Aussies in IPL show why they are the best

June 2nd, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) The franchises made a beeline and more than 100 overseas cricketers were sold like hot cakes in auctions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). But as the curtain came down on the Twenty20 extravaganza, some found their investment well worth it, while others felt it simply went down the drain. World cricket’s big names, except the Englishmen, made quick bucks in just 44 days. But with the inaugural season over there is little doubt that whether some big names, which turned out to be major disasters, will be still be donning the same jersey next season.

The Australians, however, showed why they are the best by churning out the best performances of the IPL. Be it the old warhorse Shane Warne or young guns like Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson, they proved that they were worth the dollars spent on them. The Aussies will certainly be the most sought after properties in the second edition next year.

Champion leg-spinner Warne, while guiding underdogs Rajasthan Royals to their triumph, dropped hints that if needed he can come out of retirement for the Ashes series.

Semi-finalists Kings XI Punjab fetched Shaun, son of Australian batsman Geoff Marsh, for a meagre price of just $30,000. But the Australian emerged as the highest run getter with 616 runs from 11 matches in the league and ensured a fat pay cheque next time around.

But even among the Australians, the veteran outperformed their younger contemporaries. Warne, Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers), Glenn McGrath (Delhi Daredevils) have said goodbye to their international careers, but they showed that the hunger is still there.

Warne with his leadership abilities showed that Australia might have missed a great captain by overlooking his claims. The leggie transformed a pack of amateurs at the Rajasthan Royals into hardcore professionals.

Gilchirst, who led Deccan Chargers in most matches in the absence of V V S Laxman was bought for a meagre $70,000 but turned out be their most valuable purchase, though they splurged money picking the likes of Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma.

Sanath Jayasuriya, another veteran, raised the hopes of Mumbai Indians in the absence of icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Sohail Tanvir, who was bought for a low price by Rajasthan Royals, outclassed other pacers and emerged as the highest wicket taker in the league with a tally of 22 wickets from 11 matches.

There were some big names failed to click.

Ricky Ponting could not get going for the Kolkata Knight Riders, not could Shoaib Akhtar with the ball. Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik hardly looked a daredevil for Delhi and his compatriot Shahid Afridi was no charger for Hyderabad.

The list is endless, but it is to be seen what the franchises do with the non-performers.

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