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The 2021 IPL is the penultimate chance for young players to impress owners ahead of next year’s big auction, and some have already done so. While everyone’s attention is focused on the current edition of the IPL, teams must prepare for next year’s mega auction.
The IPL 2022 Player Auction is expected to be a major event, with most teams expecting a complete overhaul of their roster. The mega sale promises to be a showstopper, with franchises able to keep just two cricketers.
For the Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson is back in his IPL beast mode, while Ruturaj Gaikwad stands his ground for the Chennai Super Kings. Harshal Patel leads the list of leading wicket takers, with Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi making significant progress.
In contrast, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has backed Venkatesh Iyer of Kolkata Knight Riders, a 26-year-old all-rounder, to grab the attention of franchisees at next year’s auction.
Iyer’s T20 record is impressive even outside the IPL, according to Manjrekar, and given his current form, he could earn significant sums and spark a strong bidding war between the owners.
“I think 12-14 crores because this is not some kind of fluke. I looked at his first-class numbers and his List A record is excellent. His average is 47, beating 92. That’s his T20 record in domestic cricket, the IPL not counting his stroke rate is high he has an average of 37 so this is a man who knows how to bat on top of that he is a bowler and in the last match he showed he can also take on the tough overs So he is someone who is going to take a very high price,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
Iyer made his KKR debut in the second leg of the franchise’s season. He started with an unbeaten 41 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and then hit his first IPL fifty against Mumbai Indians. He then had a great season with the ball, taking 2/29 against Delhi Capitals and 1/30 against Punjab Kings, while also scoring his second fifty of the season against PBKS.
Manjrekar believes Iyer will be a long-term player rather than a one-season miracle.
“Today I focused on the way he hits. Very interesting is that he hits a lot on the back foot. Seems to pull, play the cut. So this is a batter who doesn’t go down and tries to hit and forces everything “He stays on his hind legs, cutting and pulling and then he has a big step forward. I see him more as a real qualified T20 game-changer than someone who has a good few weeks,” added Manjrekar.
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