April 27, 2009

Flintoff's Injury: Good for CSK?

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Andrew Flintoff has been injured and will not be available for the rest of the IPL 2009 season for Chennai Super Kings. I read that it is a setback to Chennai Super Kings. Is it so? I don't believe it. Yes, Andrew Flintoff is a star; but, he failed miserably in the tournament so far. I personally feel that he did not live up to the expectations. He failed in the bowling department and did not contribute significantly in the batting department either.

Flintoff's Contribution in IPL 2009
In the match against Mumbai Indians, Flintoff returned with figures of 4-0-44-1. His economy rate of 11.0 is the worst among the Chennai Super Kings bowlers. He was sent at No. 4 to help in the chase, but he scored a mere 24 runs from 23 deliveries. Chennai Super Kings' loss can be attributed to one primary reason, Abishek Nayyar's cameo of 35 runs that included three sixes of one Andrew Flintoff over.

He did better in the match against Bangalore Royal Challengers, scoring 22 runs from 13 deliveries and returning bowling figures of 3-0-11-1. But, considering that Royal Challengers failure against almost all opposition, you cannot read much into those figures.

In the match against Delhi Daredevils, Flintoff again became the most expensive bowler from Chennai and finished with figures of 4-0-50-1. AB de Villiers tore him apart in the penultimate over, which produced 22 runs, with a couple of sixes and fours. When Flintoff walked into bat, Chennai Super Kings had a good chance of winning the match. But, his boring 16 runs off 17 balls did not help.

What can Chennai do?
Chennai should take the exit of Andrew Flintoff as positive and relook into their available resources. With Hayden, Albie Morkel and Murali almost secured their place, we need to select one foreign player from Jacob Oram, Makhaya Ntini, George Bailey and Thilan Thushara. It is easier to choose Jacob Oram in place of Flintoff, as he is a better all-rounder of the available four. But, that would weaken the bowling.

Dhoni should also drop Joginder Sharma, who is not really fitting into the scheme of things. With the middle order failing regularly, it would be better to bring in a regular batsman like Murali Vijay and include Makhaya Ntini as a bowler.

My team for today's match against Deccan Chargers would be:
1. Matthew Hayden
2. Parthiv Patel
3. Suresh Raina
4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
5. Albie Morkel
6. S Badrinath
7. Murali Vijay
8. M Gony
9. L Balaji
10. Murali
11. Makhaya Ntini


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