The IPL 2022 Mega Auctions are just two weeks away and the excitement around the same among the fans can not be matched. Not just fans but the ten franchises and players are equally excited about the mega event which will decide the fate of many players. With two new teams coming, the cash-rich league is getting bigger and so will be the bidding amounts. While the existing eight franchises had announced their retentions long back in November, the two new franchises also announced their three draft picks recently.
A total of 33 players have been either retained/picked ahead of the mega auction leaving 1214 players to go under the hammer. Out of these 1214 players, there are 896 Indians who will see the ten franchises bidding for them on 12 and 13 February. It is tough to narrow down on five names who can earn handsomely in the IPL 2022 Auction but SportsTiger has analyzed a few points to come up with the list.
The five players who can bag big contracts in the Mega Auctions are (not in any particular order):
1. Shahrukh Khan
The swashbuckling batter from Tamil Nadu lit up domestic cricket with his power-hitting abilities in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well as Vijay Hazare Trophy. Shahrukh Khan has made a name for himself not only in domestic cricket but also in the biggest T20 League around the globe i.e. the IPL.
Although he did not have a very pleasant journey as he went unsold in his first auction in 2020. Khan kept performing and finally earned a contract with Punjab Kings for a whopping 5.25 Crore in 2021. And this amount is only going to go up in the IPL 2022 Mega Auction with the kind of player Khan has become. He gave it back to his franchise with some handy knocks and after a fantastic domestic season, Shahrukh is expected to attract some really big bids.
If we talk numbers, Khan amassed over 250 runs in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy with a strike rate of 186.03. Before that, Shahrukh had a great outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well. He played with a strike rate of 157.81 throughout the tournament and sealed the finals match against Karnataka with a six.
Which franchises are likely to bid for Shahrukh?
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)– Bangalore have lacked good domestic talent and have suffered due to the same. Thus, the Karnataka-based franchise are expected to go after Shahrukh in the mega auction.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK)– The MS Dhoni-led franchise has always believed in investing in talents that hail from a similar background. Shahrukh coming from Tamil Nadu will compel CSK management to go after him.
Punjab Kings (PBKS)– Shahrukh has already played for Punjab and the franchises may be ruing not keeping him on their retention list. Thus, they will try to correct their mistake and get Khan back in their setup.
2. Washington Sundar
Another Tamil Nadu cricketer with a really good domestic season, Washington Sundar will have an edge over others with some international experience under his belt. Since his inception in the Indian Premier League, Sundar has earned the reputation of a courageous bowler. He bowls most of his overs in the powerplay when the batters have an advantage.
Sundar also boasts of decent numbers in white-ball cricket, especially in the shortest format. He has played 42 IPL matches so far and has claimed 27 wickets at an economy rate of 6.93. Apart from this, Sundar has 25 wickets from 31 games in T20Is. He also has also shown promising signs with the bat with 866 runs in 98 T20s. His recent form in white-ball cricket (at domestic level) has been good and he has also been included in the squad for the white-ball series against West Indies. Thus, he becomes one of the hot favourites for franchise owners.
Which franchises are likely to bid for Sundar?
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)– For obvious reasons, Bangalore’s team management will go after Sundar. The franchise might be looking for a fresh start under a new leader but having someone like Sundar who has already played for them will play on their minds when his name comes up in the auction.
Lucknow Supergiants (LSG)– Sundar made his IPL debut with Rising Super Giants and won the hearts right away. For a team that is looking to build a squad for the future, Sundar will be a good choice.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)– The Hyderabad-based franchise have only retained three players, out of which two are uncapped. Thus, they will desperately need someone like Sundar to play for them.
3. Rishi Dhawan
The Himachal Pradesh all-rounder has just finished a memorable domestic season. He had a great time leading Himachal Pradesh in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as he finished the tournament with the second-most number of runs as well as wickets. This depicts the kind of season Rishi Dhawan had. So, for sure, he is going to be on the radar of multiple franchises who will be looking for a fast-bowling all-rounder.
Rishi Dhawan himself had expressed a strong desire to be picked by one of the franchises while talking to SportsTiger. The Himachal all-rounder has earlier played for Punjab, Kolkata, and Mumbai. But he wants two franchises- Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians to bid for him in the mega auctions.
Which franchises are likely to bid for Rishi Dhawan?
Punjab Kings (PBKS): As Dhawan has already played for them before, the owners are well aware of his capabilities. Dhawan’s six-hitting abilities will play on the minds of the owners while bidding for him. Also, since Dhawan is an improved cricketer now, he will be on the radar of PBKS in the mega auctions.
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Rajasthan have retained three batters and will be hunting for players like Rishi Dhawan. They will be looking to fill the void created by the absence of Ben Stokes.
Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)– The Sanjeev Goenka-owned franchise has picked Marcus Stoinis as a fast-bowling all-rounder but being a foreign player, Stoinis has his limitations. On the other hand, Rishi Dhawan has left a mark in domestic cricket which will work in his favor in the T20 League.
4. Ishan Kishan
Another wicketkeeper-batsman from Jharkhand, Ishan Kishan is walking the path of MS Dhoni. He is a fearless cricketer and everyone knows how he goes when he is on song. In a very short career, Ishan has earned himself a reputation as a hard-hitting batsman, especially in the power-plays. His ability to attack from the ball go will work in his favor in the auction.
Kishan has played 61 IPL games so far and has amassed 1452 runs at a strike rate of 136.33. He made his IPL debut with Gujarat Lions in 2016 and played for them for two seasons. After that, he moved to Mumbai Indians for a whopping 5.5 crore salary and played for them for four seasons. Now, having made his international debut, Kishan will attract even higher bids in the mega auction.
Which franchises are likely to bid for Ishan?
Mumbai Indians (MI)– Mumbai had to take a tough call between Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav while deciding the retention list. But the franchise has believed in retaining its core. Thus, MI will go after Kishan with lucrative bids.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)– The Bangalore-based franchise will be looking for an explosive opener who can partner Kohli at the top. And Kishan looks like a perfect fit for them. So, RCB are going to bid pretty high for Kishan.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)– With David Warner gone, SRH in the hunt for a similar sort of player, and Kishan fits the bill perfectly.
5. Shardul Thakur
The pacer from Maharashtra is climbing the ladder of success and with the kind of time he is having recently, franchises will give it all to have someone like Shardul in their lineup. Apart from wicket-taking abilities at crucial junctures in the game, Thakur has impressed everyone with his batting skills. He has moved from the pacer category to a fast-bowling all-rounder category.
In the recent tour to South Africa, Thakur continuously contributed with the bat. In the two ODIs he played, Thakur scored 90 runs including a half-century, and remained not out on both occasions. He was also in the wickets column in Tests claiming 12 from three games including a 7-wicket haul at Johannesburg. So, he is going to be one of the hot favorites in the mega auctions.
Which franchises are likely to bid for Shardul?
Chennai Super Kings (CSK)– The CSK management will give everything to have Thakur back in the setup. MS Dhoni has believed in backing players and he will not want to let go of such a fine asset.
Mumbai Indians (MI)– Shardul Thakur hails from Maharashtra and Mumbai will always want a local player. Also, with Hardik Pandya gone, Thakur will come in handy to fulfill the role of a fast-bowling all-rounder.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)– The Bangalore-based franchise has always lacked a talent like Shardul Thakur who can provide breakthroughs at crucial junctures. So, they are gonna go right after him in the auctions.