Tuesday, January 30, 2018

IPL Auctions 2018: Jharkhand

The dust settles on the IPL Auctions. Big money was spent by the owners - to give a comparison (an unrelated one) – the amount spent by the IPL teams for the players was more than spent by ISRO to launch Magalyaan! There were some interesting purchases, some bidding wars leading to breaking the bank and finally some inexplicable omissions (Shaun Marsh – proven IPL record and in the form of his life; Hashim Amla – who got a couple of 100s in the last season – just to give two examples). Everyone had a strategy at the auctions (I assume so), only some of it defied logic, and led to some erratic results e.g. Kolkata Knight Riders go into a 7-week, 14-17 game tournament with just 19 players, while Kings XI Punjab forgot to pick a proper wicket-keeper (not counting KL Rahul’s stop-gap arrangement)! There are futile exercises and then there is attempting to make sense of IPL Auctions!

Anyway, I digress. Here is looking at how the Jharkhand team performed at the IPL Auctions

The Retained (not part of the Auction)
MS Dhoni (15 Crores, CSK) comes back to Chennai Super Kings after a 2-year hiatus, on account of CSK’s suspension. Also returns as captain after having spent a year as just another player at Rising Pune Super Giant. 

The Returners
Ishan Kishan (6.20 Crores, MI) – Mumbai went for broke to get hold of services of Ishan. And why not as he is (a) a wicket-keeper, (b) Indian, (c) explosive opening batsman, and (d) left-handed. Checks all the boxes. Aditya Tare is the only competitor for the keeping gloves. Could be a break-out season for this youngster.

Shahbaz Nadeem (3.20 Crores, DD) – gets picked once again by Delhi Daredevils. Has been a consistently good performer across seasons for them and an India A veteran now. Hopefully will get more games than last year. Has competition for the spin bowling slot from the likes of Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Sandeep Lamichhane (first Nepalese cricketer in IPL). Probably the reason why he was tried as a pinch-hitter in the Mustaq Ali Trophy - to add an extra string to his bow!

Saurabh Tiwary (80 Lakhs, MI) – retained by Mumbai as a back-up Indian batsman (and got a pay upgrade also). Might get a few games depending on the performances / fitness of the first choice XI.

Ishank Jaggi (20 Lakhs, KKR) – retained by Kolkata. Should manage a few more games than last year’s two because (a) KKR picked only 19 players (of which 11 play), (b) of which 12 are Indian (7 play) & (c) 9 batsmen (6 are needed) and (d) most importantly, Jaggi performed well in pressure situations last IPL and is coming off another good domestic season.

The Newly Bought
Anukul Roy (20 Lakhs, MI) – hasn’t played any senior cricket till date. But has been impressive in the Under-19 World Cup. Might get a look-in at the very beginning as an X-Factor (Mumbai have a history of launching unknowns – e.g. Bumrah and the Pandya brothers)

Monu Kumar (20 Lakhs, CSK) - Consistent performance in the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy helped Monu get picked. However chances of getting a game upfront are quite bleak. Might get a look-in at later stages though.

Meanwhile, Varun Aaron, Virat Singh, Nazim Siddiqui, Rahul Shukla & Pratyush Singh did not find any takers. Aaron might get a call if there are fitness concerns among the many Indian fast bowlers. However, a better bet for him would be to seek a County contract a la Pujara.

Hoping this is a break-out season for these players like Saurabh Tiwary had in 2010!

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