Indian Premier League auction 2011 January 10, 2011

Rajasthan to rely on Dravid, Warne to attract young players

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Faced with a reduced budget of $7.1m at the IPL player auction, the Rajasthan Royals were limited to buying just eight players (of which only two were Indian) and now face another problem - how do they fill out the rest of the squad? The solution, according to franchise officials, will be to use the star power and proven leadership qualities of players such as Rahul Dravid and Shane Warne, and the presence of two current national Twenty20 captains, to attract and mould younger, talented domestic players.

Rajasthan were widely considered to have the weakest team on paper in 2008, but their combination of experience and young talent gelled under Shane Warne's inspired leadership, and they confounded the pundits to lift the trophy in the tournament's inaugural year. The same blueprint will be in place this time around, which is why Sean Morris, the Rajasthan chief executive, says they honed in on players who have captained their national Twenty20 sides, such as Johan Botha and Paul Collingwood.

"We had to be focused and have specific targets," Morris told ESPNcricinfo. "I think we've got the kind of dressing room you would build if you wanted a dream dressing room of leaders. We've surpassed our expectations. [There is] lots of talent that we can bring in to the dressing room that is full of international experience, creating a blend of incredible experience with the young, local players."

"All these Indian boys can have Dravid as a mentor," Raghu Iyer, spokesperson for Rajasthan, said. "The strategy is to have a blend of youth and experience. That is what delivered for us in season one. Yusuf [Pathan] was not the star he is now. [Ravindra] Jadeja was not the star he is now. They have all delivered for us and done extremely well."

There is a second incentive the team can offer talented, young players that other franchises might not be able to match - the opportunity to play regularly in the IPL. Over the first three years, a number of domestic players merely sat on the sidelines and watched while the more established players in the squad were picked for matches. They still benefitted from training with and being exposed to international players, but there is no substitute for competitive games.

"Our players are going to be playing a lot of cricket for us," Morris said. "The young Indian players will be looking at all the teams and players and thinking who am I going to compete with and when I am going to play? And they will look at Rajasthan and will be thinking I have a fantastic chance of playing."

The franchise plans to begin augmenting its squad with players from Rajasthan's Ranji Trophy team, which has had an excellent domestic season, knocking off heavyweights Mumbai and Tamil Nadu on their way to the finals against Baroda. "The domestic players from Rajasthan are going to get a lot of focus," Iyer, said. "They have done very well this season. There is a loyalty there and talent as well. We need to be riding that wave."

Among the players the franchise is looking at are 18-year-old Deepak Chahar, who made a huge splash on his first-class debut by taking 8 for 10 to dismiss Hyderabad for a Ranji record low-score of 21, and 20-year-old Ashok Menaria, who captained India in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2010, after which he bagged an IPL contract with Royal Challengers Bangalore. Rajasthan's wicketkeeper, Rohit Jhalani, is another player the franchise has its eye on as they failed to pick up a keeper in the auction. In addition, the team is hoping to re-sign players that were part of its development squad for the first three years.

Naturally, the franchise is also attempting to sign some of the more prominent domestic players, such as the Mumbai pair of middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane and seamer Dhawal Kulkarni, by offering them the same carrot of regular cricket alongside established stars.

"At the end of the day, the domestic players are going to make a lot of difference," Iyer said. "It [the squad] is going to be lean and mean. Everybody has learnt that."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vbkrish on January 13, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Mallyas have loist our affection. In Bangalore, if the match is between RCB and RR we will support RR for the sake of Rahul Dravid

  • vbkrish on January 13, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Sourav Ganguly was not taken by any of the Franchises is not because of cricketing reason alone.The Media both electronic and print and also the public of Kolkatta who thought that they can make or break a cricketer are responsible for this. Last three Yeears Shahrukh Khan had enough Of this and very cleverly got rid of Ganguly.He fooled the media and still foolimg them that Sourav is like his younger brother and he is offering "Mentor"s posat because there is no KKR without Dada. Good actor.As for Drravid is concerened he was wanted by three teams and RR selected him.'though the media always anti-Dravid was mentioning that there are no takers for Dravid.Mallyas have lost our affection. If the match is between RCB and RR we will support RR only.

