Auction rules are out, IPL teams can retain five players

DLF IPL Auction 2014

DLF IPL Auction 2014

The Indian Premier League is to conduct a fresh auction for the new season, but an overhaul of the teams is unlikely as new rules released on Tuesday allow franchises to retain popular faces. The IPL governing council has allowed the franchises to retain five players with an added option of ‘Right to match’ (first right of refusal). Earlier, there was a talk that the Season 7 of the cash-rich league could see new-look teams as all players would be available for auction.

Simply put, the rules work perfectly for bigger teams and perhaps that is the reason smaller teams have criticised the guidelines.

In all probability, MS Dhoni will continue to be the face of Chennai Super Kings flanked by Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. Mumbai Indians can retain skipper Rohit Sharma and Royal Challengers Bangalore can have Virat Kohli leading the squad.

The auction will be held on February 12, and if necessary, on February 13. To balance the payment structure for both Indian and foreign players, the fee for all players will be calculated in Indian rupees. The measure has been taken considering the huge fluctuation in the
dollar rates.

Not all teams are happy with the decision to increase the number of players who can be retained to five (not more than four capped Indians). They say it has been done to favour the bigger teams (read richer teams).

“There is a dearth of Indian capped players and by allowing five players to be retained, the big teams will have the cream of the Indian players,” said a senior official of a franchisee, who did not want to be quoted.  “The strength of the team depends mainly on the seven Indian players…It is done to favour the good teams; it ensures that the weaker teams never recover.”

Another official complained about the way the ‘right to match’ (joker card or first right of refusal once bidding is over) numbers have been decided. “Why after allowing a team to retain five players, they should be given another joker card. On the other hand, a team which doesn’t wish to retain has been given only three joker cards.

“How can you reward (the bigger teams) more and more? The player regulation must be more tight. That is when the league can improve.”

Kohli forces Australia to run for cover

Virat Kohli smashed 115 off 66 balls

Virat Kohli smashed 115 off 66 balls

Rohit Sharma began the chase with a four.
Did look like a good omen. For the right-hander and opening partner Shikhar Dhawan were going great guns, summoning fours and boundaries at will. Glenn Maxwell did them a favour by dropping Dhawan on 19. They cashed in, adding 178 runs for the first wicket in a jiffy. Aaron Finch then sent down a half-tracker that, Sharma miscued, with the ball in James Faulkner’s hands in deep midwicket.

A minor detail. They were chasing 351 for a win.

No butterflies. As Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli continued the onslaught, as George Bailey realized that his opponents were staging a counter attack. Dhawan (102) brought up his hundred, celebrating with a fist pump that, after dropping his bat. One ball later, he exposed his stumps, in an attempt to clear the fine leg fence. India 234/2.

Panic is a word that doesn’t exist in Kohli’s dictionary, as he picked the gaps with ease, with the shots flowing all around the park. The half-century came off the 31st delivery he was facing, with Xavier Doherty and Mitchell Johnson bearing the brunt. The gods probably felt that life wasn’t fair, and they allowed Johnson to provide the twist in the tale.

Short ball to Suresh Raina. The batsman brought out the pull, missed, as the ball ended up in Brad Haddin’s hands. He had to walk off as umpire Nigel Llong gave him out. Two balls later, the ball managed to sneak through Yuvraj Singh’s defence as Australia came back into the game. India 290/4. 60 runs needed from 42.

No problem.

MS Dhoni (25) joined Man-of-the-Match Kohli (115) and the two soaked in the pressure, without showing it. Kohli went after Faulkner to bring up his 17th hundred off 61 balls, third-fastest by an Indian. He kept his foot on the gas, turning the heat on Shane Watson in the penultimate over. Needing six from the final six deliveries, Dhoni provided the finish touch as India won by six wickets with three balls remaining.

It didn’t start that way at the VCA stadium in Nagpur.

Earlier, tons from George Bailey (156) and Shane Watson (102) powered Australia to an imposing total of 350/6, their fourth 300+ score in the series. After being put into bat by the hosts, the duo got together, after openers Phillip Hughes (13) and Aaron Finch (20), with the score yet to cross the first milestone of 50.

Then came the no ball.

Watson hit a delivery from Ravindra Jadeja, a tame shot that comfortably ended up in Rohit Sharma’s hands. The batsman walked off, only to be recalled by the umpire after it came to light that Jadeja had bowled a front foot no ball. To rub salt onto his wounds, Bailey was caught off the free hit. After a brief lull, in-form Bailey and Watson decided to accelerate. To be fair to them, the Indian bowlers helped them free their arms.

The spinners were not spared, as the sixes began to rain, nine of them. Amit Mishra was offering flight, but was very slow in the air. Bailey used his feet, while Watson swung hard, as Dhoni started talking to his bowlers. Short deliveries didn’t help either, as Bailey managed to pull off the pull stroke with ease. The Indian skipper understood what was happening and turned to Mohammad Shami for over no.34. Powerplay time for Australia.

Shane Watson creamed three fours to bring up a century. Then came the dreaded gap between bat and pad, and the right-hander had to walk back after making 102. Glenn Maxwell’s (9) dismissal made no difference to Captain Bailey as he continued to punish the bowling. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, paid the price, getting smashed for three fours in over no.38.

He soon brought up his century, and that gave him the license to cut loose. With Adam Voges (44) for company, Bailey helped Australia cross 300, and hung around till the final over, before being dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja. The left-armer provided another déjà vu moment, having Voges caught and bowled. Off another no ball.

Jadeja managed to pick up Mitchell Johnson, off a subsequent delivery. But there was nothing to celebrate for they had allowed the Kangaroos to score 350/6.

First Jaipur. Now Nagpur. 701 runs scored. Four centuries. The second successful 350+ run chase for India in the series. The batsmen will rule thanks to the new rules.

God save the bowler. Please.

2-2. What will happen in Bangalore?

Cricket Infographic | Top Scores by Australia batsmen against India in ODIs.


Jadeja first Indian after Kumble to top ODI bowlers’ list

Jadeja first Indian after Kumble to top ODI bowlers' list

Jadeja first Indian after Kumble to top ODI bowlers’ list

DUBAI: Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja on Sunday became the first Indian bowler to top the bowlers’ chart in the latest ICC ODI Player Rankings after former captain Anil Kumbleclaimed the pole position way back in 1996.

Rankings: Bowlers | Batsmen | All-rounders

Jadeja, who took five wickets in five matches during India’s recently-concluded ODI tour of Zimbabwe, has leapt four places to join West Indies’ off-spinner Sunil Narine on top of the list.

This is the first time Jadeja is heading the bowlers’ chart.

Kumble had topped the table for 11 matches in November-December 1996. Overall, Jadeja is the fourth India bowler after Kapil Dev (March 1989), Maninder Singh (December 1987-November 1988) and Kumble to claim the number-one spot in ODIs.

The series against Zimbabwe also turned out to be a big one for India’s leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who has rocketed 47 places to 32nd spot after bagging a record 18 wickets.

The India team, meanwhile, consolidated its position as number one team in ICC ODI rankings. A 5-0 series win over Zimbabwe has helped it strengthen its position at the top.

Though the series sweep earned the Indian side just one ratings point to help it finish at 123, it now has a lead of nine ratings points over second ranked team, Australia.

In the batting table, however, both Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have lost a position each to be placed at 4th and 7th spots, respectively.

Suresh Raina in 17th (up by one) and Shikhar Dhawan in 23rd (up by 16) have made progress in the list, which is still headed by South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara has achieved a career-best rating of 829 points and has equalled his best-ever ranking of third after finishing as the highest run-getter in the ODI series against South Africa.