Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2013 Contents A57
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MONACO---The IAAF says seven ath-
letes who competed at the world cham-
pionships in Moscow last month failed
doping tests and have already been
sanctioned or provisionally suspended.
Three competitors tested positive for
EPO: race walkers Ayman Kozhakhmetova
of Kazakhstan and Ebrahim Rahimian of
Iran, and marathon runner Jeremias Saloj
A steroid was found in the urine sam-
ples of javelin thrower Roman Avramenko
of Ukraine, and sprinters Yelena Ryabova
of Turkmenistan and Elyzaveta Bryzgina
Afghani sprinter Massoud Azizi tested
positive for a metabolite of nandrolone.
The IAAF says 538 athletes had their
urine tested during the worlds, and 132
before the event. (AP)
7 world championship athletes failed doping tests
The Indian Premier League (IPL champions),
Mumbai Indians, take on the side that fin-
ished third in the tournament this year,
despite all the adversity and negative publicity sur-
rounding them because of the spot-fixing scandal.
The attention will be on two legends on either side
who will be playing their limited overs farewell tour-
nament---Rahul Dravid (Rajesthan Royals) and Sachin
Tendulkar (Mumbai Indians).
Speaking ahead of the game, Dravid, the Royals
captain, insisted that it will be a contest between two
teams and not two individuals, today. There s a match
to be played, a tournament to be won and the Sawai
Mansingh Stadium is a good place to start for the
Royals who were unbeaten at their home venue
throughout IPL 2013.
Royals have the core of their side intact. Shane Wat-
son, who had a mixed tour of England, is coming off
his match-winning 143 in the final ODI against England
at the Rose Bowl. James Faulkner, the allrounder, fin-
ished the IPL season with 28 wickets at 15.25, and the
Australian pair will be key to Royals fortunes.
They have the experienced Brad Hodge in the middle
order, and Paddy Upton, the coach, said the team also
had promising youngsters.
"We are fortunate that the upcoming players like
Sanju Samson and Dishant Yagnik and also Pravin
Tambe, who was not so prominent, have done so
well," Upton said.
"It would important for us to keep the team in
better shape because we have limited players now
after the ban on few of our squad players."
Mumbai will have to learn quickly to cope without
Lasith Malinga, who s skipped the tournament for
family reasons. Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh
will have to carry the attack in his absence. They will
rely on their batsmen to fire and there s no shortage
of power hitters in the line-up. Rohit Sharma and
Dinesh Karthik were in good form in the IPL, and will
look to continue in the same vein.
Players to watch
There s no clarity yet on whether Harmeet Singh,
the left-arm spinner caught in the spot-fixing scandal,
is available to play. Royals are short on specialist spin-
ners and Ashok Menaria, the allrounder, could take
on the role. Menaria, who also bowls left-arm spin,
has form on his side, with ten wickets in three one-
dayers against New Zealand A recently, and a fifty as
well. Dravid hinted that Menaria may fit into the line-
up.One of the best outcomes for Mumbai in the IPL
was the emergence of Rohit Sharma as an able replace-
ment for Ricky Ponting, who was dropped from the
Rohit took over the captaincy and led Mumbai to
their elusive IPL title. The captaincy had a positive
influence on his batting as he finished as their leading
run-scorer. Can Rohit maintain that consistency in
the Champions League?
Retiring legends face off in opener
Rajasthan Royals' Shane Watson
hits through the off side against
Kings XI Punjab during the IPL in
Mohali in May. Watson ended his
England tour on a high, which is
bad news for the opposition.
(PHOTO COURTESY ESPNCRICINFO)
Chennai Super Kings finished runners-
up in IPL 2013, having lost to Mumbai
Indians in the final. They might not be
the current IPL champions, but they have
consistently been the team to beat in the
Five times in six IPLs they ve made the
final, they ve won the title twice---in 2010
and 2011---and took home the Champions
League title in 2010.
The team comes into this tournament
with off-field controversy hanging heavily
about them. News of one of their top offi-
cials Gurunath Meiyappan being arrested
on charges of betting---which is illegal in
India---broke a week before the IPL 2013
Meiyappan is the son-in-law of BCCI
president N Srinivasan, and his arrest raked
up the longstanding conflict of interest
questions over the board president also
being managing director of the company---
India Cements---that owns Super Kings.
Mahendra Ssingh Dhoni too had conflict
of interest queries thrown his way, after it
was learnt he temporarily owned shares in
a player-management company that looked
after the financial interests of his India and
Super Kings team-mates, Suresh Raina and
On the upside, Super Kings line-up is
one of the strongest around in T20 cricket.
They have ever-dependable batsmen in
Michael Hussey and S Badrinath, big-hitters
in Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel, and a
combination of the two in Dhoni and Raina.
Hussey and Bravo topped the batting and
bowling charts in IPL 2013.
In the spin department they have India s
leading spinner across formats, R Ashwin,
and the current No 1 bowler in ODI cricket,
Jadeja. Previously, pace bowling was a bit
of a weakness, but they beefed up their
attack in the lead-up to IPL 2013, signing
lesser known but testing bowlers Chris Mor-
ris, Jason Holder and Mohit Sharma.
Super Kings will be keen on doing well
for another reason. They have had by far
the most settled squad in the IPL---Dhoni,
Raina, Hussey, Ashwin, Morkel and Badri-
nath, among others, have all been with the
franchise since its inception in 2008.
In February, the squad---or most of it---
is likely to be disbanded; as per the IPL reg-
ulations all players are supposed to go back
into the auction in 2014. Given the possibility
of this being the last tournament this bunch
plays together, and the camaraderie that
has built up over the seasons, they ll be
eager to end on a high.
Super Kings will not play any matches
at home, at Chepauk, but that s not to say
they won t be treated like the home team:
three of their four group games will be in
Ranchi, Dhoni s hometown.
As they have been for years now, MS
Dhoni, Suresh Raina and R Ashwin will be
the cornerstones on which Super Kings
campaign is built. Dhoni s stats for Super
Kings are solid---he has 2488 runs at a strike-
rate nudging 140, and only two ducks in 97
innings for the team---but it is his tempera-
ment that is most prized.
How many times has he "taken it late"
and, despite it getting to a point when the
chase seems beyond the team, delivered
with an almost unnatural calm? Suresh
Raina is the only player to have featured in
every single one of his IPL franchise s games
so far, scoring 3189 runs in 113 matches,
while R Ashwin s economy rate of 6.53 is
the best among all IPL bowlers who ve sent
down 150 overs or more for one franchise.
Given Super Kings line-up has remained
largely the same over the seasons, the team
rarely fields untested performers. In IPL
2013, though, they did have two new faces:
pace bowlers Mohit Sharma and Chris Mor-
ris. Both proved to be highly effective and
featured regularly in the eleven, and have
since gone on to represent their countries
in ODIs. Mohit was even named Man of
the Match on international debut.
It s hard to pinpoint on-field weaknesses
in Super Kings line-up. Their biggest chal-
lenge could be putting the off-field con-
troversies that have recently plagued the
franchise out of their minds.
Following their deflated showing in the
IPL 2013 final, coach Stephen Fleming said
the team had "been through a lot and didn t
respond well." They ve had more than
enough time for the initial shock of Meiyap-
pan s arrest to wear off, but the controversy
still rages on. They can t afford to let it dis-
tract them once again.
Chennai looks to turn focus back on cricket
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