IPL 2022 Auction: 3 Indians with ₹50 lakh base price likely to go unsold

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently released the list of players who will go under the hammer in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction. As many as 590 cricketers will be part of the auction that will be held across two days in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13.

Of the 590 players who have registered for the auction, 228 are capped cricketers, 355 are uncapped players while seven belong to the Associate Nations. 48 cricketers have registered their names at the highest base price of ₹2 crore. Furthermore, there are 20 players in the ₹1.5 crore bracket and 34 have set a reserve price of ₹1 crore.

In all, 370 Indian cricketers and 220 overseas players will be up for grabs at the mega auction, which will feature 10 franchises.

IPL 2022 Auction: 3 Indians who might find no takers?

A number of cricketers have set their base price at ₹50 lakh. In this feature, we look at three Indian players in the said bracket who are likely to go unsold.

#1 Cheteshwar Pujara

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Team India batter Cheteshwar Pujara. Pic: Getty Images

India’s Test No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara has not featured in the IPL since 2014, when he represented Punjab Kings (PBKS). He went unsold for a few seasons in a row. Ahead of the 2021 auction, he expressed his desire to play in the T20 league and was confident of doing well if given an opportunity.

Eventually, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) picked him at his base price of ₹50 lakh. However, even as the franchise went on to lift its fourth title, Pujara did not get an opportunity to play a single match.

He could have been in with a slim chance of getting picked this season had he done well in Test cricket. However, over the last two years, his form has dipped rather significantly. The right-hander hasn’t scored a Test century in two years.

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Pujara’s T20 record isn’t encouraging either. In 64 matches, he has scored 1356 runs at a strike rate of 109.35. In the IPL as well, he doesn’t have a great record. In 30 games, he has scored 390 runs at a strike rate of 99.74 with only one half-century to his name. There isn’t much Pujara can offer to any of the IPL franchises as a batter.

#2 Hanuma Vihari

Hanuma Vihari during the Test series in South Africa. Pic: Getty Images
Hanuma Vihari during the Test series in South Africa. Pic: Getty Images

28-year-old Hanuma Vihari made his IPL debut back in 2013. However, he has not been a consistent feature in the T20 league. He has only played three seasons and has experience of just 24 IPL matches. Vihari has scored a total of 284 runs and has claimed a solitary wicket in these matches.

The batting all-rounder played 17 of his 24 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 2013 edition itself. He didn’t have a great season though, scoring 241 runs at a poor strike rate of 86.69. Vihari also featured in the IPL in 2015 and 2019, but played only five and two matches respectively. He hasn’t featured in the T20 league since.

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Vihari is a hard-working cricketer no doubt. Apart from his batting skills, he can also bowl some useful off-spin. However, when it comes to the T20 format, he seems a bit dated. He doesn’t possess the power to slam the big hits, which explains why he has a T20 strike rate of 112.23.

Vihari is very good at rotating the strike but that is a skill which is needed only in exceptional circumstances when it comes to the 20-over format.

#3 Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay in action for CSK. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Murali Vijay in action for CSK. Pic: IPLT20.COM

At his peak, former CSK opener Murali Vijay was one of the most dangerous hitters in the tournament. He has played 106 matches in the tournament and has scored 2619 runs at a strike rate of 121.87 with two hundreds and 13 fifties to his name. He smashed an incredible 127 off 56 for CSK against Rajasthan Royals (RR) during the 2010 edition.

Vijay carried on his great work in IPL 2011 as well and was, in fact, the player of the final that season, hammering 95 off 52 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The opening batter registered his second hundred during the 2012 season, this time against the Delhi Capitals. Vijay blazed his way to 113 off only 58 balls.

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After experiencing a slight dip in form during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, the elegant batter seemed to have rediscovered his form in 2016, totaling 453 runs in 14 games with five fifties. However, Vijay’s fortunes have dipped significantly since. He played only one game in 2018, two in 2019 and three in 2020. He has looked totally out of sorts in recent years.

Vijay did not feature in the 2021 edition and it looks highly unlikely that the 37-year-old will be able to add to his IPL tally.

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