Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Mumbai pay dearly for potential star to deliver

Corey Anderson. Photo / Getty Images
Corey Anderson. Photo / Getty Images

It's not his fault Mumbai are paying $866,000 for him for a seven-week stint but it means Corey Anderson is so far earning $5773 per run and $216,500 per wicket in the Indian Premier League.

With 150 IPL runs in nine innings, a top score of 39 and four wickets at an economy rate of 10.38, he risks not matching his billing as a star with the fastest one-day international century (36 balls) and a purveyor of useful left-arm medium-pace. He has four games left to convince his employers and a skeptical fanbase, otherwise his lofty earnings gain traction as punchlines.

"He's probably an area we need to focus on, to make him a more valuable member of our squad ... because he's got potential," Mumbai Indians coach John Wright said of Anderson's maiden IPL season.

Anderson appears to have fallen victim to fast-tracking where too much money and responsibility has been foisted on a player and he is yet to deliver on expectations.

No one can blame him for accepting the $866,000 deal - it's financial security delivered in one seven-week season.

The 23-year-old is arguably the country's best all-round talent who, at least last summer, seemed destined for a pivotal role in next year's World Cup at home.

Anderson's 12 one-day internationals alone have produced a batting average of 53, strike rate of 159, bowling average of 24.47 and strike rate of 24.1.

He's also impressed in the test and Twenty20 formats.

In three weeks he will revert back to the test format on the West Indies tour and faces a challenge for his spot in the New Zealand side from Jimmy Neesham who's coming off a century on debut against India in Wellington.

Others with similar IPL circumstances to Anderson include Delhi's Ross Taylor and Neesham, whose runs have come at more than $6500 each while Rajasthan's Tim Southee is wicketless in three appearances on a $230,000 contract.

Contrast that with the experience of Brendon McCullum, who has delivered opening value for top-of-the-table Chennai with 333 runs at a strike rate of 124, or Kane Williamson, who spurned the IPL auction in favour of a county championship contract with Yorkshire. He's averaged 49.83 in seven innings, including three half-centuries.

- Herald on Sunday

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