Mumbai: The 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions will see teams go face to face as they aim to bolster their squads for the upcoming edition. While eyes will be on the overseas players, key Indian players will be the top priority for teams in order to fill the quota of seven players for the starting eleven.
Out of 578, a total of 360 Indian players (both capped and uncapped) are set to go under the hammer in Bengaluru on the 27th and 28th of January.
Below we take a look at five Indian players that may prompt teams to engage in a fierce bidding war at the auctions:
1) Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal was one of the revelations for Team India in the limited-overs cricket. The Haryana leg-spinner ended 2017 by claiming 23 T20I wickets, the most by any bowler during that year. His breathtaking 6-wicket haul against England in 2014 was also adjudged as the ICC T20I Performance of the Year.
Though Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) did not retain the 27-year-old, there is no doubt that Virat Kohli’s team would certainly bid for Chahal and use the Right to Match card to have him back in the fold. His ability to trick batsman and making them dance to his tunes has seen him emerge as a big threat in recent times.
With a base price of 2 crores, a couple of teams would love to get their hands on Chahal and it remains to be seen if RCB are willing to match the hefty amount quoted by the opposition.
2) Kuldeep Yadav
After Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) decided not to retain Gautam Gambhir during the IPL Player Retention, the decision to leave out Kuldeep Yadav also garnered a lot of attention.
Like Chahal, Kuldeep has also enjoyed a fruitful year with the national team and has featured in all three formats. The chinaman’s stock in international cricket has risen exponentially over time and Kuldeep brings a good value to himself heading into the auctions.
Under the tutelage of Gambhir at KKR, the Uttar Pradesh spinner emerged as a secret weapon for the two-time IPL winners.
Kuldeep’s excellent economy rate and ability to leak fewer runs will have a lot of teams buzzing.
3) Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat missed out on the 2017 IPL Purple Cap by a whisker, falling two wickets short of SunRisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but having played two matches less.
It’s safe to say that 2017 has been a breakthrough year for the Porbandar pacer after suffering a gruelling injury. Unadkat’s brilliance with the ball in the death overs saw his guide RPS to the final last season. He has also given selectors a taste of how instrumental he can be with the bat as well.
The left-arm speedster emerged as the Man of the Series during Sri Lanka’s T20 tour of India in 2017. Having done enough to prove his worth, bidders will surely ensure not to let of Unadkat too easily.
4) Washington Sundar
Would you have imagined a 17-year-old taking Ravichandran Ashwin’s place and doing well in an IPL team boasting the likes of MS Dhoni and Steve Smith? What’s more shocking that the youngster hasn’t played any T20s prior to joining the IPL.
However, in a matter of few months, Washington Sundar cleared doubts about his inclusion through his extraordinary talent.
Smith shouldered much trust on the youngster that saw Sundar even opening the bowling on occasions. Fast forward few months later, the tweaker would go on to earn his national call-up for India.
Key spinners always prove to be handy in T20s and Sundar’s accuracy and tight bowling will once again prove to be a factor IPL scouts will look out for.
5) Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey played for Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors before joining KKR in 2014. Since then classy right-hander has lifted two trophies with the Shah Rukh Khan-co owned side.
Pandey has also emerged as a backbone in the middle order line-up and is also now a regular for the Men in Blue. A handy hard-hitter down the order, Pandey is an experienced campaigner and IPL franchises would openly welcome the 28-year-old with open arms....