Saqib Mahmood is among those up-and-coming fast-bowlers who will be in demand at the IPL 2022 Auction. The Lancashire lad has represented England in both white-ball formats and has left a solid impression in a short career already.
Saqib Mahmood has all the attributes of a complete seamer - pace, swing, reverse-swing and a potent yorker. He gave a good account of the same in the 3-match ODI series against Pakistan last year. He scalped nine wickets there to claim the Player of the Series honors.
Saqib Mahmood has listed himself in the ₹2 crore bracket at the IPL 2022 Auction
Saqib Mahmood's base price at the IPL 2022 Auction falls under the highest bracket of ₹2 crore. While it remains to be seen if there will be a bidding war for his services, franchises should certainly eye him as an option for the long run.
Here, we take a look at 3 teams that could bid for Mahmood in the auction on February 12 and 13:
#3 Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Rajasthan Royals (RR) have struggled to assemble a solid bowling core over the last few seasons. It has come back to haunt them in a quest to add on to their solitary IPL crown that dates back to the inaugural edition in 2008.
Injuries and uncertainty over his availability meant that RR had to release Jofra Archer ahead of the IPL 2022 Auction. While Saqib Mahmood isn't quite the like-for-like replacement in the first XI, he certainly adds value to the outfit by bolstering their bench strength.
The Royals could look at Mahmood as a second seamer in their XI as well, should they manage to find a bowling leader to partner him. Over time, RR has had a history of picking a number of English players, including Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and Jos Buttler. Buttler, in fact, has been retained by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2022 Auction.
Saqib Mahmood will fit the franchise pretty well and will be a handy acquisition over the next three-year cycle.
#2 Mumbai Indians (MI)
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) have always built their side on the back of a successful bowling unit. To be more specific, MI's USP has lied in a solid overseas fast-bowling core.
The likes of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult and of course, Lasith Malinga, are testament to the same. Add the best Indian fast-bowler in Jasprit Bumrah to the attack and one can clearly see why this has been a fearsome pace unit over the years.
Come the IPL 2022 Auction, expect MI's strategy to continue revolving around the same lines. To that end, Saqib Mahmood could prove to be a valuable addition for MI and can serve the franchise's interests to a great extent.
Saqib Mahmood had a fine stint with Sydney Thunder in the recently-concluded Big Bash League (BBL).
Shane Bond, the bowling coach of MI, has been associated with the Thunder in the past. While he didn't work up close with Mahmood this time around, he would have certainly had an eye on him for all we know.
Don't be surprised, therefore, should MI look to Mahmood to use the swing and bounce on offer at the Wankhede Stadium this season.
#1 Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Reigning IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be keen to bolster their bowling unit come the IPL 2022 Auction. With a batting core of Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali and MS Dhoni at their disposal, CSK's focus must lie in procuring solid fast-bowlers.
That's where Saqib Mahmood presents an interesting case to the franchise. Not only does he bring a complete package as a seamer, but is also one who could potentially lead the attack in the years to come.
CSK desperately needs a younger nucleus of players that can serve the franchise for a long period of time. Mahmood is one such overseas resource that could fit the bill, considering his best years are ahead of him.
CSK have also lacked a fast-bowler who brings in that extra bit of pace and hits the deck hard on good batting surfaces. While Josh Hazlewood provided that X-factor during the UAE leg of IPL 2021, procuring his services again will be a challenge owing to the high demand for him.
Saqib Mahmood might just take to the franchise like fish to water with CSK's success centered around role definition. The franchise must keenly look at Mahmood as a bargain pick and tick off a crucial objective at the IPL 2022 Auction.
Q. Will Saqib Mahmood command attention at the IPL 2022 Auction?
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