021 T20 World Cup and has retired from Tests.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

*Please subscribe to never miss an article! Comment below on your favorite memories of ABD and Faf, and share ahead!

The Beginning

AB de Villers and Faf Du Plessis have been competing on and off the cricket field since middle school. They both went to the same school and university – Afrikaans High School (Affies) and University of Pretoria respectively. Over the years, their friendship has evolved with AB becoming Faf’s best man in his wedding.

Although their personal lives carried smoothly, their careers took vastly different routes.

The South African team under Graeme Smith was the only team that could challenge Australia at their home and would rise to the No.1 Test rankings. With the great Jacques Kallis, Boucher, Ntini, and Pollock, breaking into this team was not an easy task. AB was recognized early as a prospect and was tracked into the national team in 2004. In a couple of years’ time, he had established himself and by 2008, the Perth special guaranteed his journey into greatness.

On the other hand, Faf had to toil his way through domestic cricket, season after season. He even temporarily played in England with a Kolpak deal. Although Faf was becoming disillusioned, AB encouraged him to keep the hope alive with the imminent retirements of Smith and Kallis.

7 years after AB, finally Faf’s day came. It started with an epic.

Faf du Plessis had to wait for his turn in international cricket. When he did get his turn, he took his chance and followed a first innings 78 with a valiant fourth innings match-saving century against Australia in Adelaide.

The Stats

AB De Villiers

Ab De Villiers will go down as one of the All-Time greatest ODI players. Not only is his statistics out of the world – an average above 50 and strike rate above 100, it is the manner in which he changed the game. He was an innovator with his unconventional shots and created the idea of a “360 degree player.” A versatile cricketer, he could adapt to any format, situation, or challenge at hand. He could score 149*(44) or defend 43(354) in a blockathon. Apart from his batting, he can keep wickets, field in any position, and captain.

Can also play hockey, football, rugby, badminton, swim, win science competitions, sing, and has written an autobiography.

Retired from international cricket in 2018 and is a star at RCB.

Records: Fastest ODI 50/100/150, 78 test innings without a duck (most), South Africa’s 2nd highest ODI run scorer and fourth highest test run scorer.

  • Test: 114 matches, 8765 runs, average 50.66, best of 278*, 22-1 00s/46-50s
  • ODI: 228 matches, 9577 runs, average 53.50, 101.90 strike rate, best of 176, 25-100s/53-50s
  • T20I: 78 matches, 1672 runs, average 26.10, 135.16 strike rate, best of 79*, 10-50s

Faf Du Plessis

Faf is one of the most underrated batsman in the current era. He is known for his strong character through his ability to counter tough situations. Like AB, he easily adapts between formats, from blockathons and saving Test matches to becoming a successful T20 batsman with shots like the scoop. Although he is a dependable batsman, he is known for his captaincy – the ability to guide South Africa through tough rebuilding phases as well as the reformation time. And of course, his fielding.

Records: Centuries in all formats as a captain, first player to score century in a day-night Test

  • Test: 65 matches, 3901 runs, average 39.80, best of 137, 9-100s/21-50s
  • ODI: 143 matches, 5507 runs, average 47.47, 88.60 strike rate, best of 185, 12-100s/35-50s
  • T20I: 47 matches, 1407 runs, average 34.31, 134.12 strike rate, best of 119, 1-100/8-50s

The Match That Broke South Africa

The Match

24 March, 2015. New Zealand vs. South Africa at Auckland. The Proteas were arguably the favorites. Since South Africa were in the semi-finals, there had to be the obligatory rain and net run-rate calculations.

South Africa posted an excellent total with Faf, ABD, and Miller finishing the innings well. In response, McCullum blazed away against Dale Steyn, briefly collapsed, and recovered with the Grant Elliot-Corey Anderson steady partnership. Five needed in two, and Elliot hit Dale Steyn over long on for the victory.

A once-in-a-lifetime special innings from Grant Elliot. Grant Elliot, superman.

