ROHIT SANKAR | 27 JANUARY, 2018
Uncapped Indian players who could be major attractions in the IPL auctions
The eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League is set to begin in April this year but 1122 players will go under the hammer, the famous IPL auctions, on January 27th and 28th. The two month gala event has been a nursery for several Indian cricketers for the past eleven years.
This season is no different with a record number of players set to participate in the auctions. There are 838 uncapped players - 778 of them Indians - registered for the auctions and many of them could be potential International stars.
Here we try to identify the cream of the uncapped lot that could start a bidding war in the upcoming auctions.
- Prithvi Shaw
The Mumbai hero who set the Ranji Trophy alight with his mesmeric batting abilities is doing an equally good job in the ongoing under-19 World Cup where he is the skipper. At 18, Shaw is a teen still but has proved his abilities playing amidst the men.
He made 537 runs in 6 matches in the Ranji at 48.81 while he also racked up two half-centuries in the three under-19 World Cup matches thus far. This young man can expect a lot of bidders in the upcoming auctions.
- Basil Thampi
The emerging player of the 2017 IPL season, Basil Thampi from Kerala is an ideal T20 fast bowler. With pinpoint accurate yorkers and a well disguised slower ball, Thampi is as good as they come in terms of death bowlers.
The seamer earned a call up to the India A team and later the Indian team for the T20s against New Zealand (He didn't debut, though, which makes him an uncapped player). This young Keralite is sure to get a few teams interested in the auctions.
- Nitish Rana
The flamboyant Nitish Rana hogged the limelight last season batting at no.3 for Mumbai Indians. An attacking batsman with a wide array of strokes, Rana has the game to be a star in T20 cricket.
Although he was bought in the 2015 auctions, Mumbai didn't realise his true value until 2017 where he racked up 333 runs in 13 games.
Mumbai do have a couple of RTMs and could use one of them to acquire Rana but a lot of other franchises will be interested too.
- Rahul Tripathi
The find of 2017 IPL, Rahul Tripathi, the Rising Pune Supergiant opener, smashed 391 runs in 14 matches including a blistering 93 against Kolkata Knight Riders. He was on fire in the Ranji season too, compiling two hundreds and two half-centuries.
Flair-filled and attacking, Tripathi is an opener that most teams would love to have in their arsenal. At 26, he is a long-term option as well and given that he played with MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings will be really interested in this young kid. However, the franchise will likely face stiff resistance from many other franchises in search of openers.
- Mayank Agarwal
The sensational Mayank Agarwal's stocks rose this Ranji season where he was the leading run scorer. He smashed a record 1000 runs in one month and went on to average 105.45 the entire season.
With a game tailor-made for T20s, Mayank was a Delhi Daredevils player before Rising Pune Supergiant acquired him. This season could be his major IPL breakthrough and expect him to set the auctions on fire.
- Krunal Pandya
Brother of the outrageously expressive Hardik Pandya, Krunal was as good, if not better, than his brother for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. A left-arm spinner and a wonderful striker of the cricket ball, Krunal is as valuable as they come in T20s.
Last year, Krunal made 243 runs including a crucial 47 in the finals which Mumbai won and picked up 10 wickets at a good economy rate. He has been quite good in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy too. Mumbai Indians would be insane to let him go by not using the RTM but expect a lot of other franchises to go all out for him before that.
- Deepak Hooda
Fairly well known for his big hitting abilities and nicknamed the 'Hurricane’, Deepak Hooda is a valuable pick in this format of the game. How much franhcises loved to have him was illustrated in the 2016 auctions when Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for 4.2 crores from a base price of 10 lakh.
He has two half-centuries in four matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy so far and will attract a lot of bidders later this month.
- Rajneesh Gurbani
The Vidarbha seamer picked up 39 wickets in an impressive title winning campaign in the Ranji Trophy this year. His ability to swing the ball late and hit the right channel to trouble batsmen will be quite handy early in the powerplay overs of T20 games.
He had four five-wicket hauls in the last four matches of the Ranji Trophy including a hat-trick and will be in the radar of a lot of IPL franchises. As an uncapped player, Gurbani will be a hot pick this season.
The outside picks
- Kamlesh Nagarkoti
The under-19 fast bowler hit headlines this week in the ongoing World Cup consistently recording speeds in excess of 140kmphs. His age and express pace makes him an outside candidate to start a bidding war this auctions.
- Ishank Jaggi
An aggressive top order batsman with a good strike rate, Jaggi is the top run-scorer in the history of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. He is yet again in exceptional touch this season and his domestic T20 exploits could earn him a big ticket this IPL. He has been a part of the tournament before but hasn't got consistent game-time. A huge bid could well change all that.