Which Young Stars Might Be Picked Up in the IPL Auction?

Team owners at the 2019 IPL Auction.
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The mega auction provides an opportunity for franchises to not only plan for the immediate year in front of them but to also plan for the future by signing young talents who have the potential to help them and be franchise players in the future. Past examples include Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. But who are the young talents in this year’s IPL auction that are likely to get a big contract?

IPL Auction: Which Young Stars Will Command The Highest Fees?

Yash Dhull

Yash Dhull used the U-19 World Cup to establish himself. He is a leader with real maturity, but also a cricketer with great skill in a very stable batting technique and a wide array of shots. Also in his favour is the fact that teams will likely be looking to use the mega auction to pick  up franchise players they can build around for the future.

Take Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as an example: in the aftermath of the 2018 U-19 World Cup, KKR bought Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi in the mega-auction. Since then, all three of them have been a key part of the franchise. Gill has amassed over 1400 runs for the franchise at an average of 31. There were even talks about Gill going on to captain the side, while the rise of Venkatesh Iyer ensured Gill wasn’t retained, he still may well be a player KKR target in the auction.

Dhull falls in a similar category to Gill: he had an outstanding World Cup with the bat and is a future leader. Personally for Dhull, the IPL will be a great learning experience as it will be his first involvement in a set-up with professionals from all around the world and his first opportunity on the biggest stage. The only doubt around Dhull’s ability could be his strike rate, however, one has not seen enough of Dhull to write off his hitting credentials. Dhull is certainly a young talent that franchises will be seriously considering in this mega-auction.

Rajvardan Hengargekar

Rajvardan Hengarekar proved himself a jack of all trades in the U-19 World Cup. Of the three formats, T20 cricket allows for role players to thrive far more than one-day and Test cricket, and Hengargekar can play the role of an aggressive quick bowler who attacks for wickets, as well as giving his captain an option for the death overs.

He is also a serious power hitter and an option that teams can use at number eight or nine and give him a promotion at the death, as the likes of Rashid Khan have done regularly in the past. In his domestic appearances for Maharashtra, Hengargekar has made an impact with 10 wickets across seven  matches, while also striking at close to 150 with the bat. Franchises may look at Hengargekar as a backup pick who could be a player for the future.

Raj Bawa

“Raj Bawa could be the seam bowling all-rounder that India has been looking for”. Those were Michael Vaughan’s words after Bawa’s heroic five-wicket haul and 30 runs led India to their fifth U-19 World Cup title. Throughout the tournament, Bawa set about making a name for himself. In the first match of the tournament against South Africa, Bawa was expensive in his first two overs, but his skipper Dhull had faith in him.

Bawa bounced back with four wickets, including the wicket of Dewald Brevis which set India on the way to victory. In the second game, Bawa from being a middle to lower order batter took the role of batting at number three as India’s batting line-up was ravaged by covid-19. Bawa put together a solid 42, but his record-breaking contribution came in the next match, as from number four Bawa showcased his brutal hitting power, amassing 162* off just 108 balls which included eight sixes.

Bawa may not be ready to be a starting all-rounder at this level just yet, but he is certainly a more than handy backup and if he keeps improving and growing, he is definitely a young talent in the IPL auction that will contend for higher honours in the future.

Dewald Brevis

Unsurprisingly, the young players that get picked up in the IPL Auction are typically Indian. Franchises tend to use their overseas auction picks on players who have proven their international calibre. But Brevis, known by many as ‘Baby AB’ may be one of the only young talents in the IPL auction to break this trend. The skill that Brevis possesses may see  franchises to take a punt on the young South African.

The reason is that Brevis consists of serious power and match-winning ability, many other overseas talents such as Teague Wyllie provide a composed and stable game- which could be quite an asset in the future. But Brevis’ instant ability to win games from any position gives him a real chance of earning an IPL contract. In interviews Brevis has signalled his intention to play for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and it would only be fitting if ‘Baby AB’ replaced de Villiers himself.

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