So, the great Indian Cricketing Circus called Indian Premier League, v2.0 is going to commence today. This time however, it has been outsourced to South-Africa, due to the National elections in India. Truly shows the how cricket has become globalized, since you could take the Indian Premier League out of India, but probably not vice-versa!
Though I hadn’t expected the last season to become such a huge hit, I did sit up till late in the night to watch almost all the matches. And I did make a whole lot of predictions, some of which hit the bulls eye, remaining ones went way off the mark.
So, tournaments such as these give rise to a lot of “Dream Team” competitions, which ask you to pick your dream team of 11 players within a specified budget. You have maximum N substitutions throughout the tournament, so it’s about picking the right person at the right time. My room-mates regularly participate in such competitions. But the drawback of this N substitutions rule is that you gotta keep following every game and keep thinking about the substitutions pretty much throughout the tournament. Lot of work for us busybodies!
Hence, this year, my room-mates have decided to ditch the various dream-team contests and have instead come up with one of their own. With the initial points borrowed from cricinfo site, the goal is to pick the best 15 with the upper-cap of 130000 points (Let us simplify this to 130, as it makes easier reading). This 15 is going to be fixed for the whole tournament. So, everyday, whoever amongst these 15 play, you’ll gain points according to their performance.
So, for my team, I went by a simple strategy. If I had to pick 5 teams who would enter the semi-finals, they would be the following in that order : Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.
So each of these 5 teams should have 2 players at least. So, the strategy is to have one all rounder in each if possible. Next choice would be a batsmen, and finally bowlers. Also, of the two, have one Indian player who is sure to play in the 11. Based on these constraints, I picked the following:
- Chennai Super Kings: Albie Morkel (9.5), Suresh Raina (9.5)
- Delhi Daredevils: A.B. DeVilliers (6.5), Virender Sehwag (10.5)
- Mumbai Indians: Abhishek Nayar (7.5), Dhawal Kulkarni (7.5)
- Rajastan Royals: Ravindra Jadeja (7.5), Munaf Patel (8.5)
- Kings XI Punjab: Yuvraj Singh (11), Kumar Sangakkara (10)
That leaves us with the remaining three teams. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkota Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers. I want to pick one from each team.
Though I will be rooting for Royal Challengers Bangalore throughout the tournament, I don’t think they have it in them to make it to the semis yet. The team still has to shed off it’s test-team Image. It’ll happen in some time, but probably not this year.
As for Kolkota, they seem to be a confused team. I mean, their strategy w.r.t experimentation is akin to shipping bleeding edge software in production systems. Innovation is good, but it shouldn’t try to disrupt the proceedings so badly.The multiple-captain theory is in my opinion one of the most absurd things I ever heard. I was thinking what algorithm would they choose to decide when are they going to select a new captain and who is going to select a new captain! Probably the coach decides the “when” and the players vote for the “who”. Or the outgoing “who” nominates the new “who”. It’s totally crazy!
And finally Deccan Chargers. They have a lot of stars. But I doubt if they can get their coordination right.
So, my one player per these team would be:
- Royal Challengers Bangalore: Praveen Kumar (7.5)
- Kolkota Knight Riders: Ajit Agarkar (7.5)
- Deccan Chargers: Rohit Sharma (10.0)
Since I had to pick only one player, I might as well pick someone who is going to be in the team. So, choosing a non-Indian player seemed like a risk. Hence these.
That leaves us with two more players. I believe that this IPL’s finalists would be Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils. So, based on this belief, I would go for the remaining two players from these two teams. They would be:
- Chennai Super Kings: Makaya Ntini (7.5)
- Delhi Daredevils: Glenn McGrath (8.5)
That brings the tally to 129, which is equivalent to 129000 points, well within the 130000 limit that we’ve set for ourselves.
Lets see how things play out. Let the Circus Begin!