A major aspect of the IPL auctions is the sheer number of surprise elements which come up every year. Here, we list out five such relatively unknown names which could make a splash at the 2019 auction.
Varun Chakravarty (India)
The architect-turned cricketer has turned a lot of heads since his eye-catching performances in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) earlier this year. The mystery spinner picked up 9 wickets in 10 T20 games at a miserly economy of 4.70 and was a huge reason behind Siechem Madurai Panthers lifting the trophy. He was also the second-highest wicket taker during the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy with 22 scalps in 9 games.
With the amount of success spinners have achieved, it is highly possible that a lot of teams might be interested in Varun. He has a fast, whippy action, and claims to possess as many as eight variations in his armoury. He has already been on the radar of a lot of the IPL sides. He bowled in the Chennai Super Kings nets during the 2018 IPL season and was then invited over to the Kolkata Knight Riders nets as well, by Dinesh Karthik.
Teams such as Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals or Rajasthan Royals, where spin plays a huge part could pick Varun up.
Shivam Dube (India)
This lanky all-rounder from Mumbai has certainly made people take notice of him quite early in his career so much is so that the even Sunil Gavaskar has named him as one of the players to look out for. Well, when you have a first-class batting average of 64.85 and bowling average of 18.28 chances are you will get noticed.
It has been a bumper season so far for the 25-year-old left-hander. He first hogged limelight with his big-hitting prowess in the T20 Mumbai league and with a fabulous 2018 where he has scored big runs across all formats and picked up wickets by the bucketload. Dube certainly will be someone who a lot of the IPL sides might be keen on having.
His strike-rate in T20s reads an exceptional 147.65 and with the ball as well he can conjure up good speeds.
"Every player has a goal to play for the Indian team, and it's always at the back of my mind. Similar is the case with IPL, as that is where you get the recognition. But the key here is not to look too far ahead. I will take one game at a time since I want to make it count, both with the bat and ball in every match I play," Dube had said recently in an interview with Crickenext.
Sherfane Rutherford (West Indies)
This hard-hitting batsman from the Caribbean is yet to make his debut in the international circuit but judging by his performances at the CPL 2018, it won't be a surprise if he is a hot pick at this year's IPL auction.
He first garnered attention when against Trinbago Knight Riders he walloped a 13-ball 45 which fast-tracked him into the national T20I squad and also into the Bengal Tigers T10 league side, which is coached by Stephen Fleming, also the head coach of CSK.
Very much like his idol Chris Gayle, Rutherford packs a punch in his stroke play. He boasts a T20 strike rate of 142.50 and coming in the middle order has the ability to change the course of an innings in a matter of a few balls. At a base price of INR 40 lakh, this hard-hitting left-hander is likely to start a bidding war come the 2019 IPL auction.
Anrich Nortje (South Africa)
The name Anrich Nortje has been on everyone's lips ever since his exploits at the Mzansi Super League 2018. This tearaway quick has the ability to clock 150+ consistently and can move the ball both ways. He played just three games at the MSL T20 before injuring himself but that was enough to make people take notice of him.
In 3 games, Nortje picked up 8 wickets including the scalps of Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, and Morne van Wyk at an average of 10.4! He has hugely impressed the likes of Dale Steyn, his teammate at Cape Town Blitz, with his pace. Termed a future South African prospect, the 25-year-old has already picked up 162 wickets in 46 first-class games at an average of 15.75 while in the T20 circuit as well he has 19 wickets in 12 games at 13.73 with an economy of 6.47.
He is an out and out quick bowler and no one likes extreme pace. At a base price of only IMR 20 lakh, Nortje could be a surprise pick at this year's auction.
Rajneesh Gurbani (India)
This 25-year-old pacer burst onto the scene during last year's Ranji Trophy when he picked up wickets by the bucketful. His performances got him into the India A side that recently toured New Zealand and he showcased his skills there as well.
On the domestic front, Gurbani has been racking up big numbers in terms of wickets and might attract attention by some of the franchises this time around. Although his stats in T20s aren't as glamorous, Gurbani can make the ball talk and at pace, something which could tilt scales in his favour.
Anrich Nortjeiplipl 2019IPL auctionIPL Auction 2019Rajneesh GurbaniSherfane RutherfordShivam DubeVarun Chakravarty
First Published: December 18, 2018, 2:02 AM IST