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Challengers fortify bowling unit

Bangalore, Feb 3, 2013, DHNS:

Bangalore team drafts in four pacemen and three all-rounders from auction ahead of IPL VI

Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid arrive for IPL auction at Chennai on Sunday. PTI photo

On a day when Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell hit the jackpot by attracting a million dollar bid by the Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore splurged heavily on pace bowlers at the auction of the Indian Premier League in Chennai on Sunday.

The Bangalore franchise used close to Rs 7.8 crore of the total amount Rs 9.5 crore spent at the auction to buy RP Singh (Rs 2.1 crore), Jaidev Unadkat (Rs 2.7 crore) and Pankaj Singh (Rs 79 lakh) in an effort to bolster their Indian bowling unit.

While the choice of bowlers, each for entirely different reason, may raise a few eyebrows -- particularly with the likes of Zaheer Khan, R Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun already in their ranks -- RCB’s move to induct extra pacemen isn’t without a logic.

There is no doubt about the value Zaheer adds to the team both as a spearhead of the attack and as a mentor to young pacers on the field, but his fitness is increasingly becoming a major concern.

Given India’s international calender and the hectic schedule during the IPL, the team’s think-tank had a good reason to think beyond Zaheer. Vinay was their most successful pace bowler in terms of number of wickets taken in the last edition, but the right-arm quick often came under the cosh at the back end of the innings.

Abhimanyu Mithun still needs to get the right rhythm to bowl in the shortest format while Sreenath Arvind, their surprise find in 2011 when they reached the final, returned to action only a few days ago.

Given this situation, it wasn’t surprising to see the RCB team at the auction go aggressively after the Indian quicks. How much beneficial these bowlers will be for the team remains to be seen though!

RP returned to action in the ongoing BCCI Corporate Trophy after a gap of eight months and his record in the last IPL was modest (10 wickets in 11 matches at an economy rate of 7.75 run per over). Unadkat is a promising bowler but defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders played him in just one match in the last season before releasing the the left-arm pacer in November last.

This Ranji season, the Saurashtra player has claimed just 20 wickets in 11 matches. Pankaj, who has previously played for the Bangalore side, has had a reasonably good Ranji season (29 scalps in seven games) but his IPL show for Rajasthan Royals (seven wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 8.06) wasn’t quite flattering.

The Vijay Mallya-owned side also has signed up Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrior and has resigned Prashant Parameswaran, another pacer from Kerala.

Also looking for an all-rounder, RCB fiercely bid for Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar who was eventually bought for Rs 3.5 crore by Pune Warriors. They, however, got Moises Henriques (for $Rs 1.5 crore) and the Aussie all-rounder may just turn out to be a bargain buy. The surprise pick was the little-known West Indian all-rounder Christopher Barnwell who was added to the side at his base price of Rs 26 lakh.

Ravi Rampaul (Rs 1.5 crore) is another good addition but with Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Muttiah Muralitharan almost sure to occupy three of the four foreign berths in the final 11, the Windies’ quick may have to spend much of the time warming the bench.

Player                     Team              Cost (In rupees)
Glenn Maxwell     Mumbai Indians    5.3 crore
Ajantha Mendis     Pune Warriors    3.8 crore
Kane Richardson     Pune Warriors    3.7 crore
Abhishek Nayar     Pune Warriors    3.5 crore
Thisara Perera     Sunrisers Hyderabad    3.5 crore
Chris Morris     Chennai Super Kings    3.3 crore
S Senanayake     Kolkata Knight Riders    3.3 crore
Dirk Nannes     Chennai Super Kings     3.1 crore
Jaidev Unadkat    Royal Challengers    2.7 crore
Manpreet Gony    Kings XI Punjab    2.6 crore
Johan Botha     Delhi Daredevils     2.3 crore
Nathan Coulter-Nile    Mumbai Indians    2.3 crore
Darren Sammy    Sunrisers Hyderabad     2.2 crore
Ricky Ponting     Mumbai Indians    2.1 crore
RP Singh    Royal Challengers    2.1 crore
Michael Clarke      Pune Warriors     2.1 crore
James Faulkner      Rajasthan Royals     2.1 crore
Luke Pomersbach     Kings XI Punjab    1.5 crore
Moises Henriques     Royal Challengers    1.5 crore
Ravi Rampaul     Royal Challengers    1.5 crore
Jesse Ryder     Delhi Daredevils    1.3 crore
Fidel Edwards    Rajasthan Royals     1.1 crore
Pankaj Singh     Royal Challengers     79 lakh
Phillip Hughes    Mumbai Indians     53 lakh
Sudeep Tyagi    Sunrisers Hyderabad     53 lakh
Nathan McCullum    Sunrisers Hyderabad    53 lakh
Dan Christian    Royal Challengers    53 lakh
Clint McKay    Sunrisers Hyderabad     53 lakh
Jeevan Mendis    Delhi Daredevils    26 lakh
Christopher Barnwell    Royal Challengers    26 lakh
Jacob Oram    Mumbai Indians    26 lakh
Ryan McLaren    Kolkata Knight Riders    26 lakh
Ben Laughlin    Chennai Super Kings    10 lakh
Quinton de Kock    Sunrisers Hyderabad     10 lakh
Akila Dananjaya    Chennai Super Kings    10 lakh
Jason Holder     Chennai Super Kings     10 lakh
Kushal Perera    Rajasthan Royals    10 lakh

BIG NAMES BUT NO TAKERS

Base price in Rupees:
-Martin Guptill: 53 lakh
-Herschelle Gibbs: 1 crore
- Matthew Wade: 1 crore
-Matt Prior: 1 crore
-James Hopes: 53 lakh
-Vernon Philander: 53 lakh
-Doug Bollinger: 1 crore
-Aaron Finch: 1 crore
-Darren Bravo: 53 lakh
-Dinesh Chandimal: 53 lakh
-Kevin O’Brien: 26 lakh


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