We are in February and cricket and IPL fanatics couldn't be more excited as the mega auction date gets closer. With every team retaining some players, while the newly introduced teams announce their 3 signings each, let's have a look at players who could be the top buys in this IPL season.

1) Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan IPL Indian
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Despite a long break from international cricket, Shikhar Dhawan's performance was one of the biggest positives in India's defeat in the ODI series in South Africa.

Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the squad due to personal reasons, while he also sustained a minor injury. Kl Rahul's batting at the top also convinced the selectors to give Shikhar some time to get back to his best. 

Dhawan started brilliantly but he did see a drop in numbers again after the first ODI against the Proteas. However, the batsman has proved to be a consistent performer and even though he had a difficult 2021, Dhawan was not very far from the orange cap in IPL 2021.

All that being said, the left-handed opener is a great fielder, a great batsman, and looks more committed than ever. It'll be interesting to see his price tag and also the team that invests in him.

2) Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan IPL indian
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The Mumbai Indians star wasn't retained but that was not because of his performances solely, Mumbai Indians had to leave some of their very vital players in the build-up of the mega auction, and one of them, Hardik Pandya is already associated with the Ahmedabad IPL franchise.

However, Kishan is a versatile, explosive, and dedicated batsman who doesn't shy away from expressing himself. The match situation doesn't seem to worry him much as he freezes his arms against any bowler he looks to attack.

His numbers are not the best but it is safe to say that he was never given a consistent run of games to make a long-lasting impact on the side. One of the potential Indian players to earn big in this mega auction, it will be intriguing to see which team invests in him long-term not forgetting the fact that he's a left-hander, opener, or a top-order attacker, and also an effective wicket-keeper. What do you think will be his price tag in this mega auction?

3) Devdutt Padikkal 

Devdutt Padikkal IPL Indian
Image credits- IPLofficial

Another promising talent that wasn't retained by his IPL team, Devdutt Padikkal is another exciting investment that could reap so much to any franchise he represents.

Padikkal is physically solid, has a calm and composed mind, but also believes in an aggressive approach when he's on the field. He has a side to his game where he can anchor innings and also accelerate or decelerate as per the situation demands. 

A tall, left-handed opener, who can take on any bowler with ease, bats brilliantly against spin, and also has age by his side, Padikkal could be one hefty yet fruitful investment for an IPL team.

4) Shardul Thakur 

Shardul thakur IPL Indian
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2021 was a phenomenal year for the Mumbaikar but Chennai Super Kings had other plans when it came to retaining players. The defending champions had a plethora of stars in their team but unfortunately, only four of them could be retained.

Thakur, in the last year, ascertained himself as an all-rounder, especially in T20s with multiple performances with the bat. Scoring runs is one thing but playing strokes confidently shows that you have potential that too being a pacer.

Not just that, Thakur also brings a certain kind of luck to his side. This is because over the last year, Thakur often managed to break partnerships that looked very solid and bowlers often lost their way trying to get them out. However, "Lord" Thakur, instantly proved everyone wrong and managed to provide breakthroughs. The series of such shreds of evidence begin from the IPL 2021, most importantly in the finals and stretching up to Test matches, ODIs, and T20s.

Call it luck or call it hard work, it is Thakur who deserves all the credit and that being said, this is why we feel that Thakur's all-around ability and effectiveness would earn him a big cheque.

5) Shreyas Iyer 

Shreyas Iyer IPL Indian
Image credits- espncricinfo.com

Shreyas Iyer is a top-order batsman who is perhaps the most mature person on the list after Dhawan shared the dressing room with him too.

Unfortunately, Dhawan and Delhi Capitals' ex-skipper didn't convince the owners enough to be retained and will now be open to joining any team in the mega auction.

Iyer had a decent 2021 season and despite an injury, Iyer made a strong return to cricket, proving and playing so well that no one could comprehend the fact that this player had a serious issue in his shoulder.

Iyer also made his Test debut and performed exquisitely, becoming a member of a rare list of players who fired a ton on Test debut. Iyer is a batsman who can switch gears anytime, knows the value of his wicket, and can win you games single-handedly. Since middle order is a concern for most of the IPL teams, we are confident that Iyer will be a fantastic buy for his owners.

Your thoughts? Let us know! Stay tuned for more updates.