The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 player auctions successfully took place in the city of joy, Kolkata on December 19, 2019. The auction was a mini one before next year’s mega auction. But still, some surprise names went for a lot of money and then some didn’t even get a single bid despite being labelled as international stars.
T20 cricket is lauded to be a batsman dominated format where the hard hitters smash the helpless bowlers all around the park on flat wickets around the globe. There were some world-class and proven batsmen who went unsold in the player auctions which raised a lot of eyebrows among the IPL fans.
Here, we will take a look at five batsmen who can single-handedly turn the tide of the game in their teams’ favour on the back of their intelligent batting and will be the perfect replacements for any of the franchises in the IPL 2020 if any of their star batsmen gets injured.
1. Martin Guptill
One of the best-limited overs opener in the modern era, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill was one of the few big names which went unsold in this player auctions. He set his base price at 1 crore INR but found no buyers. It came as a surprise for everyone who was following the auction process as Guptill is one of the most experienced openers out there in international cricket.
Though in the first place, it was not New Zealand opener’s mistake to get released from the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) squad ahead of the auctions. SRH has arguably the best opening combination from the current crop of IPL openers having Australian opener David Warner and English opening batsman Jonny Bairstow at their disposal.
Warner and Bairstow were so consistent last year that Guptill could only get 3 matches in which he scored just 81 runs. The only positive which came out of those 3 matches for him was his destructive batting in the power plays despite being under pressure by the team management. That’s why if any of the franchise’s star overseas opener gets injured, then Guptill will be the perfect replacement for him.
2. Yusuf Pathan
With a base price of 1 crore INR and increasing age, Yusuf Pathan was somewhat expected to be unsold in this year’s player auctions. And that’s what happened. All the franchises seemed to be interested in young blood instead of going for the experienced campaigners like Yusuf. Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) released him at the end of last season which was always on cards.
Yusuf was the star of the tournament when it began way back in 2008. He was one of the main reasons why Rajasthan Royals (RR) won that inaugural season of IPL. He scored then fasted 37-ball century to grab media attention. He has a vast experience of playing 174 IPL matches and has scored over 3200 runs at a healthy strike rate.
But one must not ignore the fact that Yusuf is one of the oldest contributors in the history of IPL. He is hitting many top bowlers around the world out of the park consistently enough over the past dozen years of IPL. His experience in this tournament is second to none. And that’s why we think that he can easily replace any of the injured hard-hitting finishers in the upcoming season.
3. Evin Lewis
This might be the biggest surprise of them all in this list. The ‘big show’ from West Indies, Evin Lewis found no buyers for him in the IPL player auctions. The man who smashed 3 T20 International centuries against India in the recent past was a part of Mumbai Indians (MI) for the last few seasons. He even performed consistently for them in 2018.
But the arrival of South African opener Quinton de Kock in the side last year saw Lewis fall out of favour very quickly. To partner de Cock, there was this legendary batsman, enthralling opener and charismatic skipper of IPL- Rohit Sharma. This was probably the deadliest opening combination of IPL last year which shows why Lewis was nowhere seen the playing XI.
The West Indian southpaw scored just 48 runs in the last edition of IPL in which he played only 3 matches. But his recent blistering knocks against India in the T20I series might attract few of the franchises if any of their overseas openers get injured ahead of or in the middle of the next season of IPL.
4. Mushfiqur Rahim
When the former Bangladesh skipper pulled out of the auction, everyone was criticising him for being arrogant towards missing this big of an opportunity. Surprisingly, he made himself available for the auction a few days before the auction day. Many even said that Mushfiqur Rahim was brought back into the auction pool because of the franchises’ interest in him.
For everyone’s surprise, Mushfiqur went unsold in the auctions. Not a single franchise showed even a slightest of interest when his name came out of the auction pouch. This was very embarrassing to see even if one is not a Bangladesh fan. It’s appalling to see that the man with such a vast experience and intelligence in the T20I cricket getting this type of response in the auction.
At the end of the day, one can’t deny the fact that he is one of the best in business. If any of the overseas wicket-keeper batsmen of any franchise gets injured in the middle of the season or gets ruled out at the start of the season, the Bangladesh veteran could sneak into any team on the back of his superlative glove work.
5. Shai Hope
Shai Hope is one old-school batsman who relies on his timing while playing shots down the ground instead of relying on power hitting in T20 cricket. This formula of his is working wonders for him in Test cricket in One Day Internationals while representing West Indies. But when it comes to T20 cricket, this formula seems a bit outdated.
Hope was in scintillating form in the recently concluded ODI series against India. He scored 222 runs at an outstanding average of 74. He grabbed many eyeballs around the Indian subcontinent but was dropped from the very next T20I series against the same opposition.
All the eight teams are filled with some of the best overseas opening batsmen in the business but the ability of Hope playing an anchors role could fit him at number 3 spot in any of the team. Especially if a team find itself struggling in the batting department, they can replace an injured top-order batsman with reliable Hope.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- IPL 2021: Top 5 batsmen with highest individual scores in IPL history
- IPL 2021: Top 5 batsmen with most fours in IPL history
- WI vs SL: 2nd ODI, Match Prediction – Who will win today’s match?
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar – The warhorse India needs the most in 2021
- Hemang Badani not pleased with Varun Chakravarthy after the spinner fails to clear fitness tests ahead of the England T20Is