Old guard out to make a statement in IPLApril 12th, 2011 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS
Jaipur, April 12 (IANS) The old guard is out to make a statement in the Indian Premier League (IPL). It is still early days, but India’s batting stalwarts Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman have started the tournament on a high, and Shane Warne continues to be a formidable force with the ball and captaincy to boot.
Dravid and Laxman have a point to prove. The two were the last of the lot to be bought from the January auction for $500,000 and $400,000.
In the previous three editions, Dravid did not enjoy a good outing with Royal Challengers Bangalore while Laxman warmed the bench for most part of the three seasons with Deccan Chargers. It did not help that the team management of the two franchisees never showed faith in the two greats. The stamp of Test specialists continued to haunt them.
The two, however, have shown signs of a turnaround this time.
Interestingly, both are opening the batting. Captain Warne has backed Dravid to open with youngster Amit Paunikar for Rajasthan Royals. Kochi Tuskers captain Mahela Jayawardene knows the utility of Laxman, who is no stranger to facing the new ball.
Dravid was relishing his new role as he looked elegant playing his trademark on-drives en route to notching up 38 off 31 balls in a winning cause against Delhi Daredevils here Tuesday.
He struck six fours and a beautifully-timed six off Irfan Pathan, who was at the receiving end of Dravid’s strokeplay.
Dravid also gave a good start to Rajasthan Royals innings in the first match against Deccan Chargers, scoring 28.
Laxman was a revelation opening the batting for Kochi Tuskers with explosive Brendon McCullum. The stylish Hyderabadi matched the New Zealander stroke for stroke against Bangalore Royal Challengers Saturday. Laxman hit 36 off 29, including two sixes, and together with McCullum raised 80 runs in nine overs.
Warne, who had a fairytale inaugural IPL when he led low-profile Rajasthan Royals to victory, is again leading the side with example.
The leg-spinner took two wickets in the first match against Deccan Chargers and Tuesday he looked menacing with the ball against Delhi Daredevils. Wily Warne, 41, got the ball to turn and bounce and got two wickets in one over to peg back Daredevils batting.
A fit-looking Warne’s decision to promote South African all-rounder Johan Botha up in the batting order has paid dividends. Botha, who scored a match-winning 67 against Deccan Chargers, cracked 39 not out en route the team’s second victory against Delhi Daredevils.
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- IPL-IV: 74 matches played over 51 days (Schedule) - Apr 06, 2011
- Jadeja, Vinay Kumar, Jayawardene top draws at IPL auction (Second Lead) - Feb 04, 2012
- Deccan Chargers opt to bat against Rajasthan Royals - Apr 17, 2012
- Warne lauds Rajasthan Royals for giving gutsy performance against Kochi Tuskers - Apr 25, 2011
- Super Kings to start IPL title defence against Mumbai Indians - Jan 06, 2012
- Rajasthan opt to bat againsr Deccan Chargers - May 18, 2012
- Rajasthan Royals beat Deccan Chargers - Apr 09, 2011
- Hodge powers Tuskers to thumping victory against Rajasthan Royals (Lead) - May 16, 2011
- Super Kings bag Jadeja for $2 m in IPL Auction - Feb 04, 2012
- Super Kings favourites against Rajasthan Royals - May 03, 2011
- IPL-4 auction: Gambhir top grosser; No takers for Lara, Ganguly (Lead) - Jan 08, 2011
Tags: brendon mccullum, challengers, daredevils, dravid, franchisees, hyderabadi, ipl, jaipur, mahela jayawardene, pathan, shane warne, six fours, stalwarts, team management, test specialists, three seasons, tuskers, two sixes, v v s laxman, youngster