Eight franchises will battle to find the right squad composition as a big pool of 578 cricketers, including 360 Indians, will go under the hammer in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction here on Saturday and Sunday.
Marquee Players Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Ben Stokes, Kane Williamson, Glenn Maxwell, Joe Root, Mitchell Starc, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Shakib Al Hasan, each priced at Rs 20 million - will set the tone as an intense battle is set to follow.
Amongst others: India's Kuldeep Yadav, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Lokesh Rahul; Rashid Khan from Afghanistan, West Indies' Samuel Badree and Carlos Braithwaite and Australian Adam Zampa, who have the skills of turning a match around on their own, will be the crucial players to look out for.
Earlier, all the franchises had retained some of their players while taking a calculated risk in releasing most of them. For capped players, the base price is Rs 5 million, while for uncapped players, the auction will begin from Rs 2 million.
Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada, Faf du Plessis and Morne Morkel are the few South Africans who are also part of the list.
The in-form Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson, who was mulling calling time on his IPL career last year, too have entered the race with Mitchell Johnson, who has retired from international cricket but continues to play in the Big Bash League.
Among the Indians, a fierce bidding war is expected to break out when Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, off-spinners Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, Rahane, mystery spinner Kuldeep Yadav and openers Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay go under the hammer.