The IPL 2021 auction takes place on Thursday, February 18 in Chennai, with 292 players looking to be signed by a team. This may be a mini auction, but there’s no shortage of big names. Here’s a look at seven seasoned Indian players who will be going under the hammer.
Hanuma Vihari was one of the heroes for India in the unforgettable Sydney test last month. While he has silenced those questioning his place in India’s test side, he doesn’t have the greatest credentials as a T20 cricketer. That being said, he has shown the ability to remain calm under pressure and can also bowl useful off-spin, which could make him a valuable addition to a team’s middle order.
Not many would be aware that Harbhajan Singh (pictured above) holds the record for the most dot balls in IPL history. The veteran offie brings with him a truckload of experience, and at 40 still has fuel left in his tank. But a hefty base price of Rs 2 crore may prove to be his undoing. Teams may not want to spend that much on a player who is on the last leg of his career.
In 2016, Karun Nair became only the second Indian player to score a test triple hundred and promised to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. Things, however, haven’t been the same since for the Karnataka batsman. Nair may currently be out of favour in the national team but continues to be a prolific run-scorer in domestic cricket. In the IPL, he has opened the batting and can also be an assured presence in the middle-order.
An aggressive middle-order finisher and a handy off-spin bowler, Kedar Jadhav would fit into any T20 side like a dream. However, the last couple of IPL seasons haven’t been great for him and at 35, age isn’t on his side. Jadhav will probably find a bidder at the IPL auction, but can he be the Kedar Jadhav of old again?
Like Harbhajan, Piyush Chawla has been around since the IPL’s inception, and is surprisingly only 32 years old. With 156 wickets, the wily leggie is the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament’s history. Leg-spinners are never out of vogue in the IPL, and with Chawla’s experience he should have no trouble at all finding a team.
A big-hitting all-rounder who bowls seam is a rare breed in Indian cricket. Shivam Dube’s ability with the bat has been compared to that of Yuvraj Singh’s. As an all-rounder he may not quite be in Hardik Pandya’s league, but teams will still be willing to shell out a big sum to have a player like him in their ranks. Expect Dube to create a stir at the auction.
Umesh Yadav has been a terrific red ball bowler for India in recent times, but has had his struggles in the shortest format. His erratic performances saw him in and out of RCB’s XI last season. Yadav is an experienced bowler in the international arena nonetheless and can guide young fast bowlers in the side, which is why teams will bid for him.