Updated: Feb 16
The mega-auction for the 15th season of Indian Premier League (IPL) has come to a close as after about two days of so much excitement and intense fight among the franchises, all of them have fulfilled their wish list for structuring their side for the future.
Given that there are some noises on how this mega-auction could become the last one, it was vital for the teams to build a side managing the balance of youth and experienced players. The raw youth even if not being able to contribute for their team in this season can become the main members of the side with so many years left in their legs.
Chennai Super Kings Bought Prashant Solanki for INR 1.2 Crores
Generally, the template that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) follow over the years has been showing greater trust in experience and pedigree; they love to keep an eye on the veterans but this season has been different as they have included a mixture of both youth and expertise.
One of their lesser-known players is going to be Prashant Solanki who is from Mumbai. He is someone who is famous for his right-arm leg-spin with variation in his pace and bowls good googlies.
Solanki was part of Chennai in the past
The way Chennai rushed behind him in a bidding war with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from his base price of INR 20 lakhs to the ultimate number of INR 1.20 crore spoke how much they wanted this youngster in their troops. The fact that he was a part of the franchiese in the past as well spells out something special that the team management have found out in him.
Being in the environment of so many greats of the game, Solanki has grabbed unlimited skills and knowledge of the game.
Solanki has played just one professional T20 match
Surprisingly, the amazing fact has been that the 22-year-old has been part of only one professional T20 match where he finished figures of 1/26 in his full quota of four impressive overs. But to add some extra spice in the recipe, Solanki has played 9 List-A games picking up 26 wickets; he has one 4-wicket and one 5-wicket haul each.
Chennai have shown no interest in leg-spinner Imran Tahir and that has made way to provide Prashant a chance to showcase his ability. The Mumbai player has been a bit unlucky in missing the last Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy due to being infected by COVID-19.
Chennai will now hope to get the best out of the player. Solanki will want that MS Dhoni, who has squeezed out performances from many players, uses him in the right way in best situations in the IPL.
Punjab Kings have Secured Vaibhav Arora for INR 2 Crores
Just like Solanki, there is another story of a young blood, Vaibhav Arora, who has won a place in the Punjab Kings (PBKS) set up for INR 2 crores. The Himachal Pradesh bowler who in the last season was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 20 lakhs is a right-arm medium pacer who can bowl with the new ball.
The impressive swing bowler was called for trials before the IPL 2021 mini auction by Kolkata, the inaugural winner of the competition RR and the most successful franchise of IPL, Mumbai Indians.
Impressive Domestic Record of Arora
Himachal Pradesh had handed him a T20 debut in January 2021 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he scalped 10 wickets in six games. Even though, this performance doesn’t talk much about his skills, the bowling economy rate of 7.41 is pretty good in a tournament that had been high scoring overall.
Arora, on his List-A debut made a huge impression thanks to his hat-trick against Maharashtra. The extreme bidding war for Punjab with Kolkata tells that they had noticed something special in Vaibhav.
In his 12 T20 matches, he has 12 wickets at an economy of under 7 while in the first-class format, in just 8 games, he has 29 scalps at an average of just 18.58. In List-A games too, he has decent numbers.
At the U-23 level for his state team, the right-arm pacer had dismissed 26 batters to become the leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
A New Journey for Arora with Punjab
In the year 2020, Vaibhav had joined the Punjab side as a net bowler in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and had also captured some exceptional learnings by bowling to the likes of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell in the nets which had boosted his confidence highly.
In the past, the Punjab has given many opportunities to unknown new players whether it was Sandeep Sharma or Harpreet Brar or Arshdeep Singh or Ishan Porel. Just like them, Haryana-born Arora, after collecting few skills and knowledge from the camp of Kolkata, will love to explore them if he gets a debut cap in Tata IPL 2022.
The new season that will see 10 teams taking part may kick off on March 27 without any spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai and Pune.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce the full schedule for this season.