The IPL 2018 Auction is just a week away and the franchises are expected to go for massive bids in the upcoming auction. While a total of 1122 players have been registered for the bidding war, 282 foreign players have turned up from 12 different playing nations, Australia being the highest with 58.
Remember the opening edition of the tournament where the likes of Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal ruled the roost? The players could last only in that season after which the Indian Government made all the bilateral ties with Pakistan redundant due to the Mumbai 26/11 attacks.
Almost a decade later, the current lot of Pakistani players who would have been a boon to India’s cash rich league are unfortunately still bereft of playing on the Indian soil. We take a look the talents from the neighbourhood country who could given the teams a run for the money:
Imagine Pakistan’s most formidable pace spearhead bowling alongside a Mitchell Starc or Mitchell Johnson in the IPL! Can there by a more pleasing sight in the shortest format of the game? Mohammad Aamir’s lethal pace could have decimated the opposition like a pack of cards. Any franchise would have gone for him blindly in the auctions.
If Virat Kohli is India’s comprehensive batsman across all formats of the game, Babar Azam perhaps has been Pakistan’s batting linchpin. His exploits in both the international circuit and domestic circuit speak volume about his batting stature. The 23-year-old has the ability to score runs all along the ground, playing proper cricketing strokes. He could have been straightforwardly picked, had he featured in the IPL.
The World No. 1 ODI bowler was arguably one of the major rationales of India’s batting collapse in the Champions Trophy final in 2017. Hasan Ali was also the highest ODI wicket taker in 2017 with 45 wickets in 18 matches at an incredible average of 17.04. Besides his bowling attributes, he also cashes in with the bat towards the end. Express pace, coupled with subtle variations makes Hasan Ali a perfect contender for the IPL race.
The young Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman gave some impressive starts to his team in the previous edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). The testimony of his prolific batting was also shown later in the ICC Champions Trophy final against India at the Oval, where he scored a brilliant century. He would have been bagged for a decent price in the IPL.
The fatal scenes of Wahab Riaz jeopardising Shane Watson with his bouncers in the World Cup 2015 are still afresh. Distinguished purely by his pace and movement on quite a few lively decks, the left arm seamer might have been another entrant in the elite list of IPL players.