The bar of competition in the Indian Premier League is so high, that even the star-studded players and well-known personalities can’t take anything for granted. One poor season and one might see curtains to his IPL career. A few bad games and one might be warming the bench for the whole season.
There have been many such instances in the past, when big players have gone unsold in the IPL auctions, despite the form on their side. It always turns out to be a shame for the tournament when it fails to see such players show their magic. Some of these players return as replacement signings, but not everyone is lucky enough.
Hence, let’s take a look at the best XI of players, who went unsold in a particular year, thereby surprising the whole cricketing fraternity:
1. Hashim Amla
It was the mega auctions for the IPL 2018, which had been glorified with the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. With so many spots up for grabs, Hashim Amla, who had scored 420 runs in the previous addition, looked a hot pick. The South African batsman was in sublime form, and above all this, the sixth-highest run-getter of the previous edition.
A base price of 1.5 crores INR wasn’t a big ask for such a big player, who was in red hot form in international cricket. However, the luck wasn’t on his side, and the prolific South African batsman went unsold in the auctions.
The batsman has retired from the international cricket now, and his IPL career might be limited to only the two seasons since no franchise would like to have a retired player in the team. He features in this playing XI as the first opener, as someone who can go for the kill straight away and dislodge any bowling attack.
2. Michael Hussey
Micheal Hussey features in this squad as the second opener. The swashbuckling opener was instrumental in Chennai Super Kings success in the first decade of the tournament. He played a key role as the opener of the franchise, providing them starts in almost every game, and holding the innings together whenever needed.
However, he had a rather unfortunate end to his career. He was a key player for CSK, but other teams probably had some other thinking. After the franchise got banned in 2015, he had to return to the auction pool next year, where he went unsold. Since then, he didn’t feature in the tournament anymore.
He and the franchise share a great bond due to which he is working as the batting coach of the team. He would want to see the team lifting the trophy yet another time in 2020, this time not as a player but as a coach.
3. Tillakaratne Dilshan
There are very few players who hardly take any time to get into the flow. And Tilakaratne Dilshan was one such player, who could bat-out any opposition when in-form. This was a primary reason for his success in the T20I cricket as well as the Indian Premier League. However, a rather disappointing outing in 2013 brought curtains to his IPL career.
Despite scoring 1160 ODI runs in 2013, the Sri Lankan batsman went unsold in the IPL auctions. He continued to shine in the international cricket till 2015, but there wasn’t any change to his fortunes. It would be safe to say that it was a rather early exit for the stylish player.
Therefore, he features in this XI as the number 3 batsman. With the ability to hit the ball all around the park, this player could have fit in any of the teams at any of the slots.
4. Evin Lewis
Evin Lewis is a drastically underrated player, especially in the Indian Premier League. The explosive West Indian batsman has done exceptionally well in the limited opportunities but never reaped rewards for the same. In 2018, the southpaw was the second-highest run-scorer for the Mumbai Indians, with 382 runs.
However, he was dropped out of the playing XI in the very next season, and Quinton de Kock was given a nod ahead of him. Ultimately, he was sent back to the auction pool this year. Despite being in red-hot form, he failed to attract any bidders. He recently had grabbed headlines for an unbeaten 99 against Ireland followed by a century, but it didn’t help his cause in the auction.
Lewis features in this XI as the number 4 batsman, not at his favourite opening position. He can be the accelerator in the middle overs and handle the spinners with ease. Him being a left-hander adds another dimension to the team.
5. Shaun Marsh
Shaun Marsh had been a part of every season of the tournament since its inception but saw a break to his streak in 2018 when he went unsold in the mega auctions. The southpaw had an excellent outing in the previous season, and it was indeed the snub from the national team that didn’t help his cause.
An excellent striker of the ball, Marsh has always enjoyed batting in India. He is one of the only few foreign batsmen who have breached the 2000 run mark in the tournament. Such a player could have been a valuable addition to the top-order as well as the middle order of any team.
Since 2017, the southpaw has failed to bag any contract in the auctions. Moreover, injuries and snub from the national team have further deserted his way. One would hope that he finds his form soon and fetches plenty in the next year’s auctions.
6. Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews features as the lone all-rounder in the playing XI. A drastically underrated player, Mathews has featured in six seasons of the tournament and contributed with both bat and bowl whenever needed. His numbers might not be very impressive, but they don’t really give a correct picture.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder had done well in the 2013 season. Around the same time, he was also shining in international cricket. However, it wasn’t sufficient enough to get him a contract. The veteran all-rounder played two more seasons after that but failed to get enough chances.
