IPL 2021 Auctions will happen on 18th February in Chennai. One of the main reasons BCCI conducted the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to commence the domestic season was to help players get a good platform to bag a contract at the bidding event. In previous seasons, we have seen performers in SMAT earn big at the auctions. This time around too, we can expect a few players to follow a similar route.
In this article, we talk about five players who can earn an expensive contract at the auctions. They are in good form, and with IPL set to start in a few months, these cricketers could be in high demand.
1. Baba Aparajith – Tamil Nadu
It is not always about numbers in the T20 format. If it is all about stats too, Baba Aparajith is worthy enough to obtain a contract at the upcoming auctions. He has contributed very well to his team in the recent SMAT. In the nail-biting quarter-final, he was notably instrumental with his display. With the ball too, Baba has been having a healthy economy and is picking wickets frequently. The Tamil Nadu player also boasts of plenty of experience in domestic cricket. With so many attributes, there could well be a bidding war for the player at the auctions.
Teams that could sign him – Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab
2. Mohammed Azharuddeen – Kerala
Many might argue that it was just one inning that Azharuddeen really clicked in. However, in the very same knock, the Kerala opener showed flashes of his batting that impressed the pundits. There was no slogging but his knock comprised of proper cricketing shots and excellent decision-making. For franchises that are in need of an Indian opener, the Kasargod-born cricketer must stand at the top of the list. There is potential in this youngster, and if guided in the right direction, he can surely achieve big things in the game.
Teams that could sign him – Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals
3. Kedar Devdhar – Baroda
Kedar Devdhar has played in IPL before and the upcoming season could mark his return to the competition. Although he is over 30 years, considering he can keep wickets, many teams could consider Kedar. He had an average of close to 80 in SMAT, and there were a couple of big scores by Baroda’s stand-in captain. Teams like RCB need a domestic wicket-keeper, and Kedar could prove to be an experienced option. For other franchises like RR and KKR which would want depth in their domestic batting units, Kedar can be a useful signing.
Teams that could sign him – Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab
4. Avi Barot – Saurashtra
Avi Barot had two 90+ scores in SMAT 2021. He also scored a century against Goa in one of the games. He is 28 and might be a decent option to have in the reserves. Just like Kedar, Avi Barot has experience in domestic cricket, and that could work to his advantage. Teams like RCB, KKR and RR need domestic batsmen, and Barot could fancy a chance in one of these franchises. His strike-rate in SMAT hovered around 180, and that will be his USP in gaining an expensive bid.
Teams that could sign him – Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals
5. Chetan Sakariya – Saurashtra
Left-arm domestic pacers are crucial in IPL. They add depth and variety to the bowling unit. A left-arm quick can also provide numerous options for the management to decide on a strategy. Saurashtra’s 22-year-old Chetan Sakariya showed good form in SMAT and will be on the wishlists of many franchises. In him, there is a quality T20 bowler and also a potential investment for the future. We feel an established side like CSK or MI would be the best place to aid the development of the youngster.
Teams that could sign him – Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings