The 2016 IPL might be a few months away, but we are just five days away from the IPL Player Auction, which is scheduled for Saturday in Bengaluru. The marquee players for the auction, which includes Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh and Martin Guptill, have already been announced.
IPL teams are expected to come with their homework well done for the auctions. They must have already zoomed in on players, who could fit the bill perfectly for their respective teams. A total of 351 players will be available for auction, including 121 foreign players.
Here is a look at some big foreign names, who could attract mega deals during the auction.
The Englishman, who has already expressed his desire to be picked during the auction, will be one of the biggest attractions. Pietersen has been in the thick of things, playing T20 leagues around the world, including the Big Bash League in Australia. Pietersen made his case even stronger with a 39-ball 74 in the final of the BBL last month. The destructive batsman is one of the most experienced players in the T20 format and teams will be eager to get him on board. It remains to be seen if teams such as Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils will try to re-sign their former player.
Guptill, among the current crop of international players in the auction, is the most in-form player in international cricket. His batting record for New Zealand in coloured clothing has been top class and of late he has been playing the big shots with ridiculous ease. Though he may not fall in the bracket of Pietersen, the New Zealander can prove to be one of the best buys in the auction. With former New Zealand player Stephen Fleming being Pune's coach and knowing Guptill well, it will not be a huge surprise if the former CSK coach shows interest in signing the New Zealand opener.
The South African pacer is one of the best fast bowlers in the world, so when his name will be announced during the auction, expect a number of team teams to bid for the player. Though it is the batsmen who are always in huge demand during IPL auctions, quality fast bowlers like Steyn are also expected to command huge money. However, one fails to understand Sunrisers Hyderabad's decision not to retain the pacer, even with Steyn struggling with injuries.
Buttler's participation in the IPL was a cause of concern with England's hectic schedule, but the Englishman, with the blessing of ECB, will be featuring in the ninth edition of the IPL. Buttler is set to add great value to the IPL. As he is a quality wicketkeeper/batsman, franchises are expected to bid for the player. Kolkata Knight Riders are said to be one of the most interested teams in IPL 2016 Player Auction.
The Australian has timed his T20 century against India to perfection. His 71-ball 124 would have alerted franchises about his tremendous hitting ability still being very much available. Watson, who has bagged the MVP award twice in the IPL, is one of the most successful players in the cash-rich event. Apart from his batting exploits, he is more than handy with the white ball in his hand.