A total of 370 Indian players and 220 overseas players will be up for grabs for the ten IPL teams. With the addition of two new teams — Lucknow Super Giants and Ahmedabad — the total number of available slots has increased to 217. We can expect an action-packed event in Bengaluru with 48 players opting to be included in the highest Rs 2 crore reserve price bracket.
In the history of the IPL auction the most expensive buy at the auction has been South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who was bought by the Rajasthan Royals at the last player auction in 2021 for Rs 16.25 Crore. There are very good chances that someone will break that record at the mega auction this time.
As we gear up for the the upcoming IPL mega auction in Bengaluru, TimesofIndia.com highlights eight prominent players for whom there can be potential bidding wars and for whom franchises will potentially be willing to break the bank:
Quinton de Kock (South Africa): 29-year-old left-handed wicketkeeper batter
South Africa’s Quinton de Kock is one of the most exciting wicket-keeper batsmen around and a proven impact player in the IPL. After making a near miss debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2013 edition, de Kock became a consistent run-scorer in the league – amassing more than 2000 IPL runs.
Quinton de Kock
In the last 8 years, he has represented four IPL franchises. In 2018, de Kock was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 2.8 crore before he was traded off to Mumbai Indians before the 2019 auction. He won his first IPL title with Mumbai Indians in the very first year. Opening the innings for MI in 2019, De Kock was the highest run-getter for the team in that season with 529 runs. He then played another major role in MI defending the title in 2020, scoring 503 runs.
MI released him before the next auction.
De Kock is also coming into the auction having hit form at just the right time, scoring 124 against the touring Indian side in the third ODI in Cape Town. With his experience and leadership credentials, being a former South Africa captain, the 29-year old will definitely be a prize catch at the upcoming mega auction.
De Kock’s overall IPL record: M 77 | R 2256 | HS 108 | Ave. 31.33 | SR 130.93 | 1x100s | 16x50s | 6s – 65 | Ct – 53 | St – 14
De Kock’s T20I record (since Jan 2021): M 14 | R 524 | HS 72 | Ave. 43.66 | SR 131.32 | 5x50s | 6s – 12 | Ct – 8 | St – 4
Ishan Kishan (India): 23-year-old left-handed wicketkeeper batter
Indian cricketer, wicket-keeper, top-order batsman — Ishan Kishan is definitely going to be one of the most sought after players at the upcoming IPL mega auction. He has a proven track record in the league, scoring 1452 runs at a strike rate of 136.33 in four seasons so far. And at 23, he could be looked at as a long term investment for the teams.
An explosive batter, Kishan played a major role in Mumbai Indians triumphant campaign in the 2020 edition, in which he top-scored for the side with 516 runs at an average of 57.33 and a strike rate of 145.76. His dip in form in the last edition — 241 runs @26.77 — coincided with two-time defending champions MI’s failure to make the play-offs.
Kishan has been with MI since the 2018 edition, after being bought for Rs 5.5 crore in the auction, and has won two IPL titles with them. Being a bright future prospect, he is expected to better that earlier price tag of his in the upcoming auction in Bengaluru.
Kishan’s overall IPL record: M 61 | R 1452 | HS 99 | Ave. 28.47 | SR 136.33 | 9x50s | 6s – 74 | Ct – 19 | St – 2
Kishan’s T20I record (Since Jan 2021): M 5 | R 113 | HS 56 | Ave. 28.25 | SR 134.52 | 1x50s | 6s – 5 | Ct – 0 | St – 1
David Warner (Australia): 35-year-old left-handed opening batter
Three Orange Caps, 5449 IPL runs, title winning skipper – David Warner is a mega star not only in the IPL, but across the whole cricketing world. He has had a chequered past, primarily due to his role in the 2018 Cape Town Test ball tampering saga, but he is also one of the most destructive batters in the world. Warner has also time and again proved his mettle in the IPL, since joining it in the second edition in 2009.
Warner is the highest run-scorer amongst overseas players ever in the league, the fifth overall, and holds the record of being the fastest to 5000 IPL runs (135 innings). After spending five seasons with Delhi Capitals (Erstwhile Delhi Daredevils), Warner was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2014 auction for Rs 5.5 crore. A year later, he was appointed captain of the side. And in 2016, Warner led Sunrisers to their maiden IPL title in which he personally contributed 848 runs at a 60.57 average, while scoring those runs at a 151.42 strike rate.
