'Yuvraj will be match-winner in World Cup 2015' - Murali
Muttiah Muralitharan feels his Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate, Yuvraj Singh, has a lot left in him. Following Yuvraj's knocks of 83 off 38 and 68 not out off 29 in the IPL, Murali said India "should look after Yuvraj" because of what he could do for them in next year's World Cup. Following his stymieing 11 off 21 in the World T20 final, Yuvraj was under considerable pressure, Murali said, and hence his form dropped.
"I have been talking to Yuvi a lot," Murali told the IPL website. "He is a great limited-overs player, but his confidence was low. After the World Twenty20, the whole country put a lot of pressure on him. I know the situation well as I played for 20 years at the highest level. I knew it was just a matter of helping him regain his confidence. I was sure once he did that, he would be a different player.
"After the way he has performed in the last two games, it seems I was right. I honestly think Yuvi has still got it and India should look after him because I feel he will play a big role in the 2015 World Cup. He will be India's match-winner there."
Ranchi crowd misbehaves
The Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals game in Ranchi on Tuesday ended on a sour note, when some spectators hurled water pouches onto the ground just after Super Kings' MS Dhoni hit the winning runs. The cheerleaders on the boundary, subsequently, had to take cover inside the stadium, PTI reported, and more water missiles were thrown when a second batch of cheerleaders came out to lead the post-match celebrations.
'T20 suits spinners best' - Yuvraj
The impact the spinners - legspinners in particular - have had on this IPL is clear for all to see. Yuvraj Singh, in his column in the Times of India, said the spinners had become "vital cogs" in their teams, and the format seemed best suited for them to thrive.
"No T20 team can be imagined without a quality spinner. Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh and R Ashwin are vital cogs in the wheel of their teams. They are the ones who can attack with the new ball and defend with the old one," Yuvraj wrote. "Even the domestic bowlers, Praveen Tambe, Akshar Patel, Rahul Tewatia and our own Yuzvendra Chahal have done very well for their teams.
"If you ask me, this format suits them the most. Spinners thrive on the mistakes of the batsmen. Their job is to disguise and bluff the batsman. They work on the patience of the batsmen and constantly probe to induce an error. And in this format, batsmen are always under pressure and prone to make mistakes. They don't have much time to settle, get the feel of the pitch, before going for the runs. And that's where spinners make the impact."
Sammy confident of Sunrisers making playoffs
With four wins from nine games, Sunrisers Hyderabad sit in the crowded middle section of the points table. Which way their campaign will go from here, is left to be seen. Allrounder Darren Sammy, though, is pretty confident the team will enjoy success. In the lead up to their match against Kings XI Punjab, he said things were coming together well at the right time for them.
"We have not performed at our best but we are peaking at the right time and by the time we qualify for the playoffs, we might be playing the best cricket and we will then eye the next stage," Sammy said, according to PTI. "We are working well as a unit. The team's players have gelled well. And hopefully we will only get better as the tournament progresses."
'I don't want to bowl at Maxwell now' - Johnson
Matches: 9; runs: 474; average: 52.66; strike rate: 198.32. With IPL numbers like that to his name, there will be few bowlers out there who will volunteer to bowl to Kings XI Punjab's Glenn Maxwell at the moment. His Australia and Kings XI team-mate, Mitchell Johnson is not putting his hand up either. Speaking on the eve of his team's match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Johnson joked about being happy to only take on Maxwell in the nets.
"I just don't want to bowl at him now in a match. I would prefer to do that in the nets," Johnson said. "He is in such terrific form, batting with great confidence and hitting the ball all over the ground. There is lot of pressure on every bowler and it is very difficult to bowl to him. No bowler seems to relish this prospect now. Even I would like only to watch him from the sidelines."
Twenty-yard circle for Twenty20?
Lalit Modi, the - now-banished - brain behind the IPL, has revealed that strategic time-outs and on-field interviews with players aside, he had wanted to introduce other innovations into the IPL, but they were shelved for various reasons. Talking to Business Today, after the Indian business magazine named the IPL one of the five best innovations in India this century, Modi said: "We wanted players to wear heart-rate meters that would showcase their heart rate during high-pressure situations, like a tight last-over finish, or while a bowler ran in to bowl, or when a fielder attempted a catch. We thought the heartbeat sound, along with the heart rates on the big screens, would give spectators a unique experience. But some players expressed their reluctance and we respected that.
"There were also suggestions in favour of reducing the 30-yard circle to make the game pacier and give batsmen and fielders something else to think about. Eventually, though, that idea was scrapped because I didn't want to tamper with the fabric of the sport."