‘Villain’ Chawla turns hero for Kings XI Punjab, writes Yuvraj

‘Villain’ Piyush Chawla turns hero for Team Punjab, writes Yuvraj Singh in his column in The Times Of India, adding that the first match on Saturday was an upset. “It is not easy to beat Chennai in their den. And Punjab did exactly that.  They showed character in bouncing back from their heart-breaking loss to Mumbai. Opener Mandeep Singh, who gave them a great start, is one of the promising talents from Punjab. The irony of the match was Piyush Chawla’s spell. In Punjab’s loss to Mumbai, he was the villain. Against Chennai, he bounced back with an outstanding spell. He picked up the key wickets of Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja to derail the chase. His was a tale of strength of character and the current Indian players have plenty of that. He was complimented well by Azhar Mahmood’s bowling,” adds Yuvraj.

Meanwhile Dean Jones in his column in The Times Of India writes that the quicker Michael Hussey gets to Chennai the better. “They need to win 5of their last 7 matches to qualify for the IPL final series, and ‘Mr Cricket’ could be the lifesaving injection into the top order. Now, what ails MS Dhoni’s side? Statistics will tell you that Dwayne Bravo has scored the second-best runs for CSK this year. In other words, the top 4 has not been performing for Chennai. Now, Hussey made the most runs for Chennai last year. He can be the saviour again in crunch time,” writes Deano, adding that Dhoni will have to drop one of the foreigners.

“So, who will it be? I think Albie Morkel and Faf Du Plessis have to stay. They may have to drop Bravo, or it’s likely that Nuwan Kulasekara could give way. A bowler for a batsman, that’s the way it has to go,” he writes

According to a column Hindustan Times, Mark Waugh writes that Chennai were put to the sword by the fighting Kings XI Punjab, who now join a clutch of other sides in the middle of the table with eight points. “The slowness of the Chennai pitch became quite prominent in the second half of the innings when the home team chased that in between score of 156. The Super Kings batting is highly reliant on Faf du Plessis and after he got out early, none of the rest could cope with the track’s slowness. As a result, Chennai, despite remaining in the third spot with nine points, are only one ahead of Punjab,” writes Waugh, adding that Chennai now have a chance to go level on points with the Kolkata Knight Riders when the two sides meet on Monday.

“On paper though, I think that Kolkata have the form and the momentum. Chennai, it seems, haven't batted as well as they would have liked in the tournament and could well get in Michael Hussey into the line-up if he is available for the game,” he adds.

Players are not the only ones who eagerly wait for the Indian Premier League to start every year, says a report in Hindustan Times, adding that there are others in the fringes too who see the tournament as a way to earn a few quick bucks. “These are not administrators but sports merchandise dealers, face painters, tattoo artists and even barbers. There are a about half-adozen merchandising stores outside the MA Chidambaram stadium which stock up every year as sales shoot up by almost 50% during IPL,” adds the paper.

Last year, since the IPL was played immediately after the World Cup, the sales were not as expected, he added. For those who can’t afford official merchandise of their favourite teams, sold by big labels, there are roadside vendors who sell duplicate stuff cheaply. “While an original CSK T-shirt costs between Rs 350- 650, I have an exact replica for just Rs 125,” claimed Ramana. The vendor also sells innovatively designed caps. “I have Malinga Caps (curly fur on them), KP caps (with Kevin Pietersen’s old hairstyle) for Rs 150 each,” added Ramana. Small cut-outs of CSK spinner Ravichandran Ashwin costs Rs 100.