IPL auctions have developed a mechanism of their own. All franchises know exactly what kinds of players they want in Indian conditions and have started, in some cases, to look beyond star value and concentrate on records.
With 578 players in the auction pool and all eight teams basically hitting the reset button for the 11th edition of the league, now is a good time to look at trends seen over previous auctions to give us a better idea about what can happen on auction days January 27 and 28.
AVAILABILITY MATTERS MOST
This is the first aspect franchises look at when it comes to foreign players. It was the main issue for teams staying away from a few England players in the earlier seasons. In 2013, keeper Matt Prior had said it was frustrating for England players as at that time, the ECB gave clearance for just a month of IPL, making English players an unattractive proposition for franchises.
Now, the IPL has a clear window in the international calendar but individual instances of availability persist. Ben Stokes’ court case over his brawl in Bristol will weigh heavily on the minds of teams even though he had a stellar 2017 – 316 runs and 12 wickets from 12 games.
UNCAPPED INDIAN PLAYERS THE REAL DEAL
Ultimately, the IPL is about local lads and uncapped players are of particular interest for franchises. Their base price is lower compared to national and international players, with those who are picked up getting a seemingly direct route into the international fray.
Players like Jasprit Bumrah and Washington Sundar found themselves on the selectors’ radar on the back of their performances in the IPL. This year, Krunal Pandya is expected to attract considerable bids as the left-arm spinning all-rounder was man of the match in the final for Mumbai Indians last year.
LEG-SPINNERS WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD
Leggies can be unpredictable and it is that unpredictability in line and degree of turn that makes them the most difficult to attack. Not only have regulars like Amit Mishra (134 wickets from 126 games at an economy of 7.4), Rashid Khan (17 wickets from 14 games at 6.6) and Yuzvendra Chahal (70 wickets from 56 matches at 7.9) delivered in the tournament consistently, less heralded names like Rahul Sharma (40 wickets from 44 matches at 7.02) and Karn Sharma (49 from 55 at 7.6) too have proved to be highly valuable.
SOFT SPOT FOR INDIAN ‘ICONS’
When it comes to Indian star players, fitness and recent record don’t always come first. Over the years, quite a few Indian players were bought at the auction despite lukewarm performances, sometimes at exorbitant rates like Yuvraj Singh’s 2014 bid of $2.3m despite not scoring more than 400 runs in any season.
Even at this year’s auction, expect players like Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh to find takers simply because of the connect they have with the local fans, franchise brands and decision makers in the team management.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Franchises have a habit of springing a surprise even after fine-tuning their game over the years. Not only do they spend mind-boggling amounts on ‘star’ names, they also make some stupefying omissions. Last year, the No1 T20 bowler in the world – Imran Tahir – went unsold in the auction.
He was later brought in as replacement by Pune for the injured Mitchell Marsh. He ended up with 18 wickets from 12 games in 2017 at the economy of 7.8. Most likely, we will witness something similar this month as well.
As the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction draws near, the eight franchises will be busy at work as they try to formulate strategies for the big day.
578 players will be up for grabs on January 27 and 28 with base prices ranging from US $315,000 to $31,500.
While several stars are expected to fetch big money ranging in the millions, teams will be looking to get in a few bargain buys as they juggle their auction purse.
We look at five players who could give the franchises the maximum returns for their values.
The Australian has scored 504 runs already in just nine innings so far at a staggering average of 63, registering three fifties and one big hundred on his way to breaking Shaun Marsh’s long-standing record of most runs (411) in a single BBL season.
While he has scored these runs at a strike-rate of almost 150, Short’s ability to also bowl some handy spin makes him a truly valuable asset in the Twenty20 format.
At a base price of just $31,500, he will definitely invite a bidding war come auction day.
A majestic unbeaten century in the first ODI to lead the Kiwis to an improbable chase was the highlight of Latham’s tour. His ability to sweep and reverse-sweep the spinners at will allowed him to get on top of them as India seemed to run out of ideas to end Latham’s stay at the crease.
The left-hander has always been a promising player for the New Zealand set-up but his ability to thrive on subcontinent conditions make him a must buy for the franchises.
Available at a base price of $79,000, Latham is sure to attract maximum interest with his added ability to keep wicket being a big plus.
Mayank Agarwal is no stranger to the IPL having already represented Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiant over the years.
He finished as the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy last year with 1,160 runs in 13 innings. He enjoyed a purple patch in which he scored over 1,000 runs within just 27 days, including four hundreds and one big triple ton.
