The players’ auction for the next edition of Indian Premier League, IPL 2020, will be held at Kolkata on 19 December. This is the first time that the IPL auctions will be held in Kolkata; all the previous auctions have taken place at Bengaluru.
Meanwhile the trading window, which is currently open, will close on 14 November. Every franchise has been allotted a total of Rs. 85 crore for the 2020 edition. Further, they also have an additional purse of Rs. 3 crore apart from the balance leftover from the previous auction.
Among the eight franchises, Delhi Capitals have the biggest balance with Rs. 8.2 crore, and Rajasthan Royals are in second spot with a balance of Rs. 7.15 crore. Third in the list are Kolkata Knight Riders, who have Rs. 6.05 crore left, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are fourth with Rs. 5.3 crore. Of all the teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore the have smallest balance remaining in their purse - Rs.1.8 crore.
To make best use of their kitty, most franchises would want to have at least a couple of quality all-rounders in their squad. Here’s a look at three versatile players who went unsold at the IPL 2019 auction, but would be on the radar of most franchises this year
#3 Jason Holder
One of the big names to go unsold at last year’s auction was West Indies skipper Jason Holder. While not in the league of the flamboyant Chris Gayle or the versatile Dwayne Bravo, Holder is a highly skilled all-rounder in every sense. It will be a surprise if he goes unsold this year as well.
Holder is naggingly accurate with the ball, which explains why he keeps getting crucial wickets. With the bat, he has the ability to get the big hits, although he has been forced to hold himself back often owing to West Indies’ weak batting resources.
Holder has 76 wickets to his name in 98 T20 matches at an average of 25.7 and a good economy rate of 7.66. With the bat, he has managed 704 runs at a strike rate of 124.16 with a best of 54.
Given an opportunity, Holder can definitely make an impact in the IPL. Apart from his all-round abilities, his captaincy skills could also come in handy.
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#2 Jimmy Neesham
Like Holder, New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham also surprisingly went unsold at the IPL auction last year. But he is likely to be a big draw at this year's event.
The medium pacer and left-handed bat is equally talented with both the ball and the willow in hand, and is also a good fielder to boot. The Kiwis have been blessed to have both him and Mitchell Santner playing in the same team.
The success in the World Cup this year only reiterated his value as an all-rounder in international cricket, as the Kiwis made their second successive final. Neesham claimed three wickets in the summit clash and also effected the run out that took the final to the Super Over.
Batting in the Super Over, he hit 13 off 5 balls including a massive six off Jofra Archer, but the Kiwis fell inches short of glory.
Neesham has 102 T20 scalps in 108 matches at a strike rate of 16.8 and an average of 25.45, at a slightly high economy rate of 9.07. With the bat, he has four fifties to his name at an impressive strike rate of 137.40.
#1 Chris Woakes
With a base price of Rs. 2 crore, the England all-rounder went unsold at the previous year’s auction. That is unlikely to happen this year as Chris Woakes’ stock has risen quite significantly in recent times.
The medium pacer, who can open the innings with the ball, is also a skilled batsman with a Test hundred and an ODI best of 95 not out.
Woakes had a memorable World Cup 2019 with the ball. He was the man of the match in the semi-final against Australia with excellent figures of 3 for 20, and also claimed three wickets in the final against New Zealand, as England lifted the World Cup for the first time.
As for his T20 career, Woakes has claimed 121 wickets in 111 matches at an average of 25.12 and a strike rate of 17.9. His economy rate is slightly high, at 8.38. That, however, shouldn't deter franchises from going for him as he can prove to be a valuable purchase with his skills.
Woakes' confidence will be at an all-time high in the wake of his recent successes. Don't be surprised if he is among the top 5 buys at this year's auction.