New Zealand may have had the measure of India in the current One-day series, but the real excitement is whether the Kiwis can hand another defeat to the visitors in the final ODI on Friday and wrap it up 4-0.
The murmurs, whispers and knowing smiles within the Kiwi camp is reserved for new star, Corey Anderson. The big question on everyone’s lips is whether Anderson will rake it in at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions on February 12-13.
Anderson announced his arrival at the world stage with his 36-ball century against the West Indies, the fastest One-day international century. A like-for-like comparison shows the fastest T20 international century, by Richard Levi, is only off 45 balls.
The all-rounder’s impressive effort in this series could not have come at a more opportune time. In this series, IPL watch has been more intense than even the current upheaval in the global game because of the coming together of India, Australia and England and their bid to take international cricket into their hands.
New Zealand off-spinner Nathan McCullum was going on about how his defensive bowling has tied down the batsman. But few seemed to be interested. Anderson has already attracted the highest purse for an international seeking to play in the IPL for the first time with a base price of about Rs. 1 crore ($320,000).
McCullum, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad last year, was asked more about the auction than his bowling. “To be able to do that (be an impact player) as a team when you are winning, your performances stand out a little bit more as well. If we focus on our team and individual stuff playing for New Zealand, those sorts of fruits will come to the people who do well.
“I’d be surprised if there wasn’t (a clamour). He is a young guy, he’s shown some immense talent; he’s learning a lot as he is going as well.”
As many as 18 New Zealand players are in the auction, but the excitement has also built up here because three coaches are Kiwis – Mumbai Indians’ John Wright, Stephen Fleming’s Chennai Super Kings and RCB’s Daniel Vettori. Four IPL captains are in the India side – MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan.
McCullum knows the team owners would already have trained their guns on specific players. As far as a positive buzz is concerned, it can’t get better for the players. “If we can have a number of players in there, it will definitely stamp our mark on international cricket,” he added.