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IPL 2015: The Released XI

by iplgeek 0 Comments

Amongst the released players is Yuvraj Singh, the most expensive player of the 2014 Auctions (image from sportskeeda.com).

In the last few days, we’ve seen a lot of players being released prior to the 2015 IPL. In past seasons, this releasing window has been a usually uneventful time, where franchises release a few random low-price players to free their roster a bit. However, this time we’ve seen a massive movement, with some really big names hitting the released list. I made a playing XI out of these released players, fitting in the biggest names.

1. Murali Vijay (DD): Vijay had a pretty lean run for Delhi in the 2014 season, with a paltry 207 runs at an average of 18.81. That, and his massive price tag of 5 crore rupees, is what probably led to the franchise letting him go. However, his scores of 53 and 99 in the first test Down Under indicates that the Daredevils might have missed a trick by letting him go.

2. Aaron Finch (SRH): Finchy had a lukewarm run this IPL, with 309 runs at an average of 28.09. Nonetheless, he was never quite the impact player that the Sunrisers wanted, as they ended up slipping to 6th place.

3. Jacques Kallis (KKR): Well, to be completely honest, we cannot say that we didn’t see this one coming. KKR pretty much gave up on Kallis 8 matches into the tournament, and preferred to run in with Ryan Ten Doeschate as the fourth overseas player along with Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hassan. Injuries to other players meant that he got a few games in the Champions League, where he played a memorable knock against the Hobart Hurricanes to take KKR into the final, but I think that the Golden Era of Jacques Kallis in IPL is pretty much over.

4. Kevin Pietersen (DD): Cricket is a lovely game, but can have a terrible twist. Kevin Pietersen’s fate is just another example of that. Prior to IPL 7, he had been dropped by the English side, but offered a massive Rs. 9 crore deal from the Delhi Daredevils, and made their skipper shortly after. It was the perfect chance for Kevin Pietersen to lash the whip at the ECB. However, this story turned out to have a rather naturalistic twist to it, as his side finished at the bottom of the table, and Pietersen himself scored only 294 runs. And now, come the reformation era, he’s been released, and will most likely be up for grabs in the IPL Auctions 2015 (where the Daredevils may seek to buy him back at a cheaper price).

5. Yuvraj Singh (RCB): In the ICC World Cup 2011, Yuvraj Singh was India’s hero, as he seemed to be able to score runs and take wickets by the sheer power of his will. Now, with the 2015 World Cup just a few months away, things are very different for the Prince of India. He’s was not included in the Indian World Cup Probables’ list, and has now been dropped from the RCB roster. Despite starting off the 2014 IPL with a blazing half century, he had a lean period that stretched through most of the tournament, before he finally brought out some fireworks that brought some light to what was otherwise was a dismal exit for the Royal Challengers. I’m guessing that it was not poor performance that caused the RCB management to make their decision as much as the fact that he consumed 14 crores of their auction money, which means that they may well try and buy him back in the auction.

6. Brad Hodge (RR): Since his acquisition in IPL 2012, Brad Hodge has undoubtedly been one of Rajasthan’s most valuable players. Nonetheless, last season Steve Smith showed much more potency that he did, and that is why I think they dropped him. Still, I think it’s a queer option, as Shane Watson’s dastardly form last year showed that RR would be well advised to have a backup batsman on the side. He is still one of the best T20 batsmen in the world today, and I’m sure that some team will be willing to pay big bucks for him, even if it isn’t the Royals.

7. Dinesh Karthik (DD): I think that Dinesh Karthik’s sacking was probably the saddest decision of the lot, along with Yuvraj. This is perhaps because of the fact that he was one of the few batsmen who did something for Delhi. He was the only batsman to cross 300 runs apart from JP Duminy, and while he was understandably not his 100%, he did more than most of the other batsmen. Like in the case of Yuvraj, I think that this is more related to the fact that he cost the franchise 12.5 crores to hire that led them to their harsh decision, and I’m sure they will try and get him back ahead of IPL 2015.

8. Darren Sammy (SRH): In 2013, it was Sammy’s two sixes that pulled the Sunrisers into a semifinal berth in their debut season. In IPL 2014, he managed to hit just six more sixes than that in the 108 runs he scored. He was dismal in this season, and failed to make the impact that inspired the Sunrisers to fight to buy him back in the 2014 Auctions. It was probably just the fact that Shikhar Dhawan was a lousy captain and Moises Henriques’ indifferent form that kept him in the playing XI for most of the tournament. Overall, Sammy will need to buck up and try to redeem himself with his new franchise in 2015.

