IPL, the talent-spotting ground for Australia

IPL, the talent-spotting ground for Australia

first_imgIn the first auction for the inaugural Indian Premier League, players were lined up and sold like cattles, as Adam Gilchrist famously quoted, and it was a totally new experience for everyone involved.Putting a price on a player was fraught with danger as a proven performer like Michael Hussey was bought by Chennai Super Kings for $ 350,000 which was much less compared to his brother David, for whom Kolkata Knight Riders forked out a massive $ 625,000.David Hussey was a rather unknown commodity in cricketing circles, yet the way an Indian franchise spotted a gem from Western Australia, after his T20 debut in February 2008, set the tone for franchises unearthing future Australian stars.David made his ODI debut later in 2008 and now is an integral part of Australia’s limited overs structure. The story is similar when one looks into the emergence of players like Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, David Warner and Doug Bollinger.It’s not that ‘spotters’ from India unearthed a player for Australia. But it is evident that the IPL has proven an effective platform from where these players have grabbed the attention of those in charge Down Under.Shane Watson was not a regular member of the Australian set up, but his sensational performance which helped Rajasthan Royals clinch the inaugural season saw his stock value shoot up through the roof. His all-round abilities eventually made him a huge cog in the Australian Test team and the first season with Rajasthan, with Shane Warne as his captain, was a turning point.advertisementShaun Marsh’s exploits with King’s XI Punjab in 2008, when he emerged the tournament’s top run-getter, marked him out as a player to watch out for. Sure enough, he made his T20 and ODI debuts in mid-2008.The most interesting story is that of David Warner. The New South Wales player partnered Virender Sehwag for the Delhi Daredevils in two seasons and had been branded as a slogger. But it was simple chat with Sehwag, where the Delhi dasher urged him to concentrate on Test cricket even though he hadn’t played an entire domestic season, which ignited a spark in him. A century against New Zealand in the Hobart Test and a whirlwind 180 against India at Perth simply confirmed the belief.Even though India might be struggling to unearth true champions from IPL, the desi franchises have a penchant for spotting some bright sparks across the Indian ocean.last_img

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