The spectacle of the IPL 2022 mega-auction is done and dusted. We all have a semblance of where the marquee players went, how the squads have shaped up and what the potential strengths and weaknesses of different teams are.
In the past, the league has been well- known for giving us superstars. In the ongoing India-West Indies T20I series, one will find that eight or nine of the players in action have proved their mettle in the Indian Premier League.
Well, as we wait and build-up to the fifteenth season of IPL, we bring you some scoops about the lesser-known Indian players in this league.
UP pacer Yash Dayal acquired by Gujarat Titans for INR 3.2 crores
With most of the marquee players sold under the hammer, Charu Sharma moved on to the uncapped players, "Number 154, Yash Dayal.”
Just as his name sprung up and the auctioneer asked for a bid of INR 20 lakhs, one could be sure that Yash would have had his heart in his mouth. Being picked up by a team and spending time around international players, learning how legends of the game go about their preparations and handling pressure situations is a big learning curve for these youngsters. So, one can understand what Yash might have been going through.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) made the first bid for the left-arm pacer from Uttar Pradesh and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) also, subsequently, entered the fray. A few minutes later, it turned into a fierce bidding war between three franchises; Gujarat Titans (GT) bullied the other two franchises with their big purse and welcomed the young speedster into their squad for a whopping INR 3.2 crores. The 24-year-old rose to fame in the domestic circuit, where he picked up 14 wickets in seven games. What stood out was his ability to clock around 140 kph and move the ball both ways.
What a difference a few minutes can make, from hoping to being picked up at your base price to having three franchises waging a bidding war for you to becoming a millionaire. But the viewers witnessed the final few minutes of a long and arduous journey.
Not a long time ago, Yash was asked to be the backup bowler in the Indian camp as positive cases broke out in the Indian camp in the middle of the India-West Indies series. RCB may have lost the bidding war but it is not hard to connect the dots as to why they went hard after Yash Dayal.
Abhinav Manohar joins Gujarat Titans (GT) for INR 2.6 crores
When Yash joins the Titans camp in a few weeks, he will meet another young lad from the far corner of the Indian subcontinent. From Karnataka to Ahmedabad, Abhinav Manohar Sadarangani too, attracted a sum much higher than his base price as he went to the new franchise from the western state for INR 2.6 crores.
An explosive middle-order Indian batter is a term you don’t hear too often. But that was the role that his side assigned to him and to say Abhinav performed admirably would be an understatement.
In his debut game for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy against Saurashtra, his side was rocked early in a chase of 145. He came in to bat at 35/3 and won the game for his side with his bat against a potent bowling attack that had Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya.
Karnataka failed to make it to the next stage but the 27-year-old returned with 162 runs from just four games at an average of 54 and a strike rate of 150. One can see why Kolkata and Delhi wanted to include Abhinav in their sides but as fate would have it, it was Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans that nabbed him for INR 2.6 crores.
One can’t help but rejoice on how two different cricketing journeys, two lives and two different disciplines of the game will find recognition and a home with the Gujarat Titans.
IPL 2022 kicks off in India on March 27. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has indicated that the venues for the premier cricketing league could be Mumbai and Pune and the tournament will be held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The detailed schedule of the tournament is yet to be announced.