A total of 991 players have registered for the 2023 IPL auction, which will be held in Kochi on December 23. Of them, 21 have a base price of INR 2 crores – the maximum allowed.
Sam Curran, Cameron Green and Ben Stokes are amongst the players who have set a base price of INR 2 crore for themselves. The three are expected to be the subject of bidding wars, with teams looking to benefit from their all-round skills.
However, a few other players have sprung a surprise by registering with the highest base price. Cricketers have the option of picking their individual base prices in the IPL auction.
Players with 2 crore base price: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Tom Banton, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills, Jamie Overton, Craig Overton, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Kane Williamson, Rilee Rossouw, Rassie van der Dussen, Angelo Mathews, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder.
The towering England quick has played 83 T20 matches, picking up 67 wickets and scoring 563 runs at a strike rate of 173.23. He picks up a delivery every 19 deliveries in domestic T20s, but the biggest issue with him has been the inability to remain accurate. Jamie concedes 9.37 runs an over and frequent injuries have only made matters worse.
Overton burst onto the scene in 2013 when he was picked in England’s ODI squad against Australia, although he did not play. Identified as a dark horse for the Ashes squad, Jamie was eventually not picked and had to also pull out of the Lions tour of Sri Lanka due to a knee injury.
The 28-year-old had to wait nine more years for a debut and finally got his England Test cap this year against New Zealand in July. He picked up a wicket each in the two innings but has not played a game since. Overton’s strength is the ability to trouble batters with his high pace but he is also guilty of leaking runs. With limited international experience, IPL teams are likely to stay away from splurging INR 2 crore on a player who has not bowled in India and who might not be a regular in the XI.
The second Overton twin, Craig, has also set his base price at INR 2 crore, but comes with more international experience, having played eight Tests and seven ODIs. The 6ft 5ins quick hits the shoulder of the bat and is more accurate than his brother, which got him international recognition sooner. However, in T20s, similar issues remain. In 70 games, he has 70 scalps but has an economy rate of 8.80. He played ODIs for England over the summer, against India, but picked up just one wicket in three games, ending with an economy rate of 8.50, 3.14 and 6.75 in the matches. Not a regular in his international side, Overton is also unlikely to fetch bids with most teams already settled in on their overseas pacers.
Banton started off his international career on a high, striking at 155 or more in his first four T20I innings. It helped him bag a deal with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020, but he played only two games, making 18 runs. His stocks fell drastically thereafter. He did not play a single international T20I in 2021 and made a short return to the squad for the West Indies tour at the start of the year when the regulars were rested following the Ashes. He scored 73 off 39 in the third game but has not represented England since. In this year’s T20 Blast, Banton only averaged 22.43 in 16 games, striking at less than 130. He made 83 runs in six games in The Hundred that followed, striking at 104.
Even though he offers a wicketkeeping option, he is not in the best of form, and the base price appears to be too steep.
Neesham’s is a curious case. He has a strike rate of 173 in T20Is this year, but that has never been an issue for the all-rounder. In his last four calendar years, he strikes at 166, 171, 158 and 173 in T20Is but his IPL showings have not been as impressive. He has a strike rate of 92.42 in the tournament and has only played 12 games thus far, with teams looking at him as a replacement instead of a regular.
With the IPL set to introduce tactical substitutions from the next season, the importance of specialists is likely to increase. Teams will look to play their best bowling and batting line-ups with a sub likely to be a specialist as well. The importance of all-rounders will take a hit, and Neesham’s base price along with his IPL record could prove to be too much for the teams.
Lynn had a memorable ride with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, but his stocks have fallen. He played one game for Mumbai Indians in 2021, after missing the 2020 season, and did not get any bids in 2022. He last played for Australia in 2018, with his struggles to play swing and spin getting apparent by the day. He is arguably past his glory days, and shelling out INR 2 crore for the 32-year-old might be a stretch.