With the craziness and insanity surrounding the Indian Premier League auctions coming to an end, franchises will now be looking back on their team sheets to reflect on their purchases. Some may ponder over the steals they have managed – Corey Anderson to Mumbai Indians or Steven Smith to Rajasthan Royals, to highlight a few. Others may feel they’ve been hard done by some purchases – none more so than Royal Challengers Bangalore, who coughed out Rs 14 crores for Yuvraj Singh, or Sunrisers Hyderabad, who ended up paying a whopping Rs 3.75 crores for Karan Sharma. Most teams went about signing one or two big name players and a couple of workaholics to balance out the team.
Teams like Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab did shrewd business, while teams like Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore may feel they missed out on one or two more players to add strength to their side. The Yuvraj Singhs, the Kartiks and the Pietersens may hog the limelight, but as it has been seen and proven over the past editions, it is the unknown players who shift the tide in favor of their team.
Here are 6 players bought in this auction who will have a major impact on their team’s performance.
Unmukt Chand (Rajasthan Royals)
Bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 65 lakhs, Unmukt Chand’s rise to fame occurred when he captained the India Under-19 to victory in the 2012 World Cup, upsetting hosts Australia. His match winning knock of 111 in a tense chase in the finals was the icing on the cake. Having made his IPL debut for Delhi, his records, scoring a miserly 61 runs in 7 innings, dont inspire confidence; but under the shrewd guidance of Rahul Dravid, anticipate him to be given a more prominent role in the new set up. With the calming influence of proven performers like Steve Smith and Brad Hodge around him, expect him to flourish and finally show his true potential at the IPL.
Brendan Taylor (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
One of the better players to come out of Zimbabwe in the last few years, Brendon Taylor may not be an automatic selection in the Hyderabad Team, which is star-studded with likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch and Darren Sammy. But he should most possibly be given some game time. Bought at his base price of Rs 30 lakhs, he is a steal. Capable of striking some mighty blows at the top of the order, he is also a handy wicket-keeper. With no Kumar Sangakkara or Parthiv Patel to keep wickets this time around for Sunrisers, Brendon Taylor might just prove to be a handy buy for them in case some of the big guns fail to fire. He can help his team get off to a brisk start with his swashbuckling hitting in the powerplay overs.
Rishi Dhawan (Kings XI Punjab)
Bought by Preity Zinta’s team after a fierce bidding war with Hyderabad, the highest wicket-taker in the last season of the Ranji Trophy has been given his just rewards. A young fast bowler who can swing the bowl both ways can prove to be quite handful for batsmen on the seaming tracks of Mohali. He is also capable of striking a few meaty blows in the death overs, seen last year when he played for Mumbai Indians.
Vijay Zol (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Yet another young and exciting talent coming from the state of Maharashtra, Vijay Zol is the current captain of the Under-19 team. He had an impressive Ranji season last year, and with teams required to field at least 7 Indian players, expect him to open the batting with Chris Gayle. With Chris Gayle playing his natural game, he can play the role of the sheet anchor thereby allowing impact players like Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and, now, Yuvraj Singh to do the hitting. A pretty quick runner, he can be quite handy in the outfield.
KL Rahul (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
A thrilling batting prospect to come out of the Karnataka youth setup. Rahul was part of the Karnataka Ranji Trophy winning team last year. It comes as no surprise that Hyderabad were happy to part with 1 crore of their sweet money to bag this player. He is one of the best stroke-makers from the current generation of batsmen. Rahul is equally capable of rotating the strike and sending the ball over the ropes as and when the situation demands. A proven wicketkeeper in the domestic circuit, Hyderabad might just look at him to solve their problem behind the stumps.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (Delhi Daredevils)
Standing tall at 190m, Nathan Coulter-Nile can prove to be the missing jigsaw that helps Delhi achieve the ultimate crown. Over the past few seasons, Delhi have always had solid batsmen at the top of the order, but it is their bowling that has been a major cause of worry. In Coulter-Nile, Delhi has purchased a raw fast bowler, who with his height can generate that awkward bounce and cause the batsmen a headache in the death overs. Also, a handy batsman down the order, he hit one of the biggest sixes ever seen in the Big Bash last season. Delhi may have very well bought a potential star in making.
Other notable mentions are Aditya Tare (Mumbai Indians), Samuel Badree (Chennai Super Kings), Mandeep Singh (Kings XI Punjab) and Shadab Jakati (Royal Challengers Bangalore).Published 14 Feb 2014, 02:17 IST