Hello and Welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) draft. The two teams Pune and Rajkot will get an opportunity to fill their ranks with some quality players from the suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) sides. Some of the players that will go on draft include big guns of world cricket like MS Dhoni, Steven Smith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Brendon McCullum and Ajinkya Rahane. The teams have a cap of five players that they can buy from the drafts due to which they will have to make very careful selections.

Among the more notable exclusions in the drafts are international players like Shane Watson, Tim Southee, Matt Henry and the former Australian stalwart Mike Hussey.

 

So here are the list of five players that Rajkot and Pune have picked in the sequence of picks.

Pune – MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steven Smith, Faf du Plessis

Rajkot – Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo has become team Rajkot’s final pick. It’s a strange choice given they already have quality T20 all-rounders in James Faulkner and Ravindra Jadeja. Suresh Raina and Brendon McCullum are the other picks in the side.

 

Team Pune’s final pick is former CSK batsman Faf du Plessis. The dependable South African batsman will play alongside the likes of MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin and Steven Smith.

 

Rajkot have added all-rounder James Faulkner to their team. With Brendon McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina in the side already, this is starting to look like a balanced look.

 

Team Pune has responded by selecting Australia skipper Steven Smith to their ranks. Smith will play alongside MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.

 

Team Rajkot have added the big-hitting New Zealand skipper to their batting reserves. Brendon McCullum joins Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina in the side.

 

Ravichandran Ashwin has been picked by Pune and joins former CSK teammate Dhoni and India teammate Ajinkya Rahane.

 

Rajkot gets hold of local boy Ravindra Jadeja as their second choice. He joins Raina in the team.

 

Team Pune has strengthened their batting reserves by picking Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane and Dhoni are the first two picks.

 

Suresh Raina has been pulled apart from skipper Dhoni. He’s been lapped up by team Rajkot.

 

MS Dhoni has been picked by Pune.

 

The remainder of the players will go into the IPL auction with other cricketers where they will be available for bidding to all the eight IPL teams including the two new teams. The five player system in the drafts was introduced so that the new teams have a fair opportunity to build a strong core after which they can strengthen their reserves during the auction. Guys like Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin have worn colours of just one team through their IPL careers and it will be interesting to see how they slot into new outfits.

It is expected that players still in glorious international form will attract big bids. The teams will almost certainly look to rope in players such as Dhoni, Smith, McCullum, Ashwin, Raina and Rahane. Other players like Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson are also likely to attract competitive bids due to their prolific IPL careers.