Indian Premier League (IPL) Auctions, in reality, act as competition before the actual competition because it is from the auctions that the teams’ fortunes for the upcoming season start taking proper shape.
Teams assess and analyze their respective armory and then strategize their possible auction picks on the basis of the chinks in their present armor. Often, these IPL auctions turn into fierce bidding wars with the teams hell-bent on snaffling up the services of their targeted stars.
The IPL Auctions 2020, scheduled to be held in Kolkata on 19 December, are expected to be no different. A host of international stars are expected to bag hefty contracts from the franchise owners who will be bidding to fill up the 73 spots vacant among their ranks. Here, we take a look at the 10 foreign players who could go big in the IPL Auctions 2020.
1. Chris Lynn (Australia)
Base Price - 2 Crore
T20 Cricket and “Lynnsanity”, in the modern cricketing sense, have become synonyms of each other and that’s the prime reason why Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) decision to release their second-best run-getter (405 runs from 13 games) of the IPL 2019 season into the 19 December auction pool raised many eyebrows in the cricketing circles.
Well, Knight Riders’ loss may well prove to be other teams’ gain as the explosive Australian has shown a rich vein of form right from the IPL. His seven appearances in Global T20 Canada League 2019 fetched him a run tally of 295 at a very healthy average of 42.14 runs per inning while his 371-run tally from 8 games in the recently concluded T10 League served as the backbone of his team, Maratha Arabian’s title triumph.
Clearly, Lynn’s stats have sounded an early alarm for the coming bidding war on 19 December.
2. Pat Cummins (Australia)
Base Price – 2 Crore
The Numero Uno bowler of the Test arena, Pat Cummins’ white ball accomplishments are no less by any yardstick as is evident by his No 5 ranking in the ICC Men’s ODI bowling rankings. In what was a period of great turmoil for Australian Cricket, in wake of David Warner and Steve Smith’s ban, Cummins emerged as the new Mr. Dependable for his country.
Apart from making regular inroads into the opposition batting line-ups, there were times when he stood up with the bat too. Cummins couldn’t feature in the last two editions of the tournament owing to an injury in the 2018 season while opting for a break during the 2019 season to gear up his preparations for the World Cup earlier this year.
Going by his day-by-day rising stature, one can’t rule out the possibility of franchises breaching the Mumbai Indians’ 2018 bid of INR 5.4 Crore for his services.
3. Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
Base Price – 2 Crore
The destructive right-hander needs no introduction as he is easily one of the most explosive batsmen going around in the cricketing circuit. There were concerns regarding his availability for the 2020 season as he had earlier taken a break from cricket owing to his troubled mental health but has now clarified that he will be available for the forthcoming season of the biggest T20 league in the world.
His T20I numbers since the start of 2016 put him as the third-best averaging T20I batsman (averaging 45.73 for his 1189 runs from 36 games) and the second-best T20I striker (S/R of 160.02) behind Colin Munro (S/R of 164.57) among the batsmen scoring at least 1000 runs in the period. Clearly, there is a compelling case for the franchise owners to go big for him during the auctions.
4. Aaron Finch (Australia)
Base Price – 1 Crore
Australia’s white-ball skipper, Aaron Finch has been in a really fine purple patch right from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 where he racked up 507 runs from 10 games at an average of 50.70. While Australia and England locked horns in their Ashes rivalry post the World Cup frenzy, Finch made merry in the English T20 blast where his blade accumulated a total of 398 runs from 13 games at an average of 36.18 including a blistering hundred.
If that was not an ample indication of his golden form, Finch further racked up 409 runs from just 6 games at an average of 81.80 in the Australian domestic One-Day Cup. Given such a rich vein of form, it is hard to imagine the team owners not getting into a bidding war to rope him in for the 13th IPL season.
5. Jason Roy (England)
Base Price – 1.5 Crore
Roy is one half of the destructive English opening phenomenon, the other half being Jonny Bairstow, which has been at the heart of English success in the limited-overs cricket that resulted in the World Cup glory earlier this year.
