One of the most cash-rich leagues in the world, IPL, has carved for itself a distinct position in the world of cricket. The level of competition is top grade, the teams greatly match up against each other, fans for each franchise are extremely passionate and finally, the overall mood of the tournament is surreal. Franchises have to construct their teams on the basis of a fixed money cap. The managements employ a great deal of focus and dedication in acquiring the biggest and best names in the world of cricket.
The BCCI had, a couple of weeks back, in its AGM formally announced the introduction of two new teams in the current eight-team league. Post that, the bids for the franchises were invited and it is to be seen who the two new owners would be. There have been talks of basing these teams in the northern and central belt of India where there is huge traction but minimum representation. With the opening of the grand Narendra Modi stadium, Ahmedabad could also become a center. There is chatter about Mr. Gautam Adani of the Adani Group being greatly interested in having a team in Ahmedabad.
We look at 5 players who the Ahmedabad franchise could potentially target in the next year’s mega auction which could add a local Gujarati flavor to the team.
1. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya is an integral part of Mumbai Indians and there is no doubt about that. However, there is a possibility that he may not get retained by MI. Pandya would be one of the most sought-after talents in the next auctions due to his all-around abilities. He can be picked up by the Ahmedabad franchise as a captain. He could be their marquee player since he is already an international superstar and has represented India in all three formats. His antics on and off the field also could bring in a big number of fans.
2. Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya is the elder brother of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Like Hardik, Krunal is an all-rounder as well, but he bats left-handed and bowls left-arm spin. Krunal has represented India in five ODIs and 19 T20I matches. He has done well in both formats and has also been instrumental in Mumbai Indians’ success over the years. He could be a solid spin-bowling all-rounder for Ahmedabad.
3. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is one of the best left-arm spinners in the country today. The 34-year-old is a versatile cricketer who can play both with the bat and with the ball. The left-handed cricketer has 124 IPL wickets to his name, with an economy rate of 7.59. He also has accumulated more than 2300 runs in 197 games. Jadeja’s batting prowess has improved dramatically in recent years. He’s developed into a terrific lower-order batsman. In the IPL, he has won titles with both CSK and RR. When you add in his incredible fielding, he’s the whole deal.
4. Axar Patel
Another left-arm young orthodox spinner on the list is Patel. He made a rollicking test debut for India this year in February-March against England. He ran through the English line-ups in Ahmedabad. Similarly, in IPL he has picked 94 wickets in the 106 matches he has played. He is a vital weapon in the armory of Delhi Capital this season.
5. Harshal Patel
This man has truly turned it around of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has done everything that was asked of him and more, including picking an IPL hat trick. He is currently the purple cap holder with 26 wickets in the 12 games played thus far. His slower balls have deceived almost everyone have been incredibly difficult to pick. He has run through batting line-ups with great ease. He could be a wonderful addition for the Ahmedabad franchise on slow and dry pitches of Narendra Modi stadium.