Friday, 14 January 2011

HT alleges that Senior Cricket Official is arm twisting Uncapped Players

Anyone reading the following HT report will assume that they are referring to Chennai Super Kings (Southern Franchise & Senior Indian Cricket Board Official Combo) and that the players are Ambatti Rayudu & Shadab Jakati. 

Though this is nicely written as if the guilty party is Chennai Super Kings, it might actually refer to Bangalore Royal Challengers. (Refer: Siddharth Mallya's visit to Ranji Trophy Final to meet Rayudu & Anil Kumble is actually a senior Indian Cricket Board Official). Also it might actually be a franchise with powerful influence in newspapers preventing other franchises from signing players they want (Refer: Radiagate & the fact that one of the owners of IPL employs Radia). So just remember that there might be more to this story than actually meeting the eye. 

Rumors - CSK Sign 6 Uncapped Players

Twitter world is abuzz with unconfirmed reports that Chennai Super Kings has already signed six uncapped players

  1. Abhinav Mukund
  2. Anirudha Srikkanth
  3. Shadab Jakati
  4. Vas Devadas
  5. Yo Mahesh
  6. G Vignesh
If this is true, have to agree that these are good signings - Again Chennai Super Kings have surprised me by restricting them self to their catchment areas. 

Brief Profile on each of the players
1. Abhinav Mukund: Signed as an under-19 player in IPL 2008 season, he has matured to a fine opening batsman in all the formats of the game. A run-accumular, his 55+ run average in List A & test matches in the domestic season speaks volume about his talent. 
2. Aniruddha Srikkanth: A son following in his footsteps of his father. Traditionally an opener, he has excelled in the lower middle order in the last stages of IPL - Season 3. 
3. Shadab Jakati: One uncapped player who gets an automatic entry to the playing XI. Even Flemings in his post singled him as the key uncapped player for CSK
4. Vas Devadas: A middle order batsman in the TN line-up, he has earned his reward for winning the BCCI Corporate trophy for India Cements.
5. Yo Mahesh: Impressed all in IPL Season 1 and forgotten by Delhi Daredevils after that. Hope he makes a name for himself in the new team. 
6.  G. Vignesh: Another player who might plug a weakness in CSK Line-up - Lack of an aggressive opener in CSK. Will surely be the opener if Vijay or Hussey are not available. A fine-fielder, he made his name & fame in ICL. 

Even if this news is true, I would still expect more uncapped players to be signed by Chennai Super Kings.

Update: Cricinfo confirms that Jakati, Yo Mahesh, Anirudha & Mukund have signed with Chennai Super Kings. But no mention still about G. Vignesh and Vas Devadas. And no mention also about U-19 players who are signed with the team. 

Thursday, 13 January 2011

An Open Letter to the talented Uncapped Players

Dear Talented & Young Uncapped Player,

I believe that you being courted by many franchises. [What a high & problems that these choices offer L]. And you are serious evaluating the offers made by various franchises. I would like to contribute my two cents on why you should pick Chennai Super Kings ahead of others.

1. Exclusivity: Unlike other teams, we already have a pretty comprehensive team and are not interested in going after every Tom, Dick & Harry in the world. So if you get a call from the Chennai Super Kings team, remember that you are one of the select few who have been called.  And you joining CSK would show to the world that you are a ‘special’ talent in the domestic cricket.

2. A Player’s Franchise:  Don’t trust me on this. Trust what Hayden said in his book about CSK Franchise – “I heard one story about a franchise owner, shattered by his side’s form, calling them to a meeting at 2am. Players were summoned from their sleep for a crisis meeting after they‘d lost a series of games. That would never happen at the Super Kings”.  Please think twice about joining a franchise based on money alone. Experiences & Happiness during the six week period do matter.

3. We Trust Talent: Remember Gony. When he arrived in IPL Season 1 – he was a player never heard of and has just played in a few games in the domestic season. We trusted him since he was the best option available. And in the last auction, he has walked with a 1 crore salary.

4. We Trust Young: Remember Ashwin’s super over in Champions League Cricket. Ashwin was allowed to bowl the over ahead of Murali & Bollinger. Youth never stands in the way of rewarding a better talent & performance in Chennai Super Kings.

5. Chennai Crowd: If you join Chennai Super Kings, we promise that we will love you unconditionally. Yes! We would criticize you if your performance is not matching your talent.  But that does not mean we will stop loving you.  Remember playing before the most knowledgeable crowd in India is a privilege.

6. Being a part of a winning team matters: Some of the other teams might tempt you with the assurance of making you a part of playing XI. But remember that it is not playing before TV audience that matters but winning before TV audience that matters. So pick your teams wisely and pick the team that has the highest probability of winning IPLs.

