Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull has taken a sly dig at the Australian players signed for large amounts ahead of IPL 2021. Doull termed them 'second-rate' in comparison to the New Zealand cricketers overlooked in the recently concluded auction.
Simon Doull's remarks come in the wake of New Zealand's thumping victory over Australia on Monday in the first T20I of the 5-match series.
The Kiwis put up a commendable target of 185 on the green wicket. The batting effort was led by 29-year-old Devon Conway, who paced his knock of 99 not out to perfection, and lifted New Zealand from 19-3 to 184-5. In response, the Aussies were skittled for just 131 inside 18 overs.
Lauding Conway, Ravichandran Ashwin cheekily tweeted that the southpaw's innings came four days late (the IPL auction 2021 was held on February 18). To this, Simon Doull replied:
"NZ players have continually been overlooked for second-rate Australians in the IPL for years. Seems outside of IPL, big bash is the only comp looked at."
Notably, the Australian XI for this game was comprised of as many as 8 players who are set to play for different IPL teams in the upcoming season. The most high profile of these names was Glenn Maxwell, who went for a whopping INR 14.25 crore in the auction.
Maxwell came to bat at No. 5 in the match - the position he will most likely don at the Royal Challengers Bangalore - but was dismissed for just 1 run off 5 deliveries. Playing with his open stance, the right-hander couldn't negotiate Tim Southee's swinging delivery and edged it to second slip.
How did other IPL players from New Zealand and Australia perform in the first T20I?
Other headline buys who featured in the first T20I include Kyle Jamieson (INR 15 crore to RCB), Jhye Richardson (INR 14 crore to Punjab Kings) and Jimmy Neesham (INR 50 lakhs to Mumbai Indians).
Jamieson, despite picking up the crucial wicket of Mitchell Marsh, was wayward in his line and lengths and was the most expensive (ER 10.7) among the New Zealand bowlers.
Meanwhile, Jhye Richardson was impressive. The 23-year-old picked up 2 wickets and gave away just 31 runs from his 4 overs. Jimmy Neesham too, fared better with the bat than he did in the whole of the IPL 2020, playing an important cameo of 26 off 15 balls.
Devon Conway, along with other New Zealand stalwarts like Martin Guptill, Ish Sodhi, Glenn Philipps, and Tim Southee had registered for the auction but found no takers.
The Kiwi players still have a chance though. If they can put up consistent performances in the remaining four matches, they can be called upon as replacements for injured or unavailable players both before and during the IPL season.