IPL Auction 2021: Around 292 cricketers are set to go under the hammer in Chennai on Thursday but there are certain batsmen who have already hogged the limelight and are going to be the centre for attraction as the eight teams look to splash money in upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions.
Dawid Malan (Base Price INR 1.5 cr) Not many times it would have happed that a batsman who is ranked number one in the shortest format of the game hasn’t yet featured in the cash-rich tournament. Dawid Malan, the England batsman will be on the watch list of many teams especially the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) who are looking for a replacement for former Australian cricketer Shane Watson.
Alex Hales (Base Price INR 1.5 cr)
A flamboyant right-handed batsman, Alex Hales will bank upon his recent outing in the Big Bash League (BBL) which has also prompted former cricketers (including Michael Vaughan) to advocate for his inclusion in the England side for the T20I World Cup slated to be played in India later this year.
Hales smashed 543 runs at a strike-rate of 161.60 in BBL and will be on the radar of the sides who are looking to make the most of the first six overs in the upcoming showpiece event.
Wicket-keeper batsmen are the heart of any side as they tend to have a broader perspective of field settings which can be handy in the shortest format.
Alex Carey (Base Price INR 1.5 cr)
It was unfortunate for the Australian wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey who had to warm the bench for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020 despite coming into the tournament on the back of a match-winning hundred against England in September last year.
Carey whacked a 62-ball century against Brisbane Heat in the recently concluded BBL. The classy left-hander has been released by Delhi Capitals ahead of the auction and will be on the watchlist of teams who wants to bolster their middle order.
Mohammed Azharuddeen (Base Price INR 20 Lakhs)
Kerala’s Mohammed Azharuddeen hogged the limelight when he smashed a 37-ball century to guide his side to an eight-wicket victory over Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match in January.
A wicket-keeper batsman Azharuddeen can be key to any IPL franchise considering the base price he has been set on. With his ability to score some quick runs at the top the opening batsman can expect teams bidding for him in the auction on Thursday.
Shahrukh Khan (Base Price INR 20 lakhs)
Tamil Nadu’s swashbuckling batsman Shahrukh Khan might have smashed a customary 18 runs off seven balls in the finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but he played a key role when the side was struggling to even qualify for the semi-finals.
Shahrukh slammed 40 runs in 19 balls to rescue Tamil Nadu against Himachal Pradesh in the quarter-finals as the Dinesh Karthik-led side chased down the target with 13 balls to spare. Sharukh could be well on the CSK watchlist considering the yellow army had a poor show with the bat in the last year’s edition.
Australian batsman Steve Smith will also be participating in the upcoming IPL auction having been released by Rajasthan Royals in January. With a base price of INR two crores, it would be interesting to see who buys Smith as he had a poor IPL 2020.