The auction of the Indian Premier League might have come under some criticism from the New Zealand Players’ Association for the openness with which they buy players, but one can’t deny that watching it is always an exhilarating experience.
And the auctions this year was one of the most entertaining ones we have seen in the tournament’s history. A lot of players were bought, and some of them were paid a lot of money. However, what can’t be denied is that almost every IPL team are star-studded this time around.
Among them, Sunrisers perhaps had the best auction as some of their signings are going to heavily improve the team, making them the most favourites to win the Indian Premier League this year. Here are 3 of them.
#1 Shakib Al Hasan
This is an automatic choice, really. Shakib Al Hasan is the best all-rounder in the world. Currently, he holds the first-place of the all-rounder rankings in all three formats of the game, which alone is an incredible feat.
The thing with Shakib is that he is the most versatile player in the world. Not only as an all-rounder but also as a batsman. He can smash the ball when necessary or play the role of a sheet-anchor. With the ball, he is perhaps the best slow left-arm bowler in the world right now.
Having the Bangladesh Test captain in the team is like having two players simultaneously, which is something that gives the Sunrisers the edge over the others. And at 2 crore rupees, this might just be the bargain of the auction.
#2 Mohammad Nabi
Another all-rounder. The rise of Afghanistan cricket has been phenomenal. No less than four Afghan players were bought in the Indian Premier League auction—and Mohammad Nabi was one of them.
The off-spinning all-rounder is an asset for any team to have. Like Shakib, he is efficient with both the bat and the ball. Recently, he had a great outing in the Big Bash League. In 157 T20 innings, he has taken 180 wickets at an average of 20.67 and a strike-rate of 18.1.
The best part, however, is his economy rate. At 6.82, it just goes to show his ability to stop the flow of runs. With the bat, he has played in 124 T20 innings, scoring 2106 runs at an average of 21.27 and a strike-rate of 138.55.
And he cost Hyderabad just 1 crore rupees. Only 1 crore.
#3 Shikhar Dhawan
For any team to be successful, they need to have a strong opening pair. The reason why Sunrisers won the IPL in 2017 was because of the excellent opening pair they had in David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan.
The Sunrisers used the RTM card to purchase the dashing left-handed all-rounder. With 3561 runs in 126 IPL innings, he could be labelled as one of its best exponents. His average stands at 32.67, which is great for an opening batsman in the T20s, while his strike-rate is at a healthy 121.87.
And at 5.2 crore rupees, this could be one of the best signings in the auction, especially given how Indian players are valued in IPL.