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Good morning! Namaskar! Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live blog for the Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction 2017. This is Suvajit Mustafi and I will bring you the live updates on which franchise picks which player, who all go unsold and what shape the eight teams take ahead of IPL 10. The 10th season of the cash-rich league will witness all eight teams take part in the auction on Monday: Delhi Daredevils (DD), Gujarat Lions (GL), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Mumbai Indians (MI), Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They will look to cover their bases and plug the gaps before the tournament goes underway on April 5.

Just a day before the auction, two major developments made it to the top trends. Sanjiv Goenka, RPS team owner, announced that MS Dhoni won’t captain RPS in IPL 10 and Steven Smith will lead the side instead. This development marked the end of another era, as Dhoni won’t be seen leading any side at any level now. In other story, Australian pacer Mitchell Starc pulled out of season 10. Starc, who was the pace spearhead of the current runners-up RCB, cited national duty and urge to play in Tests as a reason for back out.

Starc is currently in India for the four-match Test series. He was unavailable in the previous season as well, due to his injury. With Starc not present, RCB will be eager to pick a potential speedster as replacement. Kagiso Rabada and Tymal Mills perfectly fit the bill.

Earlier, South African speedster Dale Steyn, who was picked by GL in the previous season, had also pulled out of this season of IPL, which leaves the team with a slot to fill. New appointed English Test captain Joe Root, too, has pulled out of the auction.

Some names who are expected to grab the spotlight in this year’s auction include Afghanistan players Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan besides No. 1 bowler in T20Is as well as ODIs Imran Tahir. English all-rounder Ben Stokes is expected to be the hottest buy at the auction in addition to his limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan and teammate Chris Woakes. From the uncapped players, teenage prodigy Prithvi Shaw and T20 cricket’s first triple-centurion Mohit Ahlawat will also attract eyeballs.

All in all, the auction will decide the composition of each team and will be the most crucial event before the 10th season starts on April 5th. Watch this space for more information.