IPL-10 Player Auction: Ready Reckoner
The Indian Premier League auctions, which take place just a year before a big churn, have invariably been of the calm-beforet he - s t o r m va r i e t y. It happened in 2010 and 2013, and today, when the eight franchises gather in Bangalore, the pattern looks set to repeat.
That is, of course, relatively speaking. After all, by any normal yardstick, a gathering of the rich and powerful who will spend upwards of ₹ 120 crore to bag the services of some of cricket’s best talents can hardly be described as a calm affair. Each of the eight franchises will be looking at this auction as one that could be relevant purely in the short-term. There is still no clarity on what will happen next season in terms of player retention, so no franchise will be taking a punt on a player thinking, ‘He could be a good prospect for us next year or a couple of years later’.
THE HOT PICKS
If you were a betting man, putting money down on Ben Stokes attracting the highest bid of the auction would seem likeasafeoption.TheEnglandallrounder has the batting chops, the bowling ability and that X-factor to be able to not just turn a match around single-handed but also put bums on seats. Among the international players, the ones who are likely to be in demand along with Stokes areTymalMills,KagisoRabada,Ishant Sharma, Jason Roy, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme and Imran Tahir. The likes of Corey Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Mitchell Santner and Irfan Pathan should also attract a fair bit of attention, though given how auction dynamics work, don’t be surprised even if one or more of these names end up without a franchise.
THE DOMESTIC INDIANS IN FOCUS
That the auction was delayed by a couple of weeks was a blessing in disguise because it allowed for the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. That is one of the factors that led to, for example, Ishank Jaggi being included in this year’s auction after 204 runs scored at an average of 68.00 and a strike rate of 163.20, mostly with cultured strokeplay rather than slogs.
It was surprising that Manoj Tiwary didn’t find a buyer last season, but the Bengal batsman showed good batting form. Among other batsmen who made an impression were Mahesh Rawat, Ankit Bawne, Tanmay Agarwal, Vishnu Vinod, Aditya Tare, Pavan Deshpande and Amandeep Khare.
Among bowlers and allrounders, you would expect Pragyan Ojha — also unsold last year — Mohammad Siraj, K Gowtham,RujulBhatt,MananSharma, MSDhoniwasonSundayremovedas captain of Rising Pune Supergiants and replaced by Australian Steve Smith, ending his innings as skipper in both international and franchise cricket. Dhoni, who had stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain to snap his international run as skipper earlier this year, will, however, continue to be a part of the Pune franchise as a player. “Dhoni has not steppeddown.We’veappointedSteve Smith as the skipper for the upcoming season. Frankly speaking, we didn’t have a good last season and we wanted someone young to lead the side and revamp it ahead of the upcoming season,” RPS owner Sanjiv Goenka said. “I have the highest regard for MS Dhoni as a leader and a person. Dhoni continues to be an integral member of our team. He is supportive of the decision keeping the franchise’s best interests in mind,” Goenka added. One thing teams will have to keep in mind is that the English and South African players will be leaving the tournament early. How much people are willing to shell out for someone who might provide a lot of value but will be gone at the business end of the tournament is anybody’s guess. That’s where someone like Mills scores, in that he is an exclusive T20 player – and a pretty good one too.