  • on January 12, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Rajasthan - Expecting Warnie Magic Again 1 Watson, 2. Uncapped Opener 3 Collingwood/Taylor, 4 Dravid 5, 6 and 7 Uncapped Hitter 8 Botha/Shaun Tait 9 Warne 10 Pankaj 11 Uncapped Medium Pacer

  • cricket_wins on January 12, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    1. Yusuf Pathan is stilla devstating T20 player and very much a star 2. Deepak Chahar may not play for RR - He is in advanced stages of discussion with another franchise, as mentioned in another article in Cricinfo. 3. With 4 captains playing in the same side, mentoring players will be a tough thing. Conflicting views, different schools of thoughts, etc. RR will have the same confusion as KXIP had last year. 4. I really hope the uncapped players bring tremendous grassroot solidity to this superb team, which has been spiralling downwards.

  • on January 12, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    This IPL bidding lacks logic similar to one earlier remember the exorbitant amounts paid to Manoj TIwary and Ishant sharma similarly this time around Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja make no mistake Ravindra Jadeja is a not a star he is just an oppurtunist and he will never take up teams cause

  • on January 11, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    i think rr needs a good indian fast bowler who has vast experince and open the bowling with tait..dravid good example for young playerhow to live professional & personal life better.pual collingwood,ross,waston,tait should be in the team as overseas player.warne as coach .manish pandey most valued uncaped player

  • bhargavac on January 11, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Since when is Ravindra Jadeja considered a star? You have got to be kidding me!

  • on January 11, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Happy Birthday Dravid...RR has choosed good players...They can also go for the stars who are the best in First class...Good luck RR...

  • on January 11, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Well , Rajasthan Royals find themselves in a tight spot with limited spending power . This drawback they plan to utilise to the max by luring local talent which is a very very good idea & all the other franchises should also try to work on similar strategy to showcase undiscovered potential performers . This in a way will also benefit the selectors of BCCI .

  • on January 11, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    RR one of the best out of 10 IPL teams

  • vbkrish on January 13, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Mallyas have loist our affection. In Bangalore, if the match is between RCB and RR we will support RR for the sake of Rahul Dravid

  • vbkrish on January 13, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Sourav Ganguly was not taken by any of the Franchises is not because of cricketing reason alone.The Media both electronic and print and also the public of Kolkatta who thought that they can make or break a cricketer are responsible for this. Last three Yeears Shahrukh Khan had enough Of this and very cleverly got rid of Ganguly.He fooled the media and still foolimg them that Sourav is like his younger brother and he is offering "Mentor"s posat because there is no KKR without Dada. Good actor.As for Drravid is concerened he was wanted by three teams and RR selected him.'though the media always anti-Dravid was mentioning that there are no takers for Dravid.Mallyas have lost our affection. If the match is between RCB and RR we will support RR only.

  • on January 12, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Rajasthan - Expecting Warnie Magic Again 1 Watson, 2. Uncapped Opener 3 Collingwood/Taylor, 4 Dravid 5, 6 and 7 Uncapped Hitter 8 Botha/Shaun Tait 9 Warne 10 Pankaj 11 Uncapped Medium Pacer

  • cricket_wins on January 12, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    1. Yusuf Pathan is stilla devstating T20 player and very much a star 2. Deepak Chahar may not play for RR - He is in advanced stages of discussion with another franchise, as mentioned in another article in Cricinfo. 3. With 4 captains playing in the same side, mentoring players will be a tough thing. Conflicting views, different schools of thoughts, etc. RR will have the same confusion as KXIP had last year. 4. I really hope the uncapped players bring tremendous grassroot solidity to this superb team, which has been spiralling downwards.

  • on January 12, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    This IPL bidding lacks logic similar to one earlier remember the exorbitant amounts paid to Manoj TIwary and Ishant sharma similarly this time around Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja make no mistake Ravindra Jadeja is a not a star he is just an oppurtunist and he will never take up teams cause

  • on January 11, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    i think rr needs a good indian fast bowler who has vast experince and open the bowling with tait..dravid good example for young playerhow to live professional & personal life better.pual collingwood,ross,waston,tait should be in the team as overseas player.warne as coach .manish pandey most valued uncaped player

  • bhargavac on January 11, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Since when is Ravindra Jadeja considered a star? You have got to be kidding me!

  • on January 11, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Happy Birthday Dravid...RR has choosed good players...They can also go for the stars who are the best in First class...Good luck RR...

  • on January 11, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Well , Rajasthan Royals find themselves in a tight spot with limited spending power . This drawback they plan to utilise to the max by luring local talent which is a very very good idea & all the other franchises should also try to work on similar strategy to showcase undiscovered potential performers . This in a way will also benefit the selectors of BCCI .

