Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2010, Dharamsala

Punjab end disappointing campaign with defeat

Cricinfo staff

April 18, 2010

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Yuvraj Singh skies a catch, Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Mohali, March 27, 2010
Yuvraj Singh has been among Punjab's most consistent failures © Indian Premier League
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While MS Dhoni was hammering Juan Theron in the penultimate over of the match, Irfan Pathan grew restless at square leg. He began stretching his hands and was soon waving them up and down. He squatted on the grass, folded his right leg horizontally while simultaneously stretching forward, trying to get his forehead to the left knee, and repeated the exercise with the other leg. As the umpire handed Theron his cap, Irfan had raced to the other end, removing his jumper and walking to his mark to bowl the final over. He had 15 runs to defend.

Irfan had already done it once at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, bowling a tight final over to force a tie and a Super Over, which Kings XI Punjab won. Dhoni had predicted at the time that the loss would cause a lot of misery for Chennai. It did, and only victory today would secure a semi-final spot.

The pressure was shared by batsman and bowler. As the chase approached its climax, Dhoni had managed to sway the home support and a full house at the HPCA stadium had started chanting "Dhoni, Dhoni".

The brief in the final overs is simple: bowl yorkers. Irfan bowled an angled delivery on off stump and Dhoni made room to drive it into the gap between sweeper cover and deep extra cover for four. Irfan did not recover and his lengths were lengths were easy for Dhoni to pick up. After conceding two consecutive sixes to end the game, Irfan collected his jumper from the umpire, shook hands with Dhoni and walked towards the dressing room with head bowed.

"I was hoping he [Irfan] would make a mistake and bowl in my area more than me playing an extraordinary shot. He did that thrice in four deliveries and it went my way," Dhoni said later.

Tom Moody, Punjab's coach, gave credit to Chennai for staying strong even though Punjab were in control till the 18th over. "With two overs to go, you would have probably felt we were slightly in favour, but we didn't execute our yorkers as well we should have done in those last 12 balls," he said. It was not the first time Punjab had lost the plot from a winning position this season and Moody admitted failure on all three fronts. "Unfortunately there were too many games like tonight, where we had winning scores and we couldn't defend them. We failed consistently in all three - bat, ball and field."

Barring Mahela Jayawardene, who found form mid-way into the season, the rest of Punjab's batsmen struggled. Yuvraj Singh, who came into the IPL with a wrist injury, was the most consistent failure and that generated gossip and condemnation. So much so that Moody and Kumar Sangakkara had to perform damage control after every loss. "What simply was the case was we had a number of players out of form," was Moody's assessment. "It was not until the back half of the season that our batsmen came into form. The second thing we had is a number of injuries which really affected our strike power more than anything else."

Compounding the failure of the batsmen was the absence of an impact bowler, such as Dale Steyn or Doug Bollinger, capable of clinching tight matches. Brett Lee's injury troubles made it worse, while James Hopes and Jerome Taylor failed to arrive due to injury.

As for the Indians, Sreesanth, who had sarcastically announced on his return to the Indian team that his maverick self was 'his-story' - turned out a sad story, roaming around aimlessly in training sessions, as he found little support from team management, who reportedly decided to keep him out on disciplinary grounds. Moody admitted the Indian domestic players couldn't raise their game to the level that players in the other teams had managed to.

Responsibility fell on youngsters like Theron, who while impressive is still learning the craft. "Rusty did a great job but his role was towards the back-end of the innings, not as a frontline strike bowler. Our frontline lacked teeth," Moody said. "Tonight was a good example where our spinners put us in a wonderful position but our medium-pacers gave away plenty."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 20, 2010, 13:12 GMT)

It would have been better for Yuvi & Punjab team to have him dropped for 3 to 4 matches at least.Yuvi was out of sorts and he was more of a liability. Punjab should stick to Mahela - Marsh opening and should find a genuine pacie next time around!

Posted by monisammy on (April 20, 2010, 12:58 GMT)

like many others i would also stand with the selectors for the team that they have selected. having said that i sincerely feel that P OJHA should have been there at any cost.very unfortunate though. yuvi, gambir n sehwag will SURELY lift their games at the international level. no worries. only worry is about Y PATHAN. for me he does not deserve a place in the squad. all the best india. JAI HO..

