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IPL 2021 auction – Why teams broke the bank for Morris, Jamieson, K Gowtham and Riley Meredith



IPL 2021 auction - Why teams broke the bank for

At the 2021 IPL auction, why did franchises break the bank to buy Chris Morris, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson and to an extent the uncapped pair of K Gowtham and Riley Meredith? ESPNcricinfo analyses the reasons.

Chris Morris for INR 16.25 crore (USD 2.23 million approx.) to Rajasthan Royals

It is not a common skillset for a bowler to fire up speeds in the 140kph region consistently, have enough variations at the same time, and simultaneously play cameos in the lower order. And that is a big reason why South Africa allrounder Chris Morris has ended up being a millionaire more than once at IPL auctions.

In 2018, Morris fetched INR 11 crore (USD 1.5 million approx.) from then Delhi Daredevils. Two years later, in 2020, Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him for INR 10 crore (USD 1.37 million approx.). In the six matches he played for the Royal Challengers last IPL before being sidelined by an injury, Morris’ economy was 6.26 in the powerplay and 7.03 in the death overs. And even though his numbers with the bat are a bit weak in the last two IPL seasons, Morris had a 30-plus average and 160-plus strike rate in four consecutive IPLs between 2015-18.

The debate about why the Royal Challengers released Morris is for another day. But on Thursday afternoon, they wrestled with Mumbai Indians initially, then lost out to the Rajasthan Royals, who were gasping by the time they raised the paddle for one last time to silence Punjab Kings’ rival bid late in the play, to buy Morris at INR 16.25 crore, the highest price paid for a player in an auction in addition to being the second-highest salary behind Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers’ captain who gets paid INR 17 crore (USD 2.34 million approx.).

All the teams that bid for Morris were on the lookout for at least one overseas fast bowler as well as an allrounder who could provide the firepower with ball and bat. Both the Royal Challengers and Kings did not have a quality allrounder in their ranks. Mumbai needed a replacement for James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile; both were released after the 2020 IPL. They also needed a back-up for Pollard, and therefore were not shy to go big for Morris as they could have hit two targets with one stone.

Kyle Jamieson for INR 15 crore (USD 2.06 million approx.) to Royal Challengers Bangalore

Coming into the auction Jamieson, towering at over 6’8″, was expected to be picked for a lot of money, but 15 crores for a bowler who has played just 38 T20 matches does raise eyebrows.

Jameison’s height, pace and batting ability all worked in his favour, making him the second-most expensive player of this mini-auction. Although he has never played in India, the perceived value was high. He also benefited from the low supply-high demand dynamics.

For the Royal Challengers, Jamieson was the final bet after they had lost Morris and Jhye Richardson to the Royals and Punjab Kings respectively. Jamieson is likely to perform the same role for the Royal Challengers Morris was assigned last IPL. The New Zealander is likely to bat at No. 7 while being the strike bowler. It remains to be seen whether he can match his towering price with high-impact performances.

Glenn Maxwell for INR 14.25 crore (USD 1.96 million approx.) to Royal Challengers Bangalore

Maxwell and millions is no more a headline. As Mike Hesson, the Royal Challengers’ team director, said Maxwell has that “X-factor” teams are desperate to have. So it was no surprise when five teams contested fiercely for the Australian allrounder.

The bidding race began with Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royals but both fell out of the race quite early. Then Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings entered into a paddle-raising contest. The Super Kings showed uncharacteristic aggression at the auction table, bidding up to INR 14 crore, which is just one crore lesser than their most expensive player, MS Dhoni who was retained in 2018 at INR 15 crore. The Royal Challengers, no strangers to splurging, did not blink though.

Both Royal Challengers and Super Kings were on the lookout for a power-hitting allrounder. The Super Kings wanted an able replacement for Shane Watson while the Royal Challengers wanted someone that could reduce the burden on AB de Villiers, who Maxwell recently said is his “idol”. Imagine the mayhem de Villiers and Maxwell can cause together at the crease.

Jhye Richardson for INR 14 crore (USD 1.92 million approx.) to Punjab Kings

Currently in New Zealand for the T20I series, the slightly built Jhye had impressed franchises with not just his speed, but importantly with how he kept the scoring rate in check while bowling for Perth Scorchers in the 2021 Big Bash League – where he finished as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker. Jhye made an impact especially in the powerplay and the Power Surge segments, indicating he can bowl under pressure.

Although the Kings have the Indian pair of Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh in the fast bowling department, they had released West Indies’ left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell after just one season, so had a gap to fill.

The Kings had to stave off rival bids firstly from the Capitals, who were probably looking for a back-up for the South African pair of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, both of whom could miss the initial games because of their home series against Pakistan.

But after the Capitals exited the race at the INR 9-crore mark, the Royal Challengers picked up the baton. Despite the presence of two other Australian fast bowlers in Kane Richardson and Daniel Sams, the Royal Challengers wanted another fast man, both as a back-up and as a compensation for losing out on Morris. However, the Kings benefited from having the biggest purse at this auction and bagged Jhye.

K Gowtham for INR 9.25 crore (USD 1.27 million approx.) to Chennai Super Kings

Harbhajan Singh’s absence in the 2020 IPL was felt hard by the Super Kings who were desperate for a finger spinner to create pressure. The scarcity of quality offspinners with IPL experience in the Indian domestic circuit meant that Gowtham was on the radar for more than one team.

Having released Harbhajan, who had been bought in 2018 auction for INR 2 crore (USD 275,000 approx.), the Super Kings’ two main options were Gowtham and Jalaj Saxena. Gowtham can be a handful on spin-friendly pitches apart from being destructive with the bat.

The Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad were also looking for spinning all-rounders and therefore entered the fray for Gowtham, which played a role in driving his price upwards drastically. The fact that the Super Kings had a much bigger purse than other two teams played to their advantage.

Riley Meredith for INR 8 crore (USD 1.1 million approx.) to Punjab Kings

Meredith became the most expensive uncapped overseas player signed at an auction when the Kings paid INR 8 crore for his services. Shane Warne had spoken about his potential and he will have the chance to show his ability ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in India. As Anil Kumble, the Kings’ head coach, said, Meredith’s raw pace impressed the management and he would be handy to plug a hole they had from last season.

Meredith strikes once every 18 balls in T20s and along with fellow Australian Jhye, the pair could play a similar role to what Rabada and Nortje do for the Capitals. The idea to play two overseas fast bowlers in the playing XI is a trick successfully carried out by five-time IPL champions Mumbai, and now other franchises are catching on to as well.

In fact, the Capitals, coached by former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, were the other team that bid heavily for Meredith, resulting in a higher price. With the BBL being the only major competition that was held between last season’s IPL and the auction, teams had to fall back on more Australian bowlers and Meredith was a beneficiary.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo. Gaurav Sundararaman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo.

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EngVsPak- England defeated Pakistan by three wickets

Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.





James Vince scored a hundred and Lewis Gregory contributed 77 as England defeated Pakistan by three wickets to complete a clean sweep of the three-match ODI series.

Vince raced to 102 off 95 deliveries and Gregory struck his 77 of 69 balls as hosts England, chasing Pakistan’s challenging score of 331 for seven wickets, reached 332 for seven with two overs to spare.

Opener Phil Salt scored 37 while skipper Ben Stokes added 32 as England held their nerves to register a comfortable win in third and final ODI.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam struck a career-best 158 (139-ball) and helped Pakistan’s batting finally came good in this series.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 56 and Mohammad Rizwan 74 as Pakistan posted 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Zak Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.
However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over.

He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.
Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61).

England 332/7 in 48 overs (Phil Salt 37, James Vince 102, Ben Stokes 32, Lewis Gregory 77; Haris Rauf 4/65).

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Corona hit – India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days




Corona hit - India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

India’s tour of Sri Lanka has hit a roadblock after two Covid-19 positive cases in the home team’s camp delayed the start of the ODI series by at least four days, and canceled due to more cases. The possibility has been left open. Sri Lankan batting coach Grant Flower and the team’s performance analyst Shirantha Niroshna have both tested positive and the entire team that arrived from England this week has been put in isolation.

Though both the boards have not made any official statement yet, it seems that all the six matches will be played within a period of 10-11 days if there is no scope for any more positive cases. There are also concerns that the series could be called off if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lankan camp. This means that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, will have to return home without playing a single match.

The tentative dates for the ODIs have been set as July 17, 19 and 21. The report states that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25 and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given any confirmation regarding the dates.

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise




Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

Just two months ago, Indonesia came forward to India’s aid with thousands of tanks of oxygen. Today, the Southeast Asian country is running out of oxygen as it grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response, said a shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health equipment arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia.

In addition, Pandjaitan said, Indonesia plans to purchase 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators — equipment that generates oxygen — from neighboring Singapore. He said he was in contact with China and other possible oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates have also offered help.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has reported more than 2.4 million infections and 63,760 deaths from COVID-19. Those figures are widely believed to be a huge undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures. On Thursday, Indonesia reported nearly 39,000 confirmed cases, its biggest single-day jump.

Indonesia’s hospitals have been flooded, with increasing numbers of sick people in isolation at home or waiting to receive emergency care. In Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, hospitals began setting up temporary intensive care units in mid-June. Many patients are waiting for several days to get admitted. Oxygen tanks rolled on the sidewalks for the lucky few, while others were told they’d have to find their own.

The city’s deputy mayor Yaya Mulyana said emergency rooms at a public hospital in Bandung city were closed earlier this week amid panic buying over rising infections in the West Java provincial capital.

“The panicked people bought oxygen tanks, though they didn’t need them yet,” said Muliana. “This has exhausted the supply of oxygen.”

At a hospital in Yogyakarta in central Java, 63 COVID-19 patients died in one day – 33 of them during its central liquid oxygen supply, although the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders was, spokesman Banu Harmawan said.

When a brutal outbreak ravaged the country, Indonesia donated 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India. As its own cases rose, Jakarta scrapped plans to send another 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in late June. The daily requirement of oxygen has reached 1,928 tonnes per day. According to government data, the total available production capacity of the country is 2,262 tonnes per day.

“I asked for 100% oxygen first for medical purposes, which means all industrial allocation should be shifted to medical,” said Panjaitan, a minister in the government. “We are racing against time, we have to act fast.”

Noting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, he warned that Indonesia could face a worst-case scenario with 50,000 cases a day. The next two weeks will be crucial, he said.

The industry ministry responded by issuing a decree that all oxygen supplies be sent to hospitals packed with coronavirus patients and asked industry players to cooperate.

Oxygen is used to make many products including textiles, plastics and vehicles. Oil refineries, chemical makers and steel makers also use it. But industry leaders are clamoring to support government efforts to maximize supplies for hospitals.

The government has redirected oxygen supplies from industrial plants at Morowali in Central Sulawesi, Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, and Belawan and Batam on the island of Sumatra, Pandjaitan said. Small oxygen industries have also been directed to produce pharmaceutical oxygen.

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