IPL 4 (2011) -
Thursday, 13 January 2011 01:15
Contributed by Mayank Jhaveri
The 5 best buys
1. Rusty Theron (South Africa) - $85,000 by Hyderabad Deccan Chargers
The 25-year old T20 specialist is a fine bowler who can keep his length right under pressure. He has represented Kings XI Punjab in a few matches and was particularly good in a super-over as he clinched the game for his team.
2. Aiden Blizzard (Australia) - $20,000 by Mumbai Indians
Being a keen follower of Australia’s domestic cricket, I can say this guy has some potential. The hard hitting opener is class act when he gets going and Mumbai have smartly picked him as a second choice opening partner (after Davy Jacobs) to Sachin Tendulkar. Don’t be surprised if he smacks the ball out of the ground.
3. Michael Klinger (Australia) - $75,000 by Team Kochi
Klinger led South Australian Redbacks to the final of the previous Champions League with consistent performances at the top of the order. He may not have fetched a price like New South Wales opener David Warner has, but will certainly like to make his presence felt.
4. Roelof van der Merwe (South Africa) - $50,000 by Delhi Daredevils
Left arm spinner has played the league with Bangalore side and was more than useful. He can throw the bat around when needed, bowls some good tight overs and is a fantastic fielder. A 100% player any team could use.
5. Luke Pomersbach (Australia) - $50,000 by Royal Challengers Bangalore
The southpaw is a powerful hitter and a good fielder as well. Thanks to Tom Moody, he was part of Kings XI Punjab in the earlier IPLs and played a few good innings. One I remember properly was in Delhi, when he along with Mahela Jayawardena smashed some big blows to upset the home team. To get him at this price is a real cheap deal.
The 5 worst bids
1. Irfan Pathan (India) - $1,900,000 by Delhi Daredevils
The much talked about ‘all-rounder’ was important in India’s T20 World Cup win in ’07.But with injuries and bad form troubling him in recent times, he has been out of action completely. No match practice at any competitive level and still manages to get so much money. It’s one of many selection blunders Delhi have done in the auction.
2. Ravindra Jadeja (India) - $900,000 by Team Kochi
After missing out on last year’s IPL due to some stupidity that he did, Jadeja has just become a millionaire. Another player with the all-rounder tag who gets way more than he deserves and Kochi may regret it someday.
3. Piyush Chawla (India) - $900,000 by Kings XI Punjab
The young leg-arm spinner is talented no doubt, but he sure isn’t the best bet when it comes to T20s. He has the habit of giving away too many runs and Punjab has seen that in previous IPLs. Yet they got him back after spending quite a few bucks.
4. Venugopal Rao (India) - $700,000 by Delhi Daredevils
The middle-order batsman from Hyderabad is experienced for sure, but definitely not a T20 player. He did play a couple of good knocks with Hyderabad but not quite a big hitter particularly against fast bowlers. Even Mohammed Kaif would have been a smarter choice considering his superb fielding.
5. Umesh Yadav (India) - $750,000 by Delhi Daredevils
To be frank, when I saw him bowl a couple of impressive yorkers in the earlier IPL, he did impress me. But he really isn’t effective enough that the Delhi team decided to spend this amount of money on him. As you might have noticed, this is the third Delhi blunder on the list (should be fourth actually, not retaining Gautam Gambhir being first).
The big misses
1. Graeme Swann - England’s offie who is considered among the best spinners in the world by many (including me), wasn’t even able to attract a bid. Absolutely bad judgement considering he has won a T20 World Cup for his country. Don’t forget Punjab even paid close to a million to get Piyush Chawla.
2. Justin Kemp - South Africa’s all-rounder played for Chennai Super Kings in previous IPLs, however didn’t get too many chances due to the presence of Albie Morkel. More than useful batsmen and could bowl a couple of handy overs as well. He certainly is much better buy than Shakib Al Hasan and James Franklin.
3. Kemar Roach - The West Indian quickie who famously was responsible for breaking Ricky Ponting’s elbow due to his sheer pace could have easily been used to upset young Indian batsmen. Instead he finds no takers in spite of not having a very high base price.
1. Sourav Ganguly - Many might say the former India captain deserves to be on the previous list rather than this one. I respectfully disagree. Ganguly is really not that much of a T20 player and in spite of playing well in IPL 3, was never considered a hot bet. He played the Ranji Trophy recently to get ready for the IPL and could barely get bat to ball. There is no point in buying him to get fans in the stadiums if your team isn’t winning matches in the first place.
2. Brian Lara - The legendary batsman from West Indies decided to make himself available for the IPL since he wanted to be part of it as ‘player-mentor’. At 41, he has not played any competitive cricket for 3 years, barring a short stint in Zimbabwe, and really isn’t worth $ 400,000. His ICL stint clearly showed that T20 is probably not his cup of tea.
The overall team sheets can be viewed here.
The IPL will be an even longer tournament this time and to keep it interesting, it is essential that all teams have a good competitive unit. If someone tells you that is what has happened, then he probably doesn’t have too much knowledge about cricket. There is a quite a clear divide with Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore looking the best, while Kochi, Delhi and Rajasthan look quite confused.
Surely, Chennai can be called ‘most settled’ since they have managed to get 10 of their previous players. Bangalore, Mumbai and even the Deccan Chargers have put together a good squad of players but the dark horse for me will have to be Pune Warriors. Pune Team kept buying some effective players throughout the two days and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the semis.
On the other hand, Kochi seemed to be quite unsure of what they wanted and have now bought 5 spinners in their rank and don’t have any Indian batting fire power at all. They have ended up buying one unbalanced team, so they must make some smart off-auction deals else it could be a sorry episode for them. Delhi Daredevils, who retained star player Virender Sehwag have ended up buying three other openers in David Warner, Aaron Finch and Naman Ojha. Their bowling certainly looks shaky since Agarkar, Yadav, Dinda and Pathan, all have the tendency of being expensive. Not to forget Morne Morkel isn’t a great T20 prospect in spite of being a good test bowler.
The most curious case certainly has to be that of Rajasthan Royals. The team had retained Shane Watson and skipper Shane Warne from their earlier slot and only bought 6 players in the two day auction. A total of just 8 players means that they will really have to sign a number of uncapped players to create a good unit. Supposing they manage to do that, one will have to wait and see how the lesser experienced talents perform. Ideally, they should have bought at least 12 players at the auction.
Once the uncapped players get signed and the squads become complete, the picture will get clearer on which squad is strongest and could be termed favourites. However, the wonderful game of cricket isn’t played on paper and hence a good team on paper hardly guarantees anything.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 January 2011 01:27
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