IPL 2017 Preview: Part 2

One day to go for IPL 2017! Here is the second part of our IPL 2017 preview covering KKR, GL, KXIP and DD.

Read Part 1 here.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Skipper:                                  Gautam Gambhir

2016 Finish:                          #4 of 8, losing the eliminator to eventual champions

Best Finish Ever:                  2012 and 2014 Winners

First Match:                           Gujarat Lions vs. KKR at Rajkot, Friday April 7th, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Probably the best balanced side of all – batting, all-rounders, spinners, pacers, young, old!

Players to Watch:

  1. Robin Uthappa: No longer playing for India, Uthappa continues to shine in the IPL; 3390 runs with 17 half centuries since 2008
  2. Trent Boult: Stuck in a stacked SRH lineup last year, he barely played, but will be an excellent fast bowling replacement for Morne Morkel
  3. Chris Woakes: T20 Strike rate of 139 with the bat, 400+ first class wickets with the ball. KKR may have found the perfect replacement for Andre Russell.

Gujarat Lions

Skipper:                                  Suresh Raina

2016 Finish:                          #3 of 8, after topping the table but losing both qualifiers

Best Finish Ever:                  2016, their first and only season so far

First Match:                           Gujarat Lions vs. KKR at Rajkot, Friday April 7th, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Batting heavy with 3 true all-rounders, but limited pure bowling quality

Players to Watch:

  1. Jason Roy: His first ever IPL, but Roy has a T20 strike rate of nearly 145.
  2. Dwayne Bravo: #3 on IPLs all-time highest wicket taker list with his focus on death overs
  3. Ravindra Jadeja: Man of the Series in tests against Australia, Sir is more than capable in the T20 format.

Kings XI Punjab

Skipper:                                  Glenn Maxwell

2016 Finish:                          #8 of 8 for the second year in a row

Best Finish Ever:                  Finalists in 2014

First Match:                           KXIP vs. Rising Pune Supergiants at Indore, April 8, 2017 at 4pm IST

Team Balance:                      Very batting heavy; not a single overseas bowler in the entire squad

Players to Watch:

  1. Eoin Morgan: With 24 T20 half centuries, Morgan was this year’s biggest buy for KXIP
  2. Sandeep Sharma: Not a big name but has a knack to pick up both early and late wickets
  3. Wriddhiman Saha: Sometimes seen as a test specialist, Saha has 2484 T20 runs at a strike rate of over 130

 Delhi Daredevils

Skipper:                                 Zaheer Khan

2016 Finish:                          #6

Best Finish Ever:                  2008, 2009 Semi Finalists

First Match:                           RCB vs. Delhi Daredevils at Bengaluru, April 8, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Light on top order batting, strong lower order and quick bowling

Players to Watch:

  1.  Kagiso Rabada: This young quick was Delhi’s key buy this year; though his T20 stats are limited, his Test and ODI bowling figures are tremendous
  2. Rishabh Pant: Young but with a bright future; he burst on the scene with a test match triple century and 48-ball hundred in the same season
  3. Amit Mishra: Amit Mishra’s leg spinners have picked up 124 victims in his IPL career, second only to Malinga. Can run through any line-up on his day.

IPL 2017 Preview: Part 1

The IPL 2017 is nearly upon us – it kicks off on Wednesday, 5 April 2017 with current champions Sunrisers Hyderabad taking on last year’s runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore.

To get you in the mood, we’ve put together a preview of all the teams. Here is the first part covering Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surnrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. Part 2 will be up on the blog on Tuesday.

Buckle in and enjoy the ride.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Skipper:                                 Virat Kohli

2016 Finish:                          Runners Up

Best Finish Ever:                  2009, 2011 and 2016 runners-up

First Match:                           Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. RCB at Hyderabad, April 5, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      As always, explosive batting, limited marquee bowlers (in fact, just the one)

Players to Watch:

  1. Tymal Mills: The 12-crore man, Mills is a T20 specialist, though he picked up just 7 wickets in 5 matches in the PSL, so will look to deliver this IPL.
  2. AB de Villiers: Need we say more? IPL average nearly 40, strike rate nearly 150.
  3. Tabraiz Shamsi: Though he might struggle to make the playing XI, Shamsi is a useful lesser known bowler whose Chinaman can prove tricky to read

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Skipper:                                 David Warner