7. Track Record: When IPL started, Badri, Ashwin, Gony & Vijay were thought not to be ideal for one day/T20 Indian squad, today all of them have played for the Indian squad. Tell me from which other IPL team so many players have Indian caps because of their IPL performance.  Remember your ultimate goal is to play for India.

8. Most Passionate Fans: Which other team has such a comprehensive blog? That itself talks volume about the involvement and passion of Chennai Super Kings Fans. As we adopted Dhoni (Ref: His experience of people talking with him in Tamil during his late night bike travels), we promise to adopt you as our very own.

And surely, it does not hurt that you will seen live by the Indian captain and the chairman of the Indian selections.

Expecting you to pick Chennai Super Kings.

With evergreen love,
-          A CSK Fan

Sunday, 9 January 2011

IPL 4 Auction - Day 2 - Analysis

After 2 frantic days of auction, Chennai Super Kings have ended up as the most complete team. If a tournament  happens today with the players bought in auction only, Chennai Super Kings would  have a cakewalk in the tournament. But, it is crucial now that Chennai Super Kings strengthen their weak areas by signing up quality uncapped players. (Remember Mumbai Indians' biggest reason of resurgence in IPL 3 can be attributed to the uncapped players they signed)

Please refer Chennai Super Kings Squad bought in auctions for the complete squad information. 

1. Medium Pacers: After the loss of Balaji to Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings showed astuteness to retain Sudeep Tyagi & Joginder Sharma. (Remember CSK would already have 3 foreign pacers - Bollinger, Albie, Bravo/Stryis in the eleven). 
2. Bargain Foreign Buys: Except for Faf du Plessis, all the other players (Scott Styris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv and George Bailey) were all bargain buys.  Can't fault with any of those choices. 

Good Decisions:
1. Balaji: Leaving out Balaji was a tough decision. But it is the right decision at 500K. As I said earlier, we are looking for 2 or 3 economic overs from our third seamer. And Balaji at 500k is expensive at that place. 

Probable Playing XI
1. Michael Hussey - Fact that they did not buy any big buys, shows clearly that they are looking at Hussey as an opener rather than as an middle order batsman. 
2. Vijay 
3. Raina
4. Badri
5. Dhoni
6. Bravo/Stryis - If Bravo is available, this would be the strongest batting attack in IPL. 
7. Albie
8. Ashwin
9. Second Indian Spinner
10. Tyagi
11. Bollinger

Additions we require:
1. Shadab Jakati: Second Indian spinner is the only unfilled spot in Chennai Super Kings. He has shown in earlier versions that he can fill the gap pretty well.. Hope CSK Management already has an agreement with him. 
2. Anirudha: He can fill the opener slot or become a lower order batsman. As his form in the final phase of IPL showed, he would be a valuable addition to any team he joins. 
3. Abhinav Mukund: He has been in fine nick in the domestic season. It is critical that Chennai does not lose him out and reap rewards for the choice they made three years earlier. 

Hope Chennai Super Kings cast their nets wide and get as many quality players as possible. This is the most important phase that would ensure that CSK builds a winning team for the future. (Remember Badri, Balaji, Ashwin, Jakati, Tygai, Gony, etc..  were all signed as uncapped players by CSK in 2008 auction. )

Chennai Super Kings Squad - IPL 4 Auction

Player Name
Bought for (Rs)
MS Dhoni (retained)
Suresh Raina (retained)
M Vijay (retained)
R Ashwin
S Badrinath
Sudeep Tyagi
Joginder Sharma
Wriddhiman Saha
Albie Morkel (retained)
South Africa
Michael Hussey
Dwayne Bravo
West Indies
Doug Bollinger
Scott Styris
New Zealand
Ben Hilfenhaus
Nuwan Kulasekara
Sri Lanka
Suraj Randiv
Sri Lanka
George Bailey
Faf du Plessis
South Africa

Saturday, 8 January 2011

IPL Auction - Day 1 - Analysis

After the end of Champions Leagu, Dhoni talked about retaining the same players as much as possible. At that point of time, I believed it was emotions talking. Personally I thought that the team would bid for the players but may not be aggressive on the players. So CSK Strategy at auction 1 has been a complete surprise to me. And the fact that they had locked up 10 Million worth of players at 4.5 Million dollars also really helped in this.

1. Ashwin: Retaining Ashwin for 850K is actually a value buy. Fact that the team was ready to bid for 2 Million USD showed his real value
2. Saha: A Good Indian wicketkeeper, who played a test match as a batsman [:-)] is always good. Price of 100K makes him a very good buy and a cover/insurance for Dhoni.
3. Dwayne Bravo: This had to be the steal of the auction. A Quality all-rounder for 200k. Am i dreaming??
4. Hussey: For a quality batsman who can play anywhere in the line-up, he is a quality buy @ 425K.

