The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega-auction is knocking on the doors with just a week to go and almost all the franchises have completed their planning for the big two days.
Needless to mention how essential all-rounders have been across all formats; with their skills of batting in the lower-order, bowling 3-4 vital overs and fielding, they are definitely rare commodities in the cricketing arena.
As many as 1214 players have registered their names for going under the hammer which includes 270 capped and 692 uncapped Indian players. Out of these players, 143 uncapped applicants were part of the previous IPL seasons. So, let’s figure out the Indian all-rounders that the sides would target from the huge pool.
Krunal Pandya (Base Price of INR 2 Crores)
A true IPL-star, Krunal Pandya, has been one of the most prolific names in the marquee league’s famed history. Since coming into the circuit in 2016, he has been one of the solid pegs in the lower-order for Mumbai Indians (MI) along with sibling Hardik Pandya and the indomitable Kieron Pollard, propelling the champion side to three title wins.
But Krunal has been on a downward slope of late and that has resulted in him not being retained by Mumbai Indians this season. Also, he had to give up the leadership duties of Baroda because of some unremarkable performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. To add salt to injury, the national selectors too seem to have lost interest in him.
In the recently concluded 2021-22 edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he scored a paltry 83 runs at a low strike rate of 117. Of course, with ball in hand he was a little more effective with 6 scalps at a measly economy rate of under 6.
But this proven match-winner can seriously turn the tables; someone who provides versatility with bat in hand in the lower-order and bowling important middle overs with huge experience of playing in the biggest nights. It will not be far-fetched to say that he can easily herald a bidding war on the auction tables. Will MI want him back or will he be re-united with brother Hardik Pandya at Ahmedabad?
Washington Sundar (Base Price of INR 1.5 Crores)
Named after PD Washington as a mark of respect for being a mentor of Sundar senior, Washington Sundar has risen up the ranks from the 2016 U-19 World Cup. Although, of late injuries and Covid infection have somehow erased his name; the selectors hardly forget to keep this Tamil Nadu all-rounder in the T20I side consistently.
Sundar was ruled out of the second half of IPL 2021 due to a finger injury. The numbers don’t do justice to his capabilities; he had been one of the go to man for Virat Kohli in the powerplay with the ball. In 27 innings, in the first 6 overs, he has dismissed 9 batters with an economy of just 7.26.
Even though he hasn’t lived up to expectations in the batting side, the cricket world doesn’t hesitate to speak about his potential with bat in hand after Gabba 2021. With age on his side, the 22-year-old left-hander can surely invite a lot of interest. The franchises can easily invest in him looking at the future.
Rahul Tewatia (Base Price of INR 40 Lakhs)
Everything is possible until there is Rahul Tewatia in the middle. Everyone echoed the same words since Rajasthan Royals (RR) game against Punjab Kings (then called Kings XI Punjab) in IPL 2020 when this left-handed Haryana all-rounder turned the fate of the game on its head single-handedly with fives sixes in an over of Sheldon Cottrell, helping his side chase down a mammoth score of 224 with elan.
An old-fashioned leg-spinner who prefers to offer the ball lot of air instead of firing it in, coupled with his ability lower down the order is a valuable asset for building a side.
In SMAT 2021-22, he batted for Haryana with a strike rate of 151.51 and bowled with an economy of just 6.84.