Some big names will be missed in IPL 11 © AFP & Getty Images
Some big names will be missed in IPL 11 © AFP & Getty Images

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 is all set to go underway from April 7. A massive pool of 1,122 cricketers registered their names in 2018 auctions. Of them, 578 went under the hammer and only 169 filled the slots. While some lesser-known players were picked up, some huge names failed to make the cut. Hashim Amla, Joe Root and Martin Guptill were surprise omissions. Some who did make the cut have already been ruled out of the tournament due to injuries (Mitchell Starc and Kagiso Rabada) or controversies (Steven Smith and David Warner). This article presents to you some of the biggest names who will be missed in this year’s IPL:

Batsmen:

Martin Guptill © AFP
Martin Guptill © AFP

Martin Guptill (5,798 runs at 33.13, SR 128): Guptill has more runs than anyone in T20 Internationals, but failed to attract bidders during the auctions despite his name being announced thrice. Right after the auctions, Guptill showed what IPL would be missing this season by slamming the fastest T20I hundred during the tri-series that involved England and Australia. Guptill has played short stints with Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), but sadly has spent most of his time in the sidelines.

Hashim Amla © AFP
Hashim Amla © AFP

Hashim Amla (4,049 runs at 34.60, SR 130): Amla made an entry in IPL in 2016 as replacement for injured Shaun Marsh. He was in ominous form last season for KXIP, amassing 420 runs from 10 matches at 60 with a strike rate of 146 with 2 hundreds and 2 fifties. Amla’s snub this season came as a shock for many. Alas, KXIP preferred to focus on power hitters like Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch and KL Rahul this season.

Joe Root © Getty Images
Joe Root © Getty Images

Joe Root (1,325 runs at 32.31, SR 126): In the 2016 World T20 in India, Root was the third highest run-getter and one of the catalysts to England’s entry in the final. He ended with 249 runs from 6 matches at 49.80 with a strike rate of 146. In a bid to refocus on T20 cricket, Root had even set his base price at a mere 1.5 crores and opted out of the T20I tri-series that also involved Australia and New Zealand. Sadly, he found no buyers.

Eoin Morgan © AFP
Eoin Morgan © AFP

Eoin Morgan (5,203 runs at 26.14, SR 127): Morgan had a forgettable IPL in 2017, scoring only 65 from 4 matches for KXIP. However, he remains a dangerous batsman and a proved captain. Unfortunately, despite being associated with IPL for SRH and KXIP, Morgan found no takers in this edition.

Jonny Bairstow © Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow © Getty Images

Jonny Bairstow (1,582 runs at 24.71, SR 125): Bairstow recently slammed the third-fastest ODI century for England, just after he went unsold in the auctions. As for his T20 records in the subcontinent, he has scored only 45 runs from 8 matches at 7.50. Does that answer why Bairstow was not bought by any franchise? Perhaps, but then, he added value as a wicketkeeper…

Shaun Marsh © AFP
Shaun Marsh © AFP

Shaun Marsh (5,466 runs at 39.60, SR 129): Marsh has been synonymous to KXIP since the inception of the tournament. From 71 IPL matches Marsh has scored 2,477 runs at 39.95 and a strike rate of 133. Even in 2017, he averaged around 33. He was the Orange Cap holder in the inaugural season. If anything goes wrong, KXIP fans will definitely question the decision to leave him out.

David Warner © AFP
David Warner © AFP

David Warner (7,668 runs at 35.33, SR 144): Let us keep aside the shameful ball-tampering act and focus on Warner the player and IPL captain. Warner not only has an IPL title to his name as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain but was also the leading run-scorer in 2015 and 2017 and finished second in 2016. As captain Warner has helped SRH win 26 matches and holds a win percentage of 57.78.

Steven Smith © AFP
Steven Smith © AFP

Steven Smith (3,124 runs at 30.03, SR 125): Rajasthan Royals (RR) found themselves in trouble even before they could make a fresh start. Smith’s best IPL season, both as batsman and captain, was 2017. Although he has lead RR to victories, his captaincy skills were seen at its best last year for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), who came as runners-up. Smith finished with 472 runs from 15 matches at 39.33 and a strike rate of 122.

