The IPL 2018 auctions saw many players get rich and some getting their first professional contracts with the richest cricket league in the world. All the 8 franchises chose to spend their money carefully on the first day and we saw some big buys.
But there were many surprises in players that have a proven track record in the IPL going unsold. The unsold list included some players who had put their name in the auction for the first time but had a good record in the T20 format around the world.
Let’s have a look at 5 players who can still show up in the IPL 2018:
Hashim Amla played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL 2016 and 2017 and contributed heavily at the top of the order, including two centuries and a score of 96. Hashim Amla scored 420 runs in 10 matches for KXIP after coming in as a replacement player.
However, KXIP decided not to retain him or buy him back in the auction, despite Amla proving to everyone that he can play the T20 format as well as Tests and ODIs. Amla has to keep proving that he can play T20 format, despite having a strike rate of 145.83 in IPL 2017.
One may say that KXIP missed a trick by not buying Amla back, but we might see Amla playing for another franchise in due time, as a replacement player.
Eoin Morgan has not been given his due credit in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has played for teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, but has failed to win the trust of the team management to make his place permanent in the playing XIs of the teams.
He has never got a chance to play in a team at a stretch and even a single failure has put him out of the playing XI. Last year too, he said that he was surprised to be picked up in the IPL auction when SRH bought him. However, this time, Morgan went unsold.
A terrific middle-order batsman, capable of hitting the big shots at will, Morgan can prove to be an asset to any team in T20 format. However, IPL teams have never truly gauzed his talent and abilities. However, with injuries and players only available for a certain period of time in IPL, one might see Morgan being called up to play in IPL 2018.
Kiwi Mitchell McClenaghan refused a central contract with New Zealand cricket board to concentrate on the T20 leagues all over the world. However, not getting picked up in the richest T20 league in the world didn’t come as good news for the left arm pacer.
McClenaghan was a vital player for the Mumbai Indians team, who won the IPL title last season. As Lasith Malinga wasn’t available for the whole season, McClenaghan proved to be an able replacement and picked 19 wickets in 14 matches for MI. He played a crucial role in MI winning their third IPL title in 2017.
However, with teams looking forward to coming three years, MI decided to let go of McClenaghan and didn’t buy him back in the auction as well. But McClenaghan’s services might be called for in case of an injury to any player.
England’s David Willey is the quintessential all-rounder in the T20 format. Willey is a left-arm seamer with the ability to swing the ball at decent pace and a big hitting batsman who has been used at the top order to dismantle bowling attacks.
He smoked a century in the T20 Blast in England and has been one of the most sought-after players in T20 leagues and has cemented his place in the England T20 team as well. 2053 runs in 143 T20 games at a strike rate of 142.17 and 139 wickets at an economy of 7.76 is some of the best career stats you can see in the T20 format and it proves that David Willey should have found a buyer in the IPL 2018 auctions.
However, with the availability of England players for the full season not guaranteed by their respective counties, IPL franchises were reluctant to buy Willey and he went unsold in the auction. However, with things becoming clearer with respect to the availability of players and situations, one might see Willey make his mark in the IPL 2018 as a replacement player.
Shaun Marsh shook the IPL world when he scored 616 runs in just 11 matches in the first IPL edition and won the first orange cap. He has 2477 runs in 71 matches at a strike rate of 132.74.
After his initial success with the Kings XI Punjab franchise, he had played more than 10 games in only two editions of IPL in 2011 and 2012. Apart from that, form and injury have kept Marsh out of the Kings XI Punjab playing XI and this time, KXIP decided not to retain him or buy him back in the IPL 2018 auction.
Marsh has really had problems with his back and his form has been scratchy at the most in the T20 format, despite his Ashes 2017/18 exploits. We might see Marsh playing for another franchise in IPL 2018, in case, an injury happens, because, despite not being a first choice player, Shaun Marsh is definitely on the list of must buy players on every franchise’s minds.