Second chance for stars to impress ahead of IPL auction


Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Krunal Pandya, Manish Pandey, Vinay Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Karun Nair will have another chance to strike form or highlight their good form ahead of the IPL auction. They are set to feature in the Syed Mushtaq Ali knockout tournament in Kolkata from January 21 to 27; these knockouts follow the Zonal T20 League that concluded on Tuesday, with 10 teams from the five zones making it to the next (Super League) phase.

As per the schedule released by the BCCI last year, the knockout tournament was scheduled for February 4 to 10 but now has been brought froward keeping in mind the IPL auction. The auction will take place in Bangalore on January 27 and 28.

According to PTI, for the knockouts, the BCCI has also reverted to the inter-state format as opposed to inter-zonal format used last year. This will allow the IPL scouts to take a look at a larger pool of players.

The ten teams that have qualified for the knockouts are Delhi and Punjab (north zone), Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (central), Bengal and Jharkhand (east), Baroda and Mumbai (west), and Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (south). The 10 teams will be split into two groups (Group A: Punjab, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Mumbai and Rajasthan. Group B: Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Baroda, Uttar Pradesh), with the top teams from each group playing a final.

In the Zonal T20s, several star players – who were earlier bought by IPL franchises for massive sums – struck patches of lean form. Here are the numbers from the Zonal T20 League of some players – both, in form and out of form – who will feature in the knockouts, and whom the IPL franchises are likely to consider at the auction.

Delhi: Gautam Gambhir (4 matches, 115 runs, strike rate 107.47); Nitish Rana (5 matches, 98 runs, strike rate 153.12)
Punjab: Yuvraj Singh (5 matches, 118 runs, strike rate 104.42); Harbhajan Singh (5 matches, 5 wickets, average 22.80, economy rate 6); Sandeep Sharma (4 matches, 3 wickets, average 42, economy rate 9); Barinder Sran (2 matches, 3 wickets, average 21.33, economy rate)
Bengal: Manoj Tiwary (4 matches, 89 runs, strike rate 117); Ashok Dinda (4 matches, 2 wickets, average 69, strike rate 9.20)
Jharkhand: Ishan Kishan (4 matches, 162 runs, strike rate 150); Shahbaz Nadeem (4 matches, 5 wickets, average 19.60, strike rate 6.12)
Baroda: Krunal Pandya (4 matches, 83 runs, strike rate 145.61 and 3 wickets, average 39, economy rate 9.75); Deepak Hooda (4 matches, 157 runs, strike rate 158.58)
Mumbai: Dhawal Kulkarni (4 matches, 5 wickets, average 20.6, economy rate 6.86)
Karnataka: Manish Pandey (5 matches, 65 runs, strike rate 108.33); Karun Nair (5 matches, 236 runs, strike rate 173.52); Stuart Binny (5 matches, 95 runs, strike rate 128.37 and 6 wickets, average 17, economy rate 6.80); Vinay Kumar (5 matches, 4 wickets, average 34.5, economy rate 8.11)
Rajasthan: Aniket Choudhary (5 matches, 7 wickets, average 14.85, economy rate 5.83)


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