The 2022 IPL Auction promises to be the biggest ever auction ever held for any private sporting event in the world, with a major player reshuffle enforced. Many of the top players in the world were not retained by their clubs, and their names have been thrown into the auction pool, up for grabs.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names that are available in the auction pool and are expected to fetch the highest fees as well.
Quinton De Kock
Quinton De Kock is now one of the most consistent and powerful openers in T20 cricket. He is one of the few players who has directly benefited from ABD's retirement from South Africa's international setup. He has 1827 runs for South Africa in 61 innings, with a strike rate of more than 135 and an average of more than 31. His IPL record is even more outstanding, with 2256 runs in 77 innings, one century, and 17 half-centuries.
De Kock has been a huge contributor for the Mumbai Indians, hitting over 500 runs in both 2019 and 2020 as MI won back-to-back IPL championships. He has been in excellent form of late, and he has always provided MI with great starts, allowing them to produce enormous totals and win more games.
He has an extremely aggressive playing style, and he often likes to run down the field even against the world's most dangerous fast bowlers, demonstrating that he is brave and never gets afraid despite his small stature. He's also an excellent wicket-keeper with lightning-quick reflexes. In recent years, several commentators have referred to him as one of the top batters in the world. De Kock will surely be a major target for almost every team at the 2022 IPL Auction.
David Warner is regarded as one of the finest players in IPL history and without a doubt the best foreigner to have graced the tournament. Warner's consistency, along with a strike rate of more than 140, makes him the only batter with three Orange Caps.
Despite being an opener throughout his IPL career, he has amassed 5449 runs at an incredible average of over 41.6 in only 150 innings. Warner has matured into one of the world's most lethal openers across all three versions of the game.
He was appointed captain of the SRH squad in 2015 and has led by example ever since, most notably in 2016, when he single-handedly won the championship for them with his inspiring performances and leadership. In the 2020 season, he reached 500 runs for the seventh time in a row, establishing himself as the league's most consistent batter.
Only Gayle (6) and Kohli (5) have more IPL hundreds than Warner. He is also one of the finest fielders in the IPL, with some incredible catches and spectacular run-outs throughout the years. It was incredibly surprising that SRH refused to retain David Warner, despite his brilliant service for the franchise for almost a decade. Their loss is expected to be someone else’s gain as Warner is one of the favorites to get the highest bid at the 2022 IPL Auction.
Kagiso Rabada nearly single-handedly transformed the Delhi Capitals into a force to be reckoned with in the previous two seasons, taking 55 wickets in only 29 innings and possessing the league's best bowling average of less than 15! He was severely missed in the play-offs in 2019, a season when he bowled what was perhaps the ball of the competition, a spellbinding yorker that uprooted Andre Russel's middle stump in a crunch super over.
However, he made amends in the 2020 season, winning the IPL Purple Cap with 30 wickets in only 17 innings as DC reached their first-ever final. Rabada also took four wickets in a crucial qualifier against the SRH, directly helping his side reach the final.
He has improved his skills to become South Africa's bowling spearhead in all three versions of the game. The Delhi Capitals surprisingly did not exercise the option to retain Rabada at his current price, although they will probably try to bid for him again and hope to secure his services for a lower fee. Rabada will be the most sought-after bowler at the auction however and is a leading candidate to be the most expensive player at the 2022 IPL Auction.
FAF Du Plessis
In recent seasons, the veteran South African top-order batsman has been impressively steady for the Chennai Super Kings. He showed his real class when CSK needed him the most when Suresh Raina pulled out of the 2020 tournament, and he ended up as the team’s top scorer.
Du Plessis has been a fixture in South Africa's one-day international team for some time now, scoring over 750 runs in the previous two ICC World Cups, more than any other South African player. Even in the Indian Premier League, he has scored 2935 runs in 100 innings, with an average of 34.9 and 20 half-centuries.
In the 2018 season, he guided CSK to the final in what seemed to be a lost cause, as their whole batting order fell under duress when chasing 139 against SRH in Qualifier-1. Du Plessis, on the other hand, kept his ground and hit a match-winning 67 off 42 balls to propel his club to the final, which they subsequently won for their third IPL triumph.
FAF is already regarded as an IPL legend, and it was surprising that CSK decided not to retain his services, probably due to the fact that he is in the latter part of his glorious career. FAF would surely be one of the top picks at the auction, and a hefty bid is expected to win his services.
