The Indian Premier League is ready for lift off in 2016, with the auction due to take place on 6 February to decide the final player allotments for this year’s tournament. We take a quick peek at the players left in the auction and try to identify where there might be a quick bargain to be had. This is not a list for the likes Kevin Pietersen and Yuvraj Singh…
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils have the largest remaining purses, so expect some big money activity at those franchises. They may also be looking to accrue squad depth, as well.
The right handed batsmen is available at the basement price in the auction and has a consistent T20 record across his seven year career, averaging 29.73 from his 45 T20 games. He has previously featured for the now defunct Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. He could be worth a punt for one of the new franchises, Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants.
Mukund has lost his way somewhat having made his Test debut for India in 2011. He made his final Test appearance later that year on India’s disastrous tour of England. Now aged 26, Mukund surely has a point to prove, and where better to prove it than in the IPL? He averages 29 in T20 cricket and has shown glimpses of his scoring prowess for Tamil Nadu in T20 cricket already this year. He obviously has the talent, but can he find the consistency? He’s not overly expensive at the IPL auction and could prove a sage addition for any franchise in need of batting depth and experience.
The experienced left-arm spinner has been a consistent performer for many years. He has played for India at all levels and is one of the most recognisable names at this auction. He has a T20 bowling average of 22.27 from over 100 games. At 29 years old he may still harbour dreams of representing India once more and his presence would be more than useful for either of the new franchises, as well as a franchise such as Delhi Daredevils, which is in the process of rebuilding its squad during this auction. Ojha is not overly priced, so assuming interest isn’t too high, he wouldn’t make a huge dent in the budget, either.
The experienced West Indian leg spinner has an enviable T20 record: 124 T20 games have left him with a bowling average of 18.93 and a miserly economy of 5.36. He might not necessarily fall into the ‘bargain’ pile, here, as there will surely be interest in his services. Auctions are funny things, though, so you never know; someone could pick up a steal in the form of Badree.
Once justifiably billed as ‘The Next Murali’ Mendis’s career never played out as such. He does possess, however, the ability to turn the ball both ways. These days, he’s as likely to tonked around the ground as he is to bamboozle the opposition, but if the conditions are such, here is a very useful weapon to have in any arsenal. Interest in Mendis isn’t what it once was, but he’ll surely get picked up in this auction. He could be a shrewd investment.
The former West Indies captain has set a low reserve price for himself this year, ready to tempt teams into an auction. If that interest doesn’t lift off, one franchise could land a well-priced all-rounder who packs explosive batting with canny bowling, not to mention leadership.
Another all-rounder with a lowly reserve price, the experienced Black Cap showed what he is capable of in last year’s World Cup semi-final against South Africa. His batting form has been on the slide of late, but if he can recapture that, here’s a player who is still a New Zealand regular and available at a very tempting price.
Here concludes our brief search for IPL 2016 bargains. We’ll be back with more in the run-up to this year’s tournament.
By Miles Reucroft