Indian Premier League will be affected by the World Cup and the General Elections in India which are scheduled to take place next year. Hence, a majority of the star players may not be available and the venue is itself in doubt.
Hence, backups and replacements will be an important aspect in the upcoming season. The depth of the squad will be a vital factor for any team to be successful in the next year's IPL. Therefore, behind the auction strategy for all the teams, this factor would have played a part.
Accordingly, we have compiled a list of four star cricketers who will be picked in the upcoming season but may not make the initial starting XI next season.
#4 Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill is one of the best cricketers in the T20 format and his records so far show the same. However, he has not got enough opportunities to play in the IPL and has not done well in the chances he has got so far.
Next season could be different as the New Zealand team is available for the full tournament and Martin Guptill might get a run of games to showcase his talent. For teams like SRH and RCB, they need a backup opener and Martin Guptill will be a luxury which they can afford in that slot.
Hence, Guptill could be a player who will get picked in the auctions but may not start in the playing XI for the team's first match.
#3 Dale Steyn
Although the demand for overseas fast bowlers is steadily decreasing in the IPL, most teams prefer having one or two of them in the team. Next season, it will be important because many frontline pacers may not be available to feature in the tournament.
Dale Steyn has come back from his injury lay-off and has made his spot in the South African team permanent. He has done well in recent T20s and hence, Dale Steyn would be a certain pick in the upcoming auctions.
KXIP will need a backup for Andrew Tye and Mumbai Indians will also need a replacement for Pat Cummins in their squad. Dale Steyn will be a good pick for both teams.
#2 Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum got released by RCB after an unconvincing stint with the Bangalore squad last season. However, the Kiwi is still a potent force in this format and he would need only one game to get back to his past form.
Overseas openers could be needed in some teams and The Bazz will be a good option in the market. KKR has Chris Lynn who is fragile and may miss a part of the tournament due to his World Cup commitments. Hence, McCullum could be a good pick as he was a revelation with the side at the start of the IPL.
#1 Yuvraj Singh
Indian middle-order batsmen will be in huge demand in the upcoming auctions. Although many youngsters are available for this position, Yuvraj Singh is the most experienced of them all. He was in bad form previous season but he is a quality cricketer and can come back to form any time.
We have seen players like Shane Watson and Chris Gayle who performed exceptionally well last season despite being written off and Yuvi could continue this trend. Most teams would prefer giving opportunities to youngsters and Yuvi may get a chance if they fail. Hence, Yuvraj can be assured of an IPL contract for next season.