Three uncapped Indian players stood out in the IPL auction on Monday with franchises acknowledging their utility value by buying them ahead of some of the more established names. A look at the trio of pacers, Aniket Choudhary and T Natarajan as well as Karnataka’s off-spin bowling all-rounder, K Gowtham. (IPL 2017 auction highlights)
After making his first-class debut at in 2012, the Karnataka all-rounder returned to the fold only in the last season where he ended claiming 18 wickets in three matches. In 12 first-class matches, Gotham, who initially replicated Harbhajan Singh’s action, has claimed 36 wickets and 16 wickets in T20 matches.
One of the reasons he managed to attract a R 2 crore bid from Mumbai Indians after setting his base price of R 10 lakh for Monday’s IPL auction, is his powerful batting display against Australia during the three-day tour game at Brabourne Stadium.
On the eve of Monday’s IPL-10 auction, Gowtham’s batting was a revelation in the tour game where he plundered a quickfire 74 much to the frustration of Australia’s frontline spinners Nathan Lyon and Stephen O Keefe. His clean hitting took everyone by surprise.
The 27-year-old left-arm medium pacer from Rajasthan impressed the Indian team management after he claimed four wickets against Bangladesh in a tour match before the one-off Test in Hyderabad. The lanky pacer was called to the Indian team’s net session to prepare the batsmen to counter Mitchell Starc during the Australia Test series. Choudhary was also called by the Indian team to bowl in the nets during the Test matches against New Zealand at Kanpur and Kolkata. In 39 first-class matches, Choudhary has claimed 124 wickets. He was also impressive during the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament playing for Central Zone, taking six wickets in four matches.
Till the age of 20, Natarajan had only played cricket with a tennis ball. It was only when one of his well-wishers urged the left-arm medium pacer to travel to Chennai for an entry into fourth division league. His ability to bowl yorkers at will made everyone sit up and take note of. He steadily moved up the ladder and made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in 2015-16 season. He caught the attention in the Tamil Nadu Premier League last year due to live coverage of all T20 matches. His performances made him a regular member of the Tamil Nadu Ranji team this season.