The Consequence

The great South African generation broke down, both mentally and physically. It was a slow degeneration over the next four years.

Kyle Abbott picked the Kolpak route as a direct result of being dropped for Vernon Philander on the eve of the match due to political pressure and the quota system. Other talents like Rilee Rossouw, Simon Harmer, and Duanne Olivier would follow.

Vernon Philander himself would wane off in a couple of years. Dale Steyn, a fast bowler who was rarely injured for over a decade began picking up freak injuries. Morne retired from international cricket early for Kolpak while ABD retired early to manage T20 leagues loads, a year before the 2019 World Cup.

2019 was a disaster. Numerous injuries, media reports, and the end of illustrious careers of Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, and Imran Tahir.

Only Faf du Plessis survived. Barely.

Embed from Getty Images

Legacy

Faf symbolizes resilience and commitment. After the crushing 2019 campaign, Faf had the choice to hang up his boots but he decided to give back to South African cricket.

The rest of the golden era had retired. What did Faf do? He remained in the game and stayed as captain to absorb all the pressure and criticism. He worked extremely hard, transitioned towards a new team, and inspired the youngsters around him. All with a smile.

Since Faf had to wait seven more years for a South African cap, he cherished every moment as a South African cricketer and realized the struggle of others that have to wait in the wings or are thinking about going to England.

AB De Villiers was the catalyst to South Africa’s fortunes and changed cricket forever with his inventive batting. His premature retirement and the controversies around picking and choosing gained a lot of traction among critics and fans alike, but he had a point. More than anything, he was a victim of an overkill of cricket—it does take a physical and mental toll on you. He gave 14 years to South Africa, playing all formats continuously, and we should appreciate that.

What Can We Learn?

Cricket is unpredictable, a dropped catch or run-out can change the game. Similarly, life is unpredictable. Sometimes the best do not end up victorious, but how an individual responds to tough situations is important.

Faf just never gave up. Whether saving a test match, dealing with ball-tampering allegations, or managing captaincy issues, he just never gave up. Even if the ball is traveling with speed and is seemingly going for a six, just keep your nerve and hang on. You never know, you may pull off a catch.

What does ABD teaches us? Never stop learning and improving. He was regarded as the future of South Africa pretty early on, and he put in everything for them. He kept wickets despite back injuries, opened the batting, finished innings, and captained tough situations, and learned to evolve with time.

Your only competition is with you. Even when AB was at his best, he continued to reinvent self. Your best can always get better.

They both did it differently, but Faf and AB have been inspirational in their own rights. When they batted together, you realized that South Africa was in good hands. They were just a delight to watch, and we hope the very best to them and South Africa in the future.

Where can the Proteas go from here?

Although domestic talent is continuously drained into the Kolpak system, the quota system has been controversial, and systemic discrimination has to be dealt with, all is not lost.

This IPL has shown that Faf is ever dependable, ABD still has some magic, and de Kock is ready to take more responsibility. With stars in Kagiso Rabada, Nortje, and Chris Morris, who knows, 2021 T20 World Cup is where South Africa bounces back.

For South Africa to succeed in 2021, Faf needs ABD, and ABD needs Faf. South Africa and cricket fans around the world— we want them both together, one final time.

Comment below on your thoughts about the article or your favorite memories of AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis.

If you liked this tribute, please check out tributes to Rahul Dravid, Lasith Malinga, and Ellyse Perry along with other such cricketing heroes.

Sources: Cricinfo, IPLT20.com, cricket.com.au, #ProteasFire-Youtube

Image Courtesy: Getty Images
Broken Cricket Dreams of the Day: IPL Edition I

Broken Cricket Dreams of the Day: IPL Edition I

Broken Cricket Dreams of the Day will be a diary of IPL 2020.

Every day, we tweet #BCDoftheDay or #BrokenCricketDreamoftheDay and capture some of the most unfortunate events of the day.

We have already had some interesting ones – David Warner run-out as a non-striker, Hardik Pandya’s hit wicket, Ishan Kishan’s and Mayank Agarwal’s broken dreams to name a few.