Roy last played in the 2018 IPL season when he represented Delhi Capitals while pulling out of the 2019 season owing to World Cup preparations. He was in excellent form during the World Cup where he smashed 443 runs in seven innings while striking the ball in excess of 115. With such a reputation on his back, he is primed to attract quite a few buyers which could result in him bagging a record price tag in Kolkata.
6. Marcus Stoinis (Australia)
Base Price – 1 Crore
The presence of a quality all-rounder in a squad can do wonders for the overall team balance and Marcus Stoinis is just the perfect fit for the job. A clever medium-pacer along with an explosive and adaptable batsman, Stoinis set the Big Bash League 2018-19 on fire with a tally of 533 runs and 14 wickets from 13 games for Melbourne Stars where he donned the role of an opener.
However, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team management thought it prudent to use him as a middle-order batsman and he finished the tournament with the best batting average (211 runs from 10 innings coming at 52.75) in the RCB squad. Teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad will definitely be looking at this valuable addition to their all-round armory.
7. Evin Lewis (West Indies)
Base Price – 1 Crore
The attacking southpaw from West Indies needs no introduction in the realms of explosive cricket. He has a knack of hitting effortless sixes, a fact staring out loudly from his T20I resume – 67 sixes from just 28 T20I innings. Presence of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock at the top meant that Lewis could feature in only three games in the 2019 season which resulted in a paltry yield of 48 runs and paved the way for his release from the Mumbai Indians squad ahead of the IPL 2020 auctions.
Given his established credentials in the T20 arena, teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be eyeing his services for the next IPL season. Lewis’ two back-to-back quickfire 40s in the first two games of India-West Indies T20I series may well have spiced up the bidding contest for him at the auctions.
8. Tom Banton (England)
Base Price – 1 Crore
Billed as the future superstar of the English cricket, Banton had a breakthrough season in this year’s English T20 Blast which saw him score a mammoth 549-run tally (second highest after Babar Azam’s 578) from 13 games at an impressive average of 42.23.
He followed that up with some impressive hitting in the recently concluded T10 League where he scored 162 runs in his 5 outings to the crease. The highlight of these outings has been Banton’s strike-rate which hovered in early 160s in the T20 Blast while shooting up to 200 in the T10 League. The 21-year-old batsman from Somerset looks set to receive a big fat pay cheque at the IPL 2020 auctions.
9. Dan Christian (Australia)
Base Price – 75 Lakhs
A living legend of the T20 arena, Christian started off 2019 with Melbourne Renegades’ Big Bash triumph – his seventh overall T20 tournament win from 11 finals. He was adjudged Man of the Match in both the semi-final and the final.
He almost led his T20 Blast team, Nottinghamshire Outlaws, to the finals before a dramatic collapse against Worcestershire ended his teams hopes of repeating their 2017 triumph. With 4500+ runs along with 220+ wickets from 301 T20 matches all around the world, Christian comes in as an explosive but adaptive batsman capable of batting in the top 6 while his penetrative abilities with the ball are an added asset which any franchise around the world will surely find very hard to ignore.
10. James Neesham (New Zealand)
Base Price – 50 Lakhs
A batsman with the ability to switch gears effortlessly, very good bowling option for middle and death overs and electric fielding abilities – what more can you ask from a cricketer? Neesham had a really fruitful World Cup outing where he finished third-highest for his national team in both the batting (232 runs from 10 games) and bowling (15 wickets) departments. He also finished as the highest wicket-taker for his Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team, Trinbago Knight Riders, scalping 11 wickets from 10 games in the 2019 edition.
Genuine all-rounders, due to their ability to affect the game with their rare dual craft, attract premium buys almost invariably in the franchise-based T20 competitions and there is no reason why Neesham, who boasts of a T20I strike-rate of 140+, shouldn’t break the bank in the coming auctions.
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