With a base price of only $31,500, he could end up as a smart pick for a franchise willing to take a punt.
For those following the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, Anukul Roy will be a familiar name. The left-arm spinner built in the mode of Ravindra Jadeja has been quietly been making a name for himself with some terrific displays with the ball.
After picking up 5-14 in India’s win against Papua New Guinea, Roy followed it up with a four-wicket haul against Zimbabwe.
During the Indian youngsters’ tour of England in July last year, the 19-year-old spinner finished as the highest wicket-taker in the Youth ODIs where he garnered 10 scalps to his name in four matches.
The Jharkhand boy’s added ability with the bat make him a sound buy for any franchise at $31, 500.
Latham’s New Zealand compatriot Mitchell Santner is another player franchises will be keeping a keen eye on come auction day.
An orthodox leg-break bowler who seems destined to fill Daniel Vettori’s boots for his country for many years to come, Santner is no mug with the bat either with two first-class tons.
Having picked up 24 wickets in 21 T20I outings for the Blackcaps at an economy-rate of only 6.59, Santner has shown he has the capability to thrive in the format with his subtle variations in speed and flight.
In the three ODIs against India last year, the 25-year-old never went for more than six runs an over, underlining his credentials on subcontinent tracks. At a base price of $79,000, Santner is another ‘value buy’ available to the franchises.
With less than a week remaining for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, the eight franchises will be busy with their clipboards and strategies as they go through the list of players available.
While team India and the big international stars have been dominating headlines in the lead-up to the hotly anticipated auction, there will be a host of uncapped stars up for grabs.
We cast an eye on five of these players who could make a big splash come January 27 and 28.
This one is a no-brainer. Shaw rose to prominence as a 14-year-old after his marathon knock of 546 during an inter-school match in Mumbai to set a record for minor cricket.
Four years later, Shaw is leading India in the ongoing ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. He has already made his mark there with a sublime 94 against Australia followed by an unbeaten 57 against Papua New Guinea.
He scored a century in his first Ranji Trophy match for Mumbai last year and has since then gone on to score four more during the season. With such pedigree already as an 18-year-old, Shaw will be one the most sought after uncapped players in the auction.
For those following the ICC U-19 World Cup, another Indian name which will resound with them is that of Kamlesh Nagarkoti. The right-arm pacer from the state of Rajasthan has been making waves in the tournament for all the right reasons.
Clocked at 149kmph against Australia, the speedster has been regularly bowling around the 145kmph mark. With such raw pace at such a young age, Nagarkoti is poised to have a big future with the Indian cricket team.
He became the first bowler to claim a list-A hat-trick for Rajasthan in February last year in a match against Gujarat. Nagarkoti is no mug with the bat either and is a handy lower order batsman.
While Shaw and Nagarkoti are making waves currently in the U-19 World Cup, it was Deepak Hooda who was stealing the headlines in the 2014 edition.
Like Shaw, the 22-year-old all-rounder registered a ton in his maiden first-class appearance for Baroda. Since then, he has caught the eye with his performances in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals leading him to be picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for 42 times his base price in the 2016 auction.
He was recently called up for the Indian senior team for a T20I series against Sri Lanka although he was unlucky to not get a game. With an ability to use the long handle and bowl some valuable off-spin, Hooda is sure to be highly in demand once again come the 2018 auction.
Still uncapped at the international level, the southpaw possesses the ability to clear the ropes with ease. He recently broke Shaun Marsh’s five-year record for the most runs in a single season of the BBL having already garnered 504 of them in just nine innings. For the record, Marsh had scored 412 runs in the second edition.
With scores of 122, 97 and 96 in the ongoing edition at a strike-rate near 150, Short has been the indisputable star of the Australian T20 competition this year as his stock continues to rise.
What’s more, he can even bowl some handy leg-spin to go with his batting though he would get into most teams on the basis of the latter alone.
The West Indies all-rounder is yet to earn a national cap though that might have to do with his preference of representing England. The Sussex youngster is currently lighting it up at the BBL for Hobart Hurricanes with teammate D’Arcy Short.
The 22-year-old born in Barbados is turning into a T20 specialist even at this early age and he is set to invite a big bidding war between the various franchises come auction time.
Archer is a livewire in the cricket field, be it with his batting, bowling or fielding. His performances in the BBL will definitely have caught the eyes of the strategists and it would not be a surprise for Archer to go for multiple times the value of his nominal base price.