The mini-auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL), held in Chennai on 18thof February, was dominated by the high-flying names that went for record numbers. There were also some names who bagged dreamy price tags in the 2021 auction.
Though Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, and Krishnappa Gowtham were bought for an exorbitant sum, the franchises did manage to pick up some uncapped players for amounts that could make them real steal deals in the IPL this time.
IPL Auction 2021: 3 uncapped Indian players who can be steal deals
1. Jalaj Saxena- INR 30 Lakh
Saxena’s worth could be gauged from the fact that Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose eye for spotting a talent needs no introduction, had recommended two names amongst the Indian all-rounders to the team management- one was K Gowtham, who was ultimately bought by the team for 9.75 Crore Rupees, the other being Jalaj Saxena. In fact, his name coming in later on the auction list (he was #100 in the order), when all the teams were almost done with filling their requirement, would be a good bet as to why Punjab were able to get him for his base price.
The value Saxena brings to the team is evidently much more than the price paid for him- a proven track record in domestic circuit, world-class variations, and more than decent with the bat. In the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT), amongst the Indian spinners set to feature in the IPL this time, he was the 3rd highest wicket-taker with 10 wickets in 5 games, 2nd highest when it came to strike rate, and was the joint highest when it came to average.
While his auction price may easily give the impression of just another squad player, what makes him a potential steal deal is that ability-wise, he is right up there amongst the best spinners that will feature in the tournament- a genuinely versatile strike bowler who can be relied upon to fetch wickets at any juncture, be it at the start of the innings or when a set partnership is threatening to take the game away.
For the franchise, he can be the solution for the problem they faced last time in finding a reliable partner at the other end for Ravi Bishnoi. What is needed is for the captain and management to place their faith in him and try him out, there are high chances that he can genuinely emerge as a game-changing bowler for the team.
2. Sheldon Jackson- INR 20 Lakh
Jackson was on the books of Kolkata Knight Riders previously and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the team, Venky Mysore, was seen to be elated when they did manage to land him without much of a fight. There was every reason to feel so- there are not many around like him who are as much at ease in hitting lofted shots as they are in finding the fence along the ground.
There has been a considerable gap from the last time he featured in the tournament and Jackson has utilized that time well to work on his fitness as well as to tweak his game to suit the requirements of the shorter format. As a result, he had a fine run in the SMAT this time, hitting a whirlwind century against Andhra, and will be keen to replicate his exploits in the IPL.
In a team that requires firepower in the middle order, it is likely that there will be chances for Jackson, if not as a backup wicket-keeper, at least as a pure batsman. If his confidence as well as power are anything to go by, he can turn out to be a great bargain for the team in their efforts to regain top spot in the competition.
Sachin Baby- INR 20 Lakh
While few doubted his ability to bat stylishly, question-marks did exist on Baby’s ability to produce the goods in crunch situations. However, he looks a revamped player altogether now, who revels and comes alive in pressure situations. His knock of 68 from 36 balls against Haryana was one of the best innings from this year’s SMAT, and it was studded with stunning hits against the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohit Sharma.
Recognizing this ability of his to take on the mantle when it matters the most, he was named the captain of Kerala side for the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy and two games into the season, he has seamlessly carried his fine form into the tournament.
His ability to gauge the situation and adapt accordingly will be a huge plus for the Royal Challengers, given their struggles last season to find a reliable batter lower down the order after the Virat Kohli- AB De Villiers duo. Add to it, he is a handy off-spin bowler who can pick up quick wickets and for the price paid for him, the value he offers is surely much more.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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