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IPL 2023: Sam Curran sure to set bidding war afoot in Kochi mini-auction

IPL 2023 Auction: Sam Curran sure to set bidding war afoot in Kochi mini-auction. Top five players to beg maximum bid at IPL 2023 Auction.


Just like previous years, the focus at the end of this year is slowly shifting towards the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as the mini-auction for the 16th season of the marquee cricket league is set to take place in Kochi on December 23.


405 players to go under the hammer for 87 available slots

The final auction pool for the mini-auction has been halved to 405 players from the originally registered 991, with a maximum of 87 slots available to be filled by the ten franchises. Out of these, 30 players will come in the overseas section.


The IPL organisers have released the final auction pool, stating 36 new names were added on the requests from the franchises as a total of 273 Indian players and 132 overseas players - including four from the associate nations - are going to be part of the final list. There are also 119 capped alongside 286 uncapped players.


Let’s examine the top five players who can pocket a huge sum in the IPL 2023 mini-auction

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Final, England vs Pakistan_ Sam Curran gets Player of the match in final and Player of the tournament in T20 World Cup 2022 _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Curran gets POTM in final and POTT in T20 World Cup 2022 (Source: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Sam Curran (Base Price - INR 2 crore)

If current form becomes the basic criteria of pocketing a huge pay cheque, no other player will come closer to the desired outcome than England’s premier all-rounder Sam Curran who had a big impact in getting England their second T20 World Cup trophy a few weeks earlier.


The 24-year-old has played in 144 T20 matches and taken 146 wickets with an economy of 8.48, mostly bowling the tough overs of the innings. With the bat too, he has been fantastic scoring quickfire runs coming late in the batting order.


In the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Curran broke the back of Pakistan’s batting line-up with figures of 3/12 in his four overs, winning the player of the match award. In the whole tournament, Curran was the leading wicket-taker in the Super 12 stage with 13 wickets in six games at an average of just 11.38 and economy of 6.52.


Bowling the last over of the powerplay and coming back to bowl two to three overs in the death, and ending up with an economy of under seven in this sort of high-class tournament speaks highly about the skill of Curran. The development of the slower deliveries has polished his bowling in the shortest format.


Sam Curran, who was part of the Kings XI Punjab (now named as Punjab Kings) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the past, till now has earned 32 wickets and 337 runs in 32 IPL games at a batting strike rate of 149.78. So, Curran can surely expect a long bidding war when his name pops up in the auction.


TATA IPL 2022_ Mayank Agarwal _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Punjab Kings released Mayank Agarwal ahead of IPL 2023 Auction (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Mayank Agarwal (Base Price - INR 1 crore)

After three back-to-back phenomenal years from 2019 to 2021, a poor year with the bat playing for the Punjab Kings (PBKS) saw Mayank Agarwal being left out of the side, after scoring just 196 runs in 12 games at an average of 16.33 and strike rate of just 122.50, with one half-century besides his name. To add to the agony, the team’s result didn’t go well either.


Mayank’s story in the Indian Premier League has been akin to a roller-coaster ride; he was the first player to be retained by Punjab Kings last year and was made the captain but the added burden of leadership duties played havoc with Agarwal’s batting skills.


But Mayank Agarwal seems to have overcome his poor days as in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2022-23, he scored 165 runs in eight innings at a strike rate of 154.20. His natural skill of taking on the bowlers in the powerplay was missing during the last season. In 113 IPL games so far, Mayank Agarwal has smashed 2331 runs at a strike rate of 134.51 including 12 fifties and one century. Since 2020, he has the third-best strike rate for an opening batter in IPL, only behind Prithvi Shaw and Jos Buttler (minimum ten matches as opener).


With more than one franchise looking for a dashing Indian opener, Agarwal, who has listed his base price at INR 1 crore, would be optimistic about getting a decent bid and earning an opportunity to again show his calibre in the shortest format of the game. Teams like Gujarat Titans (GT), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) can look for someone like him at the top.


