Even though there are no big Indian cricketers in the fray, it is always exciting to see the rich and famous gamble their money on cricketers. The stage is set for the 2017 IPL auction where 356 names will go under the hammer in Bengaluru on Monday.
Given that the core of the teams is set, the eight IPL outfits will only be looking to bolster specific areas in their armoury.
All eyes will be on the Rs 2 crore bracket which has seven players --- Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Angelo Mathews, Patrick Cummins, Mitchell Johnson, Ishant Sharma and Chris Woakes have opted for the highest reserve price. There are 15 players in the reserve price of Rs 1-1.5 crore.
It is understood that all-rounders, fast bowlers from abroad and leg-spinners will be in demand, which makes the likes of Stokes, Mathews, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner hot property.
While Stokes and Mathews are in the highest base price bracket, Rabada is in the Rs 1 crore slot and Tahir and Santner have preferred the Rs 50 lakh bracket.
Following his fine bowling performance in the final stages of the Big Bash, Mitchell Johnson is back in contention after being released by Kings XI Punjab. Eoin Morgan, who was released by Sunrisers Hyderabad, too could fetch a good price.
Tahir has been the in-form bowler and currently leads the limited-overs ranking. He could be hot property on Monday given that his five-wicket haul in South Africa’s T20I against New Zealand a couple of days back is fresh in the memory.
It helps to have done well against India in India. Santner, the left-arm spinner from New Zealand, did well against the hosts in the World T20 opener at Nagpur, and it could work for him. By that logic, England players too should be in demand. They performed well in the recent limited-overs series. Stokes was consistent throughout the tour in all formats, while Morgan, pacer Tyle Mills and batsman Jason Roy also impressed.
However, availability of players is a factor IPL teams will keep in mind.
Spinners on shopping list
Spinners will be on top of the shopping list for Gujarat Lions, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad. While KXIP need someone to partner Axar Patel, Sunrisers are left with Bipul Sharma after they released Karn Sharma. Which means there could be takers for Parvez Rasool and Karn.
Afghans make an entry
For the first time, Afghanistan players are in the auction. Of the five in the fray, 31-year-old all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and 18-year-old leggie Rashid Khan have been consistent performers and did well at the World T20 in India last summer.
In what could be termed a perfect timing, Marlon Samuels has been cleared to bowl, according to reports. The controversial West Indies batting all-rounder was the ‘player of the final’ at the 2016 World T20 Cup.
A member of an IPL team’s think-tank predicted a conservative approach, at least for the budget-conscious teams. “We have the big auction next year, this time we will only buy a player where necessary,” he said.