The IPL 2022 mega auction is just a few weeks away and just like every year, even this year we anticipate seeing a lot of new faces making their debut in the tournament.
Let's have a look at some players who could be handed their maiden IPL deals.
1) Devon Conway (New Zealand)
As the influence of the likes of Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill nears fading, we have this rising Kiwi star who has shown promise to become one of the best in the business.
The 30-year-old may be late but he has all the time to set his mark in the biggest T20 league in the world. IPL has not just helped local talents to flourish and go on to represent India, but several foreigners have caught their national board's attention via the high-profile tournament too.
Though that is not the case with Conway, who is already a favorite, it will be intriguing to see whether he bags a deal in this mega auction.
2) Romario Shepherd (West Indies)
We all know that IPL is a T20 league and if there's one nation that can produce the best T20 talent from anywhere, it's the West Indies.
When it comes to hitting with raw power or bowling accurate lines under pressure, the West Indies players always come ahead and take responsibility. Such an example is the 27-year-old Romario.
This youngster has managed to catch the attention of the world from his recent performances, especially against England. Shepherd is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the series with five wickets and has bowled brilliantly.
His ability to slog down the order could make him an ideal asset for IPL teams who expect everyone from their playing 11 to bat well. Will Shepherd become a part of any IPL team this season?
3) Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan)
We have already seen the influence of Afghanistan players in cricket all over the world and not just IPL in recent years. The likes of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have been playing fantastic cricket in every tournament they feature in, making the other nations believe that they are as good as the elite cricket-playing countries.
Just like them, another young Afghanistan talent, Rahmanullah Gurbaz could make his way into the Indian Premier League and teams wouldn't have much doubt about him.
The 20-year-old wicket-keeper batsman could not be a long-term answer for two positions in a franchise, but can also deliver brilliantly with the bat. Gurbaz is a player that possesses a strike rate of almost 140 in 18 T20Is that he's featured in. He has also shown that he can bat under pressure, and build an innings if his teammates fail to make an impact in any course of the innings.
The youngster will surely be an asset that will reap fruits with the franchise that believes in him and goes for him in the mega auction.
4) Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan)
Another Afghani prospect, Zazai is another batsman from Afghanistan who is known for his explosiveness on the pitch with his bat. The 23-year-old has played enough games for Afghanistan and also has experience playing in multiple T20 tournaments.
However, IPL has always been a tournament that has caused problems to the biggest names in cricket, and failure to perform in the tournament has led to many cricketers learning valuable lessons to implicate in their international careers.
Zazai is one player who only for reference can be compared to Virender Sehwag, though the youngster has a hell lot to prove to be compared to 'Viru'. However, Zazai is a left-handed batsman, something that some franchises look for in specific and maybe this could be a key factor that could help him bag a deal. What are your thoughts on his game approach?
5) Ben Mcdermott (Australia)
A talent from Australia who performed exquisitely in the recently concluded Big Bash League, McDermott will be a player who most of the franchises would be eyeing.
He was the tournament's leading run-scorer, being 76 runs ahead of the player who finished second, despite playing four matches less. Dermott scored 577 runs, with an average of 48.08, and the 27-year-old wicket-keeper batsman who is in form could have the same impact in the IPL.
The question is which franchises would require a foreign wicket-keeper batsman? Think about it and let us know!
6) Joe Root (England)
We know this player deserves to be mentioned at the top, but Joe Root, despite his phenomenal batting, has been away from T20 cricket for quite some time.
A player with over 25,000 runs in international cricket across formats looks impressive but it could still be a risk to buy the English Test skipper.
However, there's no hiding the fact that Root has often shown how quickly he can adapt to situations, come out aggressively and effectively in pressure situations, and most importantly, prove his doubters wrong. An experienced batsman who knows when to accelerate, when to rotate, and when to use his creative instincts would be a trump card for any side that invests in him. However, only time will tell if and when we'll see Joe Root playing in the IPL.
Let us know your thoughts. Stay tuned with Cricwizz for more updates.
Cover Credits: Crickettimes