1. Badrinath: By his current T20 batting potential, Chennai Super Kings has overpaid him by at least 300K. Hope I am sure that CSK management is seeing something that I am missing
2. Bollinger: Somehow can't accept 700k we paid him. (Considering that Zaheer got paid only 900K). Only reason could be that his attitude has attracted CSK Team and they are confident he would be back to his best of form sooner than later.

Good Decisions:
1. Murali: Considering that Vettori went for 550k, Murali is grossly overpaid at 1.1 Million. Good that Chennai Super Kings did have the sense to stop bidding.
2. Homework: It showed clearly Chennai Super Kings have done their homework before coming to the auction. They know how much to bid for the players they want and did not think twice if they thought that price is more than their budget.

1. Jacobs: I would have like Chennai Super Kings to have gone aggressive on David Jacobs. At 190K, Mumbai Indians made a great bargain buy. His single purchase made MI team strategy look better. His batting skills is alone worth 300k.

Angry Against:
1. Kochi: Their only strategy was to bid for players we want and drive up prices for us. Pushed us to buy Badri @ 850K.

Strategy for Tomorrow:
1. Opener: We still need to buy an attack-minded opener.
2. Foreign Seamer: Need 1 Indian and 1 Foreign Bowler(Parnell/Theron)
3. Spinner: Need 1 more spinner.

Priority tomorrow would be the foreign bowler and a young aggressive batsman. Hope CSK already have players shortlisted for that.

Awaiting another nerve-wracking day of auction.

IPL Auction 2010 - Live Update

And the auction ends.. A little disappointed that we were forced to overpay for Badri, Ashwin & Bollinger. Should have bidded on Davy Jacobs and Eoin Morgan. But atleast we were able to buy Ashwin. I believe that is a key buy.

Pujara sold for 700K. Badrinath is up for auction next. Again Kochi playing against Chennai..  Just for the heck of it..Badrinath bought for 800K.

Chennai bidding for Brad Hodge.. But lost the bid to Kochi at 425K.

Kapugadera goes unsold.. Chennai has its eyes on Aaron Finch. Now looking for their opening batsman.. But Delhi buy him for 300k..

Amit Mishra for 300K is being a cheap buy. I don't know why other teams did not bid for him.

Chennai shows interest in Ojha. But DC wins for 500k. Murali Karthik Unsold

RCB is playing CSK. We have to pay 850K for him. But he is surely worth the money.. Mendis is Unsold

Spin bowlers. Murali is the first in the list.. Idiots! Pune are bidding for Murali to drive up the prices.. What does Kochi has against Chennai? 900K for Murali is too high. Please stop..Thanks God! We are not bidding for Murali.. At 1.1 Million, he is too expensive..

CSK bidded for Nannes but lost.. Bollinger up for grabs now.. CSK are not interested.. and now they come in at 220K. Is Team Kochi just playing their poker face against CSK or are they interested? Bollinger joins CSK. Reaction from the team shows we have overpaid..  CSK pays 700k for Bollinger

Morne Morkel sold for 475K.. CSK have their eyes on Steyn..But Deccan buy Steyn for 1.2 Million

Ashish Nehra sold for 850k to Pune. Time for CSK to buy a good fast bowler.. Are they waiting for Bollinger? He is not the option. Please buy a fast bowler better than Bollinger.

Praveen Kumar is expensive than Ishant. Sold for 800K to KXIP.  Surprise Zaheer was sold only for 900K.

Ishant Kumar sold to Deccan Chargers for 450K. Chennai Super Kings needs to buy 1 quality fast bowler + Ashwin + 1 more quality bowler.. Let us see who they go after..

Auction for bowlers. James Anderson is the first on the list. People are reluctant to bid first. So good time to buy players. Surprise! Surprise! James Anderson is unsold. 

Overall Verdict of Post-lunch Session: Good. Bravo & Saha are good buys. But would have preferred to go a little aggressive on Jacobs. His batting skills itself should have earned him a 200K. :(

WHOA! WHOA! Another great buy from CSK for Dwayne Bravo!

Pune buys Angelo Mathews. Good Buy..
Nayar goes to Mumbai.. Angelo Mathews now up for auction...We need atleast 1 more quality all rounder. I don't know who does CSK is going after..
CSK bidded for Jadeja.. Once it crossed 300K, CSK stopped bidding.

Mark Boucher remains unsold.  David Jacobs come next. CSK shows interest..But Mumbai wins it for 190K. Actually that is a very good buy for Mumbai.

