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IPL 2018 auction: 10 players who can start a bidding war among franchises

The IPL 2018 auction on January 27 and 28 will feature big named like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan.

cricket Updated: Jan 13, 2018 19:35 IST
Bihan Sengupta
R Ashwin has played for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant so far in the Indian Premier League.
R Ashwin has played for Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant so far in the Indian Premier League.(HT Photo)

A staggering number of 1,122 number of players have signed up for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the bidding for which will be held on January 27 and 28. Ahead of the auction, Hindustan Times looks at the top-10 Indian players who could stir a bidding war among the franchises:

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Ravichandran Ashwin: While the Indian international has fallen down the pecking order in the national team with the rise of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashwin’s experience coupled with his ability of being a strike bowler and a handy lower-order batsman should see him being scooped up for a hefty tag. Ashwin had to skip IPL last season owing to injury but will be one of the top names up for grabs when the bidding war starts later this month.

R Ashwin’s experience could come in handy at the IPL players’ auction. (PTI)

Ajinkya Rahane: Although he might not be as flashy with the bat like Chris Gayle or Virat Kohli, Rahane’s ability to switch into a power-hitter and play the anchoring role is what makes him the perfect player to have in one’s squad. Also, owing to his leadership skills, teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, who have released their respective skippers, can opt to fall back on the 29-year-old to provide stability to the squad. He had scored 382 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 118.26 last season.

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KL Rahul: One of the most technically sound batsmen of his generation, Rahul has an astonishing strike rate of 147.74 in the T20 format and can bat at the top of the order and as a middle-order batsman. The 25-year-old had a good outing against Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded T20 series and scored 154 runs in three innings, including two half-centuries. A shoulder injury had kept him out of the previous edition of IPL but owing to his form, he’s sure to fetch a good price under the hammer.

KL Rahul has played 12 Twenty20 International for India. (AFP)

Shikhar Dhawan: On his day, the southpaw can dominate opposition at will and help his side chase down tall totals owing to his ability to create a blitz with the bat. He’s in great form this season and had a good Test and ODI series against Sri Lanka. Last year, Dhawan had formed a lethal opening pair with David Warner and the two were instrumental to help Sunrisers Hyderabad reach the qualifiers. In all likelihood, Hyderabad might opt to buy him back using a Right To Match (RTM).

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Karun Nair: Although he is yet to earn a T20 cap for India, if Nair’s exploits in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is anything to go by, the Karnataka lad should have a mini-bidding war amongst the franchises vying to get his signature. He has already scored 180 runs in four matches, including a stellar century against a strong Tamil Nadu outfit and a half-century against Hyderabad. His average of a paltry 21.61 last year might be a reason Delhi Daredevils didn’t retain him this season.

Karun Nair is the only other Indian apart from Virender Sehwag to have scored a triple century in Tests. (AFP)

Yuzvendra Chahal: One of the two wrist-spin wizards to have been driving the nation’s spin attack home and abroad in the limited-overs format, Chahal was a name almost everyone thought Royal Challengers Bangalore would want to retain this season. The 27-year-old also has an impressive average of 15.92 in T20s and can provide crucial breakthroughs. It will be interesting if RCB opt to use their RTM card to retain him as he will certainly not be available for a cheap deal.

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Kuldeep Yadav: While there’s no clarity on what led to the Kolkata Knight Riders management to not retain the India international, Yadav can be rest assured that he’ll go for a quite a lot of money owing to his recent form. He was part of the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka and picked up six wickets in those games before continuing his journey with Uttar Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. Like Chahal, Yadav’s career graph too has seen an exponential rise.

Kuldeep Yadav has helped the Indian cricket team beat opposition in domestic limited overs games. (BCCI)

Dinesh Karthik: The veteran was recalled to the national side after three years when the side toured West Indies before taking on New Zealand at home for the ODI series and has been performing at a decent rate ever since. He was part of the Gujarat Lions last season and scored 361 runs in 13 innings. Being a wicket-keeper batsman and having the vast amount of international experience behind him, Karthik fits the T20 bill perfectly.

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Jaydev Unadkat: The lanky pacer had been extremely impressive in the IPL last season and was a prime factor to help Rising Pune Supergiant reach the final. He ended at No.2 in the list of the highest wicket-takers and had 24 scalps to his name — two less than Bhuvneshwar Kumar having played two games less. He was also part of the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka and was extremely economical as he returned figures of 1/7, 1/22 and 2/15 in the three games.

Jaydev Unadkat could start a bidding war during the IPL 2018 auction on January 27 and 28. (PTI)

Washington Sundar: Yet another player from the RPS camp, Sundar’s continued excellence in the domestic circuit helped him earn the national T20 and ODI caps within a span of just 12 days. Having eventually started as an opener, Sundar has now made a mark owing to his bowling credentials and can be an effective buy. He’s picked six wickets so far from four matches in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and should find a reasonable deal for his abilities.