New Zealand players have come up with some impressive performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the years. From Brendon McCullum to Trent Boult, the Indian T20 league has witnessed some star Kiwi performers ply their trade.
Franchises would have liked to retain some big names ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. However, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is the only player from the country who has been retained by his franchise (Sunrisers Hyderabad) ahead of the auction, which will take place in Bengaluru on February 12-13.
Earlier this month, IPL organizers revealed that as many as 1,214 players registered for the IPL 2022 auction (896 Indian and 318 overseas players). From the list, 29 cricketers are from New Zealand, Australia (59) and South Africa (48) being the teams with the highest representation.
IPL 2022 Auction: 3 Kiwi players likely to get good bids
Ahead of the IPL auction next month, we take a look at three players from New Zealand with ₹1.5 crore base price who could be in demand on the bidding table.
#1 Jimmy Neesham
Jimmy Neesham is one of the most versatile players in the current New Zealand outfit. He has the ability to play game-changing knocks with the willow and has the variations to claim wickets with his clever medium pace. Rather surprisingly, he hasn’t played a lot of IPL games. He has only featured in 12 matches in the tournament so far, in which he has picked up eight wickets and scored 61 runs.
The left-hander played the knock that turned the T20 World Cup semi-final against England in Abu Dhabi on its head. Neesham hammered 27 in only 11 balls with three sixes. The Kiwis needed 57 to win off the last four overs, but Neesham and Daryl Mitchell (72* off 47) combined to pull off a miraculous triumph.
The 31-year-old can play the role of a pinch-hitter or a floater in the IPL. His bowling skills would be an added advantage. Neesham is a highly experienced campaigner in the T20 format. In 182 games, he has smashed 2376 runs at a strike rate of 136.94. He has also claimed 158 wickets at an average of 25.41.
#2 Glenn Phillips
25-year-old dashing wicketkeeper-batter Glenn Phillips is considered one of the most destructive batters among the current generation of New Zealand cricketers. He can strike the ball a long way and has plenty of shots in the book to succeed in the T20 format. Phillips did not have a memorable IPL debut. He played three matches for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2021 and scored only 26 runs at a strike rate of 78.78.
There were high hopes from Phillips in the T20 World Cup 2021, but he had a below par tournament there as well. IPL franchises, though, would be aware of the right-hander’s big-hitting talent. He has smashed 4321 runs in 163 T20s at a strike rate of 140.56. Phillips even has a T20I century to his name - 108 off 51 balls against West Indies at Mount Maunganui in November 2020.
If we look at his recent form, he scored 158 runs in six matches for Auckland in the Super Smash 2021-22 at a strike rate of 146.29 with two fifties. Phillips’ style of play is perfectly suited to the T20 format and if any franchise is willing to be patient with him, they could reap rich rewards.
#3 Tim Southee
While Boult has been one of the star performers for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL in recent years, his Kiwi bowling partner Tim Southee has somehow not tasted a lot of success in the Indian T20 league. Having made his IPL debut in 2011, he has only featured in 43 matches in which he has claimed 31 wickets at an average of 44.77 and an economy rate of 8.67.
The 33-year-old is much better than what the above numbers suggest. In fact, he is a proven performer in the T20 format. He is second on the list of bowlers with the most wickets international T20 wickets. Southee has 111 scalps for New Zealand in 92 matches at an average of 24.58 and a strike rate of 17.9. He has all the variations in the kitty to trouble batters in the T20 version.
Even his overall record in the T20 version of the sport is fantastic - 245 scalps in 216 matches at a strike rate of 19. Analyzing his recent form, he played a key role in Northern Districts’ triumph in the Super Smash 2021-22 triumph. He picked up six wickets in three games, with three of those scalps coming in the final against Canterbury in Hamilton. There is no reason why he cannot produce similar performances in the IPL.
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