It’s that time of the year again. The auctions for the Indian Premier League take place on December 19 in Kolkata, and the teams will be eyeing to complete their squads after the retention and release processes were completed last month.
The 2019/20 white-ball season in Indian domestic cricket saw the emergence of a promising talent-pool across the country. These limited-overs tournaments hold prominence for the auction of 2020 Indian Premier League, as some of the youngsters who have had impressive outings could go for a hefty sum. Besides, there have been a few regulars in the league who have been released by their franchises and can attract eyeballs on December 19.
Let’s take a look at few of the players who could do the heavy lifting in upcoming IPL auctions:
R Sai Kishore
The Chennai finger spinner ended as the highest wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. He took 20 wickets in 12 matches throughout the tournament, with the best figures of 4/6 against Tripura. However, the more impressive stat in his overall tournament figures is his economy rate. Having bowled most of his overs in the powerplay, Sai had an incredible ER of 4.63. Moreover, 15 of his 20 wickets have come in the powerplay overs.
In times when spinners are usually kept for the middle-overs, the 23-year-old Sai Kishore brings a breath of fresh air.
Sai bowled in the nets for Chennai Super Kings in the last edition of the IPL. Could he finally make it in the final squad of the three-time IPL champions on December 19?
Figures: Matches: 12, Overs: 44.5, Wickets: 20, Economy rate: 4.63, Best Bowling Figures: 4/6, Average: 10.40
One of the hottest young prospects and a member of the India U-19 team for the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, Yashasvi Jaiswal set the stage on fire in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Even though he played only six matches in the tournament, Jaiswal ended as the fifth-highest run-getter. He scored 564 runs, which included a double-hundred.
He also scored 25 sixes in the tournament, a figure only topped by Kerala’s Vishnu Vinod (29).
The 21-year-old left-hander from Jharkhand was one of the most impressive youngsters in the SMAT. Featuring in 10 games, Virat scored 343 runs at a brilliant strike-rate of 142.32. One of his memorable innings in the tournament came against Karnataka – the eventual champions, in the Super League stage, in which he scored an unbeaten 76 off 44 deliveries. He scored three half-centuries throughout the tournament.
The experienced Indian left-armer has attracted heavy biding over the past two IPL auctions, and one can expect the teams to go after him on December 19. He may not have had many impressive outings in the last two seasons with inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals, but he comes from a rare breed of Indian left-arm pacers which has given him an edge in the auctions.
Chennai Super Kings has been a franchise which had a keen interest in Unadkat last year. MS Dhoni, the captain of CSK, played with Unadkat during their time at the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants in 2017. The left-armer had an impressive season, taking 24 wickets in 12 matches.
In India’s limited-overs domestic season this year, the 28-year-old bowler had a decent outing for Saurashtra. While he took 15 wickets in 8 matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he picked up 12 wickets in 7 games at the SMAT.
The Indian veteran has been one of the most successful batsmen in the history of the IPL. He plied his trade at Kolkata Knight Riders for a major part of his IPL career before being released for the 2020 auctions.
The 34-year-old is a proven match-winner who played a major role in KKR’s triumphs in the league in 2012 and 2014. While he struggled with the bat in the 2019 season, he brings with him a plethora of experience in the shortest format of the game.