2016 Finish:                          Champions

Best Finish Ever:                  2016 Champions

First Match:                           Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. RCB at Hyderabad, April 5, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Top order and fast bowling heavy; light on spin and lower order batsmen

Players to Watch:

  1. Mustafizur Rahman: Nearly unplayable, he picked up 17 wickets at 6.90 in 2016 with his outstanding yorker.
  2. Shikhar Dhawan: Though his Team India spot is up for grabs, there’s no debating his IPL prowess. 500+ runs in 2016, 3000+ all time.
  3. Rashid Khan: He might struggle to make the playing XI, but this Afghan bowls a mean googly and would relish any chance he gets in the IPL.

Mumbai Indians

Skipper:                                  Rohit Sharma

2016 Finish:                          #5 of 8 for the second year in a row

Best Finish Ever:                  2013 and 2015 Winners

First Match:                           Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Mumbai Indians at Pune, April 6, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Light on overseas batsmen; all-rounder and bowler heavy

Players to Watch:

  1. Krunal Pandya: The older Pandya surged to success in 2016 – he will want to pick up where he left off with both bat and ball
  2. Lasith Malinga: IPL’s all time highest wicket taker by some distance, his toe-crushing yorkers are feared by all
  3. Parthiv Patel: Quietly, PP has racked up 500+ runs for MI in just 2 seasons.

Rising Pune Supergiants

Skipper:                                  Steven Smith

2016 Finish:                          #7 of 8

Best Finish Ever:                  Sadly, #7 – 2016 was their first ever IPL

First Match:                           Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Mumbai Indians at Pune, April 6, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Light on Indian batsmen and overseas bowlers

Players to Watch:

  1. Adam Zampa: Few will forget his 6-19 in the 2016 that shot him into the limelight
  2. Faf du Plessis: Tremendously experienced, with nearly 4000 T20 runs and 20 half centuries
  3. Ben Stokes: The 14.5crore buy, he will need to perform with both bat and ball to justify his price tag

India’s Grand Test Season Ends (2016-17)

3-0; 4-0; 1-0; 2-1.

A football team would have been proud to win by such margins. Except, these are test matches won by India in four series this test season – New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.

P13 W10 L1 D2

A win percentage of 76%. A loss percentage of 7.6%. Incredible numbers.

Pitches

All the talk before this home season was about turning pitches. About how Indian pitches were killing test cricket. About how India could only win on turning tracks.

Of the 13 test matches played this season, there were two pitches that turned square – Pune and Bengaluru. The others were good test wickets. Dharamsala where the Australia series concluded so dramatically was an atypical Indian wicket with pace, bounce and carry.

Tosses

India won 6 tosses out of 13. It is true that every time India won the toss, it won the test. However, India also won 4 games out of the 7 tosses it lost (with two draws and one loss), often coming from behind to beat scoreboard pressure. No luck involved there.

Character

Along the way we found out a few more things about the Indian team:

  • That Pujara might be a slow scorer, but is the backbone of the test line-up.
  • That Umesh Yadav has finally grown into the bowler he sometimes threatened to be.
  • That Saha makes runs when the going is tough.
  • That Ashwin played the Australia series with sports hernia (and will miss the IPL).
  • That Rahul played the last four test matches needing shoulder surgery (and will miss the IPL).
  • That Vijay played most of the season with a wrist and shoulder injury (and will likely miss the IPL).
  • That Kohli with three double hundreds in the season hurt his shoulder trying to save a single run for the team (and will miss part of the IPL).
  • That Kohli will carry the drinks for the team if it means he stays involved.
  • That the Indian team was obviously exhausted at the end of a long season but still put in one last heroic performance in Dharmsala to make Kohli’s India the current holder of the test trophy against every other nation.
  • That, this season, the Indian team this season put test cricket above all other forms.

IPL madness starts on Wednesday. This time, let no one say that the IPL is killing the test game.

We will remember this season of test cricket for a long, long time.

A Beginner’s Guide to the IPL Auction Process

We’re still 9 weeks away from the start of IPL 2017, but in three days the IPL teams (with their coaches and thinktanks) will get together in a giant meeting room to bid for players to add to their squads. That’s right, IPL auction season is upon us!

For the uninitiated, here’s a quick beginner’s guide to the IPL Auction Process.

What is it, exactly?

