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Shaz, auctions, and free hits explained

A handy reference for those unfamiliar with IPL jargon

Steve Coleman

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Chennai's bowlers kept picking up wickets at regular intervals, Chennai Super Kings v Kochi Tuskers Kerala, IPL 2011, Chennai, May 18, 2011
The Super Kings: somewhere between kings and emperors in the royalty rankings © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Ravi Shastri
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IPL Joyful forward-thinking saviour of a decrepit, outdated, bacon-and-egg tie-wearing snoozefest, or pointless capitalist distraction for louts, created by Beelzebub himself. There can be no balanced middle ground on this opinion.

Shastri, Ravi Younger readers may find this hard to believe, but Shastri was actually a largely boring player before ascending to legendary pundit status. See him now in all his eye-popping, mad-uncle glory as someone unveils a Dilscoop and it seems impossible that his signature shot was the "Chapati" - a flick off the pads that pretty much every batsman can play. The IPL is the perfect platform for his human megaphone impression, with his voice at the Mumbai v Delhi toss in 2009 registering a decibel level slightly above that of a jet plane engine.

Team names Everything cool has to have a name. It sets you apart from the common folk, can make you sound like a loveable superhero and makes it easy for fans to lock horns. "We are the Daredevils!" "Who cares, we are Warriors!" The problem that nobody really thought of was that uncool things have names too. Creating a team is a rare opportunity to make history, which makes it all the more baffling that Chennai decided they were perfectly happy to be called "Super Kings", thereby condemning themselves as "The Hoff" of the cricket world for all eternity.

Technique, Sound In the halcyon days of 2007, this was a prerequisite for playing Test match cricket. Batsmen who could pat the ball back to the bowler with a high elbow, hook the ball to fine leg for a single and generally bat all day without actually doing much were heralded. Then, IPL arrived in 2008 like a Pespi Max advert. Ball pitched up and swinging? Smash it over cover! Short and nasty in the throat area? Step away and smash it over midwicket! Into the fourth innings of the match on day three? Smash it about and finish it today!

Auction The way in which players are acquired for IPL teams: it brings a wonderful image to mind of Kevin Pietersen being shuffled in front of nine wealthy Indian businessmen while they lob wads of cash at him and he is jabbed with a cattle prod. Alas, it is not quite as exciting as this, but does provide some laughs as each club bids to land (insert overrated young West Indian cricketer who doesn't fancy Test cricket here).

Free hit Comfortably the greatest disappointment in modern cricket. A pace bowler oversteps, and one of the most destructive batsman in the world in on strike. He can hit it where he wants. This is going miles. The fielders may as well go and start looking for it now. The bowler then spoils it completely by bowling a perfect yorker which is squirted down the ground for a single.

Steve Coleman blogs at The Blockhole

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Comments: 3 
Posted by whuzzwhuzz on (April 18, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

A rubbish article. Steve Coleman needs to work on his sense of humour.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

A new shot the 'CHAPATI SHOT' WOW!!!!!!!

Posted by bluefunk on (April 17, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

w. ref. to shastri being a largely boring player, he did hit six sixes in an over once playing a first-class match. man, there would be a decibel pounding veritable hail of tracer bullets if he could've seen himself hitting 'em today.

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