  • on January 11, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    RR one of the best out of 10 IPL teams

  • Rohan0309 on January 11, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    It looks unlikely that uncapped players like Kulkarni and Rahane would let go off Sachin's vast experience to go and play for Rajasthan. Besides they both would almost seem to be sure starters in MI if they choose to stay back. Kulkarni would partner Bhajji outside the PP and Rahane would most probably bat 2 down.

  • nair_ottappalam on January 11, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    It is really sad to note that Rahul Dravid is not playing for his home state Bangalore. With Anil Kumhle also opting out and the absence of Pietersen, Morgan, Uthapa and Boucher will weaken Bangalore. Only Virat Kohli is in the team.

    Another major setback is for Deccan Chargers that Gilly has been "hijacked" to Punjab. The entrance of Mahela and Muttiah will be a boost for the new team Kochi. Happy to note that Ganguly has been shown the door.

  • on January 11, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    @LIBRAN: I agree with you, actually RJ has to pay the frachise to play

  • on January 11, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    they now going to loss this time because yousuf pathan is not there who was the leading man in last three session, only Watson the man who can lead but worst selection i think....

  • hemant.pande on January 11, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    go and buy Lara,Gayle and Ganguly also you will have a team full of leaders.....

  • on January 11, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Want To See Mixture Of Gujarat Ranji Teams' Players + Rajasthan Ranji Team Players.

    And Issue Over Ravindra Jadeja.... He is Good Enough To Be in International Team.The Two Wrost Game At T-20 WC Making Him Wrost Player.He Need To Develope Some Batting.Even Sachin Tendulkar Made "0" in His First Two Innings.If You Not Let Giving Him Chance You Cant Get "The Great Sachin Tendulkar".So You Have To Make Trust On A Player.

  • Rahul_78 on January 11, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Rajsthan can talk up as much as they want but reality is warne hasn't picked up a cricket ball for a year. Dravid is not the swiftest any more and his bating is in decline and he has never been a T20 player and less said about other is better. If they loose out watson to injury or other commitments then god save them. Royals are in real danger of putting a weakest team on the park to be thrashed by anybody and everybody.

  • srini_jana on January 11, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    For all those saying that retaining Warne is not a good option, remember that he was paid only around $300,000 for the first three seasons where he rounded up as a captain and coach. Maybe RR are trying to pay him back for his service, so that he will again do them a good job even if he is not playing. Overall for a six year term $2 million for Warne could be really worth iwhen he doubles up as a coach. Consider the likes of Ishant, Mortaza and others getting paid close 1 million for the first three seasons of IPL :) Adding Dravid to the team was a good move, they will surely do well similar to the first edition.

  • BULTY on January 11, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Rajasthan, with their limited kitty, have done well to get people with real cricketing & leadership skills. With the success of their state team in the Ranji Trophy, they need not look anywhere else to fill their squad. Like in the first season, they can spring a surprise or two this season as well. Two people, who have contributed to RCB's success last season are now in RR's team, viz Dravid & Ross Taylor. They can make a big difference with Shane Warne, Shane Watson, Johan Botha & Paul Collingwood in their line up. Good luck to RR this season!!!!!!!!

  • on January 11, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Rajasthan Royals are making some sensible comments, but, in reality,i believe they have already signed up this players. That means, they are going to have an ambitious team who can topple any big giants..a solid platform in Dravid, a wonderful leadership in Warne, presence of Johan Botha and Collingwood,after that,ambitious players like Ashok Meenaria, Ajinkya Rahane,etc. It is quite evident that they are going as per their plans, Dravid, you should be their batting maestro,the most underrated player in auction.

  • AndrewFromOz on January 11, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    I think this team will punch above its weight and do pretty well. It will depend a lot on the calibre of the young Indian players they end up with. Young up-and-coming Indian cricketers playing beside and learning from international stars. This is the good side of the IPL.

  • ahamedirshad123 on January 11, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    RR rocks.Thanks for picking Dravid up in your team

  • LIBRAN on January 11, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    "[Ravindra] Jadeja was not the star he is now".. Which world are we living in.. The most overhyped cricketer of all times.. Get out there n have a look, there is guys out there with 10 times the potential than this one.. just could never understand why they persisted with him in the Indian side.. Terrible choice..

  • on January 11, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    Buy Ganguly too and you have a great allrounder and mentor. I am not a big fan of Ganguly, but that guy does have something to offer.

  • D.Sharma on January 11, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    It's nice to see Dravid have a bigger role than he did in his previous three seasons. Him and Warne are going to once again build an underrated team and hopefully win!

  • nzcricket174 on January 11, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    Johan Botha - captain of SA. Paul Collingwood - captain of England. Ross Taylor - future captain of NZ. Shane Watson - possible future captain of Australia. Along with Warne and Dravid there is no ends to the leadership qualities this team will have.

