IPL Auction 2018: Strongest XI of unsold players

The IPL Auction 2018 has been little different from its predecessors, in terms of many a marquee name going unsold and, literally, left to feel unwanted. If the likes of Imran Tahir, David Wiese, Colin Munro (who are big names in the context of Twenty20 cricket), etc. went unsold at last year’s auction, we have had the likes of Shaun Marsh, Lendl Simmons, among others, fail to find a spot in any of the IPL squads this time around.

You can understand some of the unsold players having no takers, but Dwayne Smith and T20 specialists like him going unsold is hard to understand.

With the auction now complete and the fate of more than one hundred players sealed—some of these players might still go on to play IPL 11 if the sold players pick up an injury and cannot play for their team, or miss a portion of the upcoming season with international commitment, etc.—we can now put together an unsold players XI.

IPL 2018 unsold players XI

Without being in accordance with the IPL rules, which mandate only four overseas players featuring in the eleven, here are the 11 players who will make for a strong team themselves.

1. Hashim Amla

Amla made 420 runs in 10 IPL 2017 matches and was one of the bright spots in a mediocre season for Kings XI Punjab, who failed to reach the playoffs once again. This South African right-hander scored at a strike rate close to 146 runs per 100 balls (145.83, to be precise) and struck a couple of centuries and half-centuries. Opening the batting, he got his team off to solid and brisk starts and played the anchor role to perfection, with hard-hitting batsmen and stroke-makers surrounding him in the line-up.

Amla going unsold at the IPL 2018 Auction was inexplicable, to say the least.

Read: Which franchise has the strongest IPL 2018 squad?

2. Shaun Marsh

This Western Australian left-hander has been one of the prolific run-scorers in IPL history (with 2477 runs in 71 matches), make no mistake. The senior Marsh has played only 21 matches over the last four seasons but averages close to 30 with the bat. And, he is a batsman who can bat at any position in the batting order, so, why didn’t he have any takers?

One possibility is that Shaun Marsh hasn’t featured in the Australian T20 squad in close to two years now and is also not part of any of the Big Bash League teams. Therefore, the eight franchises will have known very little about Shaun’s T20 batting form and the massive pool of 578 players probably left them spoilt for choice.

3. Moises Henriques

This New South Wales batting all-rounder had been a vital part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad over the last three seasons. He tended to bat at No. 3 and anchor the innings, and David Warner could always throw the ball to him for a couple of tight overs. He is, no doubt, a safe catcher and a good fielder on the whole.

Purely on the basis of his performances in the past three IPL seasons, in which he had scored 746 runs and taken 24 wickets in 38 matches, Henriques wasn’t totally expected to go unsold at this auction. But he had set himself at a base price of Rs 1.5 Crores, which might have been considered too high for Henriques despite his versatility.

4. Unmukt Chand

The 2012 India U-19 World Cup-winning captain hasn’t always done justice to his potential, but Chand’s batting repertoire makes him one of the dangerous batsmen in any format. He strikes the ball sweetly nine out of ten times and has shots all around the dial virtually.

He went unsold at the IPL 2017 Auction too and having played only a couple of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy matches this year—Chand picked up an ankle injury in the lead-up to Delhi’s fifth-round Ranji Trophy 2017-18 match and missed his team’s run to the final, as well—the franchises and scouts will have seen little of the former Delhi Ranji Trophy captain to be convinced to buy him.

5. Kedar Devdhar

A relatively young wicketkeeper-batsman from Baroda, Devdhar sought to feature in the Indian Premier League for the first time since the 2011 season, when he played for Kumar Sangakkara’s Deccan Chargers.  He had put himself up for the auction as an uncapped wicketkeeper.

Opening the batting for Baroda, Devdhar amassed 411 runs in eight matches, including one century and three fifties, and finished the 2018 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as the highest run-scorer. Kings XI Punjab haven’t picked a specialist wicketkeeper in their 21-man squad and from that point of view, Devdhar going unsold has to be termed surprising.

