It’s hammer time ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 as 1214 players have signed in for the mega auction, and as per reports, this could very well be the final auction. The mega auction for this season of IPL will take place on February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru. Before the auctions, teams were permitted to retain players according to the following combinations - two Indian players and as many overseas players or three Indian players and one overseas player.
A total of 318 overseas players have signed up for the mega auctions; some of them having enough calibre to be under the scouting list of all franchises. While the overseas batters have huge chances of burning a big hole in the franchises’ purses. The bowlers have been no less in terms of making their presence felt, especially the overseas bunch that competes in the IPL. Having said that, let us take a glimpse of the top 5 overseas bowlers the franchises would target during biddings in the IPL 2022 mega auction.
Pat Cummins (Base Price of INR 2 Crore)
Australia’s Test skipper Pat Cummins was a sensational pick by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a record deal of USD 2.2 million (₹15.5 crores) during the IPL 2020 auctions. The lanky pacer had then become the most expensive overseas player in the tournament. Of course, he couldn’t keep up with the expectations of the franchise. He has, however, expressed himself with the bat down the order when KKR has struggled in some games. His mettle has had a lasting impression with the two half-centuries he smacked during high-pressure matches for KKR and scored unbeaten 53* and 66* as his personal best scores in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Pat Cumins recently led Australia to a thumping 4-0 win over England in Ashes 2021-22 as he finished with 21 wickets in the series. His IPL records may not be as impressive as his international records, having taken just 38 wickets in 37 matches at an economy of 8.23. However, the kind of form he is enjoying, every franchise would have an eye on the current no. 1 pacer in Tests to add more firepower to its bowling unit.
Trent Boult (Base Price of INR 2 Crore)
The world no. 1 bowler in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) has every reason to be the king pick in IPL 2022 mega auction. Trent Boult made his IPL debut in 2015 and since then he has played for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), KKR, and Mumbai Indians (MI).
Boult was one of the heroes of IPL 2020 champions, MI, as he rattled Delhi Capital's (DC) innings in the finals by taking 3/40 during his 4-over spell. He finished the 2020 season with 25 wickets in 15 matches at an economy of 7.97. However, his form in the 2021 edition held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was a stark contrast from the previous edition. The reason may have been that the pitches in UAE were not pace-friendly.
But in ICC T20 World Cup 2021, he turned out to be a lethal cog for eventual runners-up, New Zealand, having finished the tournament with impressive figures, i.e., by taking 13 wickets in just 7 games at a magnificent economy rate of 6.25.
The left-arm quick has taken 76 wickets in 62 IPL matches so far but his presence makes a huge difference in the bowling unit, especially with his ability to swing the ball both ways.
Wanindu Hasaranga (Base Price of INR 1 Crore)
The Sri Lankan spin sensation would already be under the radar of all IPL franchises for the kind of star he is in the making. The current world number 1 T20I bowler propelled Sri Lanka to the Super 12 stage in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 with his impeccable bowling.
Wanindu Hasaranga went on to take a hattrick in the tournament against South Africa by dismissing Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma and Dwaine Pretorius. The 24-year-old had joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a replacement of Adam Zampa for the second-leg of IPL 2021 in the UAE. However, he only played a couple of games and didn’t get more chances to add numbers to his IPL career stats.
Perhaps, his records and performance in the T20I format speak for him, having taken 52 wickets in 33 matches including his career-best 4/9 against India in 2021. His ability to hit the ball in situations when the game demands big hits as well as sticking to his business with his typical yet aggressive leg-break bowling makes him one of the Top 5 overseas bowlers franchises would target in IPL 2022 mega auction.
Kagiso Rabada (Base Price of INR 2 Crore)
The Purple cap holder of IPL 2020, Kagiso Rabada is considered one of the most challenging bowlers to face especially during the death overs. He has proven to be an apt investment for the Delhi Capitals (DC) since 2019. His records have always been up to the mark and even better in some seasons when he has proven to be near-unplayable.
In IPL 2020, while playing for DC, he enjoyed his prime year wherein he took 30 wickets in just 15 games and tallied Jasprit Bumrah with two four-wicket hauls in that season. He couldn’t replicate the same performance in 2021, having taken 15 wickets in 15 matches at an economy of 8.14. He was, however, amongst the top 10 bowlers with the most dot balls in the tournament. If not by taking wickets, he puts a tape on the run-flow with some lethal bouncers, combined with his length balls and unpredictable yorkers.
Rabada’s 76 wickets in 50 IPL matches at an economy of 8.21 make him a first-tier choice and amongst the top 5 overseas bowlers franchises would target in IPL 2022 mega auction.
Josh Hazlewood (Base Price of INR 2 Crore)
Known for his discipline and accurate line and length, Josh Hazlewood has proven to be a vital cog for Australia as well as for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2021. He took 11 wickets in 9 games for the side and was a part of CSK’s fifth triumph in the tournament.
Hazlewood did not stop there and went on to perform well for Australia in ICC T20 World Cup 2021, taking 11 wickets in 7 matches at an economy of 7.29 with best bowling figures of 4/39 against West Indies and helped his side win by 8 wickets against the Caribbean unit. He finished as Australia’s second-highest taker in the tournament.
Under mature and able guidance of the team management, Hazlewood with his sheer discipline and consistency can be an economical and wicket-taking pick for any franchise in IPL 2022 mega auction.