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UTILITY PLAYERS NEED OF THE HOUR.

Franchises eager to focus on performance rather than big names

D ELHI DAREDEVILS might have released 13 players on the last day of the IPL transfer window on Monday, but they are not the only ones to have released the big names.

While Delhi have caught the eye because the list includes the likes of skipper Kevin Pietersen and vice- captain Dinesh Karthik, a close look shows that barring Chennai Super Kings, all the franchises have gone ahead and dropped nonperforming stars.

And according to sources in some of the franchises, the teams are looking at utility players going into the auction ahead of IPL- 8 -- a trend that was started by now Team India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar in the last edition.

As Kings XI Punjab coach, Bangar first raised eyebrows by retaining It is true that big names have a certain aura, but at the end of the day, you need performance. Stars are often overshadowed by performers in IPL. -- IPL TEAM OFFICIAL ' '

then made news by picking the likes of Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha at the gala auction. And the results are there for everyone to see.

Speaking to M AIL T ODAY , a senior member of one of the teams said that utility players was the need of the hour and just backing big names doesn't help in the shortest version of the game.

" It is true that big names have a certain aura about them, but at the end of the day, you need performance. See, in T20 cricket, you can't expect a century or a five- wicket haul every day, so you would rather have players who can score you a quick 30- 40 and then pick a couple of wickets.

Stars are often overshadowed by performers in this format," he said.

Another team official echoed his sentiments and pointed out at the likes of Suryakumar Yadav who won Kolkata Knight Riders crucial games with his quickfire 20s and 30s.

" Who would have thought that Suryakumar would be a wildcard for KKR? But then, the management's decision to back him was rewarded when he managed to make crucial runs for them at the end of the innings. Also, he was a livewire on the field. These are the type of players who thrive on these conditions. Look at him now, he is leading the Mumbai team in the Ranji Trophy," he said.

A total of 79 Indian & 44 overseas players have been retained by the franchises for IPL- 8

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 17, 2014
Words:433
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