Tuesday, December 21, 2010

VVS, Gilly not in Deccan interest

Hyderabad:So now it's business time once again! IPL players' auction is round the corner and just like other teams, Deccan Chargers, too, are rolling their sleeves up to battle in the players' market. And since it is already confirmed that the big-hitting Adam Gilchirst is making his way out of the Hyderabad-based side, the options available for the 2009 champions make for an interesting reading.

Gilchrist, one of the best in the 'cricketing business', took the team's reins from VVS Laxman after the side had a disastrous inaugural season where it finished at the bottom of the points table. The swashbuckling Aussie not only brought immediate results in the next edition, but also enthused the spirit that was missing in the first season.

Though, touted as underdogs in the 2009 event, which was shifted to South Africa, Gilchrist, with good support from his former Aussie teammate Andrew Symonds and other Indian players took everyone by surprise by clinching the cash-rich event.

But since the left-hander has already made up his mind to look for other opportunities, it is interesting to notice the places he may go to.

It's already in the air that the new entrant, Pune Warriors, could take the services of the 38-year-old as he has got the perfect credence to lead the side. And with good players, decent support staff and owner's backing, he could definitely help the Sahara group-owned side to set off to a flier.

There is also a strong possibility that Kolkata Knight Riders, could rope in the experienced player, as Shah Rukh Khan and other co-owners are looking for a breath of fresh air, especially after the disappointment of the first three seasons, where it performed much below everyone's expectations.

If Sourav Ganguly — the present captain of KKR — leaves the Kolkata side, which very much seems to be on the cards, then Gilchrist could be the right person that coach Dav Whatmore and his team would like to work with.

And as the date — December 8 — to retain the four marquee players by each team is approaching, only Andrew Symonds and Kemar Roach are certain to have a long run for the Deccan side.

There is no chance that Herschelle Gibbs, who has been in the news lately more for his controversial book than his cricketing credentials, will be retained. It is also certain that Chaminda Vass, who is over 36 years of age, will make the cut. West Indian Dwayne Smith had already got an extended spell with the franchise, so it is unlikely that he would be a part of the set up this time.

Two other Australians, young Mitchell Marsh and pacer Ryan Harris who were impressive with the limited outings they got, are not the best bargains with the amount of money at stake.

Since maximum of only three Indian players can be retained by a franchise, for most of the players, it's a battle of survival as few may just not be picked by the same side or may be by any.

The most interesting case will be of VVS Laxman. The stylish Hyderabadi batsman has been on a roll — playing vital innings and scoring tons of runs — in the longest version of the game. But still many find him slow for the fast-pace cricket. His ground fielding, except standing in slips, has always been under the scanner.

And though it would be difficult to fill Gilchrist's shoes but another Australian, who is as competent as the left hander, Shane Warne could be the perfect replacement for the wicket-keeper batsman. The former Aussie great had a dream inaugural season with the Rajasthan Royals, helping them winning the trophy in 2008.

However, his availability will depend on whether the Jaipur-based team gets the chance to participate in the next edition. But if things go according to the BCCI's plan then Warne could well be in Deccan's dug out next season.

Warne's teammates in Rajasthan, Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan, could also be the lucky one if being selected for the Chargers. Same holds true for Kings XI Punjab's Sri Lankan veterans, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. The two Sri Lankans are looking certain to leave the Mohali side, especially after the dreadful outing they had in the last three years.

So the stage is set and the players are ready to be under the hammer and now everything depends on how quickly Deccan charges itself up to make a move in the players' auction.

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