Five rookies to watch out for in the upcoming IPL auction
Auction for the upcoming IPL 2019 has been scheduled on December 18 in Jaipur. There was a lot of buzz around the players that were retained and released by the franchises. There are a total of 70 slots up for the grabs which include 50 Indian and 20 Overseas slots. To grab those slots, a whopping 1003 players including 232 overseas players have registered for the auctions.
Franchises having a hefty purse are going to play a key role in this year's auction. Kings XI Punjab has almost rebooted themselves so they have the highest purse amount of INR 36.20 Crores with a maximum of 15 players to be picked.
On the other hand, the defending champions Chennai Super Kings have a settled squad and are left with the smallest purse of INR 8.40 Crores with a maximum of two players to be picked. With the auctions around the corner, here are the five exciting debutants who could light up the auction even more.
5. Sam Curran
Sam Curran has been a star for England in Test match cricket. His ability to swing the ball and pick wickets at crucial junctures is an advantage for any team. Curran also has the ability to whack few sixes with the bat. The left-arm quick from Surrey bowls at an average speed of around 130 kmph. His speed figures aren't impressive but his line and length have been spot on.
Curran was very impressive against India in the Test series and went on to become the player of the series for England. Even Virat Kohli praised the young lad for his performances, saying that, "he has been the difference between both the teams and has an excellent skill". His success in the IPL depends on how he transforms his Test cricket potential into T20 cricket.
Advantage: Can extract early swing and provide few meaty runs with the bat at the end.
Teams who could bid: Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.
4. Hazratullah Zazai
The 20-year-old opening batsman from Afghanistan was a sensation in the recently concluded Afghanistan Premier League. He became an overnight star after whacking six sixes in an over against Balkh Legends. He went on to score 62 of just 17 balls which also included the joint fastest fifty in T20 cricket.
Zazai is also a very good player of spin. Since the World Cup begins right after the IPL, most overseas players are set to leave their teams midway. Hence, the franchises need to have solid bench strength to go all the way.
In this year, franchises are keen on picking up players based on their availability for this season. The likes of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore may also look up to him as a reserve player.
Advantage: Full season availability, Devastating in the powerplay.
Teams who could bid: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab
3. Oshane Thomas
Windies Cricketers and IPL is a never-ending delight. Oshane Thomas may just be the next Windies superstar to set the IPL alight. This tall and heavy fast bowler from Jamaica is an absolute bundle of talent. The 21-year-old clocks 145 kph with ease and even touches 150 kph at times.
If he can add a little bit of swing to his alarming pace, he will cause havoc. If he can gain control over the lines he bowls, he can be a match-winner on his day. Thomas shell-shocked Shikhar Dhawan with his pace and swing in the first T20I, having rattled his stumps. He also got the big wicket of Rohit Sharma in the very same match. Though his economy is on the higher side, he can be a great addition to the teams that lack a genuine fast bowler such as the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Advantage: Fiery Pace and Height
Teams who could bid: Kolkata Knight Riders
2. Shivam Dubey
This lanky all-rounder from Mumbai has been in headlines for a while now. He was praised by the legend Sunil Gavaskar recently for his performances. His capabilities with both bat and ball are commendable. He took a five-wicket haul on his first-class debut against Karnataka.
Dubey is quite handy with the bat as well, having recently smashed 32 runs of Praveen Tambe's over in a T20 match which included five sixes. His wicket-taking skill with the ball and ability to tonk the ball hard lower down the order will provide teams with a flourishing finish to the innings.
The lack of quality seam bowling all-rounders in the Indian domestic circuit will definitely make the franchises look keenly towards him. Considering his present form, this 25-year-old Mumbaikar is likely to attract quite a few bids on 18th of this month.
Advantage: Seam-bowling all-rounder and his ability to tonk the ball hard.
Teams who could bid: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals.
1. Shimron Hetmyer
There is no doubt that Shimron Hetmyer will be under the radar of quite a few teams after his scintillating series against India. His ability to take the game away from opposition from any situation is an asset. He can play in the middle order and counter-attack spin with his brilliant stroke making at a thunderous strike rate.
He hit 16 sixes in five ODI innings against India. His skill set against spin is supreme which is quite unlike other West Indies players. Hetmyer was the top scorer for West Indies in the ODIs against India.
Not to leave out his performances in the recently concluded Test series against Bangladesh in which he scored two half-centuries in two matches on spin-friendly tracks. As he is young and has a long career ahead of him, teams might pay over the top to acquire his services.
Advantage: Can be a Middle order and finisher option, Six hitting ability against spin.
Teams who could bid: Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Rajasthan Royals.