The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 auction was dominated by big international names, with Australians Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell especially sparking bidding wars. But, there was still space for the stories of uncapped Indian players sharing in the IPL pie.
Since its first edition, the IPL has been a platform for young, uncapped or inexperienced Indian players to showcase their abilities to the world. It was through the IPL that current India stars such as Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah first made an impression, before going on to claim success in India colours. Every year, a new set of aspirants at the auction hope to follow in their path.
With that in mind, we take a look at the uncapped players who attracted big bids in the IPL 2020 auction, some of whom may well go on to become future stars for the country.
Priyam Garg – INR 1.9 crore – Sunrisers Hyderabad
India's U19 captain Priyam Garg has been the subject of heavy bidding from SRH and KXIP!
He is sold to Hyderabad for INR 1.9 crore. #IPLAuction2020
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 19, 2019
Priyam Garg is in the midst of a dream run at the moment. He was recently named captain of the India U19 side that will attempt to defend their title in the World Cup in South Africa early next year, and has now earned his maiden IPL contract. Garg is reputed as a batsman of fine technique who is able to find boundaries frequently and might be a good middle-order fit in a T20 side. In 11 T20s to date, he has hit 227 runs, including two fifties, striking at 132.74.
The fight for the Uttar Pradesh batsman was between Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Virat Singh – INR 1.9 crore – Sunrisers Hyderabad
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) December 20, 2019
Virat Singh, the aggressive opening batsman from Jharkhand, already has a fine T20 record. In just 56 games, he has hit 10 fifties and scored 1,552 runs at 35.27, with a healthy strike-rate of 124.45.
As in the case of Garg, he too received bids from Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad and was finally picked up by the latter.
Ravi Bishnoi – INR 2 crore – Kings XI Punjab
T20 cricket can be a profitable avenue for spinners, especially if you’re a wrist-spinner capable of turning the ball both ways. Ravi Bishnoi, a 19-year-old from Rajasthan, has picked up six wickets from as many T20 matches to date and has an enviable economy rate of just 6.57.
Bishnoi, who is also a part of India’s U19 squad, was bid for by Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
Yashasvi Jaiswal – INR 2.4 crore – Rajasthan Royals
Jaiswal, another South Africa-bound India U19 star, was expected to receive a big bid, and there were no surprises there. Four teams – Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, and Rajasthan – wanted the aggressive left-handed batsman.
Not too long ago, Jaiswal sold pani puris for a living, but years of training in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan have paid off for the 19-year-old star. Jaiswal is yet to play a competitive T20 match, but in 13 one-dayers so far, he has racked up 779 runs at an astounding 70.81 for Mumbai.
Varun Chakravarthy – INR 4 crore – Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore were the two teams interested in Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu. The 28-year-old has played only one T20 to date, but in nine one-dayers he has taken 22 wickets at 16.68 and an economy rate of 4.23 for Tamil Nadu.
This isn’t the first time that Chakravarthy has commanded that high a price either. He received the joint-highest bid (INR 8 crore) in the previous auction but he played only one game for Kings XI Punjab before picking up an injury. That was, in fact, the only game he has played in all of 2019; surprisingly, that has not gone against him.