After missing the 2018 IPL due to the ball-tampering scandal, Warner returned in 2019. He was then reinstated as Sunrisers skipper in 2020, before losing the captaincy to Kane Williamson (former stand-in captain) in the middle of 2021 season. Last season also saw Warner being dropped from the starting XI after 8 games. And that ended his amazing run with the franchise in the league. Many people were extremely surprised that SRH chose to drop Warner due to a few bad outings.
Warner turned around his disappointing IPL season by playing a major role in Australia’s triumphant T20 World Cup campaign soon after the IPL, scoring 289 runs at a 48.16 average which included a 53 off 38 balls in the final. He also walked away with the player of the tournament award at the T20 World Cup. There is no doubt whatsoever that Warner will be a big ticket buy for any team in the upcoming mega auction.
Warner’s overall IPL record: M 150 | R 5449 | HS 126 | Ave. 41.59 | SR 139.96 | 4x100s | 50x50s | 6s – 201 | Ct – 68
Warner’s T20I record (since Jan 2021): M 7 | R 289 | HS 89* | Ave. 48.16 | SR 146.70 | 3x50s | 6s – 10
Shreyas Iyer (India): 27-year-old right-handed middle order batter
India’s white ball middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer is a proven performer in the IPL, scoring 2375 runs at 31.66 in 87 games. He won the Emerging Player of the Year award for his 439 runs in his debut season with Delhi Capitals (erstwhile Delhi Daredevils) in 2015, after fetching Rs 2.6 crore in the auction — a then record for an uncapped player.
Since then, Shreyas remained a part of the Delhi franchise till leaving them after the last edition. He was made captain of the side in 2018, replacing Gautam Gambhir, and led Delhi to the play-offs in the 2019 season – their first in seven years. He bettered that performance by leading DC to the final in 2020, before losing to MI in the title clash. Shreyas led the side from the front in both the editions, scoring 463 and 519 runs himself in the 2019 and 2020 seasons respectively.
Due to a shoulder injury, Shreyas missed the first half of the last season, and Rishabh Pant was promoted as skipper of DC. He came back in the second half but DC chose to stick with Pant as their captain. Shreyas played 8 games in phase 2 of IPL 2021, scoring 175 runs at 35 average. And with DC retaining Pant as skipper for the upcoming season, Shreyas left the team, where he had spent his entire IPL career so far, to enter the auction pool for the upcoming mega event.
A consistent run-scorer with leadership qualities, Shreyas has a very good chance of attracting a large price tag, especially from teams who are looking for a new captain.
Shreyas’ IPL record: M 87 | R 2375 | HS 96 | Ave. 31.66 | SR 123.95 | 16x50s | 6s – 88 | Ct – 34
Shreyas’ T20I record (since Jan 2021): M 8 | R 151 | HS 67 | Ave. 30.20 | SR 136.03 | 1x50s | 6s – 2
Pat Cummins (Australia): 28-year-old right-arm pacer and international captain
Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins will potentially again be a major attraction in the upcoming IPL mega auction. He is one of best fast bowlers around at the moment and is a more than handy bat lower down the order.
Cummins fetched a whopping Rs 15.5 crore to be the most expensive buy at the 2020 IPL auction and was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ side for the last two seasons. In 2020, the fast-bowling all-rounder played all the 14 league games and took 12 wickets while scoring 146 runs for the Knight Riders. And in the last season, Cummins only played the first half of the tournament for KKR, missing out on the UAE leg. He took 9 wickets in 7 games while contributing 93 runs with a career best 66 not out against CSK.
Cummins is coming into the auction pool after leading Australia to a 4-0 Ashes win at home, in which he personally contributed 21 wickets in 4 Tests.
Along with his all-round capabilities, Cummins brings in his leadership qualities to the table. And with three teams still looking for a captain, Cummins could be a prize catch at the mega auction.
Cummins’ overall IPL record:
Bowling: M 37 | W 38 | Best 4/34 | Av. 30.13 | Econ. 8.23 | SR 21.94
Batting: M 37 | R 316 | HS 66* | Av. 19.75 | SR 140.44 | 2x50s | 6s – 20
Cummins’ T20I record (Since Jan 2021): M 7 | W 5 | Best 2/34 | Av. 35.40 | Econ. 7.37 | SR 28.8
Shikhar Dhawan (India): 36-year-old left-handed opening batter
India white-ball opener Shikhar Dhawan is a proven performer in the Indian Premier League. Dhawan has been a consistent scorer across seasons and is the second highest run scorer of the league overall with 5784 runs, just behind Virat Kohli (6283).