  • on January 11, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    I think Rajastan Royals should make Rahul Dravid thier Wicket Ceeper except for Rohit Jhalani and Dravid has more experience than Rohit Jhalani.

  • Dr.K.H.Iyer on January 10, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Ravinder Jadeja: not worth half what he was paid! Warne: Well a great of the gme but hasn't been playing, has weight issues but great motivator! Dravid: Well good choice, if he gets in good nick!

  • on January 10, 2011, 22:44 GMT

    I wish i got the opportunity to play under Dravid and Warne... talk about leadership and Wisdom

  • Vipin.Bajaj on January 10, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    I believe Shane Warne is a great motivator of the game. Together (With Dravid) he can create a good unit. Shane Warne has proved in IPL 2008 that it is not mandatory to have big names in the team to win a title.

  • venbas on January 10, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Come RR guys...pls dont hype up Jadeja ever again...Every galli cricketer in India can do better than that guy. Wonder how he is still in the IPL with his consistent (pathetic) performance.

  • on January 10, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Guess it will be good for players like Rahane, Manish Pandey to look at Rajasthan more seriously. Its no use to sign with Mumbai and sit on the bench. Look at sourab Tiwary. He got his opportunity to perform in team. Subsequently got picked up in Indian team and he is a millionaire today. I still remember News channel lamenting RR paying $400K for Yusuf. He got his opportunities. I only wish Young india hopefuls consider playing for RR. But Iam still shocked at their decision to buy Botha @ $950K when he is not going be captain. They could have got atleast 3 good players for that money. Another sore point going for retention of Warne. They could have easily retained him far less than $1.8 that got detecuted from their Purse. I only wish them Good luck!!!

  • on January 10, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    it wont be easy this time around for them

  • on January 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Yeah it would be exciting...Dravid would do pretty well in mentoring the young indians one of the perfect icons to do tht ...and warne well he did it too in the first 3 yrs...lets see how this new team goes there r some top players ...got to wait to see who will come in as uncapped players for the rr side

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  • on January 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Yeah it would be exciting...Dravid would do pretty well in mentoring the young indians one of the perfect icons to do tht ...and warne well he did it too in the first 3 yrs...lets see how this new team goes there r some top players ...got to wait to see who will come in as uncapped players for the rr side

  • on January 10, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    it wont be easy this time around for them

  • on January 10, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Guess it will be good for players like Rahane, Manish Pandey to look at Rajasthan more seriously. Its no use to sign with Mumbai and sit on the bench. Look at sourab Tiwary. He got his opportunity to perform in team. Subsequently got picked up in Indian team and he is a millionaire today. I still remember News channel lamenting RR paying $400K for Yusuf. He got his opportunities. I only wish Young india hopefuls consider playing for RR. But Iam still shocked at their decision to buy Botha @ $950K when he is not going be captain. They could have got atleast 3 good players for that money. Another sore point going for retention of Warne. They could have easily retained him far less than $1.8 that got detecuted from their Purse. I only wish them Good luck!!!

  • venbas on January 10, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Come RR guys...pls dont hype up Jadeja ever again...Every galli cricketer in India can do better than that guy. Wonder how he is still in the IPL with his consistent (pathetic) performance.

  • Vipin.Bajaj on January 10, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    I believe Shane Warne is a great motivator of the game. Together (With Dravid) he can create a good unit. Shane Warne has proved in IPL 2008 that it is not mandatory to have big names in the team to win a title.

  • on January 10, 2011, 22:44 GMT

    I wish i got the opportunity to play under Dravid and Warne... talk about leadership and Wisdom

  • Dr.K.H.Iyer on January 10, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Ravinder Jadeja: not worth half what he was paid! Warne: Well a great of the gme but hasn't been playing, has weight issues but great motivator! Dravid: Well good choice, if he gets in good nick!

  • on January 11, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    I think Rajastan Royals should make Rahul Dravid thier Wicket Ceeper except for Rohit Jhalani and Dravid has more experience than Rohit Jhalani.

  • nzcricket174 on January 11, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    Johan Botha - captain of SA. Paul Collingwood - captain of England. Ross Taylor - future captain of NZ. Shane Watson - possible future captain of Australia. Along with Warne and Dravid there is no ends to the leadership qualities this team will have.

  • D.Sharma on January 11, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    It's nice to see Dravid have a bigger role than he did in his previous three seasons. Him and Warne are going to once again build an underrated team and hopefully win!