Bowlers:

Kagiso Rabada © AFP
Kagiso Rabada © AFP

Kagiso Rabada (52 wickets at 22.64, econ 7.59): Another player bites the dust and this DD are in for huge blow. Rabada was the second highest bid player in 2017 auctions – INR 5 crores. Rabada had a decent run with the ball as well as the bat in the last season. He scalped 6 wickets from 6 matches and scored 55 runs at 18.33.

Rabada finished the series against Australia with 23 wickets from four Tests to help South Africa win the series 3-1 at home after 48 years. Rabada had complained of tightness and discomfort in the fourth Test itself. The scans revealed of injury and has been ruled out of IPL 11.

Mitchell Starc © Getty Images
Mitchell Starc © Getty Images

Mitchell Starc (127 wickets at 17.44, econ 7.14): It is a shame that a bowler of Starc’s calibre will miss IPL 2018. But then, he has been had his share of injuries. He had missed out the 2016 edition for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) due to a foot injury. He will miss out 2018 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who had bought him for INR 9.4 crores, due to a tibial bone stress fracture. Starc could have added some spark to KKR’s pace attack that now depends on Mitchell Johnson, Vinay Kumar and Under-19 stars Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Nathan Coulter-Nile © AFP
Nathan Coulter-Nile © AFP

Nathan Coulter-Nile (105 wickets at 22.67, econ 7.76): Coulter-Nile has been a key bowler for Delhi Daredevils (DD) and KKR. He had scalped 15 wickets from 11 matches for DD in 2015. Last year he ended up picking 15 wickets from 8. Owing to injury, Coulter-Nile has been ruled out for this season. He was sidelined last year due to stress fracture in his lower back midway of the tournament. This year, he was purchased by RCB for INR 2.20 crores and has now been replaced by Corey Anderson.

Mitchell Santner © Getty Images
Mitchell Santner © Getty Images

Mitchell Santner (50 wickets at 25.09, econ 7): These days Santner is winning matches with the bat as well. He played a crucial role in the first ODI against England where he scored a 27-ball 45, clinching a thriller. He is presently ranked sixth in T20I bowlers’ rankings. However, after suffering a knee injury during the England series, Santner has been ruled out of the 2018 edition. He was purchased by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for INR 50 lakhs, and was particularly keen on bowling to MS Dhoni at nets as well.

Lasith Malinga © AFP
Lasith Malinga © AFP

Lasith Malinga (348 wickets at 18.56, econ 6.87): There will be no Malinga this season. Yes, the leading wicket-taker in IPL history did not find any bidders in the 2018 auctions. With 154 wickets from 110 matches, Malinga was even left out by MI, the team he has been associated since inception of IPL. Malinga had won the Purple Cap in 2014 for scalping 28 wickets from 16 matches. He underwent a knee surgery in 2015 and since has not been at his best. That also led to his ouster from the Sri Lankan side. However, one will be able witness Malinga in the MI camp as bowling mentor.

Morne Morkel © AFP
Morne Morkel © AFP

Morne Morkel (178 wickets at 25.61, econ 7.45): Morkel had opted out of IPL 2017 owing to an injury. However, his former franchise KKR did not bid for him this season. He has 77 wickets from 70 IPL matches, and was the Purple Cap holder in 2012 for DD, where he took 25 wickets from 16 games. His ability change the game and adapt to Indian conditions, are some of the reasons why he will be missed in IPL 2018.

Rajneesh Gurbani © IANS
Rajneesh Gurbani © IANS

Rajneesh Gurbani (T20 wickets: 13, AVE: 26.07, ECON: 7.70): Gurbani was the go-to man for Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal during 2017-18 Ranji Trophy. He took 12 wickets in the final and 8 in the semi-final. Gurbani also became the second bowler to take a hat-trick in a Ranji Trophy final, against Delhi. He then took 4 wickets in the Irani Cup. His ability to swing the ball and his speed clocking 130-135 kph will be missed in IPL.