R Sai Kishore and Antony Dhas have been impressive, says RCB analyst Sandeep Raju
IPL 2017 saw a few Tamil Nadu Premier League players getting picked in the auction and a couple of names got the chance to prove themselves. The eleventh edition of the tournament might see few more names as the IPL team scouts are in the state to keep an eye on the talents who are taking part in the IPL.
Royal Challengers Bangalore performance analyst Sandeep Raju was in attendance at NPR College Ground in Dindigul and had a close look on proceedings. With all the teams likely to start from scratch in the 2018 auction, Raju conceded that RCB are looking to steal a march on their rivals.
“Basically, the next IPL auction is a big one. And we want to be ahead of our competition. We want to look at all domestic and international tournaments and find talents. TNPL is one of those platforms where you can come and see how cricketers from Tamil Nadu stand and then assess if they can play in the IPL. I'm here to see what this tournament has to offer,“ said Raju in an exclusive interview with Times of India.
Raju has been in attendance for a few matches and is said to be impressed with few players who are setting the stage on fire. He was not willing to say the names of the players who have impressed him the most but praised Chepauk Super Gillies duo of R Asi Kishore and W Antony Dhas.
"Pardon our protocol; I can't tell you all the players' names. But as the commentators have been saying, Sai Kishore has been looking very impressive. Antony Dhas' ball-striking ability was fantastic a couple of days ago. These are a few names that come to my mind. From here on, it will be a matter of tracking these players and seeing how they fare on a consistent basis,“ he added.
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Sandeep Raju has been the performance analyst of RCB for a while. Before taking up the role with the IPL side, Raju worked with the Indian team from 2013 to 2015 and was with the Haryana domestic team and Delhi Daredevils.
In the last IPL auction, fast bowler T Natarajan was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping 3 crore INR and had a decent outing in the matches he played. Along with Natarajan, Kolkata Knight Riders picked Sanjay Yadav and just before the start of the tournament, Rising Pune Supergiant signed one of the big success stories of the tournament, Washington Sundar as a replacement for R Ashwin.
Wicketkeeper-batsman N Jagadeesan was tipped to replace RCB gloveman KL Rahul but narrowly missed out as the franchise went on to pick Kerala's Vishnu Vinod. Similarly, slow left-arm spinner Rahil Shah was in contention to replace Shivil Kaushik in the Gujarat Lions squad.
Both Sai Kishore and Antony Dhas are having a good second season with Super Gillies. If they manage to continue their dream run in the upcoming domestic season, getting a lucrative contract in the 2018 IPL auction will be inevitable.
It is good to see the IPL franchises keeping an eye on local leagues where one can find a lot of talented players. It also gives the players an extra source of motivation to bring in their A-game and perform well.
Without a doubt, Sai Kishore is definitely one for the future, at least in the limited-overs format. Meanwhile, Antony Dhas has been around for a while and has been very underrated in List A and T20 formats.