Smart selections by Punjab, Chennai and Delhi

*Delhi DareDevils’: The DareDevils did not portray any of their daredevilry and chose to play it safe by going in with two, rather all-round, reasonably marketable, but economical-priced, Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah at $275,000 apiece. Collingwood’s ability to smash a few and then bowl a couple of nagging overs would have worked in his favour, while Shah has already shown in one of the reduced-over matches against India that he can send the ball as far as the situation demands to make his a worthwhile selection. However, their biggest pick could very well have come from outside the auctions, as they had had wooed the diminutive, but power-hitter who answered the call of Dave Warner even before he became a household name. In fact, immediately after this selection was made public, Warner smashed a 43-ball 89 in a T20 match against South Africa to give talent-spotting a new meaning altogether! Way to go T. Sekhar! paul collingwood*Chennai Super Kings’: If Mr. Mallya had set his eyes on KP, then the Chennai Super Kings felt the urge to boost their already burgeoning all-rounders with the intake of another one who can bat, bowl and field with the ease of a gazelle. In turn, Andrew Flintoff’s selection also ensured that he went past his captain-to-be, M.S. Dhoni, to be the joint-holder of being the costliest player in the IPL, tagged at $1.5 million. andrew flitiff

And with Jacob Oram, Albie Morkel, and Dhoni himself already in the squad as players who could be termed as multi-dimensional – if not all-rounders in the truest sense of the word – then Flintoff would definitely add a lot of balance, in turn strengthening the side to the core.

However, the Chennai team would need to keep a close tab on his hip injury that had seen him limp through most of his bowling spells in the second Antigua test match against West Indies, while his batting over the years has moved on to become a pale shadow of his former self. While this format of the game should suit his batting a lot more, his bigger strength is definitely his mean, short-of-a-good length pace bowling that most batsmen find it difficult to face up to and score runs against.

Kings XI Punjab: Even without the choice of Ravinder Bopara for her team, Preity Zinta’s moment of glory in this auction was the bidding for the Bangladeshi, Mashrafe Mortaza. In the end, Zinta did not manage to win the pace bowler for the Punjab team, but had ensured that the Kolkata Knight Riders had not only had to break into a cold sweat, but also pay a whopping package of $650,000 for someone whose worth was decided at $50,000 only!

Talking of Bopara, it would be difficult to gauge whether he justifies his billing of $450,000, but as one has already seen in these auctions, the marketability of the player to the franchisee and the fans alike is as important. And with Bopara’s Punjabi connections, and his specialist T20 batting and bowling capabilities, the decision to rope him in may not have been too bad after all. Jerome Taylor may just have been the best buy in terms of value for money. The Caribbean pace bowler is in the middle of a superb run of form, probably brought about the IPL selection news, and his selection would be an interesting one given that the Mohali wicket offers a reasonable pace and bounce to the quick bowlers. Value formoney>

In the end, one can easily say, way to go Preity!

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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  • Aditi verma
    Aditi Verma

    Somehow, I feel that all the big names and everything is fine, but the match will be decided only by the actions and deeds of the lesser known. Keep your eye on Warner... He is definitely one for the future.

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  • Kavita nambissan
    Kavita Nambissan

    Paul Collingwood is a true match-winner and can be extremely unpredictable with the bat. What is more important is that he cost about 1/5th of that of KP and Freddy. I think that like Shane Watson last year, collingwood could play a big role.

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