6. Lendl Simmons

This West Indian batsman going unsold was one of the shocks of the IPL 2018 Auction. Simmons contributed heavily with the bat for the Mumbai Indians in two of the previous four seasons. A tally of 1079 runs in 29 matches is no mean achievement and he played a starring role in Mumbai winning IPL 2015, in particular, by scoring 540 runs in 13 matches. He is an underrated fielder too, to go with his ball-striking ability.

Simmons going unsold was a shock because what can you put it down to, possibly, apart from his poor recent batting form in this format?

7. James Faulkner

Faulkner has not been a regular in the Australian limited-overs sides over the last dozen months but is exactly the player who completes Twenty20 teams with his all-round ability.

Faulkner scored close to 200 runs in nine innings for the bottom-placed Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League 07 and fared reasonably well with the ball too, taking six wickets and being fairly economical (7.95 runs per over).

He had been an IPL regular until last season and will have expected to be picked up at the auction. He had set himself at a base price of Rs 2 Crores and as an all-rounder, lost out to the likes of Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Andrew Tye, Chris Jordan, among others.

8. Samuel Badree

Among the spinners, this West Indian leggie was the last you will have expected to not be picked up at the auction. He has not been a regular in the Indian T20 league and IPL 2017 was his first proper season: he played 11 matches and took nine wickets at a strike rate of 16.66. (Badree became the 15th bowler in IPL history to take a hat-trick.)

In addition to his performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, Badree’s economy rate being less than six runs per over in Twenty20 Internationals (5.98) and other T20 matches (5.92) was expected to be an attraction to the franchises. However, Badree, like Faulkner, lost out to the other wrist-spinners at this year’s auction. Ish Sodhi was another of the seemingly impressive leg-spinners who the franchises overlooked.

9. Sreenath Aravind

Karnataka’s Sreenath Aravind has done well with the ball in the IPL. 2011 was his breakthrough season, taking 21 wickets and finishing as the third-highest wicket-taker. Thereafter, he hasn’t been the same force, though the 2016 and 2017 seasons saw him play a good number of matches for RCB and add value to the team with his off-cutters and other variations playing on a Bangalore pitch that has slowed down considerably.

Purely on the basis of what he has done and the pitches at the M Chidambaram Stadium and M Chinnaswamy Stadium being conducive for bowlers like him, Aravind going unsold has been a surprise.

10. Mitchell McClenaghan

This New Zealand fast bowler is the classic freelance cricketer plying his trade in the Twenty20 cricket leagues aroud the world.

Playing for the Mumbai Indians, McClenaghan had taken 54 wickets in 40 matches over the last three seasons. He had been mercurial and tended to be expensive, indicated by an economy rate of 8.61, but was a reliable wicket-taker. And batting lower down the order, he can whack the ball a long way too.

Given his current profile as a T20 specialist, McClenaghan was not expected to go unsold at the IPL 2018 Auction.

11. Lasith Malinga

A bowler on the wane but one who undoubtedly remains an unbelievably good T20 bowler, Malinga going unsold on both days of the auction definitely raised eyebrows. He remains the highest wicket-taker in IPL history (with 154 wickets) and you cannot give an explanation for Malinga being overlooked.

