The twelfth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to start from March 29 next year even though the venue of the event is still unconfirmed. With general elections scheduled across India in April, the mega T20 league might take place either in UAE or South Africa.
A couple of weeks ago, all the eight franchises announced their released and retained players list ahead of the upcoming auction, which will be held at Jaipur on December 18. In spite of the fact that only 70 slots are to be contested, franchises alongside people and players seem very excited for the auction.
At the event, some new faces, as well as existing ones, would undergo the hammer. Like previous times, several players could lead to a bidding war and hence earn big bucks in the auction. Mostly, overseas players remain in the scene for large bids, however, even some local players at times hit the big-buck club.
In this slide, we tried to find three of those India players who can lead to a bidding war in the forthcoming auction:
#1 Sarfaraz Khan
The 5' 5" Mumbai-born cricketer, who holds the record of scoring most 50+ scores in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2015 IPL auction. Before getting released recently, Sarfaraz was with the franchise for four years.
The 21-year-old is known for playing unorthodox shots all-around the park. He displayed much of that in the initial seasons while had to warm the benches during the last couple of seasons due to fitness issues. The Kohli-led RCB side had retained him last year but former U-19 World Cup-winning star didn't have a good IPL 2018.
He made mere 51 runs in the seven matches at an average of 10.20. Meanwhile, owing to his style of batting and past numbers, the right-handed batsman will be one of the most looked after Indian players in the auction.
#2 Mohit Sharma
One of the ex-Chennai Super Kings (CSK) stars, Mohit Sharma, who played for Kings XI Punjab last year, can also catch the attention of franchisees in the auction next month. The right-arm medium pacer has had decent success in IPL while also having a good stint in Indian colours as well.
He made his international debut against Zimbabwe in 2013 and fetched the Man of the Match award, becoming just second Indian after Sandeep Patil to achieve this feat. Sharma went on to play 21 ODIs and four T20Is before losing his place from the side.
#3 Axar Patel
The IPL 2014 Emerging Player of the Year, Axar Patel, had a disappointing IPL 2018, finishing the tourney with just three wickets in the nine matches. He was also released by Punjab, making an end to his five-year reign with the team.
Axar is a handy cricketer as the 24-year-old bowls left-arm spin and can equally bat well down the order as well. Franchises always look to insert good all-rounders, especially the domestic ones. Hence, the skilled campaigner can surely give rise to a bidding war in the auction.