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Best Buys

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Mixing business with cricket must be difficult (though no one seems to mind, especially when counting the cash). This is more so when you have to pick between talented, relatively unknown players at throwaway prices and reputed international icons who are proven, have a brand image to milk, but are expensive.  Walking this tight rope well did a lot to change fortunes last season as we saw with the Rajasthan Royals.

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The players go up for sale on Friday in another ‘cow market’ circus.  With plenty of new, potential ‘next big thing’s on the menu, we did a little background check on the players, using the T20 ranking points and their domestic T20 performances.

Here’s a little evaluation of some of the interesting names being auctioned.  Tables with the best batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders and their T20 ratings follow the text.

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The Big Names:

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Pietersen (Avg 27, SR 144) is the media’s favourite. As a brand with potential to bring in additional revenue streams, he is big.  But his performances are good, not great, and not yet worth the exorbitant cost.  But he still has the potential to turn matches, and has charisma. How much to pay for him will perhaps be more of a business decision and less of a cricketing call. He may be particularly recommended for the Bangalore or the Hyderabad teams to boost their drooping spirits and their general image.

Flintoff (Bowl Avg 17, Econ 6.5, Bat SR 139) and Clarke* (Bat Avg 23, Bat SR 130) are again decent enough but may be overpriced as far as T20 is concerned, going by their domestic records. But in terms of their brand value, and given that whatever their domestic records suggest, these are proven match-winners, it may not be such bad business to spend big on them. Flintoff would rate higher than Clarke, though.

Jerome Taylor (Econ 7, SR 11, Avg 13) seems to be the best of the lot and is yet to be given a price tag. He’s also shown that he can chip in with the bat, and he will certainly be a lot cheaper than Flintoff.

The International Players:

Duminy (Econ 7.7, Bowl SR 17, Bat Avg 31, SR 121), Wright (Econ 8, Bowl SR 17, Bat SR 157), Collingwood (Bat Avg 22, SR 132, Bowl SR 10.3) and Bopara (Econ 7.7, SR 18, Bat Avg 22, SR 122) look expensive but are handy resources on the field. Teams could eye them, though Duminy will certainly be the pick of the lot, given his recent rise to superstardom in terms of image, and his great run of form.

Tait (Avg 14, SR 12, Econ 7) and Clark (Avg 18, SR 17, Econ 6.6) from Australia justify their expensive price tag. Tait’s domestic T20 performances paint a better picture than his international ODI figures do. Don’t forget to include a clause in his contract that covers the event of him retiring suddenly.

Morne van Wyk (7 fifties, SR 116), Jaques (6 fifties, SR 132) and Ryder (Avg 28, SR 144) are good value-for-money players going by the promise with their domestic performances. They also have a bit of international exposure which can give them a little edge as far as experience is concerned.

Owais Shah (Avg 29, SR 135) though, is the biggest hero here. He is a proven T20 performer, has hit a good stride with the ODIs against India, and he is a buy we would certainly recommend. At 1,50,000, he is a better bet than Pietersen at 13,50,000.

Kulasekara (Avg 36, Econ 7.7) and Edwards (Avg 45, Econ 7.7) have a half-decent reputation going for them, though their performances don’t add up to that.  They are capable, but yet to really deliver in a significant way. So what does that tell you about whether to buy them or not? Nothing much really.

Don’t be surprised by Bodi (Avg 23, SR 104) and Kapugedera’s (Avg 23, SR 129) high-ish price tags. They are talented and have proved it over many domestic games. Though you may not want to pay too much more than what is being asked right now.

The Hidden Gems:

The prize assets of Friday’s auction are likely to be the smart investments i.e. the inexpensive buys who you show off as great pieces of vision and insight when they deliver and aren’t too difficult to hide when they don’t. Aaron Bird (Econ 8.4, SR 10, Avg 14) and Bryce McGain (Econ 6.5, SR 17, Avg 19) have domestic performances showcasing their ability and experience. Keeping in mind Australia’s track record of delivering hidden gems (one of last season’s success stories, Shaun Marsh, and another potent player, David Warner), these guys look like good buys.  Kemar Roach (Bowl Avg 15, SR 9) has also had significant success in the Stanford games.

 

 

George Bailey (Avg 34, SR 156, 4 fifties) could be the best of the bids given his performance and the low price tag. Perfect combination with another expensive bid.

