India and West Indies IPL millionaires train for first T20 in Kolkata - in pictures

Hosts hold the edge in three-match series after 3-0 whitewash in ODIs

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Now that the biggest two days in cricket — the Indian Premier League mega auction — are out of the way, it's back to the grind for the players.

Only around 200 cricketers found takers at the IPL auction, with 50 earning million-dollar contracts for this year's edition.

India wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan was the biggest winner, snapped up by Mumbai Indians for 152.5 million rupees ($2.03m). England's spin bowling all-rounder Liam Livingstone was the most expensive overseas player with Punjab Kings paying 115m rupees ($1.53m) for his signature.

As expected, Indian cricketers were in high demand, even as proven international stars such as Eoin Morgan, Aaron Finch, Ish Sodhi, Imran Tahir and Dawid Malan did not find any takers.

As always, West Indies players were in demand during the two-day auction in Bengaluru; 17 players from the Caribbean earned IPL contracts worth a total of $11m.

A number of West Indies players are currently in India for a white-ball series. While they were blanked 3-0 in the ODIs, the Windies will be looking forward to the T20 leg of the tour; they are two-time world champions after all.

India and the West Indies will play three T20 matches in Kolkata starting on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, India batting coach Vikram Rathour played down concerns over the recent poor batting form of Virat Kohli, saying he was on the brink of “big runs".

Kohli, 33, last scored an international century in August 2019, and made eight, 18 and nought in India's 3-0 ODI whitewash in Ahmedabad.

“I don't think he's going through a lean phase,” Rathour said.

“At least in this format, T20s and ODIs he has done really well. I understand he had a poor series against the West Indies [in ODIs] but [there is] no conversation [on his form] as such.”

Updated: February 15, 2022, 5:24 AM
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