Indian Premier League has certainly changed the dimensions of cricket and has given a new face to it. It has worked like a catalyst for the players financially as well as for the growth of their cricketing career. This cricketing bonanza is held every year and will now head towards its 13th successive season next year.
It has attracted humongous popularity since its commencement. IPL has played a major role in increasing the pace of the game and it is arguably one of the biggest T20 leagues held across the globe. Many big names in international cricket await for the cricket carnival where they can come and show their class in front of the fans.
The IPL has produced some astonishing talent not just for India but for several countries. However, it all depends on the franchises, who lavishly spend their money on the players that they want in their side. It also provides all the eight franchises to refuel and add some firepower for the upcoming season.
There is no set criteria or pattern that franchises follow while picking a player in the auction. And every year they come up with some surprising addition in their squad that proves the cricket pundits wrong. The same happened in the IPL 2020 auction held in Kolkata on December 19.
Here’s taking a closer look at 5 surprising picks of IPL 2020 auction that might have gone unsold:
1. Piyush Chawla ( Chennai Super Kings – 6.75 Crore)
The 30-year-old Indian spinner has been out of the limelight, who is currently finding it difficult to retain his spot in his state team. He is a great turner of the ball and on several occasions, Chawla has helped Team India in winning crucial games but at the moment he is ageing old and is struggling with his poor form.
The leg spinner has a vast experience of playing 237 T20s in which he successfully managed to grab 251 wickets. But, his inconsistency and fitness have always been the biggest roadblock throughout his cricket career. In IPL, he has been playing for Kolkata Knight Riders since 2014 but he was released by them earlier this year in the trade window.
There were some speculations that he might not get a buyer in IPL 2020 auction but that was not the case. The three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings bought him after paying a whopping amount of 6.75 Cr. However, they faced tough competition from their rival franchises like Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals. But in the end, CSK won the bidding war and successfully roped in the 30-year-old spinner in the team for the upcoming season.
2. Nathan Coulter Nile (Mumbai Indians – 8 Crore)
Coulter Nile was one of the biggest surprises that popped out in the IPL 2020 auction, who was bought by Mumbai Indians after paying a huge amount of 8 Crore. It was a surprising decision taken by the think tank of MI because they already have a long list of some brilliant fast bowlers in their ranks- Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard.
The Aussie pacer has not played a single T20 match in the last 10 months. However, Mumbai Indians have made an expensive and risky move by including Coulter Nile in their arsenal for the upcoming season. Coulter Nile has so far played 108 T20 games and grabbed 130 wickets.
If his injury list is kept aside from his career, then Coulter Nile is one of the most consistent fast bowlers, who bowls at a good pace with great precision.
3. Josh Hazelwood (Chennai Super Kings – 2 Crore)
The IPL 2020 auction was all about the Australian bowlers and Josh Hazelwood was another surprise pick, who was bought by Chennai Super Kings at a base price of 2 Crore. He has earned a good reputation in international cricket and is arguably one of the best Test bowlers across the globe.
But, when it comes to the shorter format then he becomes pretty ineffective. Hazelwood struggles a lot with his line length because of which the batsmen find it easy to score runs against him.
The young Aussie pacer played his last T20 game in 2016 and it’s been three years that he had featured for any side in the shorter format. However, it was a shocking decision taken by Chennai Super Kings, who had the opportunity to buy some good and exciting talent from the domestic circuit. Moreover, they were the only franchise to have shown interest in the Aussie pacer.
4. Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals – 1.5 Crore)
The England seaming all-rounder has established himself as one of the mainstays in his national side. He has done convincingly well with the ball and bat for the three lions. On numerous occasions, he has won the games for his side in crunch situations. But, he has failed to prove his mantle so far in Indian Premer League. His base price was kept quite high and there were questions on which team will put their money on England all-rounder.
He arrived with a big reputation of a good all-rounder and shown some glimpse of his talent in IPL but failed to perform in a consistent fashion. Initially, he made his debut in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2017. Later on, in 2018, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the mega auction. So, far Woakes has played 18 games in IPL and has grabbed 25 wickets.
Now, he will play his trait for Delhi Capitals, who surprisingly added Woakes in their arsenal at his base 1.5 Crore. DC tried their level best to bag the services of Glenn Maxwell but they lost it to Kings XI Punjab. However, the think tank of Capitals might have picked Woakes as a perfect replacement of the Aussie all-rounder. If we throw light on his overall T20 career, Woakes has taken 121 wickets in 111 games and mustered 803 runs.
5. Mitchell Marsh (Sunrisers Hyderabad- 2 Crore)
Mitchell Marsh was one among the marquee players who put his base price at 2 Crore for the IPL 2020 auction. The chances of him getting picked up by any franchise were quite slim due to his high base price. But against all the odds, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who otherwise looked quite inactive in IPL auction 2020, successfully bagged the services of the Aussie all-rounder without any hustle.
He has certainly emerged as one of the most exciting T20 all-rounders for Australia in the last couple of years. He is a clean hitter of the ball and can bowl a couple of overs that sometimes play a pivotal role in winning games for his side. In IPL he has played for Rising Pune Supergiants and Pune Warriors but didn’t get much success. And, that makes him a shocking pick as he never performed well in the T20 tournament. Irrespective of his IPL stats, SRH has taken a big risk by including him in their side for IPL 2020.
Marsh has been a mainstay for Australia in the T20 format. He has grabbed 43 wickets and amassed 1519 runs in his 75 T20 appearances. Currently, he is playing for Perth Scorchers in the ongoing Big Bash League 2019-20.
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