IPL Auction 2018 – What teams have in their kitties?

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad has retained their captain David Warner. The team has been selected very carefully according to all possible pitches. With Sakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey, and Hooda the team has a strong middle order. The team has spinners like Nabi and Rashid, who could possibly be put together in the playing XI in case of a turning track. They also have three fast bowlers that is Bhuvaneshwar, Kaul, and Thampi. The team has quite a few good backups such as Pathan and Williamson.

Kolkata Knight Riders

The team did not retain their captain Gautam Gambhir. And, are still to announce the new captain. The team looks decent but they hardly have a backup in case one of their star players are left injured. The batting order of the team looks nice with Narine and Lynn the probable openers like the last season. The real point of worry here will be if the middle order Uthappa, Karthik, and Russell are not able to perform. The bowling line up looks decent.

Delhi Daredevils

The team has retained Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, and Rishab Pant. DD last year had failed to reach the knockout stages and this time have seemed to have banked on the youth. The team seems to have ticked in all departments while selecting players. Gautam Gambhir, who had been leading the KKR for quite a few years now, has returned to his home team. He will lead the team and hopes to make DD a winning side, he said in his recent tweet.

Chennai Super Kings

The Chennai team after returning after two years retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja. They went on to exercise the right to match for Dwayne Bravo. They lost Ravichandran Ashwin but got in Harbajan singh who will bring a lot the table. More importantly Harbajan brings in the experience into the team. He has been a part of the squads whenever they have been crowned champions.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 

This time the RCB seems to have done their homework. They did not have a seamers last time. This time, they have got Chris Woakes and Tim Southee. With Virat Kohli, Brandon McCullum, AB de Villiers helming batting line up they retain their destructive batting order. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Colin de Grandhomme being the smart picks for a middle order. The side has never won a title in the history of IPL, let’s see what awaits them this season.

Kings XI Punjab

The team has since the first season has been underperforming. This time the team seems to be a good one with some big names like Yuvraj, Gayle, KL Rahul, and Ravichandran Ashwin. The team boasts of a great batting line up which has the ability to thrash the bowling of the opposition. The tough choice will be to
pick the playing XI and balance out the team. The biggest drawback with this team is that they do not have a wicket-keeper.

Mumbai Indians

The biggest strength of Mumbai Indians is the number of all-rounders they have. Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and JP Duminy. They have relied on Ishan Kisan, former under-19 captain. Overall the team looks strong.

 

Rajasthan Royals

Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat won the highest bids, among international and national players respectively. The middle order seems very strong with Stokes, Short, Binny, and Smith. The Biggest disadvantage for the Royals remains that they are depending a little too much on International players. The only Indian capped players that the team has on their side are Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Jaydev Unadkat. With a restriction on the number of international player in the playing XI, RR will have a hard time deciding their picks.

Image Source- News 18, CricBuzz.com

Rahul Dravid Set to remain incharge of India U-19 and India A

The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting of former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, has offered the current India Under-19 and India A coach Rahul Dravid a 2 year contract extension. The initial contract signed consisted of a clause which allowed the BCCI to renew the contract without calling for fresh interviews.
The remuneration clause of the contract is yet to be finalised. Under the earlier contract which expired on 31st March 2017, the board paid him more than Rs 4 crore during a 10 month deal. The final decision will be taken by the board at the Special General Body Meeting to be held next month.
Dravid was last in the news when Ramachandra Guha a former Committe of Administrators (CoA) member had raised the conflict of interest issue as Rahul was associated with the BCCI for 10 months and the other 2 months was involved in the IPL. He responded to it by pointing out that there was lack of clarity on the rules and it was unfair to target him since there are 4-5 people in the same position.
Dravid has been highly praised by many including former Australian captain Ricky Ponting for the work he has done with the youth system of Indian Cricket. Under his tenure the Under-19 team reached the finals of the World Cup in 2016 and the India A side has done well too.
The Under-19 team is slated to travel to England for a short series next month.
News Sources- News18, Republic World TV

MS Dhoni – Rewriting History

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an enigma in Indian cricket. The next generation of sport fans will be regaled with tales of the days when he would set up his office desk behind the stumps waving calmly and issuing orders to fielders.

