With just a day to go for the mega IPL 2018 auctions, all speculations are rife on which players will be bought by which team and who will become the most expensive player in the auction. This auction will also see 24 English players in the auction with Joe Root and Ben Stokes being the biggest names.
Former England Captain Nasser Hussain spoke to skysports.com about who he thinks will be the hottest buy in the IPL 2018 auction.
Nasser said, “There are complications around buying last year's MVP, BEN STOKES, but let's presume he will be available and focused; he's a three-dimensional cricketer who is capable of taking the tournament by storm again. Some players have struggled with second-season-itis but Stokes will have a point to prove. He gives his absolute best whoever he plays for and thrives on the big stage.”
He praised Afghan leg spinner Rashid Khan, saying “The whole story around Afghan cricket is incredible and the way RASHID KHAN has bowled, in particular in the last year in T20 cricket, has been phenomenal. He's got great variations, as he proved for Sunrisers Hyderabad last year, and wrist spinners tend to be worth their weight in gold in T20 cricket - especially mystery ones. I don't think he's been worked out yet.”
His third pick was Aussie quick Mitchell Starc. He said, “I'm going for MITCHELL STARC because he'll get wickets up front, when it does swing around a bit, and at the death when he can run through the tail. He has great variations too, including a quick bumper. Being a left-armer he also gives you a different line of attack too.”
Hussain also bet his money on Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer.
He said, “I would be spending a lot of money on Jos Buttler as he's one of the most destructive white-ball players in world cricket. He's up there with the best of the finishers at the moment. After his hundred against Australia his price tag must have gone up.”
Hussain continued, “I know Jofra Archer isn't English-qualified yet but based on his performances in the Big Bash, where his death bowling has been magnificent and his fielding exceptional. Tymal Mills' life changed this time last year and the same just might happen to Archer.”
Hussain was asked about England captain Joe Root going into the IPL auctions this time. Hussain answered, “Look at the other members of the 'Fab Four' - Kohli, Williamson and Smith. They're all captains of their country and they go off and play IPL. Playing in the IPL will improve you as a cricketer, it will improve your hitting potential and coping in big-pressure games. The one thing England haven't totally got to grips with is winning big knock-out matches; the more English players we have playing in IPL and getting to the knockout stages, with the pressure of millions watching, should only make them better cricketers. So go for it, enjoy it.”
Speaking about Ben Stokes’ IPL season, Hussain said, “Before he went to the IPL he had a tendency to go a little bit early. The tournament taught him that if it means giving the first 10 balls of his innings to the opposition to get used to the pace, then so be it. I know he's been working with the likes of Graham Thorpe to play with softer hands so he can manoeuvre the ball into gaps. T20 isn't all about smashing the ball out of the park - Ben has always been able to do that - but knocking it around is crucial to building those match-winning scores.”
However Hussain warned young England players to not get caught up in the IPL storm and gave the example of Jason Roy.
Hussain said, “Last year Jason Roy went and sat on the bench for the Gujarat Lions, playing just three games, and when he came back to England he was completely out of nick and was dropped by England because he'd lost the rhythm of batting. If you go to the IPL and play it is beneficial, but if you go and bench-warm and you're a young lad it might be better to stay at home and play in English conditions.”