Highlight

In any case, the IPL is finally back! We have so much drama already.

A couple of Super Overs, Rahul Tewatia’s magic, Pooran’s effort, CSK’s downfall (too soon?), and my favorite of all – the youngsters on the show.

Devdutt Padikkal, Ravi Bishnoi, Shubman Gill, Mavi and Nagarkoti repaying KKR’s faith, and today Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma with SRH. Several like Yashashvi Jaiswal and Tom Banton yet to fire, but we will definitely be watching.

For every match of the IPL, we start with leading question or highlight of the day.

What was YOUR highlight of the day or do you have a response to the question?

COMMENT BELOW On YOUR THOUGHTS AND BROKEN DREAMS from IPL 2020 so far!

Well anyway, here is my take on the first two weeks of the IPL through tweets!

Broken Cricket Dreams of the Day – IPL Edition Week 1

Day 1 – The IPL is back!!! The fitness is not (except for Faf, of course)
Day 2 – Super Over Loss for KXIP. Can Punjab bounce back?
Day 3 – Unfortunate Run-out, injuries to Marsh, Rashid concussion…
Day 4 – Come on CSK…Go for the win not just the net-run rate.
Day 5 – Hit wicket anyone?
Day 6 – Kohli and dropped catches?

But in all reality, a day to mourn for the cricket community to honor Dean Jones—a life well-lived.

Day 7 – Are Delhi Capitals favorites for the tournament?

Subscribe here for more such articles!

Week 2

Day 8 – Saha struggles, Shubman succeeds
Day 9 – Does anyone have worse luck than Mayank Agarwal in Indian Cricket?
Day 10 – Ishan Kishan. Enough said.
Day 11 – Is there a better IPL death bowler than Kagiso Rabada?
Day 12 – Cool Morgan trumps Archer’s pace
Day 13 – Rohit Sharma vs KXIP (aka the new RCB)
Day 14 – CSK’s Dad’s Army vs SRH’s young guns

Sources: IPLT20.com, Twitter

Image Source: KL Rahul – Bhimappa Shivappa Badakannavara / CC BY-SA 4.0

Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

Reflections of Passion by Yanni, what a beautiful composition. One of my all-time favorite pieces.

It evokes a variety of emotions, all at the same time. The music is playful, yet somber. Soothing, yet powerful. Beneath the passion and the joy, lies a subtle dose of grief and tension.

What is passion in the first place? According to Dictionary.com, passion is a

Strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.

Passion comes in all shapes and forms—it could be romantic, could be ambition to be the best and break barriers, or just a willingness to improve and prove to yourself that you are worth it.

Wait, wait, wait. You would be thinking, where or why is the cricket gone? Why am I talking about music and philosophy all of a sudden? Isn’t this IPL season?

Great question!

Well, lately I have been reflecting about the relationship between a fan and the professional. Cricket is a game filled with passion – the fans, the players, and the administrators alike. The vision of a fan differs vastly from how the sportsperson plays his or her game.

Reflections of Passion – Broken Dreams

Recently, we did several articles on the theme of Broken Cricket Dreams. We learned about Avinash living his cricket dreams in our first cricket interview, exemplified how Ellyse Perry was inspiring a new generation, heard about the #BrokenDreams and #DreamsLived of numerous cricket fans on Twitter, and finally culminated with an article about the unluckiest cricketer in recent memory.

Now, the idea of my own last article perturbed me a bit.

According to a fan’s point of view, we would like to have seen the journey of a few cricketers longer than they lasted, but do they see themselves as unlucky? I am not so sure.

We all want to be part of something greater than we are. Hence, we invest ourselves in the sport. Although the fans are part of the crowd, we want to be in the game, and we live our dreams through the players themselves. If our own favorite player does not play well, we feel bad ourselves deep down inside, as if we had failed.

So are we not being harsh on the player when calling them unlucky or criticizing them?