As the wickets fall, he makes the all too familiar jog down the pitch to congratulate bowler and fielder alike before disappearing once again. In American sporting parlance, Dhoni would be referred to as the “paper boy” – because he always delivers.

When he comes out to bat it is usually at a tense situation in the match. A certain number of runs required to win or if the game calls for sending the run-rate through the roof, his unorthodox style has time and time again done the job.

On Wednesday December 4,2016 at the end of a Ranji Trophy semi-final game between Dhoni’s Jharkhand and Gujarat he announced that he would not lead the side anymore. No fanfare, no press conferences, no social media. In the style that we have become accustomed to, the board sent out a simple message that he would be stepping down as India captain, but would be available to play.

At the scene was Shashank Kishore, senior-sub editor Cricinfo in whose opinion – the decision was taken at a time as good as ever. He also pointed out that Dhoni had a lot to offer as a player – giving up the captaincy could potentially free him up and we could see the best of him in the next two years.

While the cricketing world came to grips with this announcement, Dhoni was in his hotel room playing video games with his team – blissfully unaware of the implications. Enough of that – what does he have left to offer as a player?

He would likely be given the slot that he has most wanted – Number 4 in the batting line-up. For ten years as captain he had to bat lower down in the order to protect the team as an anchor. Given the scenario now, he would want to play the role Yuvraj Singh did not so long ago.

As far as the wicket keeping goes, save a few younger names no one in this country is ready to take over from the man. U19 captain and wicket keeper-batsman Ishan Kishan is one name that cropped up. According to Kishore, what stood out over the Ranji season was his flexibility, footwork and movement.

In this semi-final week, Dhoni spent considerable time with Kishan emphasizing soft hands and agility. He is a good batsman, one who reminds Kishore of Adam Gichrist at least in terms of batting style if nothing else. Delhi’s Rishabh Pant is the other name that crops up – he has been named in the white-ball squad for the series against England.

At the practice sessions the former Indian captain looked supremely confident – lean and strong training with his state side as they looked to reach the Ranji finals for the first time since 2004.

What about the relationship between him and Kohli? Back when the newly minted captain was not the Bradmanesque batsman we know today, there were strong calls to drop him come the Adelaide test in 2012 because of poor form. Dhoni stuck with him – and while he scored his maiden test century in a losing cause, the rest is history.

The two share an excellent rapport – and though the roles are now reversed, rest assured that they would continue to be brothers in arms both on and off the field like they have done all these years.

In a presser, while talking about captaincy, Dhoni said “From Kishore Kumar we have gone to Sean Paul.”
While one is not sure what Kohli’s musical tastes are, the transition will continue into the next few years. Dhoni’s lessons will hold him in good stead no matter what the situation.

“The one duty we owe towards history, is to rewrite it” said Oscar Wilde. Dhoni has stayed true to the adage all throughout his career.

Only time will tell what he does next.

Lack of evidence gets CSK & Royals clean chit

BCCI Chief N Srinivasan

Kolkata: 2 months after Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested for spot fixing, a two member panel appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cleared him of all charges due to lack of evidence. The panel comprised of two retired judges, T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramaniam, submitted its report to the BCCI’s working committee in Kolkata on Sunday. “The report mentioned that no concrete evidence was found against CSK, Rajasthan Royals, Gurunath Meiyappan and Royals co-owner Raj Kundra as far as their involvement in fixing was concerned”, BCCI treasurer Ravi Savant told The Indian Express.

The report has been forwarded by the working committee to the IPL governing council which will take the final decision. N. Srinivasan, President of BCCI could be back as early as August 2 when the IPL governing council meets in Delhi.

With this fast forward inquiry, where all the accused have been given a clean chit, the credibility of the BCCI is questioned yet again. A lot of questions are being raised about the BCCI following the rule and regulations or not? Role of Mumbai Police in the whole fiasco? Whether or not the whole issue was fast resolved so that Srinivasan could return as the president head?

Read more here.