IPL Season-4: Power over class

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
Published: Saturday, January 8, 2011, 19:44 [IST]
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IPL 4: Power over class

The auctioneer's voice must have gone hoarse and the men in suits will be back in their Limousines discussing what they missed and how profitable the day has been. Cricketers have been auctioned off. Millions have been spent and millions saved to fight another day.

Read IPL Auction as it happened- Session 3

In an apparent shift of preference in world cricket, Indian talents have suddenly become most sought after. The Pathan brothers, Rohit Sharma, Uthappa represent the bloody-brutal face of modern Indian cricketer. They hit the ball a long way and are certainities for the entire length of the tournament. So investing in them is a much better option than in an English or Aussie cricketer.

There are still some very good cricketers in England, Australia and South Africa but will they be able to play the whole tournament. Players who perform well and leave mid-way due to national commitments are disruption that no team wants to have. They all want a settled unit that can carry them through to the title and even cricketers would agree that continuity is something very important in IPL. This should explain the likes of Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Mark Boucher remaining unsold.

Read who gets whom

The likes of Gibbs and Gayle remaining unsold is baffling. But then the team-owners being some very successful businessmen must have seen something to leave out these two who are tailor-made for T20. Gayle didn't renew his national contract and Gibbs has been out of the South African squad for quite some time. Though they can still be dangerous but franchisees have followed a business sense by not indulging in things that are off the stream. With another day of auction still left these two can be hoped to be picked by one or the other squad.

The biggest shock of the auction has to be Lara and Ganguly remaining unsold. These two have secured themselves a place in cricketing history, but by now their heroics have faded from the memory. Age and time away from competitive cricket must have weighed against them. But again going by the sheer weight of expectation from fans, don't be surprised if they too get picked up at a later stage.

As it seems to appear, Mumbai having lost Shikhar Dhawan should be looking for someone who can partner Sachin at the top and provide the platform for the Master and the likes of Symonds and Pollard to bludgeon bowling attacks. In quest for that partner they might just buy out Ganguly who along with Sachin formed the best ODI opening combination.

And don't be surprised if Kolkata erupts to pressurise SRK to bring back their favourite son. As for Lara, he is too great a player to be left out.

But for all the shocks and surprises, this IPL will always be remembered as the coming together of Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh for the Mumbai Indians. It is up to the management and the skipper to ensure that there is no spill-over of the bad blood from Sydney.

For the time-being let us just be happy about the interest shown in Indian cricketers. With some brilliant performance and a national team that is at the top of its game, they are the flavour of the season. If only they can justify their economic value and replicate it on the pitch, then they may be very well on their way to some more windfall.


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