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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL Auction: Players To Watch Out For

IPL Auction: Players To Watch Out For

By HARISH KOTIAN
January 31, 2022 08:57 IST
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The IPL mega auction can be a life-changing moment for cricketers.

While top international players are expected to land huge pay packets, little-known players could also end up making merry.

Tamil Nadu's Shahrukh Khan could be in demand after his exploits in domestic cricket while India's Under-19 players Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Angkrish Raghuvanshi and Raja Bawa could attract good bids.

The West Indians have always been in demand at the IPL auction and this time too big hitters like Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein and Odean Smith could be the among the top picks.

Also watch out for South Africa's young batting sensation Dewald Brewis, also know as 'Baby AB', who scored runs in plenty at the Under-19 World Cup.

A look at players who could make waves at the IPL auction:

 

Shahrukh Khan (Tamil Nadu)

IMAGE: Shahrukh Khan in action for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021. Photograph: BCCI

Shahrukh could one of the top picks among India's domestic players after a fantastic season with the bat.

Playing for Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament, Shahrukh blasted 253 runs in eight games at an amazing strike rate of 186, including a breathtaking 79 from 39 balls against Karnataka in the quarter-finals.

His 15-ball 33, including a last-ball six, helped Tamil Nadu edge past Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament final and it also achieved him instant stardom on social media -- something usually reserved for his Bollywood namesake.

Shahrukh, who has made a name for himself as a finisher in domestic cricket in the last couple of years, was bought by Punjab Kings for Rs 5.25 crore (Rs 52.5 million) last year after starting with a base price of Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million).

He scored 153 runs in 11 games in IPL 2021 at a strike rate of 134. This year his bidding is expected to go through the roof.

 

Ben McDermott (Australia)

IMAGE: Ben McDermott of the Hobart Hurricanes hits out during the Big Bash League game against the Melbourne Renegades at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, December 29, 2021. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

McDermott may have gone unsold last IPL, but he could be on the wishlist of nearly every franchise at next fortnight's auction.

He was unstoppable with the bat in the Big Bash League this season with 577 at a strike rate of 153.86, and was voted Player of the Tournament, which also saw him earning a recall to the Australia T20 side for the Sri Lanka series in February.

The 27 year old, who has played 17 T20Is and two ODIs for Australia, could be in line for a big pay packet at the auction.

 

Angkrish Raghuvanshi (India Under-19)

IMAGE: Angkrish Raghuvanshi plays a shot during the ICC Under-19 World Cup match against Uganda at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, January 22, 2022. Photograph: ICC

Mumbai's Angkrish Raghuvanshi has emerged as one of India's best batting talents at the Under-19 World Cup.

The 16 year old, who also bowls left-arm spin, smashed his way to a brilliant 144 from 120 balls, with 22 fours and four sixes, against Uganda at the World Cup, after he had stroked 79 against Ireland in the previous game.

His unbeaten 56 in the Asia Cup final helped India outclass Sri Lanka by nine wickets to win a record eighth title.

Angkrish could be one of the players the franchises will want to sign with an eye on the future.

 

Raj Bawa (India Under-19)

IMAGE: Raja Bawa in action during the Under-19 World Cup. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

Raj Bawa is another young India batter, who gave ample proof of his prowess at the Under-19 World Cup.

He made everyone take notice with an entertaining 162 not out from 108 balls, hitting 14 fours and eight sixes, against Uganda.

 

Rajvardhan Hangargekar (India Under-19)

IMAGE: Rajvardhan Hangargekar bowls during the Under-19 World Cup game against South Africa in Guyana. Photograph: ICC

Pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar is another highly nrated Indian talent at the Under-19 World Cup.

Rajvardhan picked up four wickets in three games at the World Cup.

He had already grabbed attention with his good showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament. Playing for Maharashtra, the 19 year old was his team's second highest wicket-taker with 10 wickets in five games at an impressive economy rate of 5.11.

Romario Shepherd (West Indies)

IMAGE: Romario Shepherd plays a shot during the second T20 International between the West Indies and England at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, January 23, 2022. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The West Indies all-rounder has entered the IPL auction at a modest base price of Rs 75 lakh (Rs 7.5 million), but expect him to finish with much more.

Shepherd must have had the IPL franchises sit up and take notice when he blasted an unbeaten 44 off 28 balls to take the West Indies within one run of England's total in a high-scoring second T20 International in Bridgetown, while also taking a wicket.

Overall, the 27 year old boasts an impressive strike rate of 162 for 309 runs in 42 T20 games, while claiming 52 wickets.

 

Akeal Hosein (West Indies)

IMAGE: Akeal Hosein celebrates a wicket during the ICC T20 World Cup match against England at the Dubai International Stadium, October 23, 2021. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Hosein is another West Indian all-rounder who has made his name with some big-hitting late in the innings in T20 cricket.

His blazing 44 not out from 16 balls nearly saw the West Indies pull victory from the jaws of defeat in the 2nd T20 International against England at the Kensington Oval on January 23, 2022.

Needing 30 runs for victory from the final over, Hosein slammed pacer Saqib Mahmood for two fours and three consecutive sixes, but the hosts fell short by just one run.

He is a primarily a left-arm spinner who boasts of an economy rate of 6.33 in 67 T20 matches, and could be handy in any condition.

 

Dewald Brevis (South Africa Under-19)

IMAGE: Dewald Brevis, right, with A B de Villiers. Photograph: Dewald Brevis/Instagram

This 18 year old is already being hailed as the next big thing in South African cricket.

Nicknamed 'ABD 2.0' or 'Baby AB', Dewald is a big fan of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and keenly follows the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.

He set the Under-19 World Cup on fire with scores of 65, 104, 96 and 97 in four games.

Joe Clarke

IMAGE: Joe Clarke of the Melbourne Stars bats during the Big Bash League game against the Hobart Hurricanes at the Melbourne Cricket Ground,January 19, 2022. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

The best performers in the BBL have been in demand in the IPL like wicketkeeper-batter Joe Clarke.

Clarke smashed 419 runs in 13 games for the Melbourne Stars at a strike rate of 151, with five fifties.

The 25-year-old Englishman has the ability to attack bowlers in the early overs, boasting an impressive strike rate in excess of 150 in T20 cricket.

 

Jason Sangha

IMAGE: Jason Sangha of the Sydney Thunder plays a shot during the Big Bash League match against Brisbane Heat at The Gabba in Brisbane, December 19, 2021. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Australian Jason Sangha will be hoping that his exploits with the bat in the BBL gets him a hefty IPL contract.

Sangha, whose parents are originally from Bhatinda, Punjab, will relish the chance to showcase his batting skills in front of Indian fans.

The 22 year old, who also bowls leg-spin, was the fifth highest run-getter in the BBL with 445 runs at a strike rate of 132 for Sydney Thunder.

 

Odean Smith

IMAGE: Odean Smith of the West Indies bowls during the T20 International against England at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, January 22, 2022. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

'For us, Odean Smith has come in with a rare talent, someone who can hit the ball a long way and he can go 90 miles an hour,' says West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard.

Smith emulated his idol Andre Russell when he smashed a huge six during an ODI against Ireland on January 13, 2022, which landed on team-mate Sheldon Cottrell's SUV in the parking lot at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com

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