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Most notable unsold players in the 2022 IPL auction

Last updated on 14 Feb 2022 | 02:13 PM
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Most notable unsold players in the 2022 IPL auction

We look at the most prominent names from a large pool of unsold players in the IPL 2022 mega-auction

Every IPL auction witness a number of unsold players. A lot of these are prominent names who either don’t fit the team dynamics, are ignored because of poor form or just lead to head-scratching decisions. We explore some big unsold names at the 2022 IPL auction separating them into two categories, the ones that actually surprised us and the big guns who stood little chance. 

Surprising omissions

Shakib Al Hasan

Given form, utility and his fitness at the age of 34, Shakib Al Hasan was the first surprise in the unsold lot. His batting numbers have taken a hit due to playing on appalling pitches in Bangladesh but he still remains a valuable batter who can perform multiple roles in a batting line-up. In the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League, he averages 34.5 at a strike-rate of 146.8. It is a facet of his game that has largely been underused in IPL. 

In any case, he is a bankable four-over bowler on most days. An experienced left-hander, it is surprising that a player who offers so much went unsold in a 10-team auction. He could be a handy addition in a number of franchises - Bangalore, Rajasthan and Gujarat to name a few. 

Amit Mishra

When Amit Mishra didn’t attract any bids at his first appearance in the auction, everyone was still certain he will get picked later in the accelerated round. However, he remained in the unsold lot. 

An IPL veteran, Mishra is 39 years old and has played only seven games in the last two seasons. But he is still a handy IPL asset. On turning tracks, he can run through sides as he did against Mumbai in 2021 on a sluggish Chepauk pitch. Mishra picked 4/24 and the player-of-the-match award. Considering the upcoming season will be played in limited venues which will make pitches slow eventually, he would be an excellent pick at base price. Especially for teams like Kolkata and Chennai that don’t have any proven wrist-spinner in their ranks. 

154 matches, 166 wickets including three hat-tricks. It is surprising that he didn’t get any bids in a 10-team auction being an Indian player. It is also sad that we might have seen the last of him, falling only four wickets short of Lasith Malinga’s record tally of 170 wickets in IPL.

Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir, Adam Zampa, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Adil Rashid 

Each of these four names have been among top performers in T20 cricket over the last couple of years. Tahir has been a top-notch spinner in IPL as well. In his last full season in IPL, he was the Purple Cap winner in 2019 and averages only 16.1 at an economy of 6.4. These numbers are gold dust except the IPL franchises felt otherwise. 

Shamsi, Rashid and Zampa are ranked number two, three and four respectively in ICC T20I bowler rankings. Zampa was instrumental in Australia’s victorious T20 World Cup campaign last year (13 wickets at an economy of 5.8). Shamsi has troubled the most ferocious hitters of the white-ball in his meteoric rise. In a similar vein, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Adil Rashid would have been excellent additions as well, even as backups. 

There was a general lack of willingness for the spinners in the auction. Many Indian spinners were also signed at relatively low price tags when compared to the pacers. Amit Mishra going unsold confirmed the pattern. Hence, we could have understood if a few of these mentioned names were ignored. But all five of them failing to generate interest was unexpected.

Paul Stirling

Paul Stirling is a quintessential T20 opener. He bashes the ball in the powerplay and is quite consistent while doing it - average 32.5, strike-rate 149.3 since 2020. He doesn’t get bogged down against spin, striking them at 150.9 in the same time period. On top of that, he can contribute two overs of off-spin. The fact that he has played a lot of cricket against the mystery spinners and has found ways to score against them adds to his resume. You couldn’t ask more from a player. But it wasn’t enough to impress the 10 IPL franchises. Stirling’s name was not even called in the auction as none of them shortlisted him. 

Big guns but not surprising omissions

Suresh Raina

In terms of impact, Raina is probably the greatest Indian batsman in the IPL annals. But the sun sets on every great career. When Chennai dropped him for their last few games in the 2021 IPL season, it was quite clear that the left-hander is past his prime. Overall, he averaged only 17.8 at a strike-rate of 125. The fact that he didn’t take part in domestic cricket diminished his chances, unlike other former Chennai players like Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu. 

Hence, while it is correct to celebrate Suresh Raina, the IPL batsman, there is little surprise that he went unsold. 

Eoin Morgan

After six underwhelming seasons, Morgan returned to IPL for the 2020 season at the back of a productive international season. In fact, he was a hot property at the auction back then. People expected him to fix his IPL numbers. But they only went from bad to worse after a poor 2021 season with the bat. Morgan averaged only 11.1 in 16 innings. It is so low for a specialist batsman that his strike-rate becomes irrelevant. The continued slump in his international form reduced his chances in the auction to almost negligible.

Yes, he captained Kolkata to the final in 2021 each of the 10 teams had secured a captaincy candidate before his name came up in the auction. 

Aaron Finch

Finch is pretty much on the same ship as Morgan. One of the biggest underachievers in the IPL circuit despite 10 seasons, Finch is still a performer in international cricket. However, with stacked top-orders and several available options out of which many have shown their worth in IPL, Finch's chances were close to none. Aged 35, he also didn’t instill any future potential. Even a World Cup-winning campaign as Australia captain last year couldn’t get him a bid from any of the 10 franchises. 

Steve Smith

In his initial years in the IPL, Smith was an innovative T20 batter capable of scoring quick runs at number five or six. Except, over the last few years, his strike-rate and average dipped as a batter. More importantly, he regressed into an accumulator from a creative boundary-hitter. This is a role teams don’t search for in an overseas batter. In the last two seasons, he averaged 25.7 at a strike-rate of 124.5. Most of his innings laid a negative impact to the team total as he struggled to switch the gears. With other prominent T20 prospects available, it was certain that Australia’s Test vice-captain will not attract any bids this IPL season. 

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