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IPL 2018: 5 players who could make a difference in their debut season

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23.82K   //    20 Mar 2018, 17:27 IST

England v South Africa - Royal London ODI
Moeen Ali

Major changes took place ahead of this year's IPL Auction. Previously established franchises had the majority of their core players torn away from them, leaving them with just a handful of retained players. Some established IPL stars failed to earn contracts, such as Ashoke Dinda and Rajat Bhatia.

There were also some auction shocks, like England captain Joe Root being snubbed entirely. However, there are also a lot of new faces in this year's competition. As a result, the tournament could throw up some surprises. This article looks at five IPL first-timers who could have a major impact in the season.

#5 Moeen Ali

England all-rounder Moeen Ali was snapped up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 1.7 crore. While his batting will provide lethal firepower down the order, it is Moeen's off-spin that could be crucial for Bangalore's title campaign.

Moeen's economy rate of 7.76 in India is his lowest in the world (bar the U.A.E) and he particularly impressed in the T20 series when England toured India at the beginning of last year. In those matches, he ended with figures of 4-0-21-2 and 4-0-20-1 as well as one wicketless performance. This is a testament to his discipline with the ball in tough conditions.

His batting will also greatly bolster RCB's chances. Indeed, Moeen is one of a few English batsmen to have an ODI career strike rate above 100 and he is currently the holder of England's second fastest ODI century (coming in just 53 balls). It is hardly surprising then that Ali was snapped up in the auction and he could make a huge impact this year.

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