Indian Premier League veterans Yuvraj Singh, Shane Watson and Kevin Pietersen will lead a galaxy of Twenty20 specialists as eight teams pick their squads for the 2016 edition of the tournament that will be played between April 9 and May 29. (IPL Auction: Yuvraj Singh, Kevin Pietersen in Rs.2 Crore Pool)
The players auction in Bangalore will see interesting picks as two new teams – Rajkot-based Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants – aim to make the most of the Rs 27 crore purse each. (IPL 2016 Players Draft: MS Dhoni Picked Up by Pune, Suresh Raina Goes to Rajkot)
The Lions and Supergiants picked their main players during the players draft on December 15. While Pune picked Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis; Rajkot opted for Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo. (IPL 2016: Yuvraj Singh Dumped by Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad Bid Goodbye to Kevin Pietersen and Dale Steyn)
Five things you must know ahead of the IPL auction.
How many players up for sale?
Three hundred and fifty one players will go under the hammer in the auction on Saturday. There are 230 Indian players and the rest are overseas Twenty20 specialists. There will be eight marquee players — Yuvraj, Ishant Sharma, Pietersen, Watson, Dale Steyn, Aaron Finch, Martin Guptill and Dwayne Smith. Most of these top players (like Yuvraj and Ishant) were either off-loaded by their old teams or were part of now suspended Chennai Super Kings and <a href=”http://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/teams/2143-rajasthan-royals-teamprofile” title=”Rajasthan Royals”>Rajasthan Royals.
Which players have the highest base price?
Twelve players have the highest base price of Rs 2 crore each. This means their bidding can only start from Rs 2 crore. This high-profile dozen includes Yuvraj, Ishant, Pietersen, Watson, Ashish Nehra, Dinesh Karthik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Michael Hussey, Kane Richardson and Mitchell Marsh.
How much can teams spend?
Delhi Daredevils, which spent a record Rs 16 crore on Yuvraj last season, will have the maximum to spend – Rs 37.15 crore. By off-loading star players like Ishant, Dale Steyn and Pietersen, Sunrisers Hyderabad will have a solid Rs 30.15 crore to spend. Gujarat Lions and Pune Supergiants will have Rs 27 crore each while Kings XI Punjab (23 crore) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (21.62 crore) have to be judicious with their picks. Former champions Kolkata Knight Riders (17.95 crore) and defending champions <a href=”http://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/teams/2144-mumbai-indians-teamprofile” title=”Mumbai Indians”>Mumbai Indians (14.40 crore) have the least purse but that’s because the teams have a far settled look that the rest.
Players Retained and Released
The six existing teams chose to retain a total of 101 players, including 37 overseas cricketers. Sixty-one players were released. This list should be the main attraction as it includes several twenty20 specialists.
Players to watch out for
While Yuvraj, Pietersen, Watson remain top choices, recent performances could see a few overseas players strike a big payday. Guptill is one of them. He has had a fabulous T20 and ODI season, scoring a century and five fifties at a stunning strike rate. Another Kiwi – Colin Munro – released by Mumbai Indians can be a hot buy. Recently Munro blasted the second fastest Twenty20 fifty off 14 balls against Sri Lanka. A third player from New Zealand – Matt Henry – should evoke some interest too. He has taken 46 wickets from 23 ODIs and six wickets in five Twenty20 games. He is a good death bowler. In sub-continental conditions, Angelo Mathews remains a big hit but England’s Jos Buttler, who just smashed a 73-ball century against South Africa, may become the richest Englishman in the auction.