Anyway, the philosophy can wait for a little while. Stay tuned for the What Can We Learn? from these so-called unlucky cricketers section at the end of the article below.

Audience Poll Results – Top 3 Unluckiest

Before we jump into the moral of the story, here are the actual results of the poll we did on who our viewers thought were the unluckiest cricketers of the last few decades.

*Note, the description of the these players before and why their career stalled is here.

1. ODI: Faded XI

  1. Robin Uthappa
  2. Brad Hodge
  3. Neil Johnson
  • Honorable Mentions : Mohammad Ashraful, Shane Bond, Brad Hogg
  • Others: Alex Hales, Lendl Simmons, James Taylor, Hansie Cronje, Sreesanth

2. Test: Washed Out XI

  1. Mohammad Kaif
  2. Simon Jones
  3. Mohammad Amir
  • Honorable Mention: Adam Voges
  • Others: Marcus Trescothick, Mark Ramprakash, Fawad Alam, Prasanna Jayawardene, Simon Harmer, Duanne Olivier, Stuart MacGill, Lasith Malinga

3. Twitter Poll

Where Are They Now?

While Fawad Alam finally made a hard fought comeback and players like Alex Hales, Mohammad Amir, and Lendl Simmons are still fighting for a spot in their national squads, we look back at how some of the former international cricketers are inspiring the next generation.

I. Marcus Trescothick and James Taylor

Marcus Trescothick was on track to be one of the all-time greatest openers and the best English batsman ever produced before he had to stop playing international cricket due to mental illness during the prime of his career.

What he did after his international career is itself awe-inspiring. He continued playing first class cricket for Somerset till the age of 43 and has been open in talking about his struggles, most prominently with his autobiography, Coming Back to Me. Lately, several cricketers like Jonathan Trott and Glenn Maxwell have come out in public with mental struggle of an international career, but it may not have been possible had Trescothick not paved the way.

James Tayor has also had a similar story. Talented young English cricketer but had to retire at the age of 26 because of a serious heart condition.

Did this stop Taylor from doing what he loves most? No, instead he carried on and stayed close to the game with the goal of giving back to English cricket. He is now a full-time selector and is frequently seen in the stands supporting the England cricket team. He also wrote an inspirational auto-biography, Cut Short.

II. Shane Bond, Mohammad Kaif, and Prasanna Jayawardene

Although Shane Bond’s career halted because of recurring injuries, he is having as much impact as a bowling coach now as he did when he was a fast-bowler for New Zealand. Most prominently, he was the bowling coach of NZ between 2012-2015, the period that saw the growth of this team especially mentoring Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Has also coached Mumbai Indians and Sydney Thunder.

Mohammad Kaif joined the Gujarat Lions assistant coach staff in 2017 (under coach Brad Hodge, another name on our list) and is now the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals under coach Ricky Ponting (they are doing quite well if you have not noticed). As one of the best fielders India produced, one of his areas of focus is to actively promote fitness.

Finally Prasanna Jayawardene, regarded as the best wicketkeeper of Sri Lanka, was recently hired by England as a wicket-keeping coach apart from coaching in Sri Lanka.

III. Brad Hogg and Robin Uthappa

Both Brad Hogg and Robin Uthappa have invested there post-cricketing careers in media and broadcasting like several other players. Although Uthappa is currently representing Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, he has already done a few shows at Cricbuzz. Another way Robin Uthappa has been contributing is mentoring and supporting school-age cricketers.

Brad Hogg is one of the more familiar faces in commentary recently with stints in the IPL, Big Bash, and all over the place. Just look at his Linkedin.

So, What Can We Learn?

This was just a small list we picked from. There are numerous such unsung heroes in our sport.

So looking back, were these cricketers really unlucky? Did they really disappoint? On the contrary, their journey has been just as valuable as someone who has played a 100 Tests.

They may be regarded as “unlucky” in their own cricketing careers for one reason or another, but they may become the source of inspiration, the hand of the support, the “lucky” person someone else needs.

