Five Players Who Can Be The Trump Card For IPL Franchises

As the BCCI looks to host the tenth edition of IPL this year, massive revamps in team compositions are expected. The new-look teams will definitely be star-studded and the auction will be keenly followed by fans all over the globe on 27th and 28th January.
With maximum three retentions per team, 1,122 players are set to go under the hammer as Richard Madley, the Welsh auctioneer , prepares to wield his gavel for the tenth time in Bengaluru.

While players like Colin Munro, Rashid Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Evin Lewis, etc. are expected to start off a bidding war and fetch high pay-checks, there are a few “trump cards” who can be just as effective without much hype. Here’s a look at 5 players who are turning heads in International as well as domestic arena but are yet to be picked by an IPL franchise:
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1. D’Arcy Short

Who isn’t talking about this Western Australian southpaw? The leading run scorer of this year’s Big Bash League, scoring 465 runs from seven games that included a match-winning 122, is in top-notch form and seems likely to open against England in the T20I series. The left-handed opener has a wide range of fanciful shots in his arsenal and can also deliver a decent spell of left-arm wrist spin, an unheard combination.

At a strike rate of 153.47, he’s a stunning revelation with the hunger for runs and quite assuredly, he seems to be good at what he does. Teams like Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are looking to invest in young stars, could definitely bid for him.

2. Luke Ronchi

With immense international experience, Ronchi has been a household name in various T20 leagues this year. He’s been someone who can tee off from ball one. Although risky, he’s got good returns to back his technique. It all began with NatWest T20 Blast, just after he hung his boots, playing for Leicestershire as he got them off to blazing starts with a strike rate of 180.25. He was signed up by Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League after Martin Guptill was forced to head home with an injury.

Ronchi, this time batting at number three, amassed 172 runs in just 4 innings bludgeoning the bowlers all around the park at a strike rate of 180. He continued to do well in other tournaments like Bangladesh Premier League, T10 and Burger King Super Smash. He was the leading run scorer in the inaugural T10 league amassing 197 runs in 5 innings at a strike rate of 185.84.

The list of tournaments he’s played in may be long but that is testimony to the fact that he’s experienced and most sought-after range-hitting opener with the best glovework in all of New Zealand. He could be a smart buy at his base price.
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3. Ish Sodhi

Indian-born overseas players attract a fair share of attention in the auction but unfortunately not all get picked. Sodhi recently completed a meteoric rise for a leg-spinner based out of New Zealand by becoming number one ranked bowler in ICC T20I rankings, given the dearth of spin bowling resources in NZ ( be it coaches or the nature of the pitches). For a leggie, he rips the ball hard and is smart with his wrong’un as demonstrated in the second T20I versus India in Rajkot when he left Hardik Pandya perplexed by a well-pitched wrong’un.

In the World T20 2016, he was NZ’S leading wicket-taker when he bagged ten wickets from five matches giving away runs at an economy of just 6.10. Later that year, he picked up a six-for while representing Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash. In a keenly contested and well-fought series versus India, he dismissed top order batsmen to finish with five wickets across the three matches at an economy of 7.30.

With the stocks of wrist spinners increasing day-by-day in the T20 market, Sodhi can be a smart buy as he looks to pitch the ball into the batsmen at greater speeds.

4. Jofra Archer

You don’t see a lot of uncapped bowling all-rounders doing well in franchise cricket these days. Jofra Chioke Archer shot to prominence playing for Sussex in NatWest T20 blast this year picking 14 wickets in as many matches for his smart bowling in crucial phases of the game. It helped him earn a contract with Khulna Titans in the Bangladesh Premier League for whom he picked ten wickets in nine matches at an economy of 6.97.

His pace and bounce off the surface was too hard to be ignored for Hobart Hurricanes’ coach Gary Kirsten as they signed him up for Big Bash as a replacement for Tom Curran, who was called up by England to play in the Ashes. He’s grabbing eyeballs as he leads the bowling attack superbly with decent pace while bagging 14 wickets in eight matches at an economy of around seven.

He has already impressed England selector Angus Fraser who said, “You look and it seems quite hostile on a televised game the speed gun says high 80s. He’s tall, a natural athlete and it is how easily he seems to be able to bowl the ball quickly.”
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5. Paul Stirling

Considered as one of the best batsmen to play for Ireland, Stirling is also one of the most experienced faces in the International arena as well as in County Cricket, playing for Middlesex. In the recently concluded inaugural T10 league, he scored a total of 118 runs in his five outings for the Kerala Kings with an impressive average of 90.50.

Fellow Ireland-born Eoin Morgan heaped praises on him when he said, “I’ve played a lot with Paul, more so at Middlesex than anywhere else and I have watched come through. He is a hugely talented player, and I am really pleased for him that he has performed on a stage like this that is broadcast all around the world.”

A week prior to the tournament he had scored match-winning knocks of 82 and 101 in the second and third ODIs of the ODI series against Afghanistan in UAE, helping Ireland topple the Asian team in red-hot form. With immense limited-overs experience and brilliant form, a lucrative IPL contract could well be around the corner.

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