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.
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