Harry Brook is one of the shining prospects for England cricket in coming years _ Walking Wicket (Courtesy_ ©Getty Images)
Harry Brook is one of the most exciting talent going around the world (Source: ©Getty Images)

Harry Brook (Base Price - INR 1.5 crore)

Just like Curran, another player who will be confident entering the IPL auction for the first time will be England’s Harry Brook. When England toured Pakistan for a seven-match T20I series just ahead of T20 World Cup 2022, Brook displayed that he has all the skills and power to master this format; a total of 238 runs came off his bat in just six innings at an average of 79.33 and strike rate of 163.01 including a best of 81*.


During the away Test series against Pakistan, Brook notched up three centuries in each of the three Tests which led to England’s Test captain Ben Stokes comparing the former with Virat Kohli.


The 23-year-old Brook’s T20 numbers in Asia have been extremely impressive - 581 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 167.43 with one century and one fifty. Someone who can take on the bowlers from the very first ball coming in the middle order as well as being the finisher, Brook can expect some teams investing on him for the future.


India vs Australia, 1st T20I, Top Performances_ Cameron Green gets player of the match in 1st T20I at Mohali for his all round (61, 1-46 & 2 catches) performance _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI)
Cameron Green can fetch huge money at IPL 2023 Auction (Photo: ©BCCI)

Cameron Green (Base Price - INR 2 crore)

Perhaps the name of the upcoming Australian all-rounder Cameron Green has been spoken most going into the mini-auction. The power-hitting Australia all-rounder snatched the focus of the world with his aggressive mindset when he came to India for a three-match T20I series just before the T20 World Cup 2022.


Green recorded 118 runs in just three games at a whopping strike rate of 214.54 including two fifties. When he opened the innings for Australia against India during the series, he established himself in the shortest format of the game by smacking 61 runs off 30 balls in Mohali and 52 off 21 balls in Hyderabad to catch the attentions of the fans and the IPL franchises.


Along with his batting, Green is such an excellent asset in the bowling department too; with his height, he made it tough for the batters and being just 23-years-old, he can contribute to any franchise for more than 10 years. The likes of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) or Punjab Kings (PBKS) who have so much money left in the bank can go for Green in the auction.


IPL 2022, DC vs SRH, Top Performances_ Nicholas Pooran's 62 goes in vain as Delhi Capitals beat SRH _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Nicholas Pooran was released by SRH ahead of the Auction (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Nicholas Pooran (Base Price - INR 2 crore)

In the IPL 2022 mega-auction, there was fierce competition between Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad to bag the former West Indies T20I captain Nicholas Pooran, who was finally sold for INR 10.75 crore by SRH. He scored 306 runs including two fifties in the last season at an average of 38.25 and a strike rate of 144.33.


It was surprising to see Hyderabad deciding not to retain him for the 2023 season as Pooran had a poor T20 World Cup 2022 both with the bat and in the leadership duties. But he displayed his skills again when he won the player-of-the-tournament award for his 345 runs at a strike rate of 234.69 and average of 49.28 including three fifties to lead Decan Gladiators to podium finish during the Abu Dhabi T10 League.


Pooran is one of those dreaded power-hitters in the shortest format of the game who loves to take on both the spinners and the pacers; he has a strike rate of 152.30 against spin in 31 IPL innings, while he scores runs at a strike rate of 151.42 against the pace bowlers. And he brings his wicketkeeping skills too on the table.


Just like last year, Pooran could again expect a bidding war for him in the IPL mini-auction.


At the end of the deadline day to retain and release players, SRH had the largest purse with INR 42.25 crore for the auction followed by Punjab Kings (INR 32.23 crore), Lucknow Super Giants (INR 23.35 crore), Mumbai Indians (INR 20.55 crore), Chennai Super Kings (INR 20.45 crore), Delhi Capitals (INR 19.45 crore), GT (INR 19.25 crore), Rajasthan Royals (INR 13.20 crore), RCB (INR 8.75 crore) and KKR (INR 7.05 crore).


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