We present the second part in the three part series on IPL predictions. Part 1 is here.
Kings XI Punjab
New Motto: IPL? 1 million dollars. Champions League? 2.5 million. A hug from Preity? Priceless.
Behind every successful man, there is a woman. Behind a successful team is also a woman, preferably beautiful and giving out hugs to select players after victories. KXIP's run in this IPL, while not truly platinum, will still be golden. That is, if you can call losing in the semis golden. Well, the Delhi Daredevils call it golden, so golden it is. Our trust in KXIP's golden patch is well founded because of several strong reasons, not many of which have to do anything with cricket.
First, Preity is no longer in a relationship. This means she will be giving out proper hugs to the entire team, without incurring the wrath of Ness Wadia. As any Indian male will tell you, a hug can work wonders, especially with babies like Sreesanth on board. As a backup, those who do not get hugs will get one from VRV Singh, for obvious non-veg reasons that we refuse to discuss. Secondly, in their opening match against Delhi, Sreesanth will clean bowl Sehwag, and in celebration will run three victory laps and a 2-mile run outside the stadium, while IPL shows ads. This will leave him with no energy to play the rest of the tournament, which means a better bowler will take his place. Third, Sangakkara will replace Yuvraj as a captain, freeing the latter to play his natural game or picking his nose at backward point without the fear of camera zoom-ins. Corollary: Sangakkara will not be able to pick his nose.
These positive developments can only mean one thing.
Prediction: 3 or 4
Reaction: Preity jumping up and down in the dug-out will finally cause a cave in, and the Mohali ground will become as sloped as Lord's.
New Motto: Yo Afridi! Now we too play home games away from home.
Let's face it, Chargers are the new Pakistan. Well not exactly, for they were not the victims of terrorism or bombings. Just some true blue Hyderabadis, who ensured that Gilchrist won't be able to play in the batsman-friendly Hyderabad stadium. Instead they will play in Nagpur and another city whose name rhymes with buttock (yes, we find it funny). While we don't know if this will lead to butt-clenchingly tight matches or a loose flow of runs, we do know that Gilchrist won't give a damn. One opposition bowler will be picked at random (last year it was Nannes), and he will carted for 5 or 6 boundaries in his first over, thereby completing the proof that T20 is definitely not a bowler's game. Last year, seasoned career bowlers like Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma had bowled hat-tricks. This time our money is on young Harmeet Singh, whose express pace of 128ks will distress all and sundry on Indian pitches. Also, replacing Fidel Edwards will be Kemar Roach, a bowler whose name makes the batsman instinctively reach out for Baygon spray, losing their wicket in the process. RP Singh will keep things balanced by providing his usual 4-0-48-0 at the other end. However, overruling them all will be the mercenary Symonds, who will continue exploiting cricket grounds smaller than Mumbai apartments. Watch out Kolkata! you got competition.
Prediction: Runner up by a small margin. After all, Bond. Shane Bond.
Reaction: Wayne Parnell of Delhi will announce his retirement after being pounded for 6 fours in his opening over against Gilchrist. Also, VVS Laxman will manage to show genuine happiness inspite of not playing a single match.
Chennai Super Kings
New Motto: The team of brothers and bosoms.
The motto is obviously derived from the most puke-inducing statement of the year,viz Matthew Hayden's proclamation -- "I have been welcomed into the bosom of India as a brother". We predict that Dhoni will continue to inspire his team with honest statements like "Our bowling was quite short of the mark", "Our bowling needs to improve drastically in the next game", "We cannot afford to field like this in the finals" and so on. As a result, CSK will continue to deliver gems like this.
We now digress and make two statements about CSK that have nothing to do with predictions. First, we think that watching Hayden and Parthiv Patel strolling out to bat is the funniest possible sight in IPL. They look like Goliath and David, like a lion and a (dwarf) gazelle, like Morgoth and Pippin, like a kangaroo and its prematurely born baby. Parthiv's desperate attempts at growing a moustache makes it funnier. Second, we believe that Sivaramanahasapeemapetilon, or whoever is the CSK drummer, is highly overrated who should be made to listen to his own 'music' (if you can call it that). If wearing a bandana and showing 'passion' was enough, I would be giving Bono a run for his money.
Coming back to predictions, everyone knows that Super Kings rely on just three players --- Hayden, Raina and Murali. It is our conviction that since Hayden will be busy exploring India's bosom and what not, it will be up to Raina and Dhoni to score quickly. Since Dhoni's pilot license is still pending, he will not be allowed to play his favorite helicopter shot, thereby curtailing his array of shots to just one -- the unsightly scoop over short fine leg. Realizing this, Dhoni will promote Kemp and Albie Morkel to do the hitting, who will be as lost on Indian pitches as a kid in a topless bar (hat tip: Sidhu). So we don't expect to see anything great coming out of CSK this year, except the occassional victory here and a fielding gem there.
Prediction: 5 or 6
Reaction: "Our goddamn bowlers and SOB fielders really need to improve dammit! I am serious!" - Dhoni.