IPL 2020 auction: Five Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy players who could spark bidding war

Here is a list of Indian cricketers who caught the eye with their performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 cricket tournament, which ended on Sunday.

“He is a game-changer and a match-winner,” says Shahrukh Khan's Tamil Nadu coach D. Vasu.   -  TWITTER| @GCAMotera

Here is a list of Indian cricketers who caught the eye with their performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 cricket tournament, which ended on Sunday. The players would have their eye on the IPL 2021 auction, scheduled to be held in Chennai on February 18, hoping their showing in the domestic T20 tournament bags them a lucrative contract.

Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kerala

Kerala's Mohammed Azharuddeen smashed the second-fastest century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, reaching the milestone in 37 balls against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium. It was also the first hundred by a Kerala batsman in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and helped the team seal its highest-ever chase in the tournament. When he was born in 1994, Azharuddeen's parents had initially thought of a different name, but it was his elder brother Kamarudden, who named him Azharuddeen - after his ‘idol’ Mohammad Azharuddin - who was then the India captain.

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Shahrukh Khan, Tamil Nadu

“He is a game-changer and a match-winner,” says Shahrukh Khan's Tamil Nadu coach D. Vasu. He couldn't have been more accurate in his assessment. Shahrukh conjured a blinder, a 19-ball unbeaten 40 in the quarterfinal against Himachal Pradesh before sealing Tamil Nadu's second Syed Mushtaq Ali title with an entertaining cameo against Baroda. The IPL snubs in the past have disappointed Shahrukh. “Being overlooked for IPL did leave me dejected for a while, but soon I was out sweating it out,” he had told Sportstar. That said, the 25-year-old has now rocketed to attention with his exploits in India's premier domestic T20 competition.

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Lukman Meriwala, Baroda

Meriwala had been key to Baroda making it to the Syed Mushtaq Ali finals this season. Meriwala's 3 for 28 in the semifinal, where he ran through Punjab's top order with left-arm seam and bounce, has furthered his case for an IPL contract ahead of the auction. He was also instrumental in ensuring accomplished teams like Maharashtra (2 for 14) and Chhattisgarh (5 for 8) were bowled out for below-100 totals in the league stage.

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Vishnu Solanki, Baroda

Solanki's final-ball heroics against Haryana when he pulled out the helicopter shot to flick Sumit Kumar down the ground for six to take Baroda in the semifinals will remain one of the highlights of the tournament. The helicopter shot made a reappearance in the final against Tamil Nadu, where his 55-ball 49 helped Baroda recover from a precarious 6 for 36 to 9 for 120. "I had learnt this [helicopter] shot, especially for the death overs because, during the last few overs of the innings, a fast bowler generally tries to bowl yorkers. I had been working hard on this shot for the last three-four months in Baroda. I used to see Mahi (MS Dhoni) bhai. I also thought I should try something different. I thought it will be apt for T20 cricket," Solanki had said after his match-winning knock against Haryana.

Khrievitso Kense, Nagaland

IPL franchise Mumbai Indians have invited Nagaland’s 16-year-old Khrievitso Kense for bowling trials. Kense made his domestic debut at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and represented his state in four games. He scalped seven wickets at an impressive economy rate of 5.47.