HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014
No running away in IPL
Shalabh Manocha, Hindustan Times
Bangalore, April 26, 2012
First Published: 23:59 IST(26/4/2012)
Last Updated: 00:01 IST(27/4/2012)

Season after season, franchises have spent huge amounts on overseas players in the hope that they would add to the team strength. However, there is a flip side to it. The foreign players have run their sides into trouble, an aspect brought forth in this edition of the IPL.

In the 34 games, of which two were abandoned, there have been 38 run-outs. Of these, 25 occurred when an overseas player was either on strike or at the non-striking end.

Of the 25 instances, 14 involved overseas players while in remaining cases an Indian player paid the price for being at the crease with a foreign partner.

The trend emerged in the first match when the Chennai Super Kings' South African opener Faf du Plessis was caught short of the crease, because of a misunderstanding with partner Murali Vijay, while taking a tight single against the Mumbai Indians.

The Super Kings have had seven run outs and are second in the list behind the Pune Warriors.

But CSK beat them to the most run outs in a match -three of their top-four batsmen were out in this fashion against the Delhi Daredevils at the Kotla.

It's not difficult to comprehend the reason. Andy Bichel, the CSK bowling coach, feels that barring the IPL or Champions League, the players don't play together and hence don't share the understanding required for running between the wickets.

"When one plays with each other for 10 games or a little more, it does affect sometimes, and you lack the confidence in each other's call," said Bichel.

However, he was confident that run-outs would decrease as the tournament progressed. "The more you play together, the more they (run-outs) come down as you develop the understanding to steal that quick one."

Bichel's analysis is valid in the context of the Indian players too. The run outs this season, featuring Indian players at both ends, have been caused by players who play for different domestic teams.

Bichel also attributed this phenomenon to improved fielding standards. "With T20 cricket coming up in the last decade, fielding standards all over the world have gone up, and this also causes run outs in tournaments like the IPL, where ones run after almost every tap," said the 41-year-old.

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