The Indian T20 League is considered as the premier domestic T20 competition across the globe, where sometimes even national team captains are deemed not good enough, and that’s exactly what happened with Aaron Finch in this year’s auction. Such are the dynamics of a mini-auction that franchises have a limited purse and limited positions available to fill.
Still, these unsold players need to be on standby and continue putting in top performances in whichever competition they are playing in. Time and again in the Indian T20 League, we’ve seen that an injury replacement picked by a franchise from the unsold pool ends up changing the whole complexion of the team. Here we glance at the top five unsold players from this year’s auction who would make brilliant injury replacements for any franchise.
AARON FINCH (Australia)
Aaron Finch has been the most travelled man in the history of the Indian T20 League. So far, the Australian white-ball captain has played for eight franchises in the competition which is more than any other player. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a ninth franchise who wanted to take a gamble on Finch and he remained unsold in the auction. His position in the Australian team has also come under some scrutiny. With the T20 World Cup coming up this year, it’ll be great for Finch if a franchise calls him up as an injury replacement and he goes on to have a strong season.
MOHIT SHARMA (India)
It seems like the demand in this year’s auction was only for overseas fast bowlers who could bat a bit. It is surprising that someone of Mohit Sharma’s calibre and experience in the T20 format could go unsold in an Indian T20 League auction. In the past two editions, Mohit has had some injury concerns as he has only managed to play two games in the two seasons but there’s no doubt that a fit and fiery Mohit Sharma could be handy for any team in the league.
JASON ROY (England)
Overseas top-order batsmen were the last on the priority list of the franchises in the mini-auction. Somehow, for a batsman of the quality of Jason Roy, he hasn’t been given the opportunity to play consistently in the competition. He has featured only in the 2017 and 2018 season and has managed to play only eight games in the league so far. Apart from the one innings of 91*, he failed to deliver and hence the franchises have chosen to past him this time around.
SCOTT KUGGELEIJN (New Zealand)
While we saw inexperienced fast bowlers like Riley Meredith and Kyle Jamieson go for plenty in the Indian T20 League auction, Jamieson’s countryman, Scott Kuggeleijn who has decent experience at the international level as well a couple of games in the Indian T20 League surprisingly went unsold. Kuggeleijn fits the bill of what was in demand in the auction. He has the ability to bowl fast and can also hit a long ball at the back end of the innings, and it’s surprising that he was not in demand. However, things may change mid-season if an unfortunate injury happens to befall any of the players.
ALEX HALES (England)
As mentioned earlier, the overall demand for top-order batsmen was minimal in the auction and someone like Alex Hales missed out on a contract due to this trend. But if any franchise would be looking for an injury replacement for a top-order batter then Hales’ name would certainly pop up in their lists. He is a T20 veteran and has more than a handy average and a strike rate to complement in the format.