Dhawan started his IPL career with Delhi Capitals (erstwhile Delhi Daredevils) in the inaugural season in 2008, and since then has played for Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals. He even led the Sunrisers team in 2014.
In the 2018 auction, Dhawan was bought by the Sunrisers for Rs. 5.2 crore, as they used a RTM (right to match) card. But he was traded off to the Delhi Capitals the next season, despite scoring 497 runs for SRH. After returning to Delhi, Dhawan has scored 500 plus runs consecutively in the last three seasons, which included two back-to-back hundreds in the 2020 season – the first time that feat was achieved by any player in the league.
After three stupendous seasons with the Delhi Capitals, 1726 runs in 49 matches, Dhawan is back in the auction pool. And for the teams looking for an experienced top-order batter who can be a mentor for youngsters while contributing consistently, Dhawan is the man for them. Expect him to fetch a big price tag come auction day.
Dhawan’s overall IPL record: M 192 | R 5784 | HS 106* | Ave. 34.84 | SR 126.64 | 2x100s | 44x50s | 6s – 124 | Ct – 83
Dhawan’s T20I record (since Jan 2021): M 4 | R 90 | HS 46 | Ave. 22.50 | SR 98.90 | 6s – 1
Kagiso Rabada (South Africa): 26-year-old right-arm fast bowler
South Africa’s bowling spearhead Kagiso Rabada has made his mark in the Indian Premier League in a span of five seasons, one of which he missed due to injury. Rabada has so far taken 76 wickets in 50 IPL games, and won the Purple Cap in 2020.
Rabada has played his entire IPL career with the Delhi franchise so far, since joining the team in 2017 for Rs 5 crore. In the 2018 auction, Rabada was bought back by Delhi for Rs 4.2 crore but missed the entire season due to a back injury. Despite that, Delhi retained the premier pacer for the 2019 season. And it paid off handsomely for the Delhi Capitals, as the pacer took 25 wickets in 12 games.
In 2020, Rabada played a big role in taking Delhi Capitals to their first ever league final, before they lost to Mumbai Indians in the summit clash. Rabada took 30 wickets in the season to finish as the leading wicket-taker.
With a proven track record, the Protea pacer will be on the wish lists of most of the franchises at the auction table.
Rabada’s overall IPL record: M 50 | W 76 | Best 4/21 | Av. 20.52 | Econ. 8.21 | SR 15.00 | 4W – 4
Rabada’s T20I record (Since Jan 2021): M 14 | W 14 | Best 3/20 | Av. 23.66 | Econ. 8.69 | SR 16.3
Nicholas Pooran (West Indies): 26-year-old left-handed wicketkeeper batter
Wicket-keeper batter Nicholas Pooran is a top-order batter, who can play in different slots as per the team’s requirement. The Windies left-hander is an explovie batter who has proved his mettle in the IPL too. He has an impressive IPL record of scoring 606 runs at a strike rate of 155.
Pooran joined the Kings XI Punjab for the 2019 season after the team bought him for Rs 4.2 crore, and spent the last three seasons with the franchise. He had a good season with them in 2020, scoring 353 runs at a strike rate of 169.71 in 14 games.
Being a top-order batter who can also don the keeping gloves if needed, Pooran will be high on the demand lists of various teams. His ability to hit sixes with ease is well known, making him an exciting player to watch and in turn a crowd puller and he has the ability to increase the tempo as and when needed.
Pooran is currently in good nick too. He was the leading run scorer of the Windies just concluded T20I series against England — 164 @41.00 in 5 matches. With his past record and current form, the dashing left-hander will be one of the most coveted overseas players in the upcoming mega IPL auction.
Pooran’s overall IPL record: M 33 | R 606 | HS 77 | Ave. 22.44 | SR 154.98 | 2x50s | 6s – 44 | Ct – 11
Pooran’s T20I record (since Jan 2021): M 30 | R 648 | HS 70 | Ave. 28.17 | SR 128.31 | 3x50s | 6s – 41 | Ct – 13 | St – 5