The Indian Premier League is arguably the best cricket league in the world, with almost all international stars gracing the annual T20 extravaganza. Quality cricket combined with astronomical price tags, golden opportunities, glitz, and glamour make it one of the biggest sports festivals.
The Indian summer has been made extra special with the arrival of the IPL a decade ago, with fans thronging the stadiums to catch a glimpse of superstars of world cricket. From the legendary Shane Warne leading his side to glory at the inaugural edition to 2009 IPL Emerging player, Rohit Sharma evolving as one of the best skippers, the league has seen it all.
Many uncapped Indian cricketers have made their mark in the league over the years and some of them have gone onto becoming Team India regulars. The IPL is a perfect platform for young Indian cricketers to share the dressing room and rub shoulders with the legendary players.
Let us now look at five uncapped Indian players who were part of various franchises last season, but have been released ahead of this year's auctions. These talented players can be valuable buys for the franchises at the 2019 IPL auctions.
Tajinder Singh Dhillon
Tajinder, who had a base price was INR 20 lakhs was eventually bought by the three-time winners, Mumbai Indians at the 2018 IPL auctions for INR 55 lakhs with inaugural champions, Rajasthan Royals, too, showing interest in a bid to acquire his services.
A hard-hitter of the ball, Tajinder is predominantly a batting all-rounder who can also chip in with crucial contributions with the ball occasionally. The 26-year-old, who plays for Rajasthan in the domestic circuit made his T20 cricket debut against Madhya Pradesh in January 2017. So far, Tajinder has played 15 T20s in his career scoring 264 runs at a strike-rate of 152.60, with his highest score being 51.
He shot into the limelight when he whacked veteran Bengal pacer, Ashoke Dinda all over the park amassing 28 runs in one over during a Vijay Hazare Trophy game in March last year. A good run at the 2017-18 Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament saw the Dholpur-born player finish with 198 runs in eight matches at an astonishing strike-rate of above 170. A useful off-spinner, Tajinder has so far scalped 15 T20 wickets at an economy of just 6.69 with his best figures being 4/25.
With 409 runs (in 8 matches at an average of 37.18 with his highest score being 134), 10 First-class wickets and 243 runs (in 14 matches with his highest score being 60*), 11 List A wickets his batting and bowling stats are equally good in other formats of the game.
An ideal T20 player who can hit all over the park with ease as well as contribute substantially with the ball, Tajinder is yet to unleash his best. Unfortunately, in a star-studded Mumbai Indians side, he did not get his well-deserved opportunity to don the Blue jersey for Rohit Sharma's men last season.
Having been released prior to the 2019 auctions, hopefully, the franchise owners will set their sights on the talented star once again.
Kanishk, who turned 21 earlier this month has already lived the dream of sharing the dressing room with the game's most successful skipper, MS Dhoni. The left-arm pacer from Bengal was bought by the Chennai Super Kings at last year's auctions at his base price of INR 20 lakhs.
He made his T20 debut back in March 2015 against Assam and has so far played 13 T20s, picking up 18 wickets at an economy of 7.02 with his best figures being 3/23. During the 2017-18 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, Kanishk finished with nine wickets in six matches for Bengal and earned his maiden IPL contract with MS Dhoni's men.
A left-arm pacer is always perceived as a valuable asset in India and at just 21, he is young and raring to go with 21 List A wickets in 14 matches with his best figures being 4/59 and 7 First-class wickets in 3 matches with his best figures being 3/77. A good limited-overs bowler, he can be a good pick for the franchises not just with the ball but with his cameos down the order.
One of the best talents from team India's 2016 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup squad, Dagar is a slow left-arm orthodox bowler. The 22-year-old, who plays for Himachal Pradesh in the domestic circuit made his T20 cricket debut in January last year against Services at Dharamsala and has so far played 13 T20s, picking up 12 wickets at an economy of 7.34 with his best figures being 3/28.
Dagar, who also has 36 First-class (12 matches) and 17 List A (18 matches) to his name was bought by the Kings XI Punjab franchise at last year's auctions at his base price of INR 20 lakh.
An interesting fact is that the Delhi-born player is the nephew of 'Nawab of Najafgarh' Virender Sehwag. One of the promising talents, Dagar could not break into the Punjab XI last season with so many superstars already in the team. If he once again gets an IPL contract, he can prove himself to the cricketing world.
Pavan Deshpande made his T20 cricket debut for Karnataka in March 2015 against Kerala and has so far played 11 T20s scoring 336 runs at a strike-rate of 145.45 with his highest score being 56 (has two half-centuries to his name).
He was bought by the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore side at the 2018 IPL auctions at his base price of INR 20 lakhs. Unfortunately, the southpaw did not get an opportunity to don the Challengers jersey for the entire duration of the eleventh season.
Pavan was the second highest run-getter of the 2018 Karnataka Premier League amassing 205 runs in seven matches at a strike-rate of 131.41, with his highest score being 76* as his side Bengaluru Blasters finished as the runner-up behind Bijapur Bulls.
He has also scored 690 List A runs in 21 matches with his highest score being 95. A quality middle order batsman and an occasional off-spinner, Deshpande can be a valuable addition especially for franchises in need of a quality uncapped Indian batsman.
For Manzoor Dar, life has been full of twists and turns. From being a security guard to becoming the first-ever player from the gorgeous valleys of Kashmir to be a part of an IPL franchise (both Parvez Rasool and Umar Nazir went unsold at the auctions), it has been one remarkable journey.
The 25-year-old made his T20 cricket debut against Services in January 2017 and has so far played 9 T20s scoring 185 runs at a strike-rate of 145.66 that includes 13 monstrous sixes. Manzoor, who is yet to make his First-Class debut for Jammu and Kashmir, made his List A debut a month later against Hyderabad.
In 10 List A matches, he has amassed 109 runs while picking up six wickets. Though Kings XI Punjab bought Manzoor at his base price of INR 20 lakhs at the 2018 auctions, he did not play even a game for Ravichandran Ashwin's men in the entire season. The talented all-rounder who is capable of hitting big sixes and bowling useful off-spin, deserves an IPL call up once again