Tyron Henderson (Bowl SR 21, Econ 7, Bat Avg 23, SR 152, 7 fifties) surely is the best bet amongst the all-rounders.

Samit Patel (Econ 7.3, 5 fifties, SR 116), Micheal Dighton (Bowl Avg 13, SR 11, Bat Avg 25, SR 143), Kieron Pollard (SR  14, Econ 7.5, Bat Avg 26, SR 168), Kaushalya Weeraratne (Econ 7, Bat Avg 27, SR 145) and James Franklin (Econ 8, Bat Avg 28, SR 144) look risky but with definite potential.  They are not likely to cost much, so may be worth a wager if you have a few dollars to spare.

Dwayne Smith (Bowl Avg 20, SR 15, Bat Avg 15, SR 144), Steven Smith (Bowl Avg 10, SR 8, Bat Avg 17, SR 119), Thilan Thushara (Econ 6.8, Avg 20, Bat SR 109) and Shakib Al Hasan (Bowl Avg 20, Econ 7.2, Bat SR 110) are blind spots and may lose ground against the local talent.  However, Shakib Al Hasan has shown phenomenal form in his recent games (Tests and ODIs) and may be a jack in the box.

Daniel Harris (Avg 35, SR 154), Jon Moss (Avg 31, SR 132) and Mohammad Ashraful (Avg 18, SR 176) could well be good bets to rely on. But good bets don’t mean guaranteed returns.

Michael Hill, the Australian Under-19 captain and South African Yusuf Abdullah are total unknowns and IPL remains a showcase for their talents, provided any team bids for them/plays them regularly.

Batsmen Rankings:

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Batsmen

 

Domestic Pts

Intl' Pts

Base price

Owais Shah

Eng

540.53

107.19

150000

Morne van Wyk

SA

440.93

0.25

100000

Phil Jaques

Aus

435.87

 

100000

George Bailey

Aus

365.77

 

50000

Jesse Ryder

NZ

256.90

90.39

100000

Kevin Pietersen

Eng

253.58

115.92

1350000

Daniel Harris

Aus

207.51

 

50000

Gulam Bodi

SA

180.89

2.56

100000

Jon Moss

Aus

173.26

 

50000

Chamara Kapugedera

SL

158.69

34.52

150000

Mohammad Ashraful

Ban

120.30

 

75000

Tamim Iqbal

Ban

11.07

 

50000

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Bowler Rankings:

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Bowlers

 

Domestic Pts

Intl’ Pts

Base price

Jerome Taylor

WI

41.23

39.50

TBC

Shaun Tait

Aus

40.82

36.09

250000

Aaron Bird

Aus

40.66

 

45000

Kemar Roach

WI

40.34

40.34

50000

Stuart Clark

Aus

38.09

38.09

250000

Bryce McGain

Aus

37.56

 

50000

Shane Harwood

Aus

36.56

31.00

75000

Brett Geeves

Aus

34.86

44.60

45000

Kyle Mills

NZ

34.50

32.21

150000

Nuwan Kulasekara

SL

33.20

31.50

100000

Fidel Edwards

WI

31.78

30.83

150000

Mashrafe Mortaza

Ban

 

30.93

50000

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All-rounder Rankings:

 

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Dom Pts (bat)

Dom Pts (ball)

Total (D)

Base price

Tyron Henderson

SA

566.63

36.55

603.18

100000

JP Duminy

SA

339.42

33.39

372.81

300000

Samit Patel

Eng

318.16

34.34

352.50

100000

Luke Wright

Eng

266.08

34.33

300.41

150000

Michael Dighton

Aus

178.89

36.57

215.46

85000

Andrew Flintoff

Eng

169.24

37.35

206.59

950000

Paul Collingwood

Eng

160.28

38.44

198.72

250000

Ravi Bopara

Eng

148.67

34.26

182.93

150000

Kieron Pollard

WI

128.10

36.08

164.18

60000

Kaushalya Weeraratne

SL

111.62

33.79

145.41

50000

James Franklin

NZ

111.55

31.46

143.01

50000

Dwayne Smith

WI

93.61

36.65

130.26

TBC

Steven Smith

Eng

20.23

40.30

60.53

75000

Michael Clarke

Aus

29.70

30.62

60.31

1000000

Thilan Thushara

SL

11.33

36.83

48.16

100000

Shakib Al Hasan

Ban

 

 

 

75,000

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*Edit: Clarke has since opted out of the tournament.



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