IPL 2022 mega-auction: Indian batters - MVPs, accumulators, boundary-hitters and red-flags

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06 Feb 2022 | 08:30 AM
authorShubh Aggarwal

IPL 2022 mega-auction: Indian batters - MVPs, accumulators, boundary-hitters and red-flags

As the mega-auction comes closer, we analyze what each Indian batter has to offer, dividing them into four categories

Mega-auction is where teams form the core of their batting. With the overseas personnel limit set at four players per XI, the presence of the Indian talent becomes quite critical. In this space, we analyze all the options available to the franchises, based on their batting alone. To ensure that outdated data doesn’t impact the analysis, numbers are considered from 2020 onwards.


A total of 99 Indian players have registered in the auction in the batter’s category. 19 of these batters have not played any T20 cricket in the time frame considered for the analysis. A further 14 of them fall under the complexities of unavailable data or haven’t hit a boundary since 2020. This restricts our analysis to a pool of 66 players, all of whom are put on the following scatter plot. 

The graph is divided into four quadrants, separated by the median (the middle value that separates the higher half from the lower half of the data set) and not a mean (average). These values are a balls-per-boundary ratio of 6.08 on the x-axis and a dot ball percentage of 36.99 on the y-axis. 

Hence, the first quadrant denotes the most valuable set of batters - the boundary hitters with a fairly low dot ball percentage. The runs keep coming with them. The second quadrant contains the accumulators - they don’t score the boundaries as consistently but keep the dot ball percentage low through hard running. Those in the fourth quadrant rely on boundaries but consume a lot of deliveries between scoring shots. The third quadrant underlines those battling on both fronts.

The most valuable picks

There are a total of 17 players in the first quadrant, most of whom are the cream of the crop. You look at someone like Shikhar Dhawan who is 36 years old but his statistics suggest age is only a number for him. Alongside being in the first quadrant here, he averages 37.3 at a strike-rate of 130.6 since 2020. In addition, nearly every team (except Rajasthan Royals) are looking for at least one opener. 

There lies Rahul Tripathi and Ishan Kishan - two highly impactful players with their intent. Tripathi bats in the top-three with his foot always on the accelerator. Kishan also brings in the variety of a left-hander. Their future potential will keep them in hot demand.

Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik ain’t youngsters but tick multiple boxes. Karthik is a proven finisher - a role always in demand but sparsely available. Rayudu is the jack of all trades. A bidding war can be expected for all these five names.

In lesser-known names, you find Gahlaut Rahul Singh in the top-right. Besides the best balls-per-boundary ratio and dot-ball percentage in the lot, he also averages 48.8 while striking at 156.6. He is a top-order batter who has done consistently well for Services in white-ball cricket. 

Karun Nair and Manoj Tiwary are forgotten stars who might fetch a contract this time due to two new teams and a mega auction in place.

The accumulators and boundary hitters

Among the accumulators - second quadrant - Shreyas Iyer is the only batsman with recent experience of playing international cricket. Despite their low boundary percentage, accumulators can be crucial in a line-up, helping others to build an innings around them. Hence, Iyer, with his immense future potential and a superb recent IPL record (694 runs since 2020, 34.7 average and 117.2 strike-rate) is a contender to be the most expensive player at this auction. 

Kona Bharat has a better balls-per-boundary ratio whilst keeping the same dot ball percentage as Iyer. After his heroics in the last IPL, he is another batter to watch out for in this lot. 

Manish Pandey is sandwiched between the two. Three unfrutiful years with Sunrisers Hyderabad have diminished his stocks but the dearth of Indian batters in a 10-team auction alongwith decent Syed Mushtaq Ali numbers will keep him relevant. Saurabh Tiwary, Sachin Baby and Rinku Singh are the only other players here with a handy IPL experience. Priyam Garg’s numbers (dot percentage 36.21, balls-per-boundary 11.47) are so bad that he almost falls into the third quadrant.

The boundary hitters category have far less experienced options. Robin Uthappa falls on the median of the first and the fourth quadrant. However, at 36 and mixed returns, nobody knows what to expect from him. One thing is for certain - he is an investment that will give the best returns at top of the order. Devdutt Padikkal, a promising and young opener, was stuck a number of times in the previous IPL season and has not played much cricket since. Manan Vohra’s dot ball percentage is far too high. 

Mandeep Singh is the only other seasoned campaigner in this category. Besides him, Virat Singh and Prabhsimran Singh are the other batters with a handful of IPL experience. 

The group is largely composed of untested players in the league. Vidarbha’s Jitesh Sharma seems to be a winner in the list, averaging 27.2 at a strike-rate of 178.5. Other promising names here are Hiten Dalal, Anuj Rawat, Himanshu Rana, Tanmay Agarwal and Yash Nahar. 


A quadrant showcasing the unpleasant combination of a high dot ball percentage with far less boundaries to cover it up. It has a few players who used to be prime batting options once. 

Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane have hinted that they are past their prime. Any bids for them will only reflect the increased demand of Indian batters with two new teams, albeit without any increase in supply.

Wriddhiman Saha has batted at a strike-rate of 96.2 for his 204 T20 runs this year. Anmolpreet Singh, Nikhil Naik, Aditya Tare and Narayan Jagadeesan are the only other players in this lot with IPL experience of any degree. Only Jagadeesan, being the youngest here, vouches for a contract with a place in the XI of any of the 10 franchises.

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Indian Premier League, 2022Shreyas IyerShikhar DhawanSuresh RainaAjinkya RahaneAmbati RayuduDevdutt PadikkalDinesh KarthikSrikar BharatRobin UthappaManish PandeyIshan KishanRahul TripathiJitesh SharmaRahul Singh Gahlaut

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