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I’ve been quite unlucky in the IPL, says Yuvraj

Wisden India logo Wisden India 02-05-2016

The contrasting fortunes of the two new teams in the Indian Premier League were on focus in the newspapers in India on Sunday (May 1). While Dale Steyn talked about Gujarat Lions’ ruthless performances, Kris Srikkanth agreed that Rising Pune Supergiants were just two losses away from exiting the tournament.

‘Anyone with a computer and internet access becomes a statistician now’ (The Hindu)

Cricket is often referred to as a game of numbers. While those who pile on the numbers on the field get their due, those who keep track of it often remain behind the curtains. Sudhir Vaidya has been a silent contributor to Indian cricket, having been a statistician for almost six decades.

Not only has he compiled records of all of India’s international matches but his database on Indian domestic cricket is the most exhaustive collection in Indian cricket. Having worked as the BCCI and Mumbai Cricket Association and with all the major broadcasters over the last four decades, Vaidya’s feats have been noted by the Limca Book of Records.

Why Mumbai never lost faith in Pollard (The Hindu)

In so doing, Pollard prevented Sunil Narine’s riddles from further impacting the match. The mystery off-spinner had called Krunal Pandya’s bluff and then seen Australian Chris Lynn’s boundary-line catch get rid of Jos Buttler. Narine had one more over, but by the time he was brought on, in the 17th, KKR and Gambhir had little opportunity to repair the destruction caused by Pollard’s mayhem.

MI has never lost faith in Pollard, who has now scored 1873 runs off 1254 balls (100 matches, 92 innings, 28 not outs, 9×50, run-rate of 8.96, average 29.27). In addition he has taken 56 wickets and held 53 catches and probably stopped hundreds of runs. These numbers say a lot about why MI rates him a Most Valuable Player.

Gujarat’s job is to be ruthless against teams (The Times of India)

The next part of the grand plan is to ensure that we make our own stadium a fortress in which we are hard to beat and opponents do not look forward to visiting. The next two games, against Punjab on Sunday and then Delhi on Tuesday give us the opportunity to move well clear of the chasing pack and, if we win both, we will probably guarantee our place in the playoffs. However, they are also both potential banana skins which could derail us.

Time running out for Pune (The Times of India)

In my opinion, Pune’s failure to make a statement has been mainly due to R Ashwin’s inability to pick wickets. If the main bowler has two wickets to show after 22 overs there is little left to explain. The other bowlers have also not been up to the mark and that has made the job a lot easy for the opposition. Most teams would have defended 195 on that wicket, but Pune’s bowlers appear clueless at times and sometimes don’t even look to be part of the game.

Cashing in on foreign exchange (The Indian Express)

Billings, on his part, was not in the reckoning for the first six games of the Daredevils. He finally made his much-awaited debut against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Feroz Shah Kotla tonight, where he showcased his potential. Walking in with Delhi struggling at 3/37 at the end of Powerplay, he stroked a belligerent half-century to put his side in a commanding position at the end of the first innings. The hallmark of the game was the manner in which he had paced his innings. His 95-run stand for the fourth wicket with Karun Nair, laid the platform for Carlos Brathwaite to explode in the end.

Billings’ success on his IPL debut illustrates how smart the Daredevils have played, especially while picking their foreign players. Their success have catapulted the Zaheer Khan-led side to the second spot in team rankings. Billings might have come relatively cheap for the Daredevils. But they have splurged on the likes of Chris Morris (Rs 7 crore) and Carlos Brathwaite (Rs 4.2 crore). At the time of the auction, the move had baffled most observers.

I’ve been quite unlucky in the Indian Premier League: Yuvraj Singh (The Hindustan Times)

“I feel that IPL has been a little tough for me. I have not had the same form that I have when I play for India. Especially in the last three-four years, I haven’t been part of one team and it hasn’t been that good for me,” he says.

Yuvraj has been part of five franchises including Punjab (2008-10), Pune (2011, 2013), Bengaluru (2014), Delhi (2015) and is now playing for the Hyderabad franchise. “I really don’t know why I haven’t had the greatest luck in the tournament. I guess in a team it is important for players to gel with each other. You take a few players and then go on to build a team around them for two-three seasons to win the championship. Unfortunately, that has never happened with me.”

Stars have a higher price to pay in ignominy, says Mike Brearley (The Telegraph, India)

The Ashes did add to the pressure because of the long history and the importance given to it by the cricketing public in both countries… What happens to the players, particularly the captains, is that the public projects its hopes and disappointments on them, so they don’t just have to deal with their own anxieties but those of others as well. That is fine if things go well, very hard work when otherwise.

Warner condemns Shamsi’s wicket celebrations (cricket.com.au)

“I was looking at Virat Kohli and I don’t think he was too impressed until he (Shamsi) got a bit closer,” Warner told reporters after play. “I think it’s a bit hard for a captain to stand there and not go (through) the motions. In my team, if someone does that at 150 off 15 overs, I wouldn’t accept that at all."

Slideshow: Know your cricketer - Yuvraj Singh

Know your cricketer: Yuvraj Singh

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