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Old is indeed gold in IPL III

Last updated on: March 30, 2010 08:53 IST

The Master Blaster remains the best

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It is a young man's sport, they said.

The older players will struggle to make an impact, they predicted.

The naysaysers had warned that the Twenty20 version in general, and the Indian Premier League in particular, will mark an end to the careers of veterans in the sport.

Three years on, they have been made to eat their words.

The success of the veteran players in the third edition of the IPL is proving the critics wrong.

In continuing its analysis of the ongoing edition of the IPL, rediff.com takes a look at the veterans who have, with a string of good performances, proved that age is just a number. 

Sachin Tendulkar (36)

He may have kept himself away from the newest version of the game, but Sachin Tendulkar is showing everyone that age is just another number.

Leading the Mumbai Indians side, Tendulkar is amongst top four run-scorers of the tournament thus far. With 303 runs from six innings, at an average of 60.60, the skipper has been responsible in giving the team good starts.

His knock against the Kolkata Knight Riders was perhaps his best innings so far; it helped the side post a convincing win. Chasing a modest 156 for victory, Tendulkar led from the front with 71 from 48 balls, as Mumbai Indians registered a convincing seven-wicket win.

In the process, he registered his seventh IPL fifty overall and fourth in this edition; it was inclusive of 10 hits to the fence.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: IPL/Getty Images
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Captaincy makes the difference

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Anil Kumble (39)

Jumbo may have retired from cricket, but the intensity and aggression seems to have gone from strength to strength. The leg-spinner is the only Indian bolwer to impress in the ongoing edition of the IPL, picking up five wickets at 5.49 runs per over.

Kumble had one of the best figures in South Africa too and is continuing from where he left off. 

Besides excelling with the ball, he is also inspirational on the field as captain, making smart decisions, not afraid to bring himself on inside the Power Play when the situation demands.


Image: Anil Kumble
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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A one-man army

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Virender Sehwag (31)

Virender Sehwag hasn't come up with his belligerent best, but was destructive against Rajasthan Royals.

He almost single-handedly took Delhi Daredevils past Shane Warne's Royals.

The former captain hit a blitzkrieg 34-ball 75, a knock that put the Rajasthan bowlers to sword and made it a virtual no-contest.

And, mind you, that knock was inclusive of eight hits to the fence and five massive ones over it!


Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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Kallis in wonderland

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Jacques Kallis (34)

The South African veteran is in staggering form. He is the leading run scorer of the tournament so far with scoring 310 runs from six innings at a staggering average of 155.

It is not only with the bat that Kallis has held centre stage; he also impressed with his bowling, economical while picking four wickets thus far.

Check out his consistency: scores of 65 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders, 89 not out against Kings XI Punjab, 44 not out against Rajasthan Royals and a 55-ball 66 against Mumbai Indians, which also mades him the owner of the coveted Orange Cap, given to the tournament's leading scorer.


Image: Jaques Kallis
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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What's cooking? Haydos

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Matthew Hayden (38)

Haydos is a little mediocre by his standards.

Coming in with a big reputation, and with his mongoose bat taking much of the attention, the former Aussies ace did provide one memorable innings when he blasted Delhi Daredevils at their own ground, the Kotla.

He put the Daredevils bowlers to the sword in a breathtaking 43-ball show of 93 runs to power Chennai Super Kings  to a thrilling five wicket win.

Chennai were in pursuit of a competitive 186 for victory, but Hayden, armed with his evolutionary Mongoose bat, made the task look easy as he toyed with the Delhi attack, hitting boundaries, and sixes, at will.

He was unlucky not to get a century, as his lofted drive down the ground off Amit Mishra was neatly held by Tillakaratne Dilshan.


Image: Matthew Hayden
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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Leading Deccan's charge

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Adam Gilchrist (38)

Another Aussie great who's outdoing the young brigade. He hasn't done much with the bat, registering just hit one half century so far. 150 runs have come from his balde from six innings at an average of 25, with 54 his highest score.

But he's making up for the lack of runs with insiprational captaincy.


Image: Adam Gilchrist
Photographs: IPL/Getty Images
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Still packs a punch

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Andrew Symonds (34)

The controversial Australian all-rounder is revealing his class quietly, performing with both bat and ball at IPL 3.

Symonds saved Deccan Chargers from collapsing by scoring a superb 53, inclusive of three boundaries and as many sixes in his 38-ball knock against Kings XI Punjab. He then took one for 22 in four overs and two catches, as Chargers sneaked home by just six runs.

Then against Delhi daredevils he scored a crucial 35 from 24 balls and chipped in with three vital wickets for 21 runs just when the match looked like running away from them.

Delhi needed 41 from the last four overs but Symonds made Delhi's task difficult as he conceded just four runs in his third over, while taking the wicket of Moises Henriques for 11.

He then turned the game on its head, claiming two wickets in his final over, while giving away just six runs.

Symo has scored 166 runs from six innings at an average of 53, inclusive of two half centuries. With the ball, the all-rounder has picked up six wickets, with a best of 3 for 21.


Image: Andrew Symonds
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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The smiling assassin

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Muttiah Muralitharan (37)

The wily off-spinner may have announced his intention of retiring from all forms of the game but he is still a force to reckon with in the shorter version of the game.

The smiling assassin is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 11 wickets at a staggering 6.28 runs per over.

He produced one of the best bowling displays in the tournament, when he took three for 16 in his four overs against Kings XI Punjab, but despite that Chennai lost in the Super Over eliminator.

So far, Muralitharan has been the only saving grace in an otherwise disappointing campaign for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys.


Image: Muttiah Muralidaran
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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Impressive even at this age

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Chaminda Vaas (36)

Chaminda Vaas is showing what Sri Lanka are missing.

No more a part of the Sri Lankan outfit, the wily pacer is perhaps bowing his best in the ongoing edition.

He picked his first wicket off the very first ball of the IPL3. He has 11 wickets from seven matches and is the most impressive of the fast bowlers in the tournament. His clever change of pace and immacular line and length is just the right prescription for the shortest format of the game.

He is just behind country-mate Muralitharan in terms to economy and wickets.


Image: Chaminda Vaas
Photographs: IPL/Getty Images
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Dirk knight

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Dirk Nannes (33)

He is getting better with the age.

The Australian has impressed with his pace, coming up with a couple of good spells in the middle.

He, by far, is the fastest bowler in the tournament, along with young turk Shaun Tait. He has five wickets, with a best of two for 12. 


Image: Dirk Nannes
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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Why Singh became King

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Harbhajan Singh (30)

He is in this list simply for his exploits against Deccan Chargers.

Harbhajan had bowled well in the matches before, managing to keep things tight without doing anything extraordinary.

But against the defending champions he for once left his bat do the talking.

An unbeaten 18-ball 49 not out changed the course of the match.

And if that wasn't enough, he delivered with the ball as well, taking three wickets. For the record, he has eight wickets from six matches, with 3 for 31 being his best.


Image: Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
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