Posted by RameshSubramaniam on (April 20, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

Dont worry Aravind. Unlike Sanka, Dhoni have much confidence on Yuvi and bat at 4 after Raina ahead of Dhoni. Yuvi do not let us down.

Posted by RameshSubramaniam on (April 20, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

I dont know why everything fall on Yuvi and Irfan? I agreed Yuvi is going in the bad phase and Irfan is no more strike bowler. But What about Sanka and Others. Do Yuvi select the team? Irfan is playing as an all rounder and not a strike bowler. He proved by scoring more than Sankakara. Hello Tom Moddy sir, Why did you keep dropping Powar though he is one of the best in the tournament he played? You are praising Theron, What he did apart from one match against Chennai? Praising Sanka for reason only you know. You are playing bowlers like Malik ahead of Sreesanth? Everytime Sanka comes at 3, eats up the ball, when Yuvi comes up. it is afte 12 overs, 80 for 1. Jayawardane would be 40 from 40 balls. Since Jayawardane is set batsman, he could acccelarate. Release Yuvi and Pathan from the team for next year and see what other IPL franchises do? Dhoni,Koch and Pune would be the first person to jump into action to take any of these players. Dont blame others, see yourself first please.

Posted by   on (April 20, 2010, 2:26 GMT)

Why the hell are you hating yuvraj. why don't you think about other players, just because there was rift rumours of sanga and yuvi, doesn't mean that all focus should go on him. there are many players who didn't perform, and luck is not with you in ur whole career. even saching, sehwag, dravid n many more biggies faced tough lucks like him. dhoni, gambhir, sehwag, yusuf pathan, irfan pathan, dinesh karthik, ishant sharma, sreesanth, and many others didn't perform as well, some of them started well doesn't mean that they are better than him.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 23:06 GMT)

Thanks for mahela ,sanga .Irfan Pathan and young Marsh for the hard work.Well done guys.Good entertainment.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 22:21 GMT)

The biggest of all mistakes done by Punjab is to keep IKP and Yuvi playing for the team. Sangy and the other team-mates had to bear the bad patches because of these two. Punjab must seriously think of re-constituting the team. There is no derth of local talent, heroic faces must be sacked and risk should be taken with new-comers. It is not wise to take repeated risk with oldies. IKP has completely forgotten the art and skill of left arm seam and Yuvi is hanky panky with the bat and very dreadful thing is their fielding.

Punjab must must go for re-vitalising and refreshing their team for the next season.

Posted by Bunny on (April 19, 2010, 22:07 GMT)

Similarities between Yuvi & Dada: Both left handed batters with beautiful strokes and not only do they fail when the captaincy is snatched away from them, but they also bring the whole team down. So my guess would be that Kings XI Punjab will give yuvi his captaincy back next year and Punjab will fail again like KKR did.

Posted by Chairtruck on (April 19, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

Yuvraj Singh is the most over-rated player in world cricket today. He was good, but isn't anymore... time for a reality check

Posted by Daba on (April 19, 2010, 15:16 GMT)

Hope yuvi gets back his rhythm back and performs well, in the 20-20 WC, I would love to c him performing well and at his best. Aravinth

Posted by Ellis on (April 19, 2010, 11:51 GMT)

KXIP do not have the bowling to be able to contend in the IPL. The bowling unit has to change or the same result will be seen next year. Additionally, Yuvraj was way off form and commitment. Unless he is willing to pick it up a couple of notches, he should go. Even the fielding was way below par.All round a very poor team with no hope of improvement without major changes in player personnel for next year.

Posted by sweetspot on (April 19, 2010, 8:52 GMT)

As for bringing Uthappa and others into the Indian T20 team - sorry for those who struck form after the selection process. If Uthappa were to be brought in, who would he replace? Besides, what is Uthappa's highest score when he didn't get a life in this IPL? 13 or 19? That's hardly what we expect from a pure batsman at this level. Team India is brimming with enough talent, and will do well under Dhoni.

Posted by sweetspot on (April 19, 2010, 8:49 GMT)

Kings XI are exactly where they deserve to be. They got that one lucky win against Chennai in the super over, but Chennai had never lost to Punjab before. For some reason, despite some brilliant performances, Kings XI never had the oomph to finish the job. Every key player failed at some stage or the other. But, they still shouldn't tinker with their side so much. It seems to need some calming down in the middle. Chennai has too much of that calming influence - all their players are always happy and relaxed - exactly like Dhoni and Fleming. Yesterday, when Dhoni turned on the heat, it is like CSK just came out of the fridge. Now, they are a dangerous side in the semis. Kings XI shouldn't take this too negatively. It all happens in cricket.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 8:41 GMT)

Kings XI were reallly struggling in the tournament. They couldn't perform as a unit. They were trying hard to get the best playing XI and kept shuffling players in & out of the squad and up & down the batting order. Indian domestic players also failed to impress meaning more pressure on foreign players.

