Reports: New Zealand star Colin Munro could attract a massive bid in 2018 IPL Auction
The left-hander had smashed a sublime century in the 2nd T20I against India at Rajkot.
What's the story?
Having shown his ability to man-handle bowling attacks during the recently completed second T20I against India, New Zealand batsman Colin Munro has put himself in contention for attracting a massive bid during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. Early reports indicate that the 30-year could be one of the most highly sought-after players among various franchises.
"There are not many cricketers in modern day cricket who can strike the ball cleanly from the word go. He is fearless and Munro is known for his pyrotechnics. He will definitely be sought-after during the auction. I don't know if he will be in the top five buys but he will certainly be a match-winner that every team wants", a top analyst told TOI.
Dismissing doubts regarding the left-hander's prowess against off-spin, another high-performance analyst added, "You don't have too many off-spinners in the IPL bowling with the new ball. There is Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Jayant Yadav. Almost every team has leg-spinners and left-arm spinners. Being an opener, he (Munro) would face possibly five or six balls of off-spin a match. And he can sweep, reverse-sweep and employ switch hits as well."
In case you didn't know...
Munro represented Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during the 2016 IPL season. From 4 matches, he could contribute just 30 runs at an under whelming average of 10.
The heart of the matter
Ahead of the 2017 IPL auction, Munro was among the players released by KKR. Having listed his base price at INR 50 Lakhs, the southpaw failed to attract a bid from any of the franchises. A team official from the Knight Riders has now revealed that the attacking batsman went unsold primarily because of his potential unavailability emanating from the Blackcaps' tri-series in Ireland around that time period.
Playing for Trinbago Knight Riders (also run by KKR's principal owners), Munro scored 366 runs from 13 matches at an average of 36.60 and strike-rate of 135.05 to propel his team to the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title. After being strangled under a heavy short ball barrage by the Indian pacers during the ODI series, the aggressive left-hander hammered a scintillating 58-ball 109 in the second T20I against the 'Men in Blue' at Rajkot. His unbeaten century not only propelled the Kiwis to a series-levelling victory but also sky-rocketed his impact value among various IPL franchises.
Munro will be looking to continue his form when New Zealand take on India for the deciding match of the T20I series at Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
The 2018 IPL auction is likely to take place around February next year. With plenty of high-profile players entering the auction pool, the franchises have already begun laying the ground-work to prepare for the bidding war.
With no fixtures scheduled for New Zealand (as of now) during the vast majority of April and May next year, availability will not be an issue for Munro this time around. Hence, he should generate significant buzz in the auction. The left-hander's blazing stroke-play will be a handy addition to any team's batting lineup in the shortest format of the game.