Things to note so far from IPL9 (Part 1)

Match 1 – Match 12

Similar to what I wrote for the 2015/16 Big Bash League season, this is the first segment on the trends that have appeared so far in the ninth edition of this revenue-producing machine, that is, the Indian Premier League.

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IPL 2016 Preview

As the dust has barely settled from a spectacular World T20 tournament, the Indian Premier League – that unique combination of huge sixes and Bollywood stars – will be starting up again in a few days. Given the recent player movement in the IPL 2016 auction and the introduction of two new sides with the Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants – did they get a five-year-old to name it? – this is just a preview to get your head around the eight teams of this new season.

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Shane Watson: the big match performer

Bill Lawry once floated the idea that Watson should retire from Test matches and instead focus on the short forms: since he’s a ‘superstar’ in limited overs cricket, why does he bother with a format that puts such a strain on his brittle body? While this might have just been a throwaway line during the commentary of an ODI, it does illustrate this disparity between his achievements in the Test arena and the shorter forms.

His Test record – although not as bad as public sentiment would have it, as I have discussed previously – jumps out as one of underachievement for Australia’s next “Keith Miller”. However, in one-day internationals, he ranks as one of the greatest all-rounders in the format: across his 190 matches, he has aggregated 5757 runs at 40.54 and 168 wickets at 31.79. Among batting all-rounders, only Jacques Kallis and Viv Richards have comparable records. In Twenty20 Internationals, he motored along at a strike-rate of 145 and was miserly with his mediums, which went at an economy rate 7.5. But his true value as a limited overs players is fully depicted by his performances in global ICC tournaments.

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World T20 2016: Team of the Tournament

As with every ICC event, the time has come for the obligatory post on the team of the tournament for the World Twenty20 2016. In a tip to their efforts in pushing their sides to the final, the side includes four Englishmen and two West Indians. From the other nations, we have two from Bangladesh and one each from Afghanistan, India and New Zealand. Read on to find out:

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Snippets of future Associate stars

[Part 1 in a series of articles on Associate nations during post-World T20 2016 period]

During the World T20, the cricketing public were forced onto a diet of games that was particularly low on Associate cricket. The ICC bureaucracy had decided that Associate nations, like cheese pizzas, were best to be avoided because of their bland taste and lack of money-making potential. Thus, the format was designed in such a way that the major Test nations wouldn’t have played an Associate had it not been for Zimbabwe’s dysfunction.

Even though they were restricted by the powers that be, the matches involving the Associates were still able to showcase cricketers who have great potential to make an impact on the cricketing world. The fact that this occurs with such frequency during region-wide or global ICC events lends much credence to the argument for heavier Associate involvement.

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Sheffield Shield: Australia’s next Test batsmen

In the ACA Sheffield Shield Team of the Year, four of the top six are under the age of twenty-four, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. It is manifest that this 2015/16 season has seen the emergence and continued success of the young batsmen – a testament to the improvements that Greg Chappell has made to Cricket Australia’s National Talent program. As such, I have decided to examine the batting prospects from this Shield season.

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