Of late, he recently stole the limelight for his maiden double ton in test cricket. Also, his brilliant century in the World Cup 2019 against India also deserves a mention. Going by his current form, one can expect him to provide an accurate balance to this squad.
7. Doug Bollinger
Doug Bollinger, unfortunately, had a very short IPL career, which amounted to just 3 seasons. However, that was more than enough for him to leave a mark. In those three seasons, he got to lift the title twice, and himself played a key role in Chennai Super Kings’ success.
In 2010, the Australian pacer came as a replacement signing and helped the team recover from 6 defeats in eight games to title victory. However, a string of injuries haunted him throughout the career and turned out to be one of the reasons for him being unsold in the 2014 season.
The bowler features as the lone left-arm pacer in the playing XI. He brings a whole lot of skillsets to the table and possesses the ability to run through any batting lineup in any conditions.
8. Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn has gone unsold in the IPL auctions many times, but never due to his form. It’s always been injuries that have hampered his career. The case was no different in IPL 2018 auctions. The South African pacer had missed the whole calendar year 2017 due to an injury, which meant he failed to attract any attraction from franchises in the auction.
The pacer suffered yet another injury in January 2018 when India toured South Africa. All these incidents have drastically affected his career. He features as the second pacer in this lineup, since his ability to swing the ball in the powerplay and use of variations in the deaths overs make him a T20 specialist.
Of late, Steyn has been picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the upcoming season. The franchise would hope that he stays fit throughout the season, and uproot the batting attack of every opposition.
9. Lasith Malinga
With 170 wickets to his name, Lasith Malinga is one of the leading wicket-takers in the tournament’s history. Since his debut in 2009, the Sri Lankan pacer has given sleepless nightmares to each and every batsman. However, one could have thought that his career is well over when he went unsold in the IPL 2018 auctions.
Later, Mumbai Indians roped him as a bowling mentor for the season, which seemed to give another hint about the same. However, destiny had decided something else for this veteran, and he returned back to the same team in the next season. Who can forget his last ball magic in the IPL 2019 final, which helped MI clinch the title from the jaws of defeat.
The 36-year-old Malinga has been retained by the franchise for the upcoming season, and the team would hope to see him weave his magic once again. With age and fitness not on his side, this might be his farewell season, and he would like to finish it off on a memorable note.
10. Adam Zampa
Quite unfortunately, Adam Zampa went unsold in this year’s auction. The Australian leg-spinner is the 3rd ranked T20I bowler, and he showed a glimpse of his brilliance against India when he dismissed Indian captain Virat Kohli twice in three games. The bowler features as the lone leg-spinner in this XI.
Zampa last played the tournament way back in 2017. Since they, he has taken rapid strides and worked significantly upon his variations and other skills. He was in sublime form in the ongoing Big Bash League, scalping 10 wickets in eight games at an economy below 7 runs per over.
Therefore, he would be sorely missed in the tournament. Going by his current form, he could have been a valuable addition to any team, but it won’t be the case.
11. Rangana Herath
It’s a shame that Rangana Herath, a cult legend of the game with more than 400 test wickets, didn’t get to play this tournament. Rangana Herath took part in the tournament’s auctions twice in 2012 and 2013, at a time when he was still at his prime. Indeed, it was his reputation of being a test-specialist that didn’t help his cause.
In 2013, the Sri Lankan spinner scalped 26 wickets in 17 ODIs, in addition to 25 test wickets from four games. Therefore, it would have been quite disappointing for everyone to see him going unsold.
Herath features as the second spinner in this team, alongside Adam Zampa. Also, he is the lone-off-spinner in this squad, who is capable of providing necessary breakthroughs with his experience.
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 2020: Rating the teams based on their performance in the league stage
- IPL 2020: Match 44, RCB vs CSK – Gaikwad’s maiden fifty, RCB’s tough time in the green jersey and more stats
- IPL 2020: Match 44, RCB vs CSK – Match Impact Ratings
- IPL 2020: Match 25, CSK vs RCB – Kohli’s fifty between the wickets, Dhoni’s records, CSK’s worst start and more stats
- IPL 2020: Match 25, CSK vs RCB – Match Impact Ratings