IPL weekly review - I April 15, 2011

Imposters, jugglers and unidentified flying objects

A panic in the opening game, an over that rolled back the years, some poor lip-syncing and more in a review of the action from the first week of the IPL

The knock of the week
Paul Valthaty dragged himself out of anonymity with an astonishing innings against MS Dhoni's men. Who told him he could play a knock like that? He was a nobody; he had played one domestic game before and had single-digit scores in his previous IPL outings. Everything changed that night. Now the onus is on him to show that he is not a one-game wonder.

Panic attack of the week
It came in the very first game to torpedo Kolkata Knight Riders' chase against Chennai Super Kings. With 61 needed from 44 balls and nine wickets in hand, Jacques Kallis, on 49, nudged Suraj Randiv to the on side for a risky run. Yusuf Pathan ran but MS Dhoni hared after it, picked up the ball, swivelled and fired a direct hit to catch Yusuf short. With 42 runs needed from 29 balls, Kallis paddled a full toss from Ashwin straight to the short fine-leg fielder and then Gautam Gambhir ran himself out. Manoj Tiwary counterattacked and Kolkata reduced the target to nine required off eight balls but Tim Southee bowled three unhittable yorkers in the final over to sneak a last-ball win.

The unidentified flying object of the week
Where is that damned blimp? Throughout the last IPL it was shoved down our throats by the commentators as the world's eighth wonder. The camera would zoom in on a hot-air balloon and the commentators would try to tell us how it could save the world. What a pity.

The controversial decision of the week
In Kolkata's chase against Rajasthan, Manvinder Bisla was desperately haring down the track to beat the throw from mid-off but was fighting a lost cause. Rajasthan's wicketkeeper Amit Paunikar broke the stumps but the ball seemed to pop out of his gloves before he could do that. Television replays too seemed to confirm the pop out but the third umpire thought otherwise.

The nostalgic over of the week
It came from Shane Warne in his second match. He ripped a legbreak that turned sharply from the leg stump line and, for some reason, Unmukt Chand decided to cut. The ball flew to the left of first slip, where Rahul Dravid pouched it. Two balls later, Naman Ojha decided he had to take on his former captain. He rushed down the track but was done in, first by the dip and then by the turn. Warne pumped his fists and roared. Nostalgia floated in the air.

The juggling act of the week
Jesse Ryder smashed a delivery back at Vinay Kumar, whose brilliant reflexes took over. The ball bounced off his arm on to his chest before he began the juggle. He tapped the ball from one hand to the other, almost teasing Ryder and probably his own captain Mahela Jayawardene, before he ended the suspense by holding on.

The imposter of the week - I
This IPL week, Vinay Kumar decided to be Lasith Malinga. Bowling against Sachin Tendulkar, he suddenly dropped his right arm lower on his delivery stride, mirroring Malinga's release, and released a slinger. More impressively, the ball was on target too, full and straight, and Tendulkar showed it respect by defending.

The imposter of the week - II
On the same day, Tendulkar did a Dhoni during his first Twenty20 hundred. Thisara Perera hurled a full delivery outside off and Tendulkar worked the bottom-hand, lifted his front leg and played what has come to be known as Dhoni's helicopter shot. The ball went screaming over long-on. There was just one difference: Tendulkar's helicopter shot had more style than the original.

The poor lip sync and a riveting Tamil song
"Chennai, ellam seriya irukka?, (Chennai, all well?)" lip-synced Shahrukh Khan, wearing shades, and in Tamil, during the opening ceremony in Chennai. So far so good. However, the voice in the background wasn't even Shah Rukh's. It was followed by a dance to "Appadi Podu", a popular Tamil song whose lyrics were best captured by Nitin Sundar's translation on ESPNcricinfo commentary: "Put like that, put put put, put like that with your eye. Put like this, put, put, put, put like this in the back."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    guys this is right that all the centuries ducks and ninties of sachin is 4 team. but if is the man of record in runs then dont 4get that he also played more matches than anyone. and there is no wonder that what he is doing. there will be wonder if in test matches his avg gone up more than 65, in onedayers his avg must be greater than any other cricketer in this world

  • Shrivallabh on April 17, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    19 (top 5 teams) out of 48 (rest of the 11 teams) centuries have been scored against top opposition. 19!!! 9 of them against aussies (which have been the most dominant team and fearful bowling unit through out the span of his 20 year career).

    If you take a view of number of centuries / number of team kind of average - it comes out to be 3.9 for top teams and 4.4 for minnows.

    Considering that it is very simple to bat against minnows and every tom dick and harry can do that, the 3.9 average is very very high.

    Only laxman outshines him in (that to in test only) when it comes to batting against aussies amongst indian players. If you look at test+odi, the record against aussies over the past 20 years, I doubt Indian batsman can hold a candle to him.

    And arguably his record would be one of the best if not THE best against aussies during his era if you consider all international players.

  • sachin on April 16, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    @babu mathews SACHIN scores 60 or 70 runs and gets out in a match, people say he is not a good match finisher... If he scores 90 runs and gets out people say he has nervous ninety problem... If sachin scores a century and if the team still looses... People say when ever sachin gets century team will not win... If he scores 100 and bats on people say he is selfish and playing for records… People won't talk about his contribution for the team which helped our team to reach finals in World cup, but they say sachin was not able to win the World Cup for India.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    i agree SRT's ton makes teams lose because he gets selfish and plays for the century and the team loses momentum and invariably it comes at the time when they should be slogging and secondly unfortunately SRT makes the team centered around himself with likes of Ravi Shastri and co shouting hoarse as though MI is the only big thing in the world good Kochi brought them back on ground. Rayudu who was struggling in SA edition of IPL has all of a sudden become a big star. Still feel MI will be like SA the CHOKERS of IPL.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    Babu Matthew, please stop bashing Sachin just for the sake of it..73% of his ODI centuries are in winning causes..Sachin is out there to win the match..he creates records on the way to winning..he has scored hundreds, ninties, fifties and even ducks..but he's scored them all for his team....do you mean to say that he scores hundreds and then fields and captains poorly?? the last I saw, cricket is a team game..

    Nice article btw..the entire opening ceremony was terrible..let alone lip-sync..Warne's magic was the moment of the week for me..

  • mani on April 16, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    The Chennai theme song translates to something like the following: THAT'S THE WAY, THAT'S HOW U DO IT. LOOK HERE U DONT WANNA MISS THIS, THAT'S THE WAY AND THAT'S THE WAY U DO IT....

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    tendulkar always playing for records,not for winning the match,any way all ipl teams except mumbai pray to sachin score a century in evry match,the last smile will come from u

  • kapilesh on April 16, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Shane Warnes Nostalgic act is my weeks moment .

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Completely agree with Rajesh Sridhar and crying_game, The best thing about the helicopter shot is its sheer VIOLENCE! SRT played it well but NOBODY plays it better than MSD !

  • Allwin on April 16, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    If i had heard the commentators telling us that was the blimp, I would have said good bye to watching IPL. This IPL has cut a lot of non sense from the last time. Hope that they are not waiting to unleash it later once it catches more heat.

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