The 2018 auction of the biggest cricket bonanza -IPL unrolled some shocking surprises when the franchises made Ben Stokes the most expensive player of IPL for the second time in a row. Although there is a drop in his price tag this year (INR 12.5 crore) as compared to the last edition (INR 14.5 crore), questions are still doing the circulation whether he can justify his tag of being the most expensive player or not?
And, he is not alone. There are a few more names including a few uncapped players who will have to deal with the pressure and expectations their high price-tag brings along.
So, the list starts with none other than the dearest-
Ben Stokes- RR
At moment, England’s Ben Stokes is one of the best all-rounders in the world. His performances tell a story which makes him worth every penny. The last edition of IPL was the first season for the English all-rounder. Rising Pune Supergiants bought him for a whopping INR 14.5 crores which made him the most expensive player of IPL 2017. In response, Stokes didn’t disappoint the selectors and was awarded the “Most Valuable Player” for his all-round performance. He helped RPS reach to the finals.
In 12 matches, Stokes took 12 wickets and scored 316 runs including a match-winning century against Gujarat Lions.
This year, Rajasthan Royals has placed their bet on this all-rounder for Rs 12.5 crores. Let’s see, if Ben Stokes can make it two in a row for “Most Valuable Player” also.
Jaydev Unadkat- RR
Everyone was once again shocked when the Royals capped Jaydev Unadkat for INR 11.5 crores making him the second most expensive player of IPL 2018. The Saurashtra bowler has represented India for U-19 World Cup and had a good outing for Rising Pune Supergiants in the last edition of IPL.
In 12 matches, Unadkat took 24 wickets at an economy of 7.02. Jaydev Unadkat recently appeared for India in Nidahas Trophy but failed to leave an impact.
Let’s see, whether he proves to be a nice pick for Rajasthan Royals or not.
Related: Who is team’s X-factor?
KL Rahul- KXIP
Although he is a consistent performer, he hasn’t been consistent in the team. KL Rahul has appeared for 15 T20Is for India and has scored 500 runs with an average of 45.45
Rahul made his IPL debut in 2013 under RCB and failed to impress in his first two outings. In 2015, Rahul scored 142 runs with an average of 28.40 in 9 matches for RCB and missed the last season after getting ruled out due to the shoulder injury.
KXIP have spent a massive Rs 11 crores to buy him. There will be a lot of pressure on Rahul!
When the Rajasthan Royals spent Rs 8 crore for bringing back Sanju Samson, it was clear that the franchise has huge expectations with this wicket-keeper batsman. However, it will be interesting to watch whether this raw talent will be able to repay their selectors faith or not?
Samson last played for Delhi Daredevils in 2017. In 66 IPL matches, he has scored 1426 runs.
Ishan Kishan -MI
The young Jharkhand wicket-keeper batsman- Ishan Kishan, who idolizes Mahendra Singh Dhoni and awaits an international debut, has already been bought by Mumbai Indian for Rs 6.2 crores. Bangalore too showed their interest in this 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup skipper.
This will be the third IPL outing for Ishan Kishan but he still lacks a match-winning performance. Kishan has played for Gujarat Lions in 2016-17.
Related: Top 5 picks for MI
There are a few more players in the likes of Manish Pandey, who has been picked by SunRisers Hyderabad for Rs 11 crores, and Kedhar Jadhav, who has been bought by CSK for INR 7.8 crores.
For more IPL updates, click here.