2021 was supposed to be a year of great promises with the inclusion of new teams for the Indian Premier League (IPL). But the COVID pandemic has forced its hand from making great changes. Nevertheless, the Indian Premier League Auction gets underway tomorrow which sees a number of 292 players go under the hammer, as teams seek the right purchases. Today we bring to you our top 5 underdogs who could command a great fee.
1) Jalaj Saxena (India)
Jalaj Saxena, An all-rounder well-known name in the Ranji Trophy circle recently proved his competency in the shorter format of the game, Playing for Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. An explosive right-hand batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler who has a special ability to pick up wickets at crucial times. He also possesses a mean carrom ball up his sleeve. This particular skill set will be in great demand for many teams.
2) Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)
The 23-year-old Wanindu Hasaranga is a leg break bowling all-rounder hailing from Sri Lanka. In T20 International’s he has an economy rate of 7.81 and a batting high score of 44. His brightest moment came in the series against Pakistan where the senior players refused to go citing security reasons. Being drafted into the side Hasaranga stepped up and gave memorable performances winning the game for Sri Lanka and taking home the Man of the Series award.
3) Scott Kuggeleijn (New Zealand)
The Hamilton-born New Zealand International is a genuine pace bowling all-rounder who is a valuable batsman lower down the order. He possesses a strike rate of 131.08 from 76 innings and someone who can clock the lower 140’s consistently with his pace. Given his experience in the domestic and international circuit, he will be a valuable commodity for any given team. With a base price of 50 lakhs, his name will be one several teams will look out for.
4) Fabian Allen (West Indies)
The left-arm spinning all-rounder played a huge role in the Northern Warriors title win in the recently concluded Abu Dhabi t10. Picking up 11 wickets in 9 games, in one four-wicket haul he finished as the tournament's second-highest wicket-taker. He is also an accomplished performer with the bat who has shown a range of shots and potential the earmarked him as a special talent. Teams can expect big things from this multidimensional all-rounder.
5) Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz is a 19-year-old genuine batting talent hailing from the country of Afghanistan. His batting style might remind everyone of a proteas genius of the name AB De Villiers. The Afghani player is a genuine attacking batsman who can hit the ball in style and never allow the bowler to settle. Having a strike rate of 140.67 with a high score of 79 from 10 innings. Every team will be opening their purse to capture the player.
‘Yatra Pratibha Avsara Prapnotihi’ is a message in Sanskrit written in the middle of the Indian Premier League Trophy which means where talent meets opportunity. So it goes without saying there are more names excluding these five such as Liam Livingstone, Nathan Ellis, Baba Aparjith, and many more who didn't make it to this list of ours.
With only hours separating us from the auction and franchises readying up their purses. Let us know which names you found interesting and who are the underdogs are rooting for.