Dinesh Karthick goes for 900K. Naman Ojha for 270K. Knight Riders buy Brad Haddin at 325K. Tim Paine to Pune for 275K. Matt Prior is unsold.. That is a surprise. But England player's availability will affect their chances.

Parthiv Patel sold to Kochi. CSK buys Saha. Good buy at the base price. A Good Reserve wicketkeeper. So CSK are focusing on getting 25 quality players. 
Hussey sold for 1.4 Million.. Lara:Unsold as expected

Dawan sold for 300K to Deccan Chargers. Tiwary is up next..1.4 Million for RCB. Now Hussey looks as the cheapest buy..

Duminy - Sold to Deccan for 300K

Marsh  - Sold to KXIP for 400K

Michael Hussey, CSK Player available for auction -  First buy of CSK. Hussey for 425K. Good Buy. Welcome back Hussey!

Gibss - Unsold.

Jesse Ryder, the first player in the afternoon auction - Unsold

Verdict: Overall happy with CSK Strategy. Not made any foolish choices.. (Except for bidding for Symonds. ) Now have got the leverage to make some good purchases & bargain buys.

RP Singh - Sold to Kochi at 500K. CSK tried  bidding for RP Singh.

Irfan Pathan next in Auction - 1.9 Million  to Delhi  (KXIP now wishing they have retained both Yuvraj & Irfan)

Chris Gayle - Unsold. Surprise of the Auction

Sreesanth sold to Kochi for 900k.. And Kochi gets its mascot..

Brendon McNullum - Chennai should have gone until 500K for Mcnullum. Hmm.. But not a bad decision.

Vettori for 550K. Another good buy by RCB. Feel RCB is overloaded with foreign players.

Lakshman bought by Kochi for 400k

Johan Botha - 950k by Rajasthan Royals. Zaheer went for 900k. God! RCB, Were lucky to get Zaheer.  Again new teams save RCB from making poor buy. MI&RR have a space only for one more big buy.

Robin Uthappa in.. Sold at 2.1 Million to Team Pune. If Raina & Dhoni have been in the auction, how much they would have been sold.. 4.5 Million for Dhoni? 3 Million for Raina? :)

Smith sold at 500K to Pune.

Dravid for 500K to Rajasthan Royals. Good Buy..

Gilchrist for 900K. Another idiotic and poor choice by the teams. A player who won't be able to get into 11 player team goes for 900K.

Sangakkara - 700K to CSK. CSK.. Please don't get into the momentum.. There are a lot more good players in the next phase. Let us wait patiently.. 

Symonds - 850K. Mumbai out of the auction. They can't afford any more. Thankfully CSK did not buy him..

Rohit Sharma - Sold for 2 Million USD to Mumbai. Mumbai making the same mistake again. Now they can buy 1 utmost good player.

Jacques Kallis - Sold for 1.1 Million USD. CSK's Walkout Price - 750K.

Cameron White - Bought by DC at 1.1 Million.  Another Poor Bid. Not a tested player going for big bucks. Might end up being the most expensive Australian Player

Ganguly Next. No bids so far. Not Sold.. IPL Teams make an annoucement.

Verdict of CSK Auction Strategy So Far: Very Good. And RCB have ensured that they get the most bucks from their money. Mostly good buys. Zaheer for 900K is a gift from God.

De Villiers - 1.1 Million for AB de Villiers. Expensive Buy.

Yuvraj - Let see how this goes. If KXIP wanted Yuvraj and Jayawardene so badly. why they did not retain them. Bought at 1.8 Million by Pune..

Jayawardene - Are Kochi nuts to buy Jayawardene for 1.5 Million.. Even Zaheer went only for 900K.

KP - Sold to DC for 650K. Ok Buy...

Yusuf Pathan. Expect another 1 million + bids. CSK is starting the bid.. CSK is bidding aggressively too.. :) Good to see that team has a walk-out price for the players.. Great Home work. Yusuf sold for 2.1 Million USD.

Ross Taylor is next. At 1 million, he is expensive. Sold for more than Zaheer.

Zaheer is coming next.. Expect it go more than 2.4 Million USD. Bought for 900K. Another Good buy from RCB.

Dilshan for 650K. Good buy for RCB.

Gambhir is the first person in the auction. Gambhir for 2.4 Million USD. Now Delhi Daredevils know why they were fools to let him go.. Thank you CSK for not getting into this battle.  Praying that they focus on getting 11 good players and not star players..

Friday, 7 January 2011

IPL Auction Awaits...

And the long-awaited auction begins tomorrow at 10am. If interested, view SET MAX @ 10am for live auction.

Also Read My Strategy on CSK Auction. For the updated auction list, view here