IPL 2018 unsold players list

Baba Indrajith (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Umar Nazir Mir (base price Rs 20 lakhs, Ashok Dinda (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Najibullah Zadran (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Gulbadin Naib (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Akash Bhandari (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Sadiq Kirmani (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Harvik Desai (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Eklavya Dwivedi (base price Rs 40 lakhs), R Samarth (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Yuvraj Chudasama (base price Rs 20 lakhs)

Utkarsh Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Shubham Ranjane (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Antony Das (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Sagar Trivedi (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Salman Nizar (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Akhil Herwadkar (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Fabid Ahmed (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Jack Wildermuth (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Michael Neser (base price Rs 40 lakhs), Rajat Bhatia (base price Rs 40 lakhs), Ben Wheeler (base price Rs 50 lakhs)

Aaron Summers (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Tom Helm (base price Rs 40 lakhs), Pratyush Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Kyle Abbott (base price Rs 1.5 crores), David Wiese (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Himmat Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Riyan Parag (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Chirag Gandhi (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Kesrick Williams (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Dane Paterson (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Andile Phehlukwayo (base price Rs 50 lakhs)

Athisayaraj Davidson (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Amit Mishra (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Lalit Yadav (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Vivek Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Jhye Richardson (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Joel Paris (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Morne Morkel (base price Rs 75 lakhs), Abhimanyu Mithun (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Matt Henry (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Marchant de Lange (base price Rs 75 lakhs), Sheldon Cottrell (base price Rs 50 lakhs)

JJ Smuts (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Thisara Perera (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Jason Holder (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Andre Fletcher (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Abhishek Sakuja (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Vikas Tokas (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Ishan Porel (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Mahesh Rawat (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Smit Patel (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Shashank Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Atit Sheth (base price Rs 2 lakhs)

Baba Aparajith (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Virat Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Amandeep Khare (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Unmukt Chand (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Harpreet Bhatia (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Adam Milne (base price Rs 75 lakhs), Tymal Mills (base price Rs 1 crore), Lockie Ferguson (base price Rs 75 lakhs), S Aravind (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Varun Aaron (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Luke Ronchi (base price Rs 75 lakhs)

Kusal Perera (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Tom Latham (base price Rs 50 lakhs), David Willey (base price Rs 2 crores), Rovman Powell (base price Rs 50 lakhs), John Hastings (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Hilton Cartwright (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Ashton Agar (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Aiden Markram (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Mihir Hirwani (base price Rs 20 lakhs), CM Gautam (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Kedar Devdhar (base price Rs 20 lakhs)

Nicholas Pooran (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Niroshan Dickwella (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Johnson Charles (base price Rs 75 lakhs), Nathu Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Ishwar Pandey (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Swapnil Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Praveen Dubey (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Anmolpreet Singh (base price Rs 20 lakhs, Tabraiz Shamsi (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Pragyan Ojha (base price Rs 50 lakhs)

Fawad Ahmed (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Nathan Lyon (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Dale Steyn (base price Rs 1 crore), Rishi Dhawan (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Moises Henriques (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Corey Anderson (base price Rs 2 crores), Colin Ingram (base price Rs 2 crores), Travis Head (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Lendl Simmons (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Shaun Marsh (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Eoin Morgan (base price Rs 2 crores), Alex Hales (base price Rs 1 crore), Shivil Kaushik (base price Rs 20 lakhs)

Iqbal Abdullah (base price Rs 30 lakhs), J Suchith (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Tejas Baroka (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Sai Kishore (base price Rs 20 lakhs), KC Cariappa (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Joe Root (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Hashim Amla (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Martin Guptill (base price Rs 75 lakhs), James Faulkner (base price Rs 2 crores), Jonny Bairstow (base price Rs 1.5 crores), Josh Hazlewood (base price Rs 2 crores), Ishant Sharma (base price Rs 75 lakhs), Mitchell McClenaghan(base price Rs 1 crore)

Lasith Malinga (base price Rs 1 crore), Ish Sodhi (base price Rs 50 lakhs), Samuel Badree (base price Rs 1 crore), Adam Zampa (base price Rs 1 crore), Himanshu Rana (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Shivam Dubey (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Jitesh Sharma (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Nikhil Naik (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Ben McDermott (base price Rs 30 lakhs), Ankush Bains (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Vishnu Vinod (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Sheldon Jackson (base price Rs 20 lakhs), Rajneesh Gurbani (base price Rs 20 lakhs)

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