We know the scientific axiom that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. Similarly, passion never dies. The love of the game just transforms.

You can take a cricketer out of cricket, but can never take out cricket from a cricketer. Even if Kaif can inspire one person to live a more fit lifestyle or if Bond discovers the next fast bowler, they have still contributed to the game immensely.

Ups and Downs, success and failure will occur. That is just natural.

The important thing is to remain not-out and go to the next part of the journey.

So you should never give up and keep whatever you are doing. Just stay in the game.

The journey is more important than the destination. Regardless of what happens out there in the middle, the fact that they have given their all is what matters. I hope all these players keep on contributing to world of cricket in one form or the other and continue their journey.

They have all inspired me. Even if you inspire one person, it has been a journey worth living. After all is said and done, with all your shattered and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world out there.

Image Courtesy: Mark Ramprakash – Onewhohelps at English Wikipedia / via CC 3.0; Mohammad Ashraful – Nurunnaby Chowdhury (Hasive) / CC BY-SA 4.0; Stuart MacGill – paddynapper / CC BY-SA 2.0; Yanni / CC BY-SA 2.0; Alex Hales – Amal316 / CC BY-SA 4.0; Shane Bond – Benchill / CC BY-SA 3.0; Marcus Trescothick – SGGH at English Wikipedia / Public domain;

SRH All-Time XI: Fast Bowlers Galore

SRH All-Time XI: Fast Bowlers Galore


Let us continue the IPL Party with SRH All-Time XI!

Ever since Deccan Chargers became SRH, they have been ultra consistent. With the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, and Kane Williamson, their top order has been in safe hands.

Their most unique characteristic, though, is their bowling. Regularly in slow Hyderabad pitches, they have defended scores between 140-150. Most Indian fast bowling internationals have been acquired by SRH at some point or another – Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as well as the up and coming Siddharth Kaul, Barinder Sran, Khaleel Ahmed, and Basil Thampi.

With so many choices available, who makes it in YOUR SRH All-Time XI? VOTE BELOW AND SHARE YOUR XI WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

*Note: We are NOT including players from Deccan Chargers since SRH has been pretty successful since 2013 (even though players like Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, and RP Singh were instrumental in their 2009 win).

The Catch

  • As mentioned above, great top order, foreign players, and fast bowlers – but what about the Indian batsmen? Manish Pandey/Vijay Shankar/Yusuf Pathan maybe?
  • Warner, Williamson, Bairstow? Shakib, Nabi, Rashid Khan, and the Fizz? All great international players. Pick 4 now. The struggle SRH still faces—the problem of plenty.

The Highlights

  • 2016 (Champions), 2018 (Runners Up), 2013, 2017, 2019 (4th)

My SRH All-Time XI

  1. David Warner (2014-2019)
  2. Kane Williamson (2015-2019)Captain
  3. Shikhar Dhawan (2013-2018)
  4. Manish Pandey (2018-2019)
  5. Naman Ojha (2014-2017) – WK
  6. Deepak Hooda (2016-2019)
  7. Mohammad Nabi (2017-2019)
  8. Rashid Khan (2017-2019)
  9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2014-2019)
  10. Siddharth Kaul (2018-2019)
  11. Sandeep Sharma (2018-2019)

Honorable Mentions: Karn Sharma (2013-2016), Dale Steyn (2013-2015), Khaleel Ahmed (2018-2019), Moises Henriques (2014-2017)

Audience Poll – SRH 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=”3″]

Thank you for voting! 

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

Please Share Your Teams with your friends, follow us on Social Media, and do not forget to SUBSCRIBE!

Sources: Cricinfo StatsCricinfo IPL All-Time XI

Image Courtesy: Bhuvneshvar Kumar – Dee03 / CC BY-SA 3.0; Kane Williamson – Mark Lockett / CC BY-SA 2.0; Jonny Bairstow – Mcadge / CC BY-SA 4.0; David Warner – Original photograph: NAPARAZZICrop: Ham105 / CC BY-SA 2.0