The list of 332 players who will go under the hammer in the IPL auction on December 19 was released on Friday, setting off speculations over which team will go for which player and whose base price is set to rocket up.
With a premium on including Indian players in the squad – with only 4 overseas slots in the playing XIs – the prices of relatively unfancied Indians have been known to go through the roof on auction day. Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Chakravarthy and Pawan Negi are some examples.
Among Indian players, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla and Jaydev Unadkat are the only four who have base prices of more than 50 L this year.
Here are 10 Indian players with relatively low base prices who could be bargain buys:
Hanuma Vihari – Base Price 50 L
Hanuma Vihari has been seen as a specialist in the longer formats in recent years, but he can be a priceless addition for teams looking to bulk up their batting with some Indian muscle. He had been picked by Delhi Capitals for 2 crore in last year’s auction, though he only got to play 2 matches without making much impact.
Vihari has enjoyed a good run since the last IPL though, also scoring a Test century in the West Indies earlier this year.
He played one T20 in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, opening the innings for Andhra and scoring an unbeaten 46 off 32 balls that took his team to victory.
Naman Ojha – Base Price 50 L
Naman Ojha has been a regular in the IPL since 2009. The 36-year-old Madhya Pradesh captain’s stock has gone down in recent times, but his dual capability of keeping wickets and playing useful cameos with the bat might mean teams will look to him as a back-up wicketkeeper.
Opening the batting for MP in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Ojha managed one matchwinning 50 this season, against Meghalaya.
Deepak Hooda – Base Price 40 L
In the 2016 IPL auction, Deepak Hooda had been picked up by SunRisers Hyderabad for 4.2 crores, 42 times his base price of Rs 10 lakh. Since then, ‘Hurricane Hooda’ – as he is known for his ability to turn around matches in no time – has had a topsy turvy journey.
Still only 24, Hooda will be looking to find a new home after being released by SRH this year. His power hitting capabilities in the lower order, coupled with his livewire fielding, will make him a valuable addition to any squad.
Priyam Garg – Base Price 20 L
One of the most promising Indian batsmen, Priyam Garg is the current Under-19 captain. He has already established himself in an Uttar Pradesh side which is hard to break into and he showed why he is rated so highly with a counterattacking 77-ball 74 in the Deodhar Trophy final last month.
Most teams might think twice before playing Garg in the XI right away, but he is sure to be on teams’ radars as a long-term investment.
Virat Singh – Base Price 20 L
A left-handed Virat might soon be the latest Indian cricket sensation. A top order batsman from Jharkhand, Virat Singh hit 343 runs in 10 innings at an average of 57.16 and a strike rate of 142.32 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He made three half-centuries, including an unbeaten 76 off 44 balls vs eventual champions Karnataka, showing his apetite for the big stage.
Like Priyam Garg and Yashasvi, Virat Singh might be looked upon by teams as a long-term investment who can be a backup option in the side for the next season.
Yashasvi Jaiswal – Base Price 20 L
Yashasvi Jaiswal is probably the most promising Indian batsman to have turned up since Prithvi Shaw burst into senior domestic cricket on debut for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semifinal in 2016.
He smashed 25 sixes in six Vijay Hazare Trophy matches this season. With six-hitting capability a big requirement when wanting to impress IPL scouts, Jaiswal could see many teams vying for his name this year.
Rishi Dhawan – Base Price 50 L
Seam bowling all-rounder Rishi Dhawan had been considered one of the most useful players in the IPL not too long ago. Still only 29, Dhawan has been unable to reach the heights of IPL 2014, when he scored 82 runs and took 13 wickets.
However, with all-rounders who can have an impact with the bat in the lower order being a premium asset for IPL teams, Dhawan could see more than one team vying for his signature this year too.
Jalaj Saxena – Base Price 30 L
Jalaj Saxena, one of the most consistent performers in Indian domestic cricket in recent years, has found it hard to break into the Indian team as well as into the IPL. He has been picked by several teams in past auctions – with Delhi Capitals going for him as a squad member last year – but he has not had any notable contribution to make so far.
His all-round capabilities, coupled with his form this year, when he has had another strong domestic performance, could see teams going for him.
Baba Aparajith – Base Price 20 L
Baba Aparajith, despite being an all-rounder who is capable both with bat and ball, has failed to make his presence felt in the IPL so far, despite being picked by Chennai Super Kings previously.
Aparajith continues to be a vital cog in the Tamil Nadu side, which reached the final of both the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. Given that he can bowl a few overs of spin as well, 2020 might just be the year Baba Aparajith steps into his own.
Ishan Porel – Base Price 20 L
Ishan Porel could be an addition worth his weight in gold to any IPL team. An Indian pacer who can consistently touch 140 kph on the speed gun and who can also bowl accurate yorkers and off cutters, Ishan Porel, at 21, is likely to be the fast bowler on every teams’ radar this year.
He picked up figures of 5 for 43, including the wickets of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar in the Deodhar Trophy final last month.
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