With the Indian Premier Leagues second auction over,Sandeep Dwivedi breaks down how the teams did in Goa
The permutations and combinations within the eight IPL teams changed rapidly during the Season Two auction in Goa on Friday. The most dramatic change was for Vijay Mallyas Bangalore Royal Challengers,who added explosive English batsman Kevin Pietersen and New Zealands Jesse Ryder in a bid to shed their tag of being a boring Test team.
Chennai matched Pietersens $1.55 million price-tag by spending as much on his England team mate Andrew Flintoff,Mukesh Ambanis Mumbai Indians got a prize catch when they secured South Africas new batting sensation Jean-Paul Duminy,while Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders chose to fight long and hard for Tyron Henderson,a domestic T20 specialist from South Africa,and Bangladeshs Narail Express Mashrafe Mortaza.
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As the dust settled at the end of the bidding process for the 17 slots to be filled,new records had been set and surprises had been thrown up. Representatives of all the eight teams seemed to walk out of the hall thrilled at having strengthened their squads,but behind the plastic smiles,not everyone had reason to be happy at the way things had panned out. We take a look at those who gained and those who failed to make an early impact heading into the tournament starting on April 10.
Bangalore 2008: 7th
Owner: Vijay Mallya
Such was his excitement over signing Kevin Pietersen that Vijay Mallya was asked if he planned to make him the teams captain. Though Mallya was non-committal,he said that Pietersens presence would strengthen the team famously dubbed a Test squad by his friends. After securing Pietersen,Bangalore signed New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder (in pic). Both known for their strokeplay,Pietersen will be available for the first three weeks while Ryder will play the entire season. If nothing else,the additions will at least change the image of the team.
Chennai 2008: 2nd
Owner: India cements
They had the biggest budget at their disposal,and it didnt come as a surprise when they signed Andrew Flintoff (in pic) the most sought-after player here. Runners-up last year,Chennai now have another quality all-rounder in their ranks,apart from Albie Morkel and Jacob Oram. Adding to their pace attack will be Sri Lankan Thilan Thushara. The fact that theyve added two seamers could leave first-season hero Manpreet Gony with a fight on his hands to get into the XI,but all in all,MS Dhoni should be pleased with the problem of plenty.
Delhi 2008: Semis
They proved to be the team with the most clarity of thought at the auction. Delhi needed a couple of middle-order batsmen,and they did well to sign Englands Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah (in pic) at throwaway prices. Both Shah and Collingwood have proved their worth in crickets diet version. The buys strengthen a line-up that starts with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir,and add their mid-season pick David Warner. On paper at least,Delhi are now a formidable line-up. After making the semis in 2008,they will hope to do better this year.
Hyderabad 2008: 8th
Owner: deccan chronicle
They had to do something different,and not spending was a start. In a departure from 2008,Deccan Charges didnt make their presence felt in this auction. The team,with $1.9m to spend,had two modest base-price buys at the end of the day West Indian paceman Fidel Edwards (in pic) for $150,000 and his countryman Dwayne Smith for $100,000. After packing the team with batsmen did not work,they focused on the bowlers. Chaminda Vaas was the only quality seamer in their ranks,but Edwards will give the attack more bite.
Jaipur 2008: 1st
Owner: emerging media
They were clearly the smartest team when it came to last years auctions refusing to spend on stars,but ultimately walking off with the biggest prize. This time though,they seemed to have been pushed into a corner. With last seasons top wicket-taker Sohail Tanvir unavailable,they had to go for Australian pacer Shaun Tait (in pic). And question marks over all-rounder Shane Watsons fitness meant they had to shell out more than they mightve liked on Tyron Henderson. But considering the magic Shane Warne weaved last year,be prepared for more surprises.
Mohali 2008: Semis
It was Kings XI Punjabs desperate need for a pacer that saw Kolkata spend a fortune on Mashrafe Mortaza. With Brett Lees form and fitness under cloud,and Sreesanths unpredictability,they settled for West Indian Jerome Taylor. The other player they pursued with all they had was English middle-order batsman Ravi Bopara (in pic). With first seasons star performer Shaun Marsh now a regular in the Aussie squad,its unlikely he will be available for the full season. By including Bopara,they hope the team wont struggle in his absence. Like last year,a side to watch.
Mumbai 2008: 5th
Owner: mukesh ambani
Mumbai went into the auction in search of batsmen and one quality bowler. With all-rounder Shaun Pollock ruled out,there was a void in both the bowling and batting departments. Flintoff would have been a perfect buy for them,but their total kitty of $1.76m tied their hands. They did the next best thing,signing JP Duminy,the star of South Africa in Australia. Having spent most of their money on Duminy,they played it smart,signing Mohammad Ashraful (in pic),who found no takers in the auction,as a replacement at his base prize of $ 75,000.
Kolkata 2008: 6th
Owner: red chillies
The team with the least money at their disposal had limited aspirations at the auction. Travelling with just $1.2m to Goa,they had their sights set on Mashrafe Mortaza (in pic),who fit the bill nicely for a team who have a huge following in Bangladesh. Mortaza takes the place of Pakistan pacer Umar Gul,who was the team spearhead in the first season and the Kolkata owners will be hoping he proves effective with the long handle as well. A big advantage for KKR this season will be the availability of Chris Gayle,who missed most of the 2008 season because of injury.