The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to resume in the UAE from September 19. The T20 league will provide good practice for the players ahead of the T20 World Cup, which will also be held in the UAE following the conclusion of the IPL. That’s not all though. With the mega auction coming up, players will be keen to impress their respective franchises and increase their chances of not being released. However, as per reports, each franchise would not be allowed to retain more than three players, which means a number of big names will be back in the auction. In this feature, we take a look at some star players who can get high bids, if released for the mega auction.
1. Kieron Pollard
West Indies’ limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard ended the first half of IPL 2021 on a high, smashing a scintillating 87 not out off 34 balls for Mumbai Indians (MI) in a terrific chase against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Pollard struggled for timing in the first half on pitches that were not good for batting. However, he remains one of the most destructive players in the IPL, as evident from his innings against CSK. At 34, he still has a few years of cricket left in him. In case he is released, he should be among the big draws at the auction.
2. Sam Curran
The young England cricketer is one of the finest upcoming all-rounders in world cricket. Sam Curran has already made his mark in the IPL for CSK. With the ball, he has plenty of variations to trouble batters. And, he can be used as a floater in the batting department, who can either open the innings or come in lower down the order during the slog. Either way, Curran is a complete T20 package.
3. Marcus Stoinis
On his day, Marcus Stoinis can be the best white-ball all-rounder in the world. But such days are few and far in between. Stoinis won Delhi Capitals a tense contest against Punjab Kings by some amazing batting and bowling last season but then perished playing a nothing stroke in the final. This season, he has scored 71 runs in eight games and has claimed a couple of wickets. However, considering the talent he possesses, Stoinis should draw high bids at the auction.
4. Ben Stokes
England’s dynamic all-rounder Ben Stokes is currently on a mental health break. He missed most of the first half of IPL 2021 as well, having picked up a finger injury in the first match itself. Unarguably, Stokes is the finest all-rounder in world cricket at present. But he hasn’t been consistent for Rajasthan Royals and considering all the permutations and combinations, there is a strong chance of the franchise releasing him. Then again, it is equally true that, considering what he brings to the table, Stokes will be a massive hit at the mega auction.
5. Kyle Jamieson
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) purchased New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson for a whopping INR 15 crore at the IPL 2021 auction. And Jamieson did not perform badly at all. He claimed nine wickets with his medium-pace at a strike rate of 16. With the bat as well, he chipped in with some lusty blows. However, with the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Devdutt Padikkal standing a strong chance to be retained, Jamieson’s name is likely to be on the auction table. And considering his skills, he should be a popular player at the mega auctions.
6. Jonny Bairstow
The England opener has been one of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) star performers ever since being picked by the franchise. Jonny Bairstow formed an excellent opening pair with David Warner in 2019. Even this season, Bairstow did reasonably well in the first half, with 248 runs at a strike rate of 141.71. SRH, though are likely to retain Kane Williamson, T Natarajan and Rashid Khan. With his keeping and batting skills, Bairstow could find a few takers at the IPL mega auction.