Like in every other game that involves picking players out of the drafts or out of the transfer market, the IPL too has had its own share of good and bad transfers. In this article, we will be looking at five players who got lucky in the transfer/auction market.
Venugopal Rao (Delhi Daredevils)
Venugopal Rao was part of the erstwhile Deccan Chargers team that won the DLF IPL 2. His performance in the first season was noteworthy as he averaged more than 36. However, in the second IPL his average dipped to slightly above 11 and it looked like his batting skills were on a decline. In the 3rd season, he averaged just above 6. Come January 2011 and he would not have been happier. The Delhi Daredevils picked him up for a whopping $700,000. The player averaged 28 in his first season with the Daredevils, followed by 22 in the fifth season. The fact of the matter is he has played just 25 games for the Daredevils and the playing time has been on a decline. What brings inefficiency into this transfer is the fact that Venugopal Rao is an Indian and the camp will not have any restrictions on picking up the player. Though Rao might be happy, the fans aren’t as the team has spent a huge amount of money on a player whose form is on decline, and so is his playing time.
Mohammad Kaif (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The man who brought home the ICC Under -19 World Cup was given a lot of chances at the senior level too. Unlike many of his colleagues, Kaif failed to make the most of the chances given to him and is now happy playing Ranji cricket. The same scenario repeated itself when Kaif played in the IPL. He was given a lot of chances for his team, Rajasthan Royals, but he did not do justice to his selection. The management of the team realised that Kaif was not living up to the expectations and released him. He was subsequently picked by Kings XI Punjab and he remained with the team for the next 2 seasons.When the IPL auctions were held in 2011, nobody picked him in the first 2 drafts. He was the only player who was picked in the 3rd draft after a request from someone from the RCB camp. The person believed that Kaif deserved to be picked by an IPL team. I guess Mr. Mallya had some change left that he wanted to spend. Surprisingly, Kaif went for more than Andrew McDonald and Wriddhiman Saha, among other players.
Ishant Sharma (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Ishant’s profile was on the rise after the tour of Australia where he troubled a lot of batsmen with his pace and swing. He was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for $950,000 in the first auction. Ishant failed to perform and also failed to live up to the big money spent on him. He picked up 26 wickets in his first 3 years with Kolkata. The transfer, at the time, looked ideal because Ishant had performed tremendously well against the Aussies. However, the management should have kept in mind that Ishant was relatively new to the world of cricket and his charm, like everybody else’s, would fade away soon. In India where you see a lot of flat tracks, Ishant couldn’t have been at his best. I would however like to mention that ever since the transfer of Ishant from Kolkata to the erstwhile Deccan and now Sunrisers, his performance has improved. He has been exceptional so far in this season’s IPL and the Sunrisers will be happy that he costs half of what he did for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Ajantha Mendis (Pune Warriors India)
As a team looking to find its footing in the IPL, the Pune franchise has found the going tough. Despite being loaded with a huge repertoire of talent, the team has not been on winning ways in the 3 years of its existence. They have fiddled with captaincy too often and are constantly looking for that spark that can lift the team up. Pune Warriors India picked up Ajantha Mendis in this year’s auction at a price of $725,000. The buy looked more like a statement made by the Sahara group to the supporters – “Look, we have the money and we are going to bring in costly foreign players to turn the tide around for the team”. What has happened though is that Mendis hasn’t played many games. Rather, to be specific, he has played only one game for the franchise. Why spend such an amount of money on a player who you are not planning to play? The team already has good foreign players and Rahul Sharma is a good spinner in Indian conditions. I hope the Pune warriors have not bought Mendis with the hopes of retaining him for the next auction as that only makes him costlier and he is surely not worth the money. The charm has faded, as simple as that.
Glen Maxwell (Mumbai Indians)
The Aussie was the biggest gainer of the last IPL auction. He was brought by Mumbai Indians for $1,000,000. Now that’s a huge amount of money for someone who you believe has the potential. Unlike in football where your contracts are designed by your needs, IPL franchises can draw a contract for only up to 3 years. In a team which has Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson, what are the chances of Maxwell being retained? Add to it the fact that only one foreigner was allowed to be retained before the last auction. He hasn’t played a single match for the franchise and still earns $1,000,000 just for making himself available. That’s the kind of money Mumbai have put on the table. The happiest man of all this has got to be Glen.
Many of these big money moves just didn’t work while some of these players have not been given enough opportunities to prove themselves. Whatever the reason, the franchises have got to be careful in picking up the players. However rich the franchises may be, there’s cap for spending. Spending rashly can curtail your performance.Published 29 Apr 2013, 18:40 IST