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.”

Dynamite Faulkner trashes India

Ishant Sharma ensured that MS Dhoni’s ton was in a losing cause.

What an over: Ishant Sharma

What an over: Ishant Sharma

MOHALI: Ishant Sharma snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as Australia robbed India by four wickets at the PCA Stadium on Thursday night to go into a 2-1 lead in the seven-game series. Stumbling in their pursuit of a challenging 304-run target, Australia looked out for the count when they collapsed to a stage where 44 were needed in 18 balls. This is when Ishant began his eighth over and in the space of six deliveries, and with a lot of help from James Faulkner, turned the match on its head by leaking four sixes and a boundary.

But if the lanky Delhi once-fast bowler was the definitive villain, Faulkner was the quintessential hero, one who overcame a crappy phase of his own to turn it on when it mattered.

The Aussie all-rounder smashed 30 in that fateful Ishant over and then slammed another six off Vinay Kumar in the final over to decide the game, with three balls remaining. Faulkner ended with a breathtaking 29-ball 64* (6×6, 2×4), but could very easily have been the antihero for his side at the halfway mark when MS Dhoni took 21 from his last over to drive India past 300.

The first essay was all about Dhoni’s perfectly-paced unbeaten 139. The Indian skipper entered the arena on 76/4 and looked like he was cramping as he went for his first run. That was about all the trouble he encountered in rescuing India from 154/6 in 32 overs to the healthy 303 they finally amassed. 

Dhoni figured in two vital partnerships (72 with Kohli, 76 with Ashwin) and corrected his dismal strike rate (he took 77 balls to reach his half-century) with trademark butchery at the ‘death’. His high swirler dropped by counterpart Bailey in the penultimate over, Dhoni went on to smash 35 runs in the balls remaining.

Bounced out

The bouncer spelled the end of most Indian batsmen. Much was expected of Shikhar Dhawan (8) at the site of his scintillating Test debut, but the southpaw fell jabbing Clint McKay to the wicketkeeper in the second over. Rohit Sharma (11) was done in by a Shane Watson rapid riser, while Suresh Raina (17) and local hero Yuvraj Singh (0) went to successive Mitchell Johnson short deliveries, the crowd silenced by a scoreboard that read 76/4 in the 14th over.

Kohli and Dhoni came together for 72 runs for the fourth wicket. For a change, the Delhi lad remained aground and laced his 73-ball 68 with nine hits to the fence, but no sixes. He was caught behind trying to hoick off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, and soon after Johnson picked up his third when another bouncer proved too good for Jadeja (2).

Chasing yet another target north of 300, Australia grafted 68 without losing a wicket. But from the moment Phil Hughes (22) fell to Vinay Kumar, the chase looked ill-fated. Aaron Finch (38) and Watson (11) fell to questionable leg-before decisions off Ishant and Jadeja respectively, and skipper Bailey (43) was trapped by Vinay in the first over of his second spell. Maxwell’s unfortunate run-out in the 37th over only made it worse. But Adam Voges (76*) played the holding role long enough for Faulkner to save Australia the day.

Five sixes in an over, MS Dhoni hits fastest CLT20 fifty

Five sixes in an over, Dhoni hits fastest CLT20 fifty

Ranchi: Chennai Super Kings’ captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni added another feather to his hat on Thursday as he raced to the fastest fifty in the history of Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) in just 16 balls. The Indian skipper achieved the milestone against Sunrisers Hyderabad, largely at the expense of Thisara Perera, before his home crowd in Ranchi to give his side enough runs to script a 12-run win.

Dhoni’s belligerent fifty beat the previous CLT20 record of 18-ball fifty scored by Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard. The West Indian set the record in the 2009 edition while playing for Trinidad and Tobago against the New South Wales.

Ranchi witnessed a typical Dhoni, who also slammed 34 runs off Perera’s over, the highest number of runs scored in an over in the tournament.

Dhoni beat Kieron Pollard’s record by scoring fifty in 16 balls, hitting Hyderabad’s Thisara Perera for 34 runs in an over.

Dhoni finished on 63 off 19 balls, punctuated with one four and eight big sixes, which helped Chennai post 202 against the Hyderabad. Hyderabad made a match of it but could only reach 190 in the end to concede a narrow defeat. CSK middle-order batsman Suresh Raina also starred with the bat, scoring 84 off 57 balls.

Here are a couple of other records Dhoni created with his whirlwind knock on Thursday:

– Dhoni’s strike rate of 331.57 is the highest in the history of the CLT20, taking into account innings of minimum 25 runs.

– Dhoni is the first batsman from Chennai Super Kings to hit eight sixes in an innings in the CLT20.