New Delhi [India], February 17 (ANI): The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Player Auction is just around the corner and as many as 292 cricketers are set to go under the hammer in Chennai on February 18.
Over 1000 players had initially registered for the auction but the final list, announced on February 11, was pruned after the eight franchises submitted their shortlist of players.
A total of 164 Indian players, 125 overseas players, and 3 players from Associate Nations will be up for grabs in the IPL 2021 Player Auction.
As the auction inches closer, let's take a look at the top 5 bowlers that are likely to attract the biggest bids:
1. Tim Southee:
New Zealand pacer Tim Southee will be the centre of attraction for franchises that are looking to add an experienced wicket-taking bowler to their bowling line-up. Southee, who holds the seventh rank in the ICC's T20I Bowling Rankings, has 87 wickets under his belt in 73 innings for New Zealand in T20Is. During the T20I series against Pakistan in December, Southee performed brilliantly. In the third T20I against Pakistan, the pacer returned with figures of 2/25 from his four overs while in the second match of the series, he scalped four wickets and gave away just 21 runs. Considering his recent run of form in the shortest format of the game, Southee would be one of the players who the franchises would be really interested in. He has set his base price at INR 75 lakh.
2. Harbhajan Singh:
Harbhajan Singh was among the players released by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Harbhajan did not take part in the 2020 edition of the tournament, citing personal reasons. Given the experience that Harbhajan possesses, he is likely to attract a good bid in the auction. Harbhajan has played 160 matches in the IPL and has picked 150 wickets. INR 2 crore is the highest reserve price and Harbhajan has chosen to be slotted in the highest bracket.
3. Mujeeb Ur Rahman:
Afghanistan's Mujeeb Ur Rahman is also likely to attract good bids in the upcoming auction, given the player's abilities. He is the third-ranked player in the ICC's T20I Bowling Rankings and was one of the players released by Kings XI Punjab. He has played 19 matches for Afghanistan and taken 25 wickets. He has set his base price at INR 1.5 crore.
4. Umesh Yadav:
India pacer Umesh Yadav is also up for grabs in the auction after being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He did not play that many games in the last edition of the IPL. In the 2019 edition, he played 11 games and took eight wickets while in the 2018 edition, Umesh had 20 wickets from 14 matches. Overall, the pacer has played 121 games in the IPL and has 119 wickets under his belt. He has set his base price at INR 1 crore.
5. Sheldon Cottrell:
West Indies' Sheldon Cottrell, who ranks eighth in the ICC's T20I Bowling Rankings, is also among the top contenders to get a good bid from the franchises, who are looking for a pacer. Cottrell has a considerable experience in the shortest format of the game, having played 30 T20I matches for West Indies. In the last edition of the tournament, Cottrell took six wickets from as many games for Kings XI Punjab. The pacer has set his base price at INR 1 crore.
Meanwhile, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have the highest number of available slots, 13, followed by Kings XI Punjab (9), Rajasthan Royals (8), and Kolkata Knight Riders (8). Sunrisers Hyderabad (3) have the least number of available spots. (ANI)