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Since all the players are excited for the auction as of to which team they will be going into and also to match the campatibility of the players
With the 2017 Indian Premier League auction all set to take place on Monday (February 20) in Bangalore, we decided to zero in on the players who could be in high demand. After several years, finally there is a huge contingent of exciting young English players in the auction pool but their availability will remain the key. Apart from the big names, there are also several other players in the auction who could turn out to be very smart buys.
Undoubtedly, the biggest star attraction in this year's auction is Ben Stokes. Placed in the top bracket, Stokes is expected to start a massive bidding war among the teams owing to his strong presence on the field with both bat and ball. Even though Stokes is not expected to be available for the playoffs and the final due to international commitments, teams will still go all out to secure his services.
The big-hitting all-rounder has made rapid strides in the last 18 months and impressed on the recent tour to India despite England's failure to win a series in any format. With the 2018 auction all set to be bigger with teams releasing most of their players, Stokes could well turn out to be among the top ones that are retained.
Another English player who is expected to storm the IPL this season is opener Jason Roy. Roy, who has never featured in the tournament before, clearly has the numbers behind him to have teams fighting for his signature. With an astonishing strike-rate of 105 in One-Day International cricket, Roy has often given England some rapid starts. He also has a T20 career strike-rate of 144 which makes him very dangerous early on in the game.
Roy is currently plying his trade in the Pakistan Super League and has featured in T20 leagues in Bangladesh and Australia as well. He has a penchant for making big scores as well in the format having already hit four centuries. In the recently-concluded series against India, the 26-year-old hit a crisp half-century in all three matches.
There were a few eyebrows raised when Delhi Daredevils released Imran Tahir before the auction and with his recent form being excellent, Tahir will not be worrying about having takers for him. He picked up a five-wicket haul against New Zealand in the one-off T20 just three days before the auction to grab eyeballs once again.
Legspinners have always proved to be an asset in this format and despite Tahir's advancing age, he will certainly be in demand with an overall economy of under 7 and an average of just 20 with the ball in the format. Who wouldn't want the world's No.1-ranked ODI and T20I bowler in their ranks? Expect him to easily fetch more than his base price of INR 50 lakh.
Another cricketer who is looking to make his maiden appearance in the tournament after pulling out of the auction last year is Kagiso Rabada,who is the hottest property in world cricket at the moment in the pace bowling department. At just 21 years of age, the South African has the knack of bowling regularly in the mid 140s to trouble the batsmen. Teams will be looking to beef up their seam attack by having him in the ranks considering he can trouble the local Indian batsmen with his raw pace.
In his short T20 career so far, Rabada has an overall economy of 7.50 and is averaging 21 in the format. Even though Rabada is expected to pull out of the tournament by the first week of May in order to prepare for the limited-overs series in England preceding the Champions Trophy, teams will still not hesitate to match or go beyond his base price which is set at INR 1 crore.
The Tamil Nadu pacer is being dubbed as India's own version of Mustafizur Rahman following his exploits in the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League. He picked up ten wickets in the tournament with an economy of 7.30. He has the ability to bowl yorkers consistently at the death and with a base price of just INR 10 lakh, there will be plenty of teams in the fray when his name comes up.
The 25-year-old left-arm pacer recently played a role in helping Tamil Nadu reach the Ranji Trophy semifinals and went on to pick four wickets in the first two games he played for the state in the T20 format.
Colin de Grandhomme
The New Zealand all-rounder could end up being a very smart pick considering his base price which is just INR 30 lakh. De Grandhomme, who made his international debut almost five years ago, made his Test debut recently against Pakistan and picked up six wickets to come back into the national scheme of things.
The 30-year-old can prove to be expensive in the shorter formats but has the ability to pick up wickets. He is known more for his big-hitting ability as his staggering T20 career strike-rate of 171 suggests. De Grandhomme will be backed to clear the shorter boundary ropes in some of the venues in India considering he has already hit over 100 sixes in the format.
A bowling all-rounder who returned to the Ranji set-up for Karnataka this season, Krishnappa Gowtham can prove to be very handy with both bat and ball. His state side used him in a pinch-hitting role in the recently concluded Zonal T20 league at No.3 and he repaid the faith shown in him with some crisp knocks.
Gowtham has a fantastic strike-rate of 166.66 in T20 cricket to go with an economy of just 7 with the ball. He can prove to be an absolute bargain if any team can secure his services for his base price of INR 10 lakh.
With Indian seamers always being in high demand in the IPL, Jammu and Kashmir pacer Umar Nazir has done himself a huge favour by grabbing eyeballs recently in the Zonal T20 league. Nazir finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 11 scalps to his name at an excellent average of just 8.
His performances in the tournament helped him fetch a spot in the North Zone squad as well for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter Zonal Trophy. More than anything, his economy rate of 4.57 stood out and that should certainly spark an interest among the teams considering his base price is just INR 10 lakh.
Apart from these names, keep an eye for a few more uncapped cricketers like Tamil Nadu's N Jagadeesan, who topped the run charts in the TNPL, Kerala's wicketkeeper-batsman Vishnu Vinod, Delhi all-rounder Manan Sharma, 21-year-old Mohit Ahlawat, who smashed a triple ton in a local game off just 72 balls and Sarfaraz Ashraf, who took five wickets in a single over in a local T20 game. All these players have a base price of INR 10 lakh.
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