The list of the seven players who have been assigned a base price of INR 2 Crore has been released. This is the highest Base price possible.
We assess what these seven players could bring to the table for the franchises:
- Angelo Mathews
- Ben Stokes
- Chris Woakes
- Eoin Morgan
- Ishant Sharma
- Pat Cummins
- Mitchell Johnson
The Sri Lankan captain has a decent amount of IPL experience coming into the auction. He has played 46 IPL games for three franchises: Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and now-dissolved Pune Warriors India. In these 46 IPL matches, Mathews has scored 692 runs @ 23.86 at a strike rate of 126.28 with one fifty. With the ball, Mathews has 27 wickets @ 37.89 at an economy of 8.07.
Known as an adept player of spin and a very handy medium-pacer, Mathews would certainly interest the franchises who play their home matches on slow tracks. A return to any of his previous franchises is possible with Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad also possible destinations.
The most attractive player in this segment without a doubt. 2016 was a brilliant year across all formats for the powerful English all-rounder and he certainly caught the eye of Indian viewers on the recently concluded tour of India. Ben Stokes’ aggressive approach, expansive batting style, knack of picking up wickets in crunch situations and brilliant reflexes while fielding make him a high-profile potential signing for any side. There’s no second guessing that Stokes loves pitches with bounce and pace. Considering there is a rarity in India of these sort of pitches, three destinations stand out for him: Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. We expect him to fetch the highest bid from the foreign players’ segment. Watch this space.
Moving on to another Englishman, Chris Woakes, like Ben Stokes, has had a great 2016. Impressing in all the three formats, Woakes has displayed his all-round abilities. Woakes certainly impressed in the recently concluded ODI series vs India especially with the new ball. A very useful cricketer to be had and one player who could turn out to be a trump card for any franchise, Woakes could end up at any franchise, such is his versatility.
Moving on to England’s limited overs captain, Morgan has had previous experience in the IPL. He has played 48 matches for 3 franchises: Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. In 48 games, Morgan has scored 793 runs @ 22.03 at a strike rate of 123.33 with four fifties. Morgan is known to play all the deft shots in the book and loves the ball coming on to his bat. A franchise with a weak middle-order or one looking for the proper striker of the ball will definitely bid for Morgan, with Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Gujarat Lions appearing likely destinations.
One of the most curious cases in Indian Cricket. A player with unfulfilled potential has not lived up to the expectations of previous franchises. Ishant has a lot of IPL experience coming into the auction. He has played in 70 IPL matches for Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiants.
Sharma has 58 IPL wickets @ 35.34, at an economy of 8.08. Every franchise would love a genuine Indian fast bowler and there are very few better available in the auction than Ishant. Each franchise is a possible destination and he could fetch a huge price.
When Mitchell Johnson was picked by the Kings XI Punjab after his Ashes exploits, many predicted that he would take the IPL by storm too as they had seen him develop a strike partnership with Lasith Malinga for the Mumbai Indians in the earlier seasons. He has played in 43 IPL matches and picked up 52 wickets @ 25.88 at an economy of 8.16.
Johnson may have retired from international cricket but he didn’t look out of colour at all in the recently concluded Big Bash League for Perth Scorchers. There would be a lot of teams interested in his services. Royal Challengers Bangalore could look at him and hope that he creates a partnership with fellow countrymen Mitchell Starc.
The final player on the list is Pat Cummins. Back from injury, Cummins has solidified a place in Australia’s limited overs setup. If that pace has been creating problems for opposition batsmen, Cummins has shown potential with the bat for Australia and his Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder. His pace is a certain asset every team would love to possess. Mumbai Indians are known to go for such fast bowlers. Sunrisers could do with him too, as could the Kolkata Knight Riders to complement Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav.
The IPL Auction means frenzy and madness and we expect no less from this auction too. These seven players will be in the thick of things and they won’t go for cheap money. We are excited about the auction which takes place on February 20 and these seven will have a big say in the proceedings.