IPL 2014 newsfile April 27, 2014

Ponting joins Mumbai camp

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting in Mumbai camp
Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, has joined the Mumbai Indians in an "advisory role". Ponting was a part of the Mumbai team that won the IPL last year, and he had even led the side in a few matches before the current captain Rohit Sharma took over.

"I am looking forward to working with Mumbai Indians once again," Ponting said."I had a fantastic season last summer and understand how passionate our players are towards the franchise. I believe we have the fire in us and we will strive hard to put our best."

Ponting will be with Mumbai for their last two matches in the UAE.

Bookies barred from venues
A list of bookies has been forwarded to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) by the IPL governing council to ensure the suspects are kept out of the venues and from the team hotels. Not that the bookies need to operate from a particular location but even the UAE government has taken steps to deny visas to people on the list who are wanting to travel to the country.

"We've given them a list of bookies and the cooperation from the UAE cricket board and government has been excellent. Sheikh Nahyan has been very helpful in ensuring smooth conduct and success of the IPL. We're immensely thankful to him," Ranjib Biswal, the chairman of the IPL Governing Council, was quoted in the Mirror.

Johnson, the leader
After a dream run over the last twelve months starting with the Mumbai Indians' triumphant IPL 2013 campaign, Mitchell Johnson has returned to the Twenty20 league as one of the senior players in the Kings XI Punjab line-up. And Johnson had been preparing for the leadership role in his new franchise even before he joined the team.

"Yes, that is something I had thought about doing before coming here and I spoke to the team about taking up that role as a senior international player. These young guys coming through are willing to learn and are very good listeners," Johnson told iplt20.com. "I remember what I was like when I was their age - you look up to the senior guys for a bit of advice. Sandeep (Sharma) went for a couple of boundaries in his last over (18th of the innings) and I told him, 'Just keep sticking to your guns' because that's how you learn to overcome situations. If I can keep helping the young guys, we will keep winning like this."

With four wins in as many games, Kings XI Punjab have emerged as the team to beat in the initial phase of the IPL's seventh edition. The results haven't surprised Johnson. "I remember sitting around with the Australian team on our tour to South Africa, watching the IPL auction. When it came to an end, I actually said that this seems like a very well-balanced and all-round side. It seems to be going on that way for us at the moment," he said. "We've had some very good wins and tonight's was one of the better ones. On that Abu Dhabi wicket, I think we pretty much got a par score and it was always going to be tough batting second on it. We've been sticking to our guns and have been going really well."

Maxwell's energy infectious
Virender Sehwag has been considered as one with the most positive impact in all the dressing rooms he has been a part of. But when it comes to the Kings XI Punjab set-up, Sehwag feels Glenn Maxwell takes the cake as far as the positive impact is concerned.

"It is great to have Maxwell with us in the team. After the match, he forgets what he did on the field, and is very humble," Sehwag told the Times of India. "His positive energy is infectious, and he loves to play golf and goof around. It's a great atmosphere in the dressing room with Maxwell being there.

With 294 runs in four innings, Maxwell has emerged as the story of the tournament. His scores of 95, 89 and 95 in Kings XI Punjab's first three matches helped the team from Mohali cruise past their opponents and top the points table. Even though Maxwell perished for 15 against Kolkata Knight Riders, the Kings continued their winning run thanks to an all-round bowling effort.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Raghu on April 28, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    Surprising to see the MI team struggling even after dropping non-performers like SRT and Ponting. I think letting go Smith and Maxwell and D Karthik was a blunder (I think it was only DK where they got outbid, no reason for letting the other 2 go)... and look at who they retained - Rayudu???? The only reason I can think of is the excess mentor / coach / advisor band that they have, which might just be making it very hard for an inexperienced Rohit to even think Maybe they should learn to keep it simple, the way MSD-Fleming do.

  • Vikram on April 28, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    I think the Ambanis are applying Indian business principles in the team - get all the bigwigs in the team, and success will follow. Look at the star lineup - John Wright, Sachin, Ponting, Kumble, Robin Singh and Jonty Rhodes. Sadly, they still haven't realized that it simply does not work. What CSK does really well is knowing when to let players go - be it Hayden, Murali, Albie, or Hussey; once they became T20 mercenaries, they let go of them because they knew that with very little game practice, they would not be as good as they used to be.

  • Ian on April 27, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    What is beyond my comprehension is that last year, Smith's average contribution to MI's scores was 32, compared with Sharma's 28, Karthik's 26 and Pollard's 23, yet MI retained those players and didn't retain Smith. CSK obviously watched Smith more closely than MI did, because they subsequently outbid MI for Smith. But MI should not have let him onto the market in the first place after what he did for them last year.

  • Nanda Kumar on April 27, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    MI currently are lost. But just spare a thought for Rohit. ( and I am no fan of his). He steps onto the field and possibly can do nothing on his own. With Sachin, Kumble, Wright, maybe Jhonty and Robin and now Ponting, the amount of advice that he will receive would make some one's head swim. Coach, mentor, Idol and now adviser !!!! any other fancy titles left. Actually on current form the support staff may actually win a match.. But seriously the blame lies with Kumble and Wright as they were on the auction table. No overseas bench strength as far as batting is concerned. And at the end of the day what is the thought process. Even their only hope Pollard still has only the finisher role and not one to build the innings. Best option would be to figure out if some one in the team is injured and get Badri as a replacement. Atleast he will bat overs and score at around 120 - 125 which the rest of the team seems incapable off.

  • Worrell on April 27, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Mumbai management should have looked for psychological during the auction. How could you fight for Hussey and not Johnson or Smith who was a key member in the opening slot. Any 35+ retired player, one year removed from international cricket is a liability. It happened to all, from dravid to Sanath, Gilchrist to Muli. It will be the same with kallis next year. Unless he is playing a lot of domestic cricket. CSK understood that, hence no hussey.

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Tendulkar is a big factor for MI. Tendulkar out of team and team is dying. Team main inspiration is tendulkar not anyone.

  • Daud on April 27, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Ponting's presence will have a big impact on MI. He is a 3 time winning WC player, and is one of the most successful batsmen and captains in the history of Cricket. He is surely an asset to any dressing room.

  • Nataraj on April 27, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    As they rightly say "too many cooks spoil the broth", mumbai indians already have john wright, kumble, sachin, jonty rhodes, robin singh, paras mambrey as coaching staff. But results have been poor. Now ricky pointing to join the party. I really wonder how so many brains can communicate a common formula.

  • No featured comments at the moment.