The Indian Premier League enters its 12th edition in 2019, and as always there will be some surprises in store for us this time around as well, as it has been over the last 11 years. Apart from the high octane drama that the IPL brings it to the audience all over the world from the cricket field, a lot happens before the action even happens in the form of auctions, and this one will no different.
While this will not be a fresh auction as the landscape of the cricketing world changes in a year, the expectations are at an all-time high for few players who have not so far taken part in the IPL and also with some of the released players. Many of the players have done well in the past year in the T20 circuit around the globe in the domestic competitions as well as playing for their respective countries.
Here are 5 such players who are likely to be making their IPL debuts in 2019.
#5 Oshane Thomas
Oshane Thomas came into the limelight after a strong showing in the CPL 2018 where he ended up as the second highest wicket-taker of the season after he claiming 18 wickets in just 10 matches. Apart from this, the thing that was impressive about him was his raw pace.
The strongly built bowler form Jamaica bowled some devastating spells in the CPL and was quickly drafted into the Windies side that faced India.
After a disappointing start to his international career in the ODI series against India, Thomas showed his true potential in the T20I series that followed. The 21-year-old regularly troubled the Indian openers Rohit and Dhawan with his searing pace, and accuracy.
The IPL teams may have found a new sensation on the block, and he could go for a handful in the upcoming auction as the franchises like KKR, RCB is in dire need of an out and out quick.
#4 Jason Behrendorff
Jason Behrendorff was picked up by the Mumbai Indians in the 2018 auctions but the side was unable to field him because of a stress fracture that sidelined him for the entire IPL last year and was replaced by Mitchell McClenaghan.
He has been a regular in the Australian limited overs squads but has featured only in 5 international T20 matches for Australia. The only issue with him has been his injury-related issues for the past 3 seasons. However, he is an out and out quick with a great record, who is fit and raring to go at the moment.
MI will be hoping that he repays the faith they showed in him by retaining him ahead of the IPL Auction 2019.
#3 Mitchell Santner
Like Jason Behendroff, Mitchell Santner was also picked in the last years' auction but couldn't get a game because of his unfortunate knee injury that surfaced and CSK had to replace him with David Willey for the entire tournament.
Mitchell Santner is a typical T20 bowler who bowls a tight line and lengths without giving any room for the batsman. He is a useful all-rounder which is a thing that impresses the skipper, MS Dhoni. Santner can be used in tandem with Ravindra Jadeja who is also a similar mould of a player.
The Kiwi all-rounder was a clever pick by the CSK franchise given the conditions prevailing in Chepauk and will be a pitch which ideally suits Santner kind of player. He could be a vital cog in the defending champions set-up this time barring any injuries.
#2 Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad should have played in the IPL given his talent and attacking mindset but that hasn't happened till now. The one thing that might have prompted the teams not to take him could be his fitness. He is not the fittest guy in the world, and the word IPL is synonymous with fitness as it is a long tournament.
He has brought himself in contention for an IPL contract this time around with his recent exploits in the T10 league in UAE where he slammed the fastest 50 in the history of cricket and is a proven performer all over the globe in domestic T20 competitions.
He is one of the finest Afghan batsmen right now and will be keenly following this year's auctions. Not only is he a phenomenal hitter of the ball and is also a keeper which adds value to any team that picks him.
#1 Shimron Hetmyer
Shimron Hetmyer is a young talent from the Guyanese Island in the Carribean who impressed each and every one with his fearless approach to any situation and attacking strokeplay. He had a good CPL where he was third highest run-getter, and within no time played for the Windies in all formats of the game.
Hetmyer can be a player who can be viewed as a game-changer with the bat in the middle overs and can take the game away from the opposition in a jiffy with his attacking instincts which is evident from his strike rate even in Test cricket. He will definitely be on the radar of most IPL teams this auction and can be a player who can go for a huge sum.
The 21-year-old has what it takes to join the list of players from the Carribean, who shine in the IPL.