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IPL V: When losing out on these stars proved costly

Last updated on: April 3, 2012 10:10 IST

IPL V: When losing out on these stars proved costly

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Bikash Mohapatra

It happens on a regular basis in football. Those who follow league football can come up with plenty of examples of players who, after a productive spell with one club, are sold to another only to be at the receiving end. 

But when it comes to cricket, it is seldom the case. Maybe, because club cricket is still at a nascent stage. Maybe, because 'player transfer' is still a new concept when it comes to cricket. 

However, with the Indian Premier League – and similar other tournaments – one is surely witnessing the change. 

The auction ahead of the fourth edition of the IPL last year witnessed significant changes in team compositions, with franchises letting go of certain players to acquire other big names. 

The tournament, per se, witnessed a few players make their former teams regret their decisions. In other words, these players were the difference between their current and former teams in the matches involving the two. Bikash Mohapatra digs out a few such examples.





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CHRIS GAYLE

When it comes to T20 cricket you cannot afford to lose a player of Chris Gayle's calibre. Kolkata Knight Riders realized it last year, having suffered two heavy defeats.

The West Indies batsman wasn't retained and left unsold in the auction preceding the fourth edition. Midway through the tournament, he was acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Gayle made an immediate impact, against his former team at the Eden Gardens. Replying to KKR's formidable total of 171 for five, RCB rode on Gayle's 55-ball 102 not out, to win by nine wickets.

The belligerent opener's knock was inclusive of 10 boundaries and seven sixes; he was involved in two vital partnerships – an opening stand worth 123 runs (in 12.1 overs) with Tillekeratne Dilshan (38) and an unbeaten 52-run stand for the second wicket with Virat Kohli (30 not out).

A few days later, Gayle returned to haunt the Knight Riders again.

In the return leg in Bangalore, KKR had scored 89 for four in 13 overs before the heavens opened and the home team was required to make 105 (D/L method).

Gayle hit 38 off 12 balls, with six fours and two sixes, as RCB piled 44 for the opening wicket (with Luke Pomersbach) in just 16 balls. Though they made a mess of the chase after the Caribbean ace's dismissal, Gayle's early blitzkrieg had ensured the result was never in doubt.


Image: Chris Gayle


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ROHIT SHARMA

He was one of the shining lights of Deccan Chargers in the first three seasons, contributing majorly in the Hyderabad team's title-winning campaign in 2009.However, the Chargers failed to hold on to Rohit Sharma.

 

The young batsman returned to Hyderabad in the fourth season, as a Mumbai Indian player, and made his former team suffer.

Having been put into bat, Mumbai Indians was struggling at 70 for four after the 10th over – with Kieron Pollard out for a duck – when Rohit walked in.

 

His 34-ball 56 not out helped MI to 172 without any further loss. Rohit's knock was inclusive of five boundaries and three sixes and he put on 102 runs (in 65 balls) in an unbeaten fifth wicket stand with Andrew Symonds (44 not out), another former Deccan Chargers player. The home team fell short by 37 runs.


Image: Rohit Sharma


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ADAM GILCHRIST

He had captained Deccan Chargers to the title in the second edition. However, when Adam Gilchrist returned to Hyderabad for the fourth edition, he was leading Kings XI Punjab.

The home team piled up a formidable 165 for eight. Then Gilchrist scored a 46-ball 61, a knock that was inclusive of five boundaries and three sixes, and put on 136 runs (in 14 overs) for the opening wicket with Paul Valthaty (75).

The visitors won by eight wickets, with a whopping 14 balls left. In the return leg in Dharamsala, the Chargers piled up a mammoth 198 for two in their stipulated 20 overs.

Gilly led the hosts reply with a sparkling 51. Punjab lost the plot soon after his dismissal.


Image: Adam Gilchrist


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GAUTAM GAMBHIR

He was Virender Sehwag's understudy and had even captained Delhi Daredevils during the first three seasons.

However, ahead of the fourth, Kolkata Knight Riders acquired Gautam Gambhir for a hefty sum (in excess of US $2 million) and named him the captain.

To his credit, Gambhir led Kolkata to their best ever start. And finish.

Back at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Gambhir was the mastermind behind his team's 17-run win.

His contribution with the blade was small but significant. While he made just 18, Gambhir provided Manoj Tiwary (61 not out) ample support as KKR made 148 for seven in their 20 overs. Delhi was eventually restricted to 131 for nine.

More importantly, Gambhir had got the better of Sehwag.


Image: Gautam Gambhir


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DANIEL VETTORI

He was a key to the Delhi attack in the first three seasons. However, when Daniel Vettori returned in Season Four, he was captaining Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The New Zealand player bowled four tight overs as RCB restricted the home team to 160 for six. However, the Delhi bowlers did a good job early on. The visitors were tottering at 161 for seven (after 17 overs) with not much batting left.

It was left to their captain to ensure a result. Vettori rose to the occasion, scoring an unbeaten 18, besides guiding an inexperienced Syed Mohammad (13 not out), as Bangalore raced home with three balls to spare.

Vettori's contribution might not have been huge in magnitude. In the context of the match, it was a useful one nonetheless.


Image: Daniel Vettori


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