IPL auction is not always about big bucks but for a few getting picked by a franchise means a lot more. Among 361 Indians to go under the hammer this season, there would be IPL veterans in Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh for whom it would be a anxious time.
The three IPL veterans find themselves in the pool after being released by their respective teams. This year's auction promises to be a riveting one, just to know which team will be interested in getting their services.
Having been released by Kolkata Knight Riders, the former India opener finds himself in a tricky situation prior the auction. Gambhir in the marquee list of players at a base price of Rs 2 crore, it would be interesting to see which team bids for him first. It was under Gambhir's leadership, KKR won two IPL titles and his vast experience of playing in the IPL will come handy for any team that picks the left-hander batsman.
From 148 matches in IPL, Gambhir has scored 4132 runs at an average of 31.78. In the last season, he got 498 runs, which included four fifties. In the domestic Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy, Gambhir got scores of 66, 19, 30, 21, 7, 1, 1, 27.
The star left-handed batsman has always attracted frenzy bidding at the past auctions but this time around the story looks different. The franchise may not show any interest with Yuvraj struggling for form, especially in the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy. He aggregated 208 runs with scores of 50 not out, 35 not out, 8, 4, 21, 29, 40, 17 and 4.
In the past he has been picked by Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad but later released after one season.
Harbhajan Singh says, it's a 'different feeling' going into the auction after 10 years, having been part of Mumbai Indians and winning three IPL titles and two Champions League T20 titles with them. Like his former India team-mates, the offspinner with 400 Test wickets is too unsure about his fate at the auction.
After spending a decade in a single team, if at all he gets a bidder other than MI, then how is he going to fit into a different team culture? He too like Gambhir and Yuvraj is placed in the marquee list at a base price of Rs 2 crore.