9. Irfan Pathan (SRH): Yusuf had a bit of a blast towards the end of IPL 2015, but it was rather lean for the other Pathan. Irfan barely managed to make an impact with the bat, and was barely trusted with the ball. This is undoubtedly the awakening period in IPL, and the fate of Irfan confirms it. Franchises are no longer willing to express sympathy to a player because they’re Indian; if you don’t perform, you’re out. Hopefully this is a wakeup call for Irfan, and a reminder to some other players.

10. Amit Mishra (SRH): I must admit that I never saw this one coming. Amit Mishra had a terrible season last year (7 wickets from 10 games with an E/R of 9.06), not to mention this hilarious incident. Again, I think it’s a wake up call for players who’ve been coasting on IPL contracts just because they’re capped Indian players. It’s a blunt reminder that talent, not nationality is what matters in the world of cricket.

11. Pragyan Ojha (MI): The irony of MI releasing Pragyan Ojha is just so sweet that I cannot help but post it. MI picked Ojha with their RTM card, which they could have used on Glenn Maxwell or Dwayne Smith (who finished first and second on the MVP list respectively). Then, he ends up bowling so terribly (4 wickets in 12 matches, E/R 8.26) that they throw him out. It’s just so sad for MI (more for their fans). Nonetheless, Ojha was pretty bad, so we must say that MI were justified in throwing him out.

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IPL Auctions 2014: Ten Stick-Outs in the Lot

Its the new year 2014, and the IPL Auctions 2014 are dawning upon us already. With less than 30 days to go for the first phase of what is arguably the best domestic league in the world, teams are beginning to stir, waking from their long slumber. The list of retained players has already been announced, and if you so desire you can view them here. This auction plans to be much more interesting than the ones before, not only because it is the quarterly-arriving time where the entire teams are reformed, but also because of several new concepts introduced in this auction. The introduction of the “Right to Match” cards are amongst these interesting reforms, in addition to the retention limit going from 4 players to 5. I will do a thorough post that explains what the rights to match card does in another post, as I plan to do a lot of pre-auction posts anyways. In this particular post, I’m going to talk about 10 players who will definitely be on the buying lists of many franchises, and what will make them so valuable. Just so you know, the order they’re listed in has no statistical significance; its just the order I thought of them in. Here we go:

 

1. Cameron White (Australia)

The hard hitting Victorian has been known for inconsistency in the past, but in the on-going Big Bash League he has made himself heard, leading from the front with 201 runs at an average of 33.83, reinforced with a strike rate of 138.62. He also holds the reigns of captaincy for the Melbourne Stars, and is yet to lose a game this season. Such stats will definitely make White someone the IPL franchises will be looking for. For teams looking for new leaders and complete reform – namely the Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils – this experienced campaigner would be a good option.

Cameron White

2. Luke Wright (England)

While his fellow countrymen were being deep-fried Down Under in the Ashes, Luke Wright was having quiet a ball for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League. Opening the innings with White, he has amassed 275 runs at a strike rate of 151.93 and an average of 34.37, and is the highest scorer for the Stars this year. He is no fool with the ball either, and in fact had an economy rate of 6.5 during Chris Gayle’s memorable assault on the Pune Warriors India during IPL 2013. He is a flexible batsman, and can bat anywhere from opening down to number 6 or 7. I feel that all the teams would love to have him on their side, but with the ECB being touchy about IPL, availability might be an issue for Wright. Still, franchises like RCB and MI would gladly take the risk, as combinations like Gayle and Wright would be beyond deadly.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright

3. Pragyan Ojha (India)

Pragyan Ojha is arguably India’s best test spinner today, but unfortunately he has been overlooked in the limited overs formats, where India’s bowling has taken a severe berating off late. His peak of form in terms of IPL cricket was in the years 2009 and 10, where he played a crucial role in Deccan Chargers’ unexpected title win in 2009, and semifinal place in 2010. He also won the Purple cap in 2010. In 2013, he played an instrumental role in Mumbai’s victory, as he claimed 16 wickets with an economy rate of 7.28, including the crucial wicket of Albie Morkel in the final. It is likely that he will be up for fair auction, as MI chose not to retain him, and are more likely to use their right to match card on Mitchell Johnson. This means that all the franchises will be after him, including MI. The Royal Challengers Bangalore might be willing to invest a lot in him as well, owing to the fact that bowling has been a concern for them in the last few years and Ojha would be able to remedy that well.

Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha

4. Dwayne Smith (West Indies)

The West Indian all-rounder is known for packing quiet a punch, and I doubt that there will be anyone to doubt that theory. He was devastating from the moment he set foot in the Mumbai Indians camp in 2012, and is remembered for smashing a six and two boundaries off Ben Hilfenhaus’s last three deliveries in the 20th over to snatch MI an improbable victory against the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2012. However, he struggled in the middle-order from then on. His promotion to opener saw hell break loose, as he absolutely mauled the opposition bowlers and played an instrumental role in Mumbai’s victory of IPL 2013, scoring 418 runs at a strike rate of 122.58. He – like Ojha – will most likely be up for fair auction, as Mumbai did not retain him either, and as I said before, are more likely to use their right to match card on Mitchell Johnson, who was in red-hot form for the Ashes. While his former franchise will undoubtedly do everything they can to snap him up again, teams like CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad –  who are looking for in-form batsmen to open their batting – will have their eyes on him as well.

Dwayne Smith

5. Aaron Finch (Australia)

Aaron Finch was in utterly decimating form this Big Bash League season. With 262 runs at a strike rate of 148.02 and an average of 52.40, he currently tops the run charts, he has truly been an example of “leading form the front” as he also captained the Melbourne Renegades. Unfortunately, international duty made him unavailable for their last 2 games, and that was only a catalyst that sped up the downfall of the Renegades, as they finished 6th in the league. Nonetheless, his performance is still enough to catch the eyes of any selector. He also scored a whoop-de-do 156 of just 63 against England in August last year, a score which stands as the highest individual T20I score ever. Finch led the now-defunct Pune Warriors India in 2013, and his 456 runs at a strike rate of 135.71 was the most for any batsman from his team, and gave a silver lining to PWI’s otherwise miserable season. The fact that his franchise cannot use a right to match card on him (because they don’t exist anymore) will make him up for fair auction, meaning that he will be under heavy bidding from about every franchise. Teams like Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils, who are seeking batting reforms, will be particularly interested in him.

Aaron Finch

6. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India)

Just about a year ago, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made his international debut, and he steamed through batsmen like a hot knife through butter. It has been more than evident that he lacks pace, and has been expensive at the death because of that. However, he is able to swing the new ball both ways, and is capable of wrecking havoc to top-order batsmen, and has even quelled Chris Gayle on many occasions with typical outswingers that caught edges. Although his form has deteriorated slightly over the last couple of months, which led to his dropping from the Test side in favor of Shami Ahmed, he is undoubtedly one of the best of the new-ball bowlers India’s got today, and it’ll be very strange if no IPL franchise decides to go for him. Teams that are looking to reform their teams altogether – such as Delhi or Kings XI Punjab – or teams that have struggled with bowling in the past – such as the Royal Challengers Bangalore – will definitely put a lot of money in him.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

7. Ryan McLaren (South Africa)

This South-African all-rounder has been an integral part of South Africa’s limited overs side, and has guided them to multiple close wins. As a bowler, he has worked with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel to good effect, and was a part of the 5-man pace attack that South Africa used to barrage the Indian visitors on their recent tour. As a batsman, he has not fired quiet as much, but has played quiet a few crucial knocks for RSA, as well as his IPL franchises. Most notable of these knocks was during Kings XI Punjab’s first game of the 2011 IPL, where he came in at 36-5, and made a crucial 43-ball 51, which saved his team many blushes, although they went on to lose the game. Considering also that the IPL may take place in South Africa, McLaren would be a handy player for any team to have on their side. After James Faulkner profited on their home pitch, Rajasthan might want to give McLaren a go as well, to add to their international flavor in their attack.

Ryan McLaren

8. James Neesham (New Zealand)

The New Zealand all-rounder made a large impact in the T20 world after his exploits for the Otago Volts in the CLT20 of 2013. Although his team just missed their semifinal berth, his highlights gave a silver lining for the Volts to remember. He made 92 in 54 balls across his 3 matches, and got out only once. He was able with the ball as well, taking 3 wickets across his 10 overs while keeping his economy rate to a mere 7.00. His best highlight of the league was probably during the super over between Otago Volts and the Highveld Lions, where he managed to defend his total of 13 runs despite giving 10 in the first 2 balls. Neesham’s abilities will be valued by about every team, but teams like RCB – who have been looking desperately looking for one of those all rounders who can be equally brilliant with both bat and ball – should be willing to shell out a large amount for him.

