Kris Srikkanth

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Blog Posts by Kris Srikkanth

  • Teams have to think on their feet

    The IPL schedule leaves no time for thought. Teams have to rework strategies quickly as otherwise their approach will become so well known that opponents will be better prepared with counter-strategies. Chennai Super Kings were forced to rethink their tactics after three successive losses and they came up with a winning formula in New Delhi in a thriller.

    It is pretty obvious that a flying start is a necessity in the format. But teams hitting from both ends have found themselves in a hole because they have lost too many wickets in too short a space.

    S. Vidyut, who has shaped a fantastic limited-overs career for himself, was the fire starter while Fleming played the foil superbly against the Daredevils. Vidyut gave Chennai the confidence that the chase was on after Gautam Gambhir had given the Daredevils a better than average total.

    Full credit to Dhoni for taking some hard decisions in what was a crunch match for Chennai by winning which they have returned to the top of the table. The

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  • Dhoni revels under captaincy pressure

    Call it plain luck or the X factor, M.S. Dhoni seems to have something
    extra to offer when he dons the skipper's hat. Due credit to Anil
    Kumble for the manner in which he has handled this side over the last
    three series and it was only fitting Dhoni, who has seen tough
    situations equally well in the shorter versions was handed over the
    reins when the veteran was declared unfit for the final Test.

    The
    striking aspect of Dhoni's captaincy is his unruffled manner. When the
    South African openers had survived the initial phase in the second
    innings it looked like anybody's match but Dhoni backed his instincts
    and persisted with the bowlers who he thought had a greater chance of
    getting wickets.

    For long, Virendar Sehwag has been an
    under-utilised bowler. And the blows he struck at vital moments of the
    match proved the kind of confidence Dhoni had instilled in a part time
    bowler. I would have never thought of tossing the new ball to a spinner
    when the match was hanging in balance.

    Dhoni has

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  • I want to meet Mahi’s mentor

    With every passing game my admiration for Dhoni's captaincy has only
    grown. Many captains in world cricket would have had a creased brow
    when the Wasim Jaffer-Ross Taylor partnership was on. Instead Dhoni was
    a picture of calmness even when the match seemed to be slipping away.

    A
    leader's greatest gift is not to let the pressure get to the players,
    especially the bowlers. Running up to them each time and saying
    encouraging words seem to have had a positive effect on them.

    Remember
    bowling is not the Super Kings' strongest point yet Dhoni has made them
    deliver to potential each time and that too under severe pressure.

    Some
    of the captains in the IPL have let the situation get to them. It is
    apparent even on television. It is never easy to concentrate under
    pressure and the thought process can take a toss, but Dhoni seems to
    blessedly different. If it self-acquired then kudos to the icon from
    Jharkhand. If it was taught to him, I want to meet his mentor.

    Limited-overs
    cricket needs such

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  • Partnerships important even in T20

    It was heartening to see the Chennai crowd get full value for
    their money. Everyone who had descended on the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium
    would have left satisfied. More than 400 runs and a result in favour of
    the home side, and the spectators could not have asked for more. There
    have been a few high scoring games in the IPL so far, but nothing comes
    close to this in terms of excitement provided.

    Whatever the
    format, the match stressed the importance of partnerships. Super Kings
    prospered on this count while the visitors failed to get a decent stand
    at the top, and that contributed to their loss. Mathew Hayden and
    Suresh Raina played a pivotal role in the win no doubt but what made
    the difference was Hayden's approach. The Australian was content giving
    the strike to Raina. It is not often we see a senior partner do this
    but to Hayden's credit he allowed Raina to flower in the partnership.
    It is important in Twenty20 for both batsmen to maintain momentum and
    that is precisely what the duo

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  • Super Kings off to a royal beginning

    My heartiest congratulations to the Chennai Super Kings for having
    kicked off their IPL campaign in thunderous style. Cricketers thrive on
    confidence and a good start is of paramount importance to the finest
    players. 

    It would only be stating the obvious if I were to say
    Mike Hussey played a sensational innings. What stood out was the
    calmness with which he proceeded. Even after the fall of Dhoni he
    remained unperturbed and his clarity of thinking sets him apart from
    the rest. His shot selection was immaculate and he was able to hit
    through the line, not hitting across wildly. It was a devastating
    innings yet there was very little risk involved. 

    The only time
    I thought when the Super Kings dressing room, or should I call it
    dug-out, would have been shaken was when Dhoni was dismissed. At 62/3,
    no one would have envisaged a score in excess of 200. Suresh Raina
    looked like he was having a net while S. Badrinath made all the
    difference between a healthy total and one that could not be

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  • Viru, Dravid stood out

    The Chennai Test, played on a pitch that remained a batting beauty
    till the final ball, was never going to produce a result. I would
    prefer to concentrate on the batting displays of two stalwarts who in
    their own different ways have served the cause of Indian cricket nobly.

    The
    sizeable crowd at Chepauk was lucky to see Virender Sehwag and Rahul
    Dravid perform at their best. I can never stop marvelling at Sehwag.
    People tell me that I had a rapport with the crowd as my batting used
    to entertain them. But I can only doff my hat to Sehwag. He is the
    crowd-puller supreme, an engaging personality who uses his bat like a
    scimitar. To see Sehwag bat is a revelation for he gets away with the
    most brazen of strokes.

    Sehwag's approach continues to defy the
    science on which batting is based. But to be averaging over 50 with his
    buccaneering style, to hit two triple centuries in Tests joining the
    ranks of Don Bradman and Brian Lara and to hit big hundreds, is simply
    amazing. How on earth is a

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  • Master and pupil excel for India

    Only a few athletes are blessed to write their own scripts.
    SachinTendulkar will probably remain the only cricketer in the history
    of the game who has been forced to prove himself time and again.

    Mind
    you after a phenomenal run for more than 18 seasons and 27,000 plus
    international runs! To not have an ODI hundred in Australia is not a
    sin but that is what most pundits thought. Sachin has clearly been a
    case of being consumed by the monster he himself created. The weight of
    expectations has sometimes been unrealistic and yet he has carried on
    gamely. His determination was evident right from the start of the
    innings and good that he found an able lieutenant in young Rohit Sharma.

    It
    was a perfect one-day innings. Sachin was tiring towards the end but
    was still able to manufacture shots that precluded the Australians from
    bowling to a pattern. Rohit has come on nicely in this tour. Barring
    the manner in which he played Michael Clarke, where I thought he gave
    him too much respect, his

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  • India should play on sporting home pitches

    Test matches in the subcontinent tend to go to one extreme or the
    other. Either you get a square turner on which the visiting batsmen
    generally don't stand a chance or you get a wicket that is so placid
    that the bowlers of both sides have no chance. When wickets swing to
    the extreme like the one at Chepauk for the first Test, what you get is
    a onesided contest in which the bowlers of both sides stand very little
    chance of dominating the proceedings.

    The runs batsmen score may
    always be attractive but when you know they are getting them without
    even having to try too hard, spectators tend to get bored with the
    action.

    I know the Chennai weather may have to take the blame for much of the way the wicket is playing.

    The groundsmen have not had the opportunity to prepare the pitch by constant rolling and watering as they would have liked to.

    I don't blame the bowlers for failing as they did in South Africa's first innings of 540.

    The point everyone has to accept is Indian cricket does not

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