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.
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