Posted by cric_lover143 on (April 19, 2010, 7:51 GMT)

Indian selectors have done a big mistake by not picking Robin Uthappa for WT20. He rates among the very good finishers of T20 game. and more over he showed great skills behind the wicket also. if he is in the team, that will help to reduce the amount of pressure over Dhoni. During crunch situations, he can be near to his bowler leaving the keeping part to Robin. Also Yuvi should be dropped.. he hasn't played a single brilliant innings in any format of the game for a while now.. We should not stick to a single person for long time only by considering his past performance.. yes he is a great player, but he is not doing any justification to his talent recently... The form of Viru and Gauti is not at all a problem because they were in the best of forms before this tournament. and all knows one good innings is enough for both of them and it is just around the corner...

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

the indian batting is really going to face a challenge in the world t 20 sehwag and gambhir are not in good form nor is dinesh karthik yusuf pathan cant handle the short ball and yuvraj playing pathetically ravindra jadeja hasnt played any cricket the entire batting will be dependent on dhoni and rohit sharma and perhaps suresh raina (though raina still looks suseceptable to the short ball) the bowling looks decent with zaheer and bhajji doing well nehra looks decent as well when u factor in that all the players have been been playing nonstop 6 weeks fatigue will definately become a problem

Posted by KumarSubramanyan on (April 19, 2010, 6:35 GMT)

Would suggest 4 changes in the India squad for WC ...Drop Yuvraj, Chawla, Praveenkumar and Jadeja...Take Uthappa, Misra, Ojha & Umesh Yadav(I haven't seen any other India pacer clocking above the 140km mark)..

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 6:24 GMT)

He actually didn't looked like player(as he was), I think he got some problem with team or franchise management. Let's hope he give us some stunning performance in World T20.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (April 19, 2010, 5:39 GMT)

If yuvraj would have been in australian team would the selectors have picked him ahead of Uthappa in current form and physical fitness?

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

@pareekshit i guess u forgot about rohit sharma who can bring lot more stability to the middle order

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (April 19, 2010, 4:13 GMT)

Dhoni's form has been inconsistent, Karthik's form has been poor, Gautaum Gambhir and Virender Sehwag have underperformed, Yuvraj Singh is in rotten form, Yusuf Pathan can't handle the shorter delivery, R. Jadeja has not played competitive cricket. Rohit Sharma has been in decent form and Raina has been in good form, but he is still susceptible to the short delivery. India's batting is very unstable and in poor touch and this will hurt their chances of making it to even the semis of the World T20 cup.

Posted by Kumar_cricket on (April 19, 2010, 3:44 GMT)

I am from Chennai, even then i wanted a yuvis innings in thisi match since he has been completely out of form with world cup comming up.. Lets hope yuvi ,viru , gauti will put there best show in the world 20/20 cup.Since world cup is bigger than IPL .

Posted by lcewarriors on (April 19, 2010, 2:02 GMT)

yuvraj singh needs a attitude management session ... if this continues he'l soon find himself dropped ... not the kind of attitude a senior indian cricketer has to have

Posted by JoseBautista on (April 19, 2010, 1:07 GMT)

I remember Dhoni doing this same thing before. He stays calm in a really tight game but in the end he will easily play shots that leads to victory.This has happened before against West indies. India needed 10 off 4 deleiveries and Dhoni who was on strike hits a six which took the pressure away. That is one of Dhoni's talents. And what happened to yuvi? he hasn't played a single big aggressive inning this season. Hope he does better when playing for India.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2010, 0:34 GMT)

Based on current form Yuvraj should not be in the team going to West Indies but then in India...name matters

Posted by pareekshith on (April 18, 2010, 21:32 GMT)

not only yuvi's form but that of viru and gauti are also of concern.given ravindra jadeja's lack of cricket the past month and yusuf's shortcomings against genuine short and quick bowling india's middle order seems to be on shaky ground. pressure will be on raina and dhoni to deliver.

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