...... Here are a few tips!!!

I’m really sad writing this, as my predictions for this year IPL standings (the previous post) has gone horribly wrong! Deccan chargers have come from nowhere and are now tipped for a podium finish, while Chennai is making a mess of the plethora of talent available. So dropping my astrologer work for a while, I thought I could do something more interesting.. yeah, to be the voice of IPL. I was glued to my television sets for almost all the IPL matches to learn something about IPL commentary. the end of the day I just realized that it was more tough to be an IPL commentator/anchor than being a normal cricket commentator!!Here I say why IPL commentating is tough and also a few tips if you are aspiring to be an IPL commentator!

1. Gone are the days when Geoffrey Boycott would scream when Sachin hits the ball over the long-on fence “What a huge six is that!”.IPL commentators, who are very grateful to the persons who pay them,scream “That was a DLF maximum”!

2. Their gratefulness to the sponsors doesn’t stop there. Whenever there is an inside edge for a boundary or a simple catch taken, commentators acknowledge that as a Citi moment of success.Who knows with the number of sponsors increasing, days are not far when one can hear

That was a Vodafone chota run

Wow..That was a Sri Krishna Sweetly timed shoot

That is Gillette razor edged to the boundary!

3. When there is a lull stage in the match, our commentators getting bored start thanking the sponsors again “We like to thank the sponsors DLF,KingFisher,Citi..bla bla… “ Getting overboard with the same dialogue every innings and every day:- (

4. Oh! The next horrible thing is IPL anchors must be ready to peep into one’s dressing room, oh! Sorry dugout here, and chat with team’s coach or physio and ask some insane questions. When a tense match between Kolkatta and Mumbai is going on and Kolkatta is on the back foot,the anchor asks John Buchanan,coach of Kolkatta “So are you supporting Kolkatta or Mumbai now??”Don’t be shocked if John gives a slap on the anchor’s face!

5. Leave that for a tinge of innocence! The worst thing is that when IPL anchors go for a chat with foreign world class players who are on the bench for that game, because only 4 foreigners are allowed to play. Adding oil to the already burning fire the anchor asks “Being a world class player yourself, why are you not playing today and how is it sitting on the bench??” Pity that player!

6. I think IPL commentators are ordered that they should not speak,but to scream most of the time.The other day I saw Ravi Shastri yelling during the toss “Welcome Cape Town”. May be he was trying to make his voice audible to the entire city of Cape Town and not just to the stadium!

7. And yeah,whenever Dhoni’s or Warne’s face comes on the screen during a tense match,there comes a cliché “He is a cool captain..brilliant captain”.May be it is the commentator’s curse both the captains are going thr’ a lull phase!

8. Having the IPL in South Africa,commentators are getting used saying this quite often than not “It has been raining here since morning and grounds men are working hard to clear the outfield. Hopefully we’ll have the match soon”. They say this, even after knowing the match would be a wash out!

9. There are some weird moments when the commentator hypes that the match is heading for a thrilling finish when every Tom,Dick and Harry knows it is not. They justify their statement saying “Cricket is a funny game” forgetting who really is funny.

10. Finally,being a IPL commentator you must be generous enough to woo Mandira saying “Mandira..You look beautiful today”, no matter what the costume she is wearing! ;-)

There are lots more I wish to tell why IPL commentary is such a tough job, but before that I need a strategic time-out!!!

Wishing IPL commentators a Citi moment of success!!!Cheers!

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The puritans call it the Idiotic Premier League. The World calls it the International Premier League. The Indian Govt calls it the Indian Problematic League. But we fans call it The Indian Premier League! Ya..The IPL is here again although the caravan has been shifted to South Africa and is scheduled to begin on 18th April’09. Against all odds, even this edition is going to be a huge success given the acceptance of this concept in the Rainbow Nation. The second auction, held in February gave a chance for every franchise to strengthen their team’s armory. Every team seems to be balanced on paper, with a rich blend of foreign and national players. So it is really tough to predict the winners, also given the nature of T20 games. But why not take a chance?? Let’s predict too!!

My predictions of the standings for IPL’09

1. ChennaiSuper Kings

The last year finalists, who missed the crown by a whisker,start as the firm favourite for this year’s title. Led by a charismatic skipper, M.S.Dhoni, and having world class match winners in its ranks like Flintoff, Albie Morkel, Murali,Hayden and Oram CSK has all the rights to enjoy the pride of being the pre-tournament favourite. The form of Indian players Suresh Raina,Badrinath,Balaji,Vijay are also heartening. The loss of Hussey will be less felt as there are equally fine replacements in the team.

The availability of Hayden and Murali all through the series along with local heroes Morkel and Ntini

??? Definitely, the saddest thing is the embarrassment of riches CSK has ;-)

2. Delhi DareDevils

This team boasts the destructive and the most explosive opening pair of Sehwag and Gambhir. The injection of David Warner and the new English imports Paul Collingwood and Shah should strengthen the brittle middle order of the DareDevils.The presence of “Pigeon”-Glen McGrath and Vettori must add colour to the otherwise mundane bowling attack.The Indian contingent comprising of Dinesh Karthik,Amit Mishra and Nehra must pull up their socks to put up a daredevilry act at South Africa.

