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Thursday, 5 February 2009

2009 IPL Top Ten Available Players

February 6, 2009 marks the date for the player auction for the second season of the Indian Premier League to be held in Goa, India. Kevin Pietersen is this young man's first pick - but is he ours? With English players available for the first time amongst the 43 nominated for the auction, here are the Top Ten players available for the season which starts in April - please note Michael Clarke has only just pulled out today but remains on the list. 10. Shaun Tait, Australia (Reserve $250,000) An excitement machine in his opening spell as he can regularly clock in excess of 150km/h with the new pill. Thrived in the 2007 ICC World Cup taking 23 wickets in 11 games to announce himself on the world stage but has struggled since with injury and off-field issues. Still when he’s fit and firing there’s no more impressive sight in cricket than Tait opening the bowling so he’ll be worth his IPL team’s investment given he’ll only need to bowl 4 overs a game. Career T20 Record: GM: 3, WK: 4, ER: 7.91 RPO Career ODI Record: GM: 22, WK: 38, ER: 5.33 RPO (44th in ODI Rankings) 09. Dominic Thornely, Australia (Reserve $50,000) The only non-international on this list is made for the Twenty20 game. A clean hitter of the ball and accomplished batsman he’ll be a perfect middle order option for whichever IPL franchise picks him up – and they’ll likely not have to pay big $$$ for him. Has 23 wickets in 35 domestic T20s so he’s a good all-round option and his fielding has always been a feature of his game. Has scored 610 runs at 24.40 and hit 22 sixes in those 35 games. Career T20 Record: Yet to play an international. Career ODI Record: Yet to play an international. 08. Jesse Ryder, New Zealand, (Reserve $100,000) If his current shoulder injury improves by the time the IPL begins in April, the 24 year old all-rounder is set for stardom as he is made for the Twenty20 game. Attack is the name of the game for Ryder who sports a domestic T20 batting strike rate of 144.06. His medium pacers will be useful in the T20 format but his ability to launch the ball when batting will keep the crowds entertained. Career T20 Record: GM: 4, RUN: 108, STR: 117.39 per 100 balls. Career ODI Record: GM: 12, RUN: 330, S50+: 1 (78th in ODI Rankings) 07. Phil Jaques, Australia (Reserve $100,000) His priority will be to make the touring squad for South Africa and considering his last Test innings yielded a century – he must still be a chance despite having been injured for almost all of this current summer. If he misses that tour his focus will certainly shift to the IPL and his domestic T20 record stands at 30 games, 903 runs and a strike rate of 131.63 – so he looks good value in the auction. Career T20 Record: Yet to play an international. Career ODI Record: GM: 6, RUN: 125, S50+: 1 (Outside Top 100 in ODI Rankings) 06. Stuart Clark, Australia (Reserve $250,000) Currently ranked the World’s #3 Test Bowler, the line and length machine that is Stuart Clark still has plenty to offer the shorter form of the game if he can overcome his elbow injury in time for the IPL. Will be keen for plenty of cricket before the Ashes Tour of England mid-year so he’ll be a fine addition to any IPL squad. A handy striker of the ball too which is a nice bonus down the order. Career T20 Record: GM: 9, WK: 13, ER: 6.58 RPO Career ODI Record: GM: 36, WK: 50, ER: 4.90 RPO (24th in ODI Rankings) 05. Paul Collingwood, England (Reserve $250,000) England’s glue in the middle order is going to fetch a pretty penny at the auction because he is a rounded player suited to the Twenty20 format. He can build and bash with the bat and his fielding skills still rank amongst the best in the world. Has 84 ODI wickets and 13 in 14 T20 games so he could be a sneaky wicket taker in the IPL. He is ranked as the 10th best ODI all-rounder. A fighter no matter what level he plays so he’ll be a big boost to adding some intensity to the IPL game. Career T20 Record: GM: 14, RUN: 330, STR: 140.42 per 100 balls Career ODI Record: GM: 154, RUN: 3773, S50+: 24 (28th in ODI Rankings) 04. Michael Clarke, Australia (Reserve $1,000,000) The top ranked Australian may be paid more than his $1million reserve but his game isn’t ideally suited to the Twenty20 format so he can’t go any higher on this list. Is a superb batsman when he has time to build an innings but has never really shone in a dasher’s role which is what he’d be expected to do for his IPL franchise. Still his left arm darts might prove useful (47 wickets in ODIs) and his competitiveness will bring out the best in his teammates. But if you’re expecting him to win games on his own, you might be disappointed when it comes to Twenty20 cricket. Career T20 Record: GM: 14, RUN: 147, STR: 126.72 per 100 balls Career ODI Record: GM: 143, RUN: 4108, S50+: 33 (24th in ODI Rankings) 03. Kevin Pietersen, England (Reserve $1,350,000) He has the highest reserve price in the auction but is just a touch too one dimensional to be the top pick in this draft. There is no doubt he’s the best batsman available in the auction and he is a match winner, but unless he starts bowling his off breaks more often in the IPL his impact on the game will be limited to batting. His domestic T20 strike rate is 143.60 which is actually lower than his international T20 strike rate of 148.77 – in short he can score quickly. His marketability will be an added perk for whichever team buys him but like other English players on this list he may only be available for three weeks of this season. Career T20 Record: GM: 14, RUN: 363, STR: 148.77 per 100 balls Career ODI Record: GM: 87, RUN: 3047, S50+: 27 (8th in ODI Rankings) 02. Jean-Paul Duminy, South Africa (Reserve $300,000) Duminy was the find of the South African tour of Australia during 2008/2009 and his performances in the shorter versions of the game were nothing short of brilliant. His classy batting style proved to be the thorn in the Australian’s side during the One Day Series as he averaged almost 60 and became a cheeky bowling option with his right arm off spinners. Has played a lot of domestic T20 cricket (34 games) and whoever buys him will certainly get a chance to market the hottest new talent on the international scene. Career T20 Record: GM: 8, RUN: 235, STR: 146.87 per 100 balls. Career ODI Record: GM: 42, RUN: 993, S50+: 6 (29th in ODI Rankings) 01. Andrew Flintoff, England (Reserve $950,000) The world’s 3rd ranked all-rounder in the One Day arena is a force in all forms of the game and his devastating talents with both bat and ball make him the stand out choice at number one. Even if he only plays three weeks worth of IPL Flintoff could have a massive impact on his team’s championship chances. Has yet to play a lot of Twenty20 cricket so durability may be a concern but he is clearly the best player available in the second IPL player auction. Career T20 Record: GM: 7, RUN: 76, STR: 126.66 per 100 balls, WK: 5 Career ODI Batting: GM: 138, RUN: 3391, S50+: 21 (42nd in ODI Rankings) Career ODI Bowling: GM: 138, WK: 163, ER: 4.38 RPO (9th in ODI Rankings) Others of note: George Bailey, AUS ($50,000), Shane Harwood, AUS ($75,000), Steven Smith, AUS ($75,000), Tamim Iqbal, BAN ($50,000), Kyle Mills, NZ ($150,000), Jerome Taylor, WI ($TBC). On the web: http://www.iplt20.com/home.html

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