Kedar Jadhav (extreme left), Parvez Rasool (centre) could be hot picks for IPL 2014 © IANS, PTI & Getty Images
The IPL 2014 auctions are upon us and everyone wants to know which team bought which player(s). Attention for the foreign stars and Indian national team players will be high. But there will certainly be interest for a lot of the top players from the domestic circuit. Shrikant Shankar lists out a few domestic players who could make the difference for the teams.
1. Kedar Jadhav
Maharashtra’s run machine Kedar Jadhav will be one of the hottest properties at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions. He scored a colossus 1,223 runs in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season as Maharashtra reached the finals. Jadhav scored those runs at a staggering strike-rate of 80.30. Surely he can score quickly in T20 cricket. He has been part of the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Delhi Daredevils. Although things have not clicked for him so far, the form he is in is sure to give him added confidence.
2. Mayank Agarwal
He was associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore from the 2011 edition. Hailing from Bangalore, Mayank Agarwal will be of interest again for the franchise. He has a strike-rate of 130.99 in T20 cricket. Almost all the teams will have heavyweights amongst the foreigners and top Indian players, but is players like Agarwal who can make important contributions during the course of the IPL.
3. Unmukt Chand
After leading India to the Under-19 World Cup crown in 2012, many great things were expected from Unmukt Chand. But he had a below-par 2013 season in the IPL, scoring 158 runs in nine matches for Delhi Daredevils. With age on his side, Chand can only get better. He is still seen as one of India’s future stars and the IPL can catapult him in the right direction. Such a player can become valuable to a team on the field as well as off the field.
4. Vijay Zol
India’s current Under-19 captain is in the Middle East playing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. But he will be in high demand during the auctions. Vijay Zol is another who is seen as one of India’s future generation stars. He has been instrumental for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy and his stock seems to be improving all the time. His records in domestic cricket are very impressive. With a strike-rate of 150.00 in T20 cricket, Zol could get a lot of money during the auctions. He too has played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
5. Iqbal Abdulla
The slow left-arm bowler helped Kolkata Knight Riders win the IPL in 2012 and has a bowling economy-rate of 6.58. He will not be the highest wicket-taker in an IPL season, but he can keep the runs in check. He was not retained by his team, but they must still be eyeing him in the auctions, as many others.
6. Rajat Bhatia
With his right-arm mediums, Rajat Bhatia is a bowler who can be very deceptive. He gives his captain a solid four overs and can be handy with the bat lower down the order. He started out with Delhi Daredevils, but made a name for himself with the Kolkata Knight Riders. He helped them to the title in 2012. With good variations of pace, Bhatia can be a useful addition in anyone’s team.
7. Ashok Menaria
He is another domestic player who can make small contributions to a team’s cause in the IPL. He has only played for Rajasthan Royals, but he might get some interest during the auctions. He does not have great T20 records, but in First-Class cricket, Menaria has impressive numbers with the bat. He averages 41.76 and has a strike-rate of 65.16. He can be an important middle-order batsman for any team that gets him in the auctions.
8. Rishi Dhawan
How he did not get into the Rest of India team for the 2014 Irani Cup is a big mystery. Rishi Dhawan was the leading wicket-taker in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season with 49 wickets in only eight matches. He was part of the of Mumbai Indians’ squad that won the 2013 IPL season. He can be faster than he looks and that will be an asset many franchises will be looking for in an Indian domestic player to be among their ranks in the IPL.
9. Parvez Rasool
Every time he walks out into the middle, Parvez Rasool gets a lot of attention. Just for hailing from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Rasool is already a star. He was selected in the Indian squad for the tour of Zimbabwe in 2013. He did not play a single match, but it shows that the Indian selectors have him in the fringes of the national side. The off-spinner can be of interest for many teams during the auctions.
10. Mandeep Singh
The right-handed batsman has an ever-improving record in the IPL. Mandeep Singh was one of Kings XI Punjab’s bright spots in a relatively poor IPL 2013 season. He has a strike-rate of 121.36 in T20 cricket and make a name for himself in the upcoming IPL. He won the award for the ‘Rising Star of the tournament’ in the fifth edition of the IPL.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)