IPL 2020: 5 batsmen to look out for in the auctions
No one really likes to see 200 playing 200 in a T20, reckon many. But, is that really true?
Many who come out to support their franchises, either in the stadium or in their drawing rooms, actually love to see the ball being smacked out of the park. Such has become the nature of T20 cricket that fans, especially the newer lot, who have come into the sport through the shorter format, lean towards slam-bang cricket.
While a hard-fought contest is the ultimate ecstasy for the purists, hard-hitting batsmen serve the purpose of cricketainment and will be in demand in IPL 2020 auctions as well.
On cue, here are the five batsmen to look out for in the upcoming auctions.
Brandon King was one of the biggest revelations in the Caribbean Premier League 2019 and fell just four runs short of 500. He topped the run charts with an average of 55.11 and a strike rate of close to 150.
His top score of unbeaten 132 and three half-centuries created a buzz around the world and King was handed a national call-up for the series against Afghanistan. Although he could not quite cash on to the opportunity, his T20 average of 32.50 and strike rate of 134.48 from 33 T20s are impressive figures for the franchises to look towards him.
Evin Lewis was part of Mumbai Indians for the last two years. While he did fire for the team in 2018 with 382 runs from 13 matches at an average of almost 30 and a strike rate of close to 140, he got only three opportunities in the last year and could not contribute much.
The reason for it was that Mumbai Indians had roped in Quinton de Kock and he then became their prime opener. Lewis is one of the few batsmen to have more than one T20I hundred and with his T20I average of 30.12 and strike rate of 153.04, he is likely to be snaffled by one team or the other.
Rahul Tripathi first proved his mettle in IPL 2017, playing for the now-defunct Rising Pune super Giant. Tripathi scored 391 runs in the season at an average of 27.92 and an impressive strike rate 146.44. Tripathi then went to Rajasthan Royals and has now played three consecutive years of IPL.
In these years, he has averaged at around 25 which is decent enough with the strike rate of 137.31 in the IPL. Tripathi is a good option for any franchise looking for an Indian opener. He was in decent touch in the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well and scored a couple of half-centuries, against Haryana and Punjab.
Shimron Hetmyer's name led to a bidding war between Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore last season. Ultimately, Bangalore got him for INR 4.20 crores. However, the fiery batsman failed to deliver in the five games he played.
Hetmyer had not been in the best of form of late and had only one knock of 72* to show for Guyana Amazon Warriors in CPL 2019. However, his credentials of being an explosive middle-order batsman have been unquestioned.
Hetmyer has roared back to form in the T20Is against India and is a great option for franchises looking for an explosive middle-order batsman.
Ashton Turner attracted attention with a successful Big Bash League 2018 campaign where he ended among the top 10 run scorers. playing for Perth Scorchers, Turner piled up 378 runs from 14 games in BBL 2018 at an average of 31.50 and a strike rate of 132.63.
His moment in the sun came when he scored an unbeaten 80-odd against a famed Indian bowling line-up to guide Australia to a T20I victory. This is possibly what had the strongest impression on the Indian franchise owners as Rajasthan Royals went on to pick him.
Turner was given four opportunities in the season and managed only three runs, including a hat-trick of ducks. While that can happen to any batsman, Turner remains a good middle-order overseas batting option with an impressive CV and will be sought after in the auctions.
©Cricket World 2019