Franchises wary of right squad composition at IPL auction (Preview)

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Bengaluru, Jan 26 (IANS) Eight franchises will battle to find the right squad composition as a big pool of 578 cricketers, including 360 Indians, will go under the hammer in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction here on Saturday and Sunday.

Marquee Players Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Ben Stokes, Kane Williamson, Glenn Maxwell, Joe Root, Mitchell Starc, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Shakib Al Hasan — each priced at Rs 2 crore — will set the tone as an intense battle is set to follow.

Amongst others — India’s Kuldeep Yadav, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Lokesh Rahul; Rashid Khan from Afghanistan, West Indies’ Samuel Badree and Carlos Braithwaite and Australian Adam Zampa, who have the skills of turning a match around on their own, will be the crucial players to look out for.

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Earlier, all the franchises had retained some of their players while taking a calculated risk in releasing most of them. For capped players, the base price is Rs 50 lakh, while for uncapped players, the auction will begin from Rs 20 lakh.

At the outset, 26 players from England, 58 from Australia, 30 from New Zealand and 57 from South Africa had registered for the auction, taking the overseas players to 282.

Afghanistan have 13 players in the list while there are 39 from Sri Lanka and an equal number from the West Indies.

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have eight and seven players respectively who will be hoping to go under the hammer.

Starc, who ended his association with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ahead of the last IPL, too has entered the auction that also includes Chris Lynn, Pat Cummins, Evin Lewis and Jason Holder.

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Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada, Faf du Plessis and Morne Morkel are the few South Africans who are also part of the list.

The in-form Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson, who was mulling calling time on his IPL career last year, too have entered the race with Mitchell Johnson, who has retired from international cricket but continues to play in the Big Bash League.

Lasith Malinga, whose form has taken a considerable dip in the last year or so, too will be part of the auction, apart from his Sri Lankan mates Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella.

Kane Williamson, Colin Munro and Tom Latham from New Zealand will add their charm to the league.

Among the Indians, a fierce bidding war is expected to break out when Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, off-spinners Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, Rahane, mystery spinner Kuldeep Yadav and openers Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay go under the hammer.

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India’s World Cup winners Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh have continued to shine despite being out of the India reckoning. They will also attract strong bids.

–IANS

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