Ajinkya Rahane

IPL Auction 2018: The top 5 Indian targets

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-25 at 9.04.15 PM

Internet Desk: The much awaited IPL Auction 2018 is not too far away and the permutations and plannings for each team is now almost in the final stages. As it would be a fresh auction, www.xtratime.in picks five Indian cricketers who can be the top targets of the franchises.

Ravichandran Ashwin: Though the rise of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has caused him some difficulty in making it into the Indian team's 'playing eleven', his long experience with the game coupled with his skill at taking wickets and ability as a batsman will nevertheless make him a compelling addition to any team. You might say that his veteran status and well-seasoned experience are the standout attributes of his entire professional portfolio.

Ashwin has scored roughly 253 runs in 37 innings, along with taking 100 wickets in 111 matches of the IPL.

Yuvraj Singh: Since the Sunrisers Hyderabad did not opt to retain veteran Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, there will be many franchises who will try to snag him. It's not the first time that Singh has gone under the hammer; he has previously played for three different IPL teams. This, his fourth time at auction, is all set to be a true record-breaker, smashing through even his own previous maximum bids.

A spotlight on his truly remarkable performance last year, with 252 runs in 12 innings and an average of 28, we see a man who is really worth his weight. Focusing similarly on his domestic play, the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament, for example, he shines as an exemplary cricketer indeed, having scored 85 runs in two matches, with a one-half century in the suspenseful victory against Delhi.

Shikhar Dhawan: On his day, the southpaw can dominate opposition at will and help his side chase down tall totals owing to his ability to create a blitz with the bat. He’s in great form this season and had a good Test and ODI series against Sri Lanka. Last year, Dhawan had formed a lethal opening pair with David Warner and the two were instrumental to help Sunrisers Hyderabad reach the qualifiers.

Ajinkya Rahane: Although he might not be as flashy with the bat like Chris Gayle or Virat Kohli, Rahane’s ability to switch into a power-hitter and play the anchoring role is what makes him the perfect player to have in one’s squad. Also, owing to his leadership skills, teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, who have released their respective skippers, can opt to fall back on the 29-year-old to provide stability to the squad. He had scored 382 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 118.26 last season.

Yuzvendra Chahal: One of the two wrist-spin wizards to have been driving the nation’s spin attack home and abroad in the limited-overs format, Chahal was a name almost everyone thought Royal Challengers Bangalore would want to retain this season. The 27-year-old also has an impressive average of 15.92 in T20s and can provide crucial breakthroughs. It will be interesting if RCB opt to use their RTM card to retain him as he will certainly not be available for a cheap deal.

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