IPL 2019 auctions: 5 potential stars
In the IPL 2019 auction, there are many new faces with potential to take the competition by storm. Here’s looking at five such talents
Each Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign throws a new star. Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman Zadran took the IPL by storm in 2018, while his compatriot Rashid Khan was the undisputed star of the year prior. In this year’s auction, too, there are many new faces with potential to take the competition by storm.
Here’s looking at five such talents
Sam Curran, 20, England
The allrounder announced his arrival on the big stage with a string of stellar performances during India’s tour of England earlier this year. He was a constant source of frustration for the Indian bowling line up as he added valuable runs, shepherding the English tail, and took the series away from the visitors. England won every Test in which Curran featured on way to a 4-1 scoreline. Curran’s 272 runs and 11 wickets saw him take the England’s Player of the Series gong.
The 20-year-old further burnished his reputation with some fine late order batting in Sri Lanka to help England to a first Test series sweep since 1963. Curran’s breakthrough year has seen him start with a base price of Rs 2 crore in 2019 IPL auctions and if his performances this year are any indication he will be a steal at the price.
Hazratullah Zazai, 20, Afghanistan
Type Hazratullah or Zazai in Google and the first suggestion the search engine suggests is ‘6 sixes’. The opening batsman smashed an entire Abdullah Mazari over the ropes on way to a 12-ball fifty during the inaugural edition of the Afghanistan Premier League in October. The youngster, of a similar build as Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq, is an imposing figure in front of the wicket and possesses the full range of strokes.
In the his T20 internationals, Zazai has played impressive knocks of 74 (34 balls) and 82 (54) against Ireland. His strike rate is well above 150 in both domestic and international T20s. The 20-year-old has a base price of only Rs 50 lakhs, but his winning bid might rival the most expensive Afghan in IPL—Rashid Khan (Rs 4 crore in 2017).
Oshane Thomas, 21, West Indies
Thomas made his international debut on the West Indies’ tour of India in October and impressed with his pace, constantly clocking around 150 kmph. His senior bow came after he took 18 wickets in 10 matches during the 2018 Caribbean Premier League. The 21-year-old generated enough pace from the placid Indian pitches to trouble established batsmen on their own turf earning comparisons with fabled Windies pacemen of past. And he sure thinks like them. “I practice my yorker a lot. Bowling the short-ball is the easiest to do for a fast bowler. But I don’t use my bumper to scare batsmen, I only use it to get batsmen out”, he told the Indian Express recently.
Thomas will be a real handful for most batsmen in the IPL if he keeps bowling with same venom. Priced at just Rs 50 lakhs, investment in him is likely to bear good returns.
Reeza Hendricks, 29, South Africa
The South African made his T20 international debut in 2014 but didn’t quite set the stage on fire, failing to secure a regular place in the side. He has, however, come into his own this year, scoring a 50-ball 70 against in the first T20 against India earlier this year as well as notching the fastest hundred for an ODI debutante against Sri Lanka. The opener was in scintillating form in the 2018 Mzansi Super League, scoring two hundreds and as many fifties in just eight matches. Hendricks’ amassed 379 runs from eight innings, averaging over 60 and with strike rate upwards of 150.
At a base price of just Rs 50 lakh, the South African will be an attractive proposition for many teams.
Shimron Hetmyer, 21, West Indies
Hetmyer, along with Thomas, was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise sorry tour of West Indies to India this year. The left-handed bastman topscored for the visitors with a tally of 259 runs and had a strike rate of 140, the highest in the series. In the latest instalment of the CPL, he was the third highest run-getter at a strike rate just shy of 150 and at an average of 40. Those are great numbers for the shortest format of the game and he seems set to continue the good run the Caribbeans have enjoyed on the Indian shores.
The 21-year-old’s base price of a mere Rs 50 lakhs will make him a safe bet for any team.
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