James Neesham

9. Jackson Bird (Australia)

Jackson Bird has been one of the key standout performers in the Big Bash league season this year. Amassing 13 wickets across 7 games with a miserly economy of 6.71 and a stunning average of 14.46, he has been an integral part of the unbeaten Melbourne Stars’ success so far. He currently stands second on the highest wicket takers table, with Cameron Gannon of Brisbane Heat ahead of him. Teaming up with Lasith Malinga, Bird has been Cameron White’s weapon of choice against opposing batsmen throughout this league. The teams that will probably go hardest for him are teams that have lacked the genuine spearhead bowler, such as Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, it would also be just as wonderful to see him in Mumbai Indians or Sunrisers Hyderabad, bowling in tangent with Malinga or Dale Steyn.

Jackson Bird

10. Corey Anderson (New Zealand)

Corey Anderson has been the sensation of the year 2014 so far. After his world-record 36-ball ton against a hapless West Indies attack got everyone to look at him, he’s begun to show some more of his real class. In India’s tour of New Zealand, he whipped up a barrage with the bat, which included a 17-ball 44 that was just a six short of beating the record for fastest ODI fifty as well. He’s no amateur with the ball either. His left arm fast is probably not the most economic source of bowling, with his economy ranging well around the 6-an-over-mark, but he’s picked up nearly 20 wickets in just 12 games, and has already collected a 5-wicket haul. This shows that Corey may well be the vintage T20 all-rounder who gets the top bid for this year’s auction. Although about every team will look to go for him, it will be nice to see him in RCB, since the batting-friendly Chinnaswami Stadium track would definitely be able to bring out the best of Corey.

Corey Anderson

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The Third Test: Some thoughts

Micheal Clarke’s first-ball duck led to Australia’s collapse

The third India vs Australia test has come to the second day of play, but the third day of the test (the first day was rain-washed). I had been thinking about whom the Ozzies would bring in, after the homework incident, which resulted in the axing of Mitchell Johnson,James Pattinson, Shane Watson, and Usman Khawaja. After a rain-soaked first day, I finally got my news in the second day. Predictably, Mitchell Starc was brought in for Pattinson. This was obvious, as Starc – despite looking like a pussy cat compared to his show against South Africa at home – was the last pacer left in the squad. The more curious changes were Nathan Lyon for Maxwell, and Steve Smith in for Watson. What I had expected was that Ozz would have tried to replicate India’s 3-spinner ploy, using Lyon, Doherty, and Maxwell. Steve Smith’s inclusion was not expected either. Of course, Steve’s heroics in the field and with the bat for Pune in IPL 2012 made him quiet popular in India as a T20 player, but as a test player, not so much. However, Smith played a rebuilding half-century after the advantage the assault by David Warner and Ed Cowan provided appeared to be slipping away with Micheal Clarke’s first-ball duck, and a collapse in Australia’s lineup. With Mitchell Starc for company, he fought hard for his 92, until he was dismissed by Ojha two minutes before I finished this post. For India, some exciting stuff came in as well. Shikhar Dhawan and Praghyan Ojha came in for Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh. Seeing Sehwag’s poor form, it was only a matter of time before he was dropped. As for Bhajji, I really don’t know, as he bowled pretty decently. Ojha has already come to the party,with the wickets of Smith and Philip Hughes. Thenext innings, however, promises to be very interesting as Dhawan and Murali Vijay play against the spin duo of Doherty and Lyon. However, this one is still in progress, so let’s enjoy this one!

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IND vs AUS – Post match thoughts

