In pure hiring terms, for the Indian Premier League auction, there are 1,122 applicants for up to 175 vacancies. As the eight IPL franchisees bid to acquire players for the IPL 2018 on January 27-28, for players it is time to hit headlines in a bid to persuade the franchisees. The ones who make bigger headlines over the next 10 days, stand a better a chance to land bigger deals.
Two youngsters, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan and Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant made the news from right in the middle, England captain Joe Root and India’s left-arm bowler Yuzvendra Chahal have hogged limelight away from the ground.
Rashid Khan: Australian Big Bash League has become the best marketing property for Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan’s IPL goals. Rashid has conceded less than six runs per over in taking 11 wickets from six BBL outings. The 19-year-old Afghan talent has emerged the highest paid IPL player from an ICC Associate Member nation when Sunrisers Hyderabad had acquired him for an approximate six lakh rupee deal. The team has missed to opportunity to hold on to their precious catch. His heroics Down Under with every passing game will be adding a premium to his IPL price tag. The Hyderabad franchisee will though have the privilege to get Rashid by exercising Right to Match option. However, given his present form and potential, the franchisee might not find it easy to win that “match”. He is in the top players bracket with a ₹2 crore base price.
Rishabh Pant: The Delhi wicketkeeper and Ranji Trophy team captain will not have to undergo the hammer at the IPL player auction later this month. The 20-year-old has already fitted into Delhi Daredevil’s scheme of things in spite of his dismal form with the bat in Delhi’s run-up to the Ranji final. The hard-hitting is in limelight with a national record, second only to the giant Chris Gayle, to justify the faith franchisee has posed in him. Pant in the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali game against Himachal Pradesh struck a century off just 32 deliveries – in world cricket second only to Gayle’s 30-ball 100 in the IPL. He has stayed with Delhi in a ₹8 crore deal.
Joe Root: The England captain’s maiden nod for joining the player acquisition auction process was the headline of the IPL player registration. At home coach Trevor Bayliss has kept Root in news by saying that the England national team captain should not play the IPL and take time off to recuperate from a grueling Ashes series Down Under. The veteran warmed up with 110-ball, 91 in the ODI series opener as he led England to their first win on current Australia on tour.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The second highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps during the 2016 IPL season, Chahal this year has not retained by RCB. He, however, is in the city of his franchisee for whom he has played 13 matches last season. The leg-spinner has played 56 IPL matches to take 70 wickets. Currently training in Bengaluru for the limited overs series in South Africa, starting from February 1, Chahal made headlines with a sequence of banter on his Instagram.
Chahal’s RCB teammate Tabraiz Shamsi instantly commented on his video: “Oh my gosh! Is this @yuzi_chahal23 or @chrisgayle333??,” Shamsi commented on Chahal’s video.
Chahal promptly responded “I lift heavier than @chrisgayle333. This is my warm-up set @shamsi90.” Gayle was not too late to join the conversation in his own style. “Wtf. Kill me,” Gayle’s comment read.
Chahal will now be up for grabs from a base price of ₹2 crore. The RCB will no doubt be gunning for one of their precious assets by exercising the Right to Match option.