The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is less than three months away and everyone seems to be quite excited about the upcoming season. The cash-rich league in the past ten seasons has been well known to bring unknown talent to the limelight.
The former Indian explosive opener Virender Sehwag recently sat down with Times of India and talked about IPL, praised the concept of IPL and rated it as one of the best platforms in Indian cricket. Sehwag also mentioned that IPL fast-tracked the less known talent to the Indian dressing room.
The retired great, now a mentor of Kings XI Punjab, is also pretty clear about the players who would be in demand in the IPL auction, scheduled in Bangalore on January 27 & 28.
“Ben Stokes, Dwayne Bravo and Mitchell Starc are the international players everyone wants. I won’t be surprised if Stokes goes for around $1.5 million. I expect the capped India players to fetch around Rs10-12cr too. Among the uncapped players, Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda would be in demand,” he predicted.
While speaking about the ‘wishlist’ of his own franchise, he said: “I think the fans would want Punjab stars like Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh in the Kings XI team,” he said. He doesn’t agree with critics who feel that Yuvraj is now past his best.
“He’s not in the Indian team, but Yuvraj is still an amazing player. His talent is intact. Even a current India player can lose form. I don’t think we’ll get a player like him again. If his form his good, he’s a match-winner.”
Can he still make a comeback into the Indian team? “That’s up to the selectors. If he performs in domestic cricket, or passes (yoyo), then why not? If Ashish Nehra can make a comeback at 36, why not Yuvi,” Viru fired back.
Sehwag also revealed why KXIP retained only one player, India left-arm spinner Axar Patel.
Viru said, “We can use the ‘Right to Match’ card to retain Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. We felt that if Axar goes into the auction, we may have to pay much more to buy him, since he’s an India all-rounder.”
“When we bought him, he was an uncapped player. Now he’s such a capable player, that he’s overtaken Ravindra Jadeja to be a part of the Indian One-day and T20 sides,” Sehwag added.