The first test between India vs Australia went very well for the hosts. Dhoni’s magnificant 224, and Ashwin’s 12 wickets left the Australians hapless, and took a 1-0 lead in the 4 test series. For the Ozzies, only James Pattinson, Moises Henriques, and Micheal Clarke managed to provide some resistance against the Indian fury. While this victory might seem great, we must keep in mind that this was the same way we started against England, and went on to lose the series 2-1. Now, what negative points came out in this game? Well, we have Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag’s miserable shows up front, and also we have Nathan Lyon’s dismal show with the ball. Probably because of Sehwag’s experience, Vijay will be the one to get the axe. Question is, who will replace him? I think that Shikhar Dhawan will be a good option for that. Why over Rahane? Well, Rahane’s shows against England were far below satisfactory, and also Dhawan provides another left-handed batting option. This will definitely prove useful, knowing that the Australian bowling lineup doesn’t have too much quality spin. With Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, and MSD in such good touch, this is a risk worth taking. For the Lyon problem, I don’t think there’s very much the Ozzies can do about it. Lyon is one of the two full-time spinners they have now. I believe they should just shrug off the fact that he conceded 215 runs in India’s innings an just keep in mind that he took 4 wickets, in addition to bringing in Xavier Doherty in to support him. The interesting thing will be to see at who’s expense he will come in. Definitely not Moises Henriquesor Pattinson. Probably not Starc, as he’s the only left-arm seamer in the side. I believe it will be either Peter Siddle or Philip Hughes who gets the axe. Doherty will definitely be a good move, as more than three-fourths of the Indian lineup is right-handed. Another few things I missed were the performance of India’s pacers, and Harbhajan Singh. Both Ishant and Bhuvneshwar didn’t trouble much with the ball, although the latter played a crucial knock with the bat. India don’t have too many pace options, but trying Ashok Dinda ahead of Ishant might be an interesting move. Now on to Bhajji. He had very moderate success in his 100th test. He took 3 wickets in 2 innings, whereas Ashwin took 12 and Jadeja took 5. Nobody is going to try and drop Ashwin, and Jadeja’s absolute snorter to Phil Hughes in the second innings was a delivery even fast bowlers would have been proud of. Dropping Bhajji for Praghyan Ojha might be an interesting move, but consider that the Australian line up has a total of 6 left handers. Ojha might be very effective, but when David Warner is opening the innings, playing a left arm spinner is always a risk. 

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Spin to win- India’s thing?

You all must be aware of what happened in the previous India vs England test. English spinners Monty Panesar and Greame Swann teamed up and took a total of 19 wickets off the two innings. India’s only fight-backs were Cheteshwar Pujara (135, and 6), R Ashwin (2 wickets, and 68 in the first innings), Praghyan Ojha (5 wickets in the first innings), and Gautam Gambhir (4 and 65). Nobody else really made an impact. MS Dhoni knew the Wankhede Stadium pitch had plenty to offer for the spinners, and also included Harbhajan Singh, who would have had some experience here while playing for the Mumbai Indians, as an extra spinner. After electing to bat first, India struggled were struggling against the wiles of Panesar and Swann. As a result, only one Indian wicket fell to a pace bowler in the entire game. Now the question to be asked is, why weren’t India able to do the same? They had one extra spinner. They had the home advantage. Yet, the Indian spinners wern’t able to do half the damage the English ones inflicted. Yes, they did fight back in the end, but not after captain Alaister Cook and Kevin Pietersen had managed to shore up a 206-run stand that lead them to a lead of 86 runs. It may have looked a very tame lead, but it was always going to be hard for India to try and force a win with just two days to go. However, Panesar and Swann did it again. 96878611616. Phone number? No. These numbers are the scores of all the batsmen other than Gambhir. Real pity. And not surprisingly, India could only get to 142, with a slim lead of 56. And Nick Compton knocked those runs off at run-a-ball. And that’s really sad. If India couldn’t face England’s spin – bad, but still, understandable. If England were able to play out most of India’s spin easily – something’s wrong. That’s when we must think; is spin really India’s thing? Or are we too reliant on our spinners? I don’t see why MSD shouldn’t balance his fast bowlers out as well. For example, where Ojha and Ashwin were given about 40 overs apiece, Zaheer was given 15 overs. I wonder why, because Zaheer is capable of taking wickets as well. So I sincerely hope India looks into this. So adios, see you soon 🙂

Spin To Win: India’s thing?
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Transfers during this window

Here are the transfers between the teams during the transfer window:

1. DINESH KARTHIK moves from KINGS XI PUNJAB to MUMBAI INDIANS:

The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper batsman was the first transfer of the transfer window. Dinesh was a talented batsman for whichever team he played for, be it Delhi, or Punjab. However, Punjab were unable to harness his full ability because skipper Adam Gilchrist was always keeping. Mumbai will be able to, though as their current keeper Davy Jacobs is not always there for Mumbai to depend on.

Dinesh Karthik

2. RAJAGOPAL SATHISH from MUMBAI INDIANS to KINGS XI PUNJAB

Sathish was the 2nd transfer of the transfer window. Another Tamilian, this all-rounder can bowl pretty well and bat down the order as well. He has done well for Mumbai in the previous tournament. Having him in the low order with the likes of Ryan Harris and Praveen Kumar means that the KXIP batting line up can simply blow apart any bowling any time.

