After a 2-day hiatus, MTJAG’s back with the previews and live threads!
I am running home right now , hope to log in by 8:30pm or so, get it started at the comments section folks!!


Quick Overview

After getting repeatedly flushed down the toilet by a number of teams, both these refused to go away, resurfacing with a fancy win in their last games. DD upstaged  RCB in their own house, which was quite a creditable win. KKR, in the meantime, beat up the door mat in Kings XI Punjab. It remains to be seen which team will continue the trend upwards.

Bowl-O-Meter

KKR: 2.5/5

Meh is how I’d still put it. The Economist aka Murli Karthik got injured in the last game, and KKR need him back for his miserly 4 over quota. Bond , who hadn’t made the same kind of impact that some of his other speedy counterparts did, finally showed some serious force in the last game, and needs to continue on the same vein.Danda Dinda got some serious ass-whooping and was taken out after his 2 overs, and it remains to be seen if KKR persist with him.  Mathews was good, and God (Agarkar) was a welcome addition to the team. If Ishant and Karthik are fit, they’d be natural replacements for Dinda and Abdulla, and the bowling suddenly has a more settled look.

Ishant and karthik for Dinda and Abdulla.

DD: 2.5/5

The bowlers did a fair job against RCB, but it was those suicidal run-outs that really tilted the game in favour of DD.  After starting red-hot, Nannes seems to have mellowed down a bit, and he must fire. Yadav has been steadily improving, and Mishra has been good. Mcdonald gave away a few runs, and he needs to keep that in check. Delhi seems to have a problem with replacement bowlers (none seem to exist). For now , the best they seem to have is the current lot of Nannes, Sangwan, McD, Mishra and Yadav. If Nehra’s back, it might help a bit. What surprises me is why Karthik hasn’t used Viru’s off spin. The man can be  tricky with them, and it won’t hurt to use him for an over or 2.

Bat-O-meter

KKR : 2.5/5

Yeah, Tiwary had a great game, and Dada finally came to the party, but calm down people. It was KXP, the team with 1 win and 1 old chick. So let’s not get all excited here. The good? Ganguly finally seems to be getting “it” and that’s a good sign. Gayle right up front has been a welcome boon for the team, and if David Hussey can find his rhythm, they’ve finally gotten themselves a batting unit. Tiwary showed his capabilities in the last game, but I was a little curious as to why he had to wait till the last 5 deliveries for those fireworks. He seems to be a confidence-player, and so needs to build on this to continue.  Till they prosper against a team with a pulse, I am going to take the wait-and-see approach and give them 2.5.

DD: 3/5

Finally, things seem to fall into place. Warner has been giving DD some whirlwind starts,and if Sehwag gets going too, it can spell O.H..S.H.I.T for the opposition.  ABdV and Karthik seem to be finding their form, but keep getting themselves out way too soon.  I like the pluck shown by young Jhadav , but it was one game.  The key is to get the core of the middle order going, and we all are still waiting with bated breath (almost stale now) for ABdV to take over a game or 2 , the way he is capable of.

Match-Ups

KKR Bowling vs DD Batting :  Slight Advantage – DD

KKR has the task of facing not 1 , but 2 freaks of nature. Viru and his Aussie mirror image Nannes  seemingly go into the field with 1 task in mind – destroy.   To counter them, Bond must be at his absolute best, and if I were KKR, I’d open with Agarkar/Mathews , both of whom can be a little wily and take the pace off it.  Murli Karthik, if around , needs to keep AB quiet.
From DD’s perspective, both Warner and Viru seem to have prematurity issues.  Before you know it, it’s over and they both are back in the pavilion. Even if 1 sticks around till the 10th over, the game swings wildly in favour of DD, and they should realize it. Allow 1 of them to go after the openers while the other gets his eye in. I’d ask Viru to be the aggressor, and Warner to show some restraint so that he can tackle Murli Karthik’s incoming spin later. AB needs to convert his starts to finishes, and if he can do that, Delhi can get into a run , starting TODAY.

KKR Batting vs DD bowling: EVEN

There’s really not much to choose here.  Nannes vs Gayle will be quite exciting, but Nannes has to be at his fiery best. I would also give Viru  a shot to bowl at Gayle, and get the ball moving away from him .Testing Ganguly with some short pitched deliveries is a must, and Yadav can do that.
I still get the feeling that KKR needs to work a little harder than Delhi , simply because they have a big problem being consistent.  Gayle needs to see the team through till the 13-15th over because he is the guy capable of being aggressive till then. I liked Tiwary’s innings, but I’ll hold my breath before announcing him as the man capable of carrying the innings consistently.


Predictions

The teams seem evenly matched at this juncture, and I’d love to see a closely contested game.  I think DD pulls his off , and I’ll stick to ABdV , making it his night.

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