'He could be the next Andre Russell in the making': Gambhir names player who 'will turn out to be a superstar'
- IPL 2021: Gautam Gambhir's attention is on a promising young all-rounder, who has all the credentials of being the next big thing in T20 cricket and the IPL.
With the IPL 2021 auction lined up on Thursday, the franchises likely are scurrying through their permutations and combinations to ensure they boast the strongest squad among all eight teams. The IPL 2021 will see 292 cricketers go under the hammer in Chennai on February 18 with certain players already on the list of several franchises.
Big name players such as Glenn Maxwell, Harbhajan Singh, Steve Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, were released ahead of the auction and will be keen to find themselves a new home. All eyes will be on the Australian duo of Smith and Maxwell, with the Australia all-rounder already showing his interest towards heading to Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he can play with his 'idol' AB de Villiers and under Virat Kohli.
While all the talk is around Maxwell, Harbhajan and Smith, former India batsman Gautam Gambhir's attention is on a promising young all-rounder, who has all the credentials of being the next big thing in T20 cricket and the IPL. New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson is one of the 125 overseas players who will be up for grabs and given what the 26-year-old brings to the table, Gambhir expects him to have plenty of takers.
"Kyle Jamieson is not a big name at the moment, but he will turn out to be a superstar. This is probably the right auction for all franchises to get a hold of him. And because he is someone whom you can keep for a longer period of time. He is seven feet… he is that tall. He can bowl 140 and can hit the ball long. He probably could be the next Andre Russell in the making," Gambhir said on Star Sports.
"Yes, he's not a finished product and everyone knows about it, but is someone who is probably young and you can have that core built around him. A franchise like Kings XI (Punjab Kings) who are looking for that allrounder or some other franchise, they can think of someone like Jamieson."
Jamieson has played six Tests, two ODI and four T20Is since making his international debut against India in February of 2020, where he grabbed 4/39 including the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari and scored 44 runs. The seven-foot-tall bowler picked up 11 wickets in a Test against Pakistan last month, where he had figures of 5/69 and 6/48.
With a strike rate of over 100 in three formats, Jamieson has created ripples in New Zealand's domestic cricket circuit, and his ability to pick up wickets with the new ball, coupled by his big-hitting skills, makes him a hot property in the auction.
"Even Sunrisers, because he is someone who can bowl with the new ball, and can bat at No. 6 and 7 and can hit the long ball against spin and fast bowling. He's a great asset and he's going to get better from here," added Gambhir.
"It's not as if he's reached his peak. There are players like Russell and Morris, who have already reached their peak. They can't get better than this. But with Jamieson, there will always be this thing where he'll keep improving. This is his first experience in India, he'll only start getting better from here on. So it will be a great addition if someone can pick him and keep him for a long time."
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