3. KEVIN PIETERSEN moves from DECCAN CHARGERS to DELHI DAREDEVILS

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen was the third transfer of the trading window. The hard hitting Englishman was first bought by RCB at a whoop-de-do $1.55 million. He led RCB in 5 games in IPL 2 and played a few games in IPL 3, and did well. He was purchased by DC at $650,000 in the Player Auctions 2011 . However, due to an injury in the ICC World Cup 2011, he was unable to play a single game for the Chargers, who finished 7th in the league. The Delhi Daredevils will find Pietersen’s inclusion useful and maybe they will leave out Ozzie batsman Aaron Finch for him. With the likes of Sehwag and David Warner and James Hopes in their batting line up, including KP will make them all-powerful.He also is the only DD player who dosen’t play for Australia, South Africa or India 🙂

4. HARMEET SINGH moves from DECCAN CHARGERS to KINGS XI PUNJAB

Harmeet Singh

Harmeet Singh was the 4th transfer of the auction window, 2nd from DC. A good fast bowler, making Harmeet bowl the death overs is a gamble. He will be hit for boundaries or sixes in the first 3 balls, but he will get a wicket in the 4th ball. He helped DC win the IPL 2009 final vs RCB by taking out Rahul Dravid and Mark Boucher. His inclusion into KXIP will mean that Gilchrist will have a variation of bowlers that include Harmeet, Bharghav Bhatt, Love Ablish, Shalabh Srivastava and Vikramjeeet Malik to choose from. Harmeet will also be happy to be re-united with his former DC team mates skipper Adam Gilchrist and fast bowler Ryan Harris.

5. ANDREW McDONALD moves from DELHI DAREDEVILS to ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE

Andrew McDonald

Andrew McDonald was the 5th transfer of the trading window. The Australian all rounder can blast out of the park and single-handedly win matches for any team. He is currently skipper of the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash T20, batting at a whoop-de-do average of 52.00 with a strike-rate of 136.84. His medium pace is something reliable as well. McDonald’s inclusion in the RCB team will greatly strengthen their delicate middle-order and will add to their bowling strength. Either RCB will leave out opener Tillakaratne Dilshan or keeper AB de Villiers for him (not that they should, both are in fine form), or keep him as a sub in case someone is injured. McDonald is also RCB’s 5th former DD player 🙂

6. PRAGHYAN OJHA moves from DECCAN CHARGERS to MUMBAI INDIANS

Praghyan Ojha

Praghyan Ojha becme the 6th and final transfer of the IPL trading window, 3rd outgoing from DC. This Orissa-born left arm spinner was crucial in DC’s title victory in IPL 2009, and won the Purple Cap in IPL 2010. He is currently a part of India’s test squad and did well in the Windies’ tour of India. He will be a good bowling partner for Harbhajan Singh. With an already powerful Mumbai bowling attack with the likes of Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan,Abu Nechim, Kieron Pollard and James Franklin, Praghu’s inclusion will help Mumbai to accomplish their motto “duniya hilladenge hum”.

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India thump Windies in 1st Test

India got of to a good start to the series by beating the West Indies by 5 wickets in the test at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, Delhi. Darren Sammy won the toss for the West Indies and opted to bat first. They put up a competitive 304 before being bowled out. Left arm spinner Praghyan Ojha took 6 wickets and Tamilnadu off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 3 to make this possible. India got off to a flyer with Gambhir scoring a run-per-ball 41 and Sehwag smashed 55 of  just 46 balls. Dravid continued with a slow 111-ball 54, but was the last star as India collapsed to a mere 209. With a 95 run lead, the Windies could have simply pulled apart India with even a simple 250 runs. However, Ashwin denied them those 250 runs. Taking 6 wickets, he saw to it that the Windies did not get past even 200. with 276 needed, Sehwag (55), Laxman (58) and Tendulkar (76) saw to it that India mad it home. The only concern skipper M.S Dhoni has is that they batted poorly in their 1st innings, and will be looking to work on that. Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar became the first player to cross 15000 test runs. However, the little master had failed to do what all his fans world-wide had been waiting for- his 100th ton. Ashwin was named Man of the Match for his 9 scalps of 2 innings that helped India win the day. Adios

Dravid at his best
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