The Indian Premier League (IPL) has announced the list of 332 cricketers who will go under the hammer at the auction on December 19 in Kolkata.
With INR 2 crore as the highest reserve price, seven overseas players – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Dale Steyn, and Angelo Mathews – have opted to be slotted in the highest bracket.
Sportstar lists five overseas players who might trigger a bidding war in the auction.
1. Sheldon Cottrell
The 30-year-old Cottrell has been a late bloomer in international cricket and is making up for the time lost by putting in some impressive performances in West Indies colours. The left-armer’s fiery pace followed by the ‘Cottrell salute’ wicket celebrations is among the lasting impressions of this summer’s World Cup.
Cottrell and several West Indian players underwent an audition of sorts during the T20 series in India. In three high-scoring games, Cottrell’s figures read: 1/24, 1/27 and 1/40. He also had a good Caribbean Premier League outing at St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, claiming 12 wickets in eight matches.
Left-arm pacers have commanded demand in previous IPL auctions. India’s Jaydev Unadkat can testify to that statement. And with the lethal Mitchell Starc out of the reckoning, Cottrell’s stocks may well go further up by the end of 2019.
2. Tom Banton
Tom Banton may be the less heralded among the foreign contingent but he has been creating quite the buzz in the T20 circuits.
The Somerset opener smashed 549 runs at a strike rate of 161.47 in the Vitality Blast this year. He hit 67 boundaries and 23 sixes which was the most in the competition.
The 21-year-old received his maiden international call-up during the tour of New Zealand on the back of his power hitting.
3. Pat Cummins
Ever since his return to international cricket in 2017, Pat Cummins has gone on to establish himself as the leader of Australia’s pace attack. His consistent performances and the recent Ashes exploits catapulted him to the No. 1 rank among bowlers in Tests. His importance to the Test side and preparation for the 50-over World Cup earlier this year meant reduced appearances in the shortest format.
In the period between 2017 and the World Cup, Cummins played only five T20Is out of 27 matches. With teams scheming their game plan in preparation for the two T20 World Cups in as many years, the 26-year-old’s services have been sought after in the format. In the recent T20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, he claimed seven wickets at an economy of under six.
Cummins last played in the IPL in 2017 for Delhi Capitals, where he claimed 15 wickets. An injury ruled Cummins out of action for Mumbai Indians in the 2018 season and was released before the following year’s auction. He also possesses the ability to strike the ball coming lower down the order.
4. Glenn Maxwell
The Aussie will be hoping to be back fresh after having taken a short break away from the game to focus on his mental health. The 31-year-old all-rounder has often been a sought-after name in the IPL but his performances have been either hit-or-miss. His best year was during the 2014 season when he scored 552 runs in 16 matches to take Kings XI Punjab to the final. He hit 36 sixes in that edition which was closely matched in his final season with the franchise in 2017.
Ahead of the auction, Maxwell announced that he will be making a comeback in the Big Bash League where he will lead the Melbourne Stars. Despite his patchy form, his career strike rate of 154 will hot up the bidding battle during the auction.
5. Chris Lynn
Released by Kolkata Knight Riders after six seasons, teams which don’t have experienced opening batsmen in their ranks will be queuing up to get their hands on Lynn.
Shoulder injuries have often been a cause of concern for the swashbuckler and most notably when his 2017 IPL ended halfway when he hurt his left shoulder for the third time in his career. He also injured his right shoulder last year when he dislocated it during a T20 match against New Zealand.
However, the 29-year-old Aussie batsman has been a consistent performer for KKR in the last three seasons, averaging 397 runs at a strike rate of 150. He also holds the record of most sixes in BBL history with 123 hits over the fence and is just two runs shy of most runs scored (1947 by Michael Klinger) in tournament history.
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