The Indian Premier League (IPL) has always seen some of the biggest stars in world cricket competing to get their hands on the coveted trophy. Apart from them, the tournament also encourages and makes for youngsters, future international stars and the like to make their name and kickstart their career. A large amount of international players at present have been picked as a result of the IPL.
This is exactly why there is always a sense of excitement whenever a debutant is bought at the auction and gets to play matches instead of warming the bench. As the 2021 edition of the tournament beckons, we take a look at 5 players who have never played before in the IPL who would want to take the league by storm.
24-year-old Riley Meredith has already made waves in Australia with his express quick bowling. He has been touted by many as the replacement for express right-arm speedsters that the Aussies had like Brett Lee and Shaun Tait. Meredith’s excellent performances in the Big Bash League were rewarded with a call-up to the national team as he played 3 T20Is against New Zealand, picking up 4 wickets.
In the auction for IPL 2021, he was picked up by Punjab Kings for a big sum of Rs. 8 crores. He would be raring to make a mark in the IPL while bolstering the PBKS bowling attack as well.
Mohammed Azharuddeen made the entire nation take note of him as he struck a 37-ball hundred during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Kerala. His performance was appreciated by many including former Indian opener Virender Sehwag. It seemed like Azharuddeen’s acquisition at the auction was a given thanks to his knock and that was exactly the case.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bought him for his base price of Rs. 20 lakhs. It seems likely that the Kerala wicket-keeper batsman would get some games as regular opener Devdutt Padikkal recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Yet another wicket-keeper batsman acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore, Finn Allen was picked up as a replacement for Australia’s Josh Phillipe who pulled out of the tournament. Having been picked by the New Zealand national team at the same time as well, Allen struggled to score big in his first two matches before unleashing his fury with a stunning knock against Bangladesh.
RCB would be tempted to give the New Zealander a go at some point in the season, if not as a regular in the playing XI.
Yet another player who made his name in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with his exploits, Shahrukh Khan was hot property at the auction as he was bid for by Punjab Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals. He was eventually picked by the former for a sum of Rs. 5.25 crores.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder has come in for huge praise from PBKS head-coach Anil Kumble and it seems like he would be a starter for the side, going by how much the franchise and its coaches have spoken about the talented Shahrukh.
The World’s No. 1 ranked T20I batsman, Dawid Malan is all set to take the IPL by storm as well following his acquisition by Punjab Kings for his base price of Rs. 1.50 crores. Touted to be one who could set off bidding wars at the auction table, it was a big surprise that apart from PBKS, none of the other franchises seemed to be interested in the Englishman.
The buying of Malan seems like a bargain and if he can get accustomed to the conditions and get going, he could set the tournament on fire.