Each year in February the IPL hosts an auction process where teams get to boost their squads. They bid for players not currently attached to a team, and the highest bidding team gets the player.

Why do they need more players?

Every squad must have between 16 and 27 players, with a maximum of 9 overseas players. During the off-season, teams can release players (usually due to underperformance, injury or unavailability), and they’ll use the auction to fill up these slots.

 How much are they allowed to spend?

Each team can spend a maximum of of 66 Crore Rupees on their squad, including current players. This means the amount in their wallet for the Feb 20th auction will vary – for example, Kings XI Punjab have 8 open spots for players but a purse of Rs. 23.35 Crore, while Mumbai Indians have 7 open spots, but a purse of only Rs. 11.55 Crore remaining.

Who needs the least and most players?

KKR finished 4th last season and unloaded a mammoth 6 overseas players, and are now short Andre Russell too. They will buy up to 14 players including 6 overseas.

RCB and Mumbai will only have room to buy up to 7 players in this year’s auction.

What’s the deal with international conflicts?

Each national board has full discretion over players’ schedules; this means for example, England and South Africa are both calling back players in early-mid May to get an ODI series in as prep for the Champions Trophy.

This means even the marquee players might be in lower demand, as international conflicts mean they aren’t available for the entire IPL but would still occupy a spot in the squad.

How many players are up for grabs?

Believe it or not, the list started at 799 players.

Teams submitted wish lists and it dropped to 351 players, including 122 capped internationals.

Remember, combined the teams can only buy a maximum total of 77 players, making the odds of getting bid on just greater than 1 in 5 – yup, nearly 4 of every 5 players in the pool will go unsold in the painfully boring process of having their name announced and no bids. 

Ok, but really, there are obviously some exciting players?

Here’s the fun part. 1Tip1Hand is most excited about a few key players.

3 Most Exciting Marquee Players

·         Ben Stokes (base price 2cr): An asset with bat and ball, Stokes will no doubt stoke (haha!) a bidding war

·         Angelo Mathews (base price 2cr): Although recent form has been average at best, an all-rounder who has leadership experience make Angelo an exciting pick. Sadly, we expect he might not get picked up this year given his reputation as a slow batsman; a T20 strike rate of 120 just isn’t enough

·         Jason Roy (base price 1cr): His tenacity with the bat and recent limited overs experience against India will make him a key pick for any of the 8 IPL sides this year

3 Most Exciting Lesser Known Players

·         Colin de Grandhomme (base price 30lakh): At 30 lakhs, de Grandhomme is a steal with a whopping 170.54 career strike rate. His handy medium pace is a steal for 1-2 overs per game too.

·         Evin Lewis (base price 50lakh): This lesser known West Indian is often in the shadows of stars like Gayle and Russell, but he scored 72% of his runs in boundaries this past year. A strong, cheap opening batsman option.

·         Tymal Mills (50lakh): Mills bowls quick, in the early overs and in the death overs too. His brisk pace and tight economy asset make him a sure shot pick – and bonus over the others English players, he’s not in the England ODI team, so will be around for the entire season.

So there you have it! A beginner’s guide to the 2017 IPL Auction. If you have questions, leave us a comment and we will come back to you.

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India v Bangladesh Test: Preview

In the past seven weeks, India has played against England in all 3 formats . Just over 2 weeks from now, India kicks off a 4-Test series with Australia too. Almost exactly 10 weeks from now, the IPL will kick off with an opening ceremony that is no doubt newsworthy, for better or for worse. That will be followed almost immediately by the Champions Trophy in England. PHEW!

Yet here we are, in the middle of a packed season previewing a standalone test between India and Bangladesh to be played in Hyderabad, from Feb 9-13, 2017.

So how did this Test match find a way into the already crazy calendar? Maybe the BCCI realized that India, despite sharing a border with them, remains the only Test playing nation to have not yet hosted Bangladesh in a Test match. All that is set to change on 9 February 2017.

The last time Hyderabad hosted a test in 2013, Pujara scored a double, Vijay scored a century, Ashwin took a 5-for and Jadeja took 3 wickets in each innings. Kohli will back his top XI and will be looking to warm-up for the upcoming  four test series against Steve Smith’s men with a win here.

Ahead of this (historic?) standalone test, here are a few things we at 1 Tip 1 Hand are watching closely: Read More …