Indian Premier League (IPL) is a stage for newcomers to shine and make a name for themselves. But, it is also a stage for the old guns of international cricket to prove their mettle in the ending stages of the career as well. IPL has been a platform for such talents as they have dazzled in the league post-retirement. The long list includes legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and many more.
IPL 2018 player auction will see a huge reshuffle with new retention policies coming into play and franchises looking for a fresh start. This will also mean that the teams will be inclined to form a good blend of veterans and youngsters.
Let’s take a look at potential stars who might make millions of bucks in the IPL 2018 player auction:
Rileee Rossouw (batsman)
Rossouw retired from international cricket in 2017 and shifted his focus to leagues across the world. The South African left-handed batsman caused ripples in the T10 cricket league with his 18-ball half-century. The 28-year-old may have played just 15 T20Is for South Africa but has an experience of over 100 matches in the T20 format.
Rossouw is a swashbuckling opener and can lead his team from the front. With his recent performances striking the right chords, he might just get a surprise entry into the IPL 2018. The southpaw has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) before but could not live upto his reputation.
T20 record – 114 matches, 2,786 runs, Average 27.31, Strike Rate 130, 50s- 15
IPL record – 5 matches, 53 runs. Average 10.60, Strike Rate 103.92
Mitchell Johnson (bowling all-rounder)
Mitchell Johnson is still lethal and in short bursts can generate a lot of pace irrespective of the pitch conditions. Johnson played phenomenally in the ending stages of the league. He also took three wickets in the final between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) including the wicket of skipper Steven Smith.
Johnson can work as both mentor and a player for any franchise he goes to. It is possible that he might get roped in by MI who brought his services for Rs. 2 crore (his base price) in the previous edition.
The left-arm fast bowler has been in good form of late while playing for Perth Scorchers in Big Bash League (BBL) 2017-18. He has taken 6 wickets in four matches already including a 3 for 13 spell against Melbourne Renegades.
T20 record – 100 matches, 120 wickets, Best bowling figures- 3 for 3, Economy rate- 7.52
IPL record – 48 matches, 59 wickets, Best bowling figures- 3 for 26, Economy rate- 8.06
Brendon McCullum (wicketkeeper-batsman)
Brendon McCullum is one of the most explosive opener the world cricket has ever seen. McCullum has called it quits to international cricket but his fitness levels have somehow remained exemplary. The Kiwi wicketkeeper-batmsan can still give youngsters a run for their money.
He is also the second-highest run scorer in the history of T20 cricket after Windies opener Chris Gayle. McCullum dazzled in the inaugural IPL where he scored 158 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and made a statement. There is a chance he might be retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) under Right to match card.
McCullum is an asset to any franchise he plays for. He can keep the wickets and also get the side off to a blazing start.
T20 record – 314 matches, 8,652 runs, Average 31.12, Strike Rate 138.83, 100s- 7, 50s- 46
IPL record – 103 matches, 2,754 runs, Average 28.10, Strike Rate 131.08, 100s- 2, 50s- 13
Shane Watson (all-rounder)
Shane Watson retired from international cricket at the age of 34. Watson captained the RCB side in Virat Kohli’s absence. He is currently leading the Sydney Thunder side in BBL 2017-18. The all-rounder has already scored 222 runs in this season of BBL including 2 half-centuries.
RCB have a lot of players which they would like to retain and Watson might not just make the cut. However, Watson might be on Rajasthan Royals’ list of players to buy.
T20 record – 243 matches, 6,027 runs, Average 28.97, Strike Rate 138.67, 100s- 3, 50s- 16; 197 wickets, Best bowling figures- 4 for 15, Economy rate- 7.84
IPL record – 102 matches, 2,622 runs, Average 31.21, Strike Rate 138.65, 100s- 2, 50s- 14; 86 wickets, Best bowling figures- 4 for 29, Economy rate- 7.83
Dwayne Smith (batting all-rounder)
Dwayne Smith was not a regular in the West Indies team. Smith was in and out of the side for a long time. So, he decided to retire from international cricket in 2017 at the age of 34. However, he has been there in IPL since the inaugural season.
As far as T20s are concerned, he has played over 300 matches. He is the seventh-highest run-scorers in T20 cricket and might go past Brad Hodge to jump one position.
Smith has played for 3 franchises in the league. The only thing which may go against him is his fitness level. Otherwise, Smith can bat in any position in the batting order and has proved his efficiency in the past over the years.
T20 record – 308 matches, 7,351 runs, Average 26.63, Strike Rate 127.95, 100s- 5, 50s- 44; 105 wickets, Best bowling figures- 4 for 8, Economy Rate 8.10
IPL record – 76 matches, 2,103 runs, Average 29.61, Strike Rate 134.20, 50s- 17; 19 wickets, Best bowling figures- 4 for 8, Economy rate 9.29
Note: The statistics of the players are as on January 2, 2018.