Ishan Kishan made news in the cricket world when he led India's Under 19 squad to the Under 19 World Cup final in 2016. An attacking batsman from Jharkhand who also happens to be a wicketkeeper, no, not MS Dhoni, but his prodigy Ishan Kishan, had managed to somewhat secure his spot in a star-studded Mumbai Indians lineup, quickly establishing himself as one of India's most influential and upbeat young sports personalities.
Ishan, who pocketed a hefty Rs. 5.5 crores when he joined MI in 2017, scored over 550 runs in his first two seasons, contributing with the bat in the middle order and being as good behind the posts. His match-winning 62 off 21 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders is most remembered for four consecutive sixes off veteran spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
The 23-year-old guided MI to their fifth championship in 2020, with some inspiring knocks along the road. His stock has risen sharply over the last few seasons and it is surprising that Mumbai Indians did not choose to retain the young southpaw. Kishan will definitely attract massive bids from every team, considering that he also has age on his side, unlike the others on this list.
Pat Cummins, the most expensive player in the 2020 IPL auction, is a Rolls Royce of a cricketer. Cummins, who was purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a record Rs 15.50 crores, is one of the best pace bowlers of our time, as well as a very useful lower-order batsman who exploits his enormous physique to hit some tremendous sixes.
Cummins already has 17 IPL wickets to his record from his time with the Delhi Daredevils, and he is looking forward to his fourth full season in the tournament. Cummins did not quite reach the heights that were anticipated of him in IPL 2020, but with IPL 2022 set to take place in India, his scorching speed and test experience will help him in difficult circumstances, and we expect him to dominate and battle for the purple cap next season.
Despite this, he took 12 wickets in 14 outings last season and hopes to improve on that next season. Cummins has also shown off his batting abilities a few times this season, demonstrating that he can be a very useful hitter later down the order with some huge but clean hitting. Cummins enters the auction after helping Australia to a 4-0 Ashes victory at home as captain, in which he took 21 wickets in four Tests.
He also brings his impeccable leadership characteristics to the table, in addition to his all-around ability. Cummins might be a premium capture with three clubs still looking for a skipper. With quality fast bowlers always a rare commodity, we expect him to fetch some incredibly big bucks at the 2022 IPL Auction.
India's middle-order batsman with the white ball Shreyas Iyer has a track record of success in the IPL, having scored 2375 runs at 31.66 in 87 games. He earned the Emerging Player of the Year title in 2015 for his 439 runs in his maiden season with the Delhi Capitals (formerly the Delhi Daredevils), after earning Rs 2.6 crore in the auction – a then-record for an uncapped player.
Shreyas remained a member of the Delhi franchise till the end of the past season. He was appointed captain in 2018, succeeding Gautam Gambhir, and guided Delhi to the play-offs for the first time in seven years in 2019. He improved on his feat by guiding DC to the finals in 2020, only to lose to MI in the championship game. Shreyas led the team from the start in both editions, scoring 463 and 519 runs in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Shreyas missed the first part of the previous season due to a shoulder injury, and Rishabh Pant was elevated as captain of DC. He returned in the second half, but DC elected to keep Pant as their captain. Shreyas played 8 games in phase 2 of the IPL 2021, scoring 175 runs with a strike rate of 35. And, with DC retaining Pant as captain for the following season, Shreyas quit the franchise, where he had spent his whole IPL career up to that point, to join the auction pool for the forthcoming big event.
Shreyas, a reliable run-scorer with leadership abilities, has a decent chance of commanding a high price, particularly from clubs seeking a new captain.
Shikhar Dhawan, India's white-ball opener, has had a very successful career in the Indian Premier League. Dhawan has been a steady scorer over recent seasons and is the league's second-highest run-scorer overall with 5784 runs, behind only Virat Kohli (6283).
Dhawan began his IPL career in 2008 with the Delhi Capitals (then the Delhi Daredevils), and has subsequently played for the Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Delhi Capitals. In 2014, he even captained the Sunrisers, before being replaced by David Warner.
The Sunrisers purchased Dhawan for Rs. 5.2 crore in the 2018 auction by using an RTM card (right to match). Despite amassing 497 runs for SRH, he was traded to the Delhi Capitals the next season. He has scored 500+ runs in each of the previous three seasons, including two back-to-back centuries in the 2020 season – the first time it has ever been accomplished by any player in the Indian Premier League.
Dhawan is back on the auction block after three outstanding seasons with the Delhi Capitals, totaling 1726 runs in 49 games. He is a top-order batsman who can serve as a mentor to younger players while still batting regularly for his club. Therefore we expect him to command a very price at the 2022 IPL Auction.
