Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fizz missing in Blore bids

Fizz missing in Blore bids
DH News Service,Bangalore:
When other cities splurged money in the historic Indian Premier League auctions in Mumbai on Wednesday to rope in star names, Bangalore settled mainly for medium-size buy.

The lone big catch for Team Bangalore — named Royal Challengers — was South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis (Rs 3.6 crore).

The Bangalore side’s first purchase was Indian Test skipper Anil Kumble (Rs 2 crore) and their subsequent biddings too were focused on experienced names. Aus-tralia’s Cameron White (Rs 2 crore) is the only greenhorn they bid during the day. The 24-year-old leg-spinner, once touted as a successor to Shane Warne, is also a handy lower order batsman known for his proficiency in T20 cricket on Austra-lian domestic circuit.

Uthappa for Mumbai

Since the Vijay Mallya-owned franchise with Rahul Dravid as its Icon player had spent about US $3.86 million out of the maximum US $5 million allowed for the auctions, it was quite baffling to see the name of Robin Uthappa missing from the list. The Kodava lad was auctioned to Mumbai.

Uthappa’s absence will reduce the firepower of their batting, and their hopes might be revolving around big-hitting South African wicket-keeper batsman Mark Boucher (Rs 1.8 crore).

Kallis, Dravid, West Indian southpaw Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Rs 80 lakh), and Wasim Jaffer (Rs 60 lakh) will add experience to the line-up, but it remains to be seen how much they can adapt to the pace of T20.

New to T20 game

In fact, Dravid and Jaffer have never played a T20 international, while Kallis and Chanderpaul have only appeared in less than 20 T20 games together. But Bangalore have made some wise choices in bowling department. Irrespective of the form of cricket he plays, there is no need to mention the edge Kumble brings to the attack and the opposition batsmen will think twice before taking too many risks against him.

In all likelihood, the new ball responsibility will be shared by South Africa’s Dale Steyn (Rs 1.3 crore) and left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan (1.8 crore).

While Steyn can go for runs at times, he has the redoubtable ability to pick up wickets. The express paceman can be a perfect foil for Zaheer, who can trouble the batsmen with his swing. There is support for them in Australia’s left-arm pacer Nathan Bracken (Rs 1.3 crore), and he can be a niggardly customer. Kallis too can pose problems if conditions favour him.

Satisfied

The Bangalore shopping lacks the glitz of some other teams, but CEO Charu Sharma expressed satisfaction over the day’s work.

In another couple of months we will know the real worth of gruelling 10 hours Charu and Co spent to select the players.

Royal Challengers

Jacques Kallis for Rs 3.6 crore, Anil Kumble: Rs 2 crore, Cameron White: Rs 2 crore, Mark Boucher: Rs 1.8 crore, Zaheer Khan: Rs 1.8 crore, Shivanarine Chandrapaul: Rs 80 lakh, Dale Steyn: Rs 1.2 crore,
Wasim Jaffer: Rs 60 lakh

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