The current form of Gambhir and Sehwag. The presence of AB de Villiers,the local boy must be an added advantage

Bowling! The age factor and fitness of Glen McGrath, and his support bowlers

3. Mumbai Indians

The really balanced side of this tournament,which narrowly misses out the first two spots in my list is just because of the captaincy factor.I may be harsh on Sachin,but that is a fact and we saw it in the last edition,where MI lost 2 last ball thrillers!The return of Zak and Bhajji to the team gives the much needed sting to the bowling attack, which was very wayward,the last year.The ever young Jayasuriya’s presence will be a crucial factor as will be Sachins’.The young blood in the team- Dhawal Kulkarni,A Nayar,Rahane,S Tiwari will play a very important role in the team’s S\F chances.

The presence of in-form JP Duminy and Zaheer Khan

Loss of Shaun Pollock,who could have been useful in the home conditions. Ofcourse Sachin’s captaincy!

4.Rajasthan Royals

An encore from the champions last year has faded very much,as the services of their strike bowler Sohail Tanvir and all rounder Shane Watson(for the first half) would be missing this year.But with the Shane Warne as the captain,any miracle is possible.Oops!Who imagined RR would lift the trophy the last year?The unknown commodity Tyron Henderson,who mesmerized this year’s auction,should be the surprise package.The presence of Graham Smith and Morne Morkel,the local guys,should be a huge bonus. Yusuf Pathan's audacious batting and Ravindra Jadeja’s all round skills must encourage Warne in his quest to defend the title.

Shane Warne’s captaincy. Smith’s knowledge about his home conditions.

Shaun Tait to replace Sohail Tanvir,Henderson to replace Watson!Impossible!

5.Bangalore Royal Challengers

Surely not a test team anymore.Vijay Mallya might have done more than enough to get rid of that tag,but to go that extra mile,he surely needs another Kevin Pieterson in his kitty.Though Royal Challengers sound a decent team,with Jesse Ryder and Uthappa in the squad,there is some weak link in the bowling department.Except for Steyn,I doubt if others are T20 bowlers?Bracken will be surely missed because of the Pakistan series.Praveen and Kumble can’t be termed a quintessential T20 bowlers. Let’s wait and watch if Kevin’s charm work out with RCB.

Presence of Kevin Pieterson for atleast 7 matches can do wonders! Five South Africans in the squad including Boucher and Kallis!

Support bowlers to Dale Steyn???

6. Kolkatta Knight Riders

Confusion all he way through!!! Ganguly’s forgettable run with Australian coaches continues.SRK and Ganguly must be happy Gayle and McCullum will be available for a considerable period this season.The success of KKR lies in the proper utilization of the mystery spinner Mendis. Ishant Sharma and Mortaza must make up a potent new ball pair.The most celebrated domestic player Pujara will be the cynosure of the Indian public.Lakshmi Shukla,Murali Karthik and S Bangar must live up to their reputations,so that Dada and SRK are spared from bitter humiliations!

Gayle’s storm and Mendis mystery!

John Buchanan may be the villain if his innovative ideas don’t work.

7.Kings XI Punjab

The Australian selectors must have done nothing but,shut the doors on Preity Zinta’s glamorous team. The selection of Brett Lee,Shaun Marsh,James Hopes for the series against Pakistan has sealed the fate for Kings XI Punjab,who have already lost the mercurial Sreesanth due to an injury.The availability of Sangakarra and Jayawardene must be a comforting factor for Yuvi. The Indian bowling duo of Irfan Pathan and Piyush Chawla must strike form so that Preity strikes gold! Kings XI Punjab have included Yusuf Abdulla,the stingiest South African T20 bowler.Lets hope he does a Brett Lee act ;-)

Yuvraj’s T20 record and presence of Sri Lankan duo of Sangakarra and Jayawardene

Missing of the Australian trio and a very weak bowling attack.

8. Deccan Chargers

To end up at the last again will be a touch disgraceful for a team which has Adam Gilchrist,Gibbs,Styris,Vaas,Laxman! Symonds will be missed for a major part of the tournament after getting a surprise call back into his national squad. Rohit Sharma and RP Singh will be doing a redemption act to get back into Indian line up.The major setback for Deccan Chargers last year was that it was devoid of a potential Indian rookie-star, like a Swapnil Asnodkar or a Manpreet Gony. Gilchrist will have a real test of his life to charge up the Deccan Chargers!

Gibbs mindblowing record in South Africa, RP Singh and Rohit Sharma’s impressive T20 World Cup At South Africa

Lack of potentially good Indian rookies and the poor bowling link!

Afterall it just takes a ball, an over,a player to change this table topsy turvy!Whatever it maybe,at the end of the day,not just fun but also real fierce cricket is guaranteed...What else a cricket fan can expect for!!

Wishing Lalit Modi,the franchises and the players good luck!

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