The IPL 2021 auction was yet another successful event held in Chennai ahead of the 14th edition of the extravaganza. The bidding function indeed witnessed the setting of some new records as multiple cricketers became million-dollar men in a few hours. The franchises fighting tooth and nail for certain players were a sight to behold.
While the overseas players undoubtedly grabbed the headlines and took the auction away by a storm, the Indian youngsters or uncapped cricketers were also in the mix. A few cricketers were already on the radar of some franchises and experts earmarked them to go big. Despite the absence of domestic cricket, for the most part, Indian cricketers managed to create an excellent impression on the franchises and grabbed good deals.
IPL 2021 Auction: 5 Indian Youngsters Who Grabbed The Headlines
Delhi Capitals Lukman Meriwala snared fast bowler at a meagre price of INR 20 lakhs, which was also his base price. Lukman Meriwala shone in the 2020-21 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, ending as the second-highest wicket-taker of the T20 tournament.
Meriwala, who was part of Baroda, snapped 15 wickets in eight matches at 13.26 with an economy rate of 6.52. In 44 T20Is, the 29-year old has 72 scalps at 14.54 apiece with three five-wicket hauls. The left-arm speedster will join an elite pace unit that has Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Umesh Yadav.
Chetan Sakariya registered himself for the IPL 2021 auction at a base price of INR 20 lakhs; however, went to the Rajasthan Royals at a hefty price of INR 20 crores. The left-arm speedster also thrived in the 2020-21 season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, ending the competition as the sixth-highest wicket-taker. He picked up 12 wickets in five fixtures at a magnificent average of 8.16.
As far as Sakariya’s 16 T20Is are concerned, he has 28 scalps at 15.10 while maintaining an economy rate of 7.10. The 22-year old has indeed got a golden opportunity to team up with the likes of Jofra Archer and Chris Morris. With the Royals trying candidates like Kartik Tyagi and Ankit Rajpoot and not finding success, Chetan has the chance to solidify his spot.
Mohammed Azharuddeen was a promising keeper-batsman who was already one of the players to watch out for. Mohammed Azharuddeen’s statistics are indeed compelling in the T20 format in which he has a strike rate of 142.27 with 451 runs in 24 matches. Thus, Azharuddeen, at a base price of INR 20 lakhs was a steal for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The 26-year old also performed incredibly well in the 2020-21 season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The right-handed keeper-batsman mustered 214 runs in five games at 53.50 alongside an unbeaten 137 and a 37-ball 100. Furthermore, a strike rate of 194.50 also bodes well for the Royal Challengers as they have a designated power-hitter.
C Hari Nishanth:
C Hari Nishanth was yet another domestic batsman who the franchise purchased at a base price. While C Hari Nishanth has not delivered highly compelling performances in the T20 format, he can be a handy addition to any team. Chennai Super Kings pouched the 24-year old for INR 20 lakhs.
C Hari Nishanth performed considerably well for Tamil Nadu in the 2020-21 edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, scoring 246 runs in eight matches at 41. Nevertheless, the left-handed batsman needs to improve on his strike rate, which was only 119.41 during the tournament.
Shahrukh Khan was undoubtedly one of the few domestic players on the radar of most franchises. Shahrukh Khan, who registered himself for the IPL 2021 auction at a base price of INR 20 lakhs, triggered a bidding war between Punjab Kings, Delhi Capitals, and Rajasthan Royals. It was Punjab Kings, who secured his services for INR 5.25 crores.
The 25-year old was part of Tamil Nadu’s squad that won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year, getting the quick-fire 20s and 30s for the champions. Khan has a strike rate of 131.39 in the shortest format and would be keen on raising his stocks further. Punjab Kings would be hoping he justifies his hefty price tag and performs well for them.