At every IPL auction not only do the biggest ‘buys’ grab the headlines, those who miss the bus make as much news.
This year’s auction followed a similar script with franchises avoiding some seriously talented players. Quite a few England players failed to find any takers as there were issues over their availability for the entire duration of the IPL this season and the next (ahead of the World Cup in England). However, some other names didn’t make the cut despite looking like good buys on paper.
Here is a look at the players who went unsold at the auction and who would make a formidable T20 side.
The Kiwi opener is a veteran of 194 T20 matches, having hit 5,540 runs at a strike rate of 126. Has a century and 12 fifties in 70 internationals.
One of the most destructive top-order batsmen in limited-overs cricket. Hales is ranked eighth on the list of international T20 batsmen but that wasn’t enough to bring out the cheque books.
Wow, Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan unsold. Two reasons. Limited budgets and Indian bowlers needed. But also, England still pretty much uncertain territory at the IPL— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 28, 2018
A highly under-rated T20 batsman. Cracked 269 runs from six T20 matches last year at a strike rate of 147. Has a career strike rate of 130 from 132 T20 matches.
JOE ROOT (c)
The England Test captain wanted to gain IPL experience to keep up with the likes of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. However, since he won’t be available for the final stretch of the IPL due to Test commitments, wasn’t deemed a worthy investment.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder still packs a serious punch in limited-overs cricket. Was on fire with the bat and ball during the recently concluded ODI tri-series in Dhaka. The 28-year-old has played a staggering 226 T20 matches, picked up 209 wickets and scored 2494 runs at a strike rate of 141.
JONNY BAIRSTOW (wk)
The wicket-keeper is another attractive English option but since he would have been unavailable for the entire season this time and the next, the teams steered clear of him.
The Aussie all-rounder is a veteran of the T20 world with 176 games under his belt. Captained the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League this season. In all, has 107 wickets and 15 fifties next to his name in T20s.
The Aussie quick is considered a longer format player but has a great T20 record and is currently on top of his game. In 30 matches, has snared 37 wickets at an economy of 7.7.
The Kiwi left-arm quick gave up national contract last year to become a journeyman T20 specialist. Unfortunately, the planned Global T20 League didn’t take off and now he is without an IPL contract.
Mitch McClenaghan, who knocked back a New Zealand international contract to go freelance, has gone unsold for #IPL11— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) January 28, 2018
You won’t find many better T20 spinners than the Trinidad leggie. The 36-year-old has played 184 matches and maintained an economy of 5.92, which is exceptional.
The Kiwi leg-spinner started off as an all-format bowler but now has been reduced to a T20 specialist. Even so, he is a quality T20 cricketer with a fine record of 97 wickets from 87 games at an economy of 7.6.
No.1 T20I team's players not part of IPL.— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) January 28, 2018
No. 1 T20I bowler unsold twice in the auction - Sodhi
No. 1 T20I batsman and all-rounder fetch not-so-high bids - Munro (1.9Cr) & Shakib (2Cr).
Still, IPL is the No. 1 T20 league. https://t.co/yxHrAvrBJn
12th man: Eoin Morgan
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