The IPL 2018 auction is just a few weeks away and speculations are heating up when it comes to which players might get a bucket load of cash and which players might leave the auction empty handed.
The IPL franchises have a bigger purse in the auctions this time, but with many teams retaining 2-3 players before the auction, might go for limited resources in the auction and hence some of the players, who have been part of the IPL since a long time, might find it hard to find buyers.
We look at five such Indian players who might find it tough to find buyers in IPL 2018 auction:
With 59 wickets in 76 IPL matches, Ishant Sharma hasn’t set the IPL on fire exactly and the last year of IPL in 2017 proved to be his worst, as he failed to pick up a single wicket in the 6 matches he played and gave away runs at an economy of 9.94 runs per over. His best performance came in year 2013, when he picked 15 wickets in 16 matches. He wasn’t picked up in auction in IPL 2017, but was brought in as a replacement by KXIP for M Vijay.
Ishant doesn’t play limited overs matches for India anymore and this has hampered his practice of bowling in the shorter formats. Ishant’s biggest problem proves to be that once he comes under attack by the batsmen, he tends to lose both his line and length and starts going for runs. Though he still has speed and experience, Ishant might find it hard to attract a buyer this IPL as well.
Yusuf Pathan recently found himself in controversy after he was handed a backdated ban for doping. Pathan has played for two franchises in the IPL, Rajasthan Royals- who made him a household name and Kolkata Knight Riders- for whom he has played some memorable innings.
However, his career with KKR has been a roller coaster, as Yusuf was seldom in form and played some good innings here and there. The only thing that worked for him was that he often played some match winning innings in the knockout matches for KKR.
His inconsistency might cost him a place in any franchise this IPL 2018.
Harbhajan Singh is one of the few players who have played for just one franchise throughout his IPL career. He has also led the Mumbai Indians side and won them the Champions League title also. He was one of the most potent bowlers for the first 8 years of the league, but the last 2 years have been difficult for the off-spinner.
He was even dropped for the knockout stages of IPL in 2017 and his returns of 9 and 8 wickets in last two IPL seasons doesn’t show that he is in some great form. He has not played domestic cricket in continuity and has nothing to show for form in the upcoming IPL 2018 auctions.
Irfan Pathan has played a total of 15 matches in last 3 IPL seasons and he wasn’t picked in the IPL 2015 auctions. He was picked by Gujarat Lions in the IPL 2017 as replacement for Dwayne Bravo, but played just one match. Injury and form issues have derailed a career that was supposed to achieve great heights.
Pathan was also dropped from the Baroda team and was stripped off his captaincy mid Ranji Trophy and wasn’t picked for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2018, which would have given him a chance to impress the IPL franchises. He will definitely enter the auctions this year too, but unless he lowers his base price, he might find it hard to find a buyer in the IPL 2018 auctions.
Ambati Rayudu has been the kingpin for the Mumbai Indians side since he was picked up by them in 2010. 2416 runs in 114 matches is an impressive record for someone who often bats in middle order. In the last IPL season, he got injured at the start and MI found an apt replacement for him and Rayudu could only play 5 matches, despite getting fit.
Rayudu is a brain over brawn player and with the T20 game changing since his debut in 2010, a strike rate of 126.16 is not acceptable, when other batsmen are going at 150. Rayudu also has behavioral problems, as he was seen in an ugly spat with senior Harbhajan Singh in IPL 2016. During the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, he showed his ugly side again, as he argued with Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar, as his side, Hyderabad lost the match by 2 runs, which were added later to Karnataka total.
No franchise wants disharmony amongst their squad and having a short tempered player in the team brings the moral of the team down.