Nicholas Pooran is a dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman, who is a versatile middle-order pinch hitter who can fill in anywhere the team needs him to. The left-handed Windies batsman is a high-octane performer who has already proved himself in the Indian Premier League.
In 2019, Pooran rejoined Kings XI Punjab, where he had spent the previous three seasons after being purchased by the club for Rs 4.2 crore. In 2020, he had a terrific season with them, batting 353 times with a 169.71 slugging percentage in 14 games.
Pooran will be high on the demand lists of numerous clubs as a top-order batsman who can also wear the keeping gloves if necessary. His prowess at hitting sixes is well-known, which makes him an interesting player to watch and a crowd-pleaser, and he has the ability to boost the pace as required.
Pooran is also in excellent form at the moment. He was the highest run-scorer in the West Windies' T20I series against England, with 164 runs at a strike rate of 41.00 in five matches. With his recent form and track record, the dashing left-hander will be one of the most sought-after foreign players at the 2022 IPL Auction.
Steve Smith is a generational batsman. he ranks among Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root as one of the top batsmen of this generation. However, despite serving as captain of two IPL clubs, Smith has been unable to translate his international success into an IPL triumph. He has appeared for various clubs in the Indian Premier League over the years.
Smith even missed the 2018 edition due to his involvement in the infamous South African ball-tampering scandal. He was acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore (2010) and Kochi Tuskers Kerala (2011) before moving on to play for Pune Warriors India (2012), Rajasthan Royals (2015 and 2019), and Rising Pune Supergiant (2017). Smith appeared in 12 games for Rajasthan Royals during the 2019 season before departing for Australia to prepare for the ODI World Cup.
Smith struggled with the bat in the 2020 edition, scoring 311 runs in 14 appearances for the Rajasthan Royals. Smith was then acquired by the Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 crores in the 2021 auction. In the first half of the season, the former Australian captain appeared in six matches for Delhi Capitals, scoring 104 runs at an average of 26.00. He appeared in only two matches for Delhi Capitals in the tournament's second phase in the UAE in 2021.
Smith's eight matches with 152 runs, a maximum score of 39, and an average of 25.33 were not enough for the Delhi Capitals to retain him and he is now back in the auction pool this time with a base price of Rs 2 crore and will be trying to improve his IPL record and allow his bat do the talking for whichever club chooses to sign him up.
Throughout the years, Dwayne Bravo has been one of the top all-rounders in the Indian Premier League. Bowling and big-hitting down the order are two of his core strengths, that ensure he wins plenty of matches for whichever team he is playing for. Bravo is also one of the best fielders in the world, hence he’s the complete T20 package, worth his weight in gold.
Before joining Chennai Super Kings for the 2011 season, Bravo spent three seasons with Mumbai Indians. Bravo finished as CSK's third-highest run-scorer with 371 runs at a strike rate of 140.53 and 15 wickets in the 2012 tournament. Then he shone with the ball as the Purple Cap was awarded to Bravo as he concluded the 2013 tournament with 32 wickets.
He repeated that feat with another Purple Cap triumph in the 2015 edition as he picked up 27 wickets. After a mixed couple of years with Gujarat Lions in 2016 and 2017, Bravo was picked up by CSK again at the 2018 auction with their Right To Match card. CSK has heavily relied on Bravo’s all-around exploits as they have emerged as one of the strongest teams in IPL history.
Despite the fact that Bravo is 38 years old, he still has a lot to offer and many teams will be vying for his signature, though CSK is the favorites to pick him up at his base price of Rs 2 crore.
Here are some other players that we expect will fetch some huge prices, even if not as much as the ones mentioned above will fetch.
Devdutt Padikkal – The lanky youngster was surprisingly not retained by RCB despite being one of their best performers ever since he made his debut in 2020. The left-handed stylish batsman reminds many of a young Yuvraj Singh with his trademark flicks on the leg side. He is incredibly consistent for his age and will have all 10 teams vying for his esteemed signature.
Jason Roy – Another major release from SRH after Warner, Jason Roy is one of the most aggressive opening batsmen of our generation, who can absolutely destroy any bowling attack in the world on his day. Roy has played some classic knocks in the IPL for several teams, though his lack of consistency may have forced SRH to avoid retaining him. He will surely fetch some big bucks as he is a proven destructive opener, an essential commodity in a T20 league.
Sam Curran – The CSK all-rounder impressed everyone with his 360-degree contribution to the team, but it wasn’t enough for him to be retained. Curran has opened the bowling as well as batting for CSK over the years, which is a great asset as he can contribute at both ends apart from being an electric fielder as well. He can bowl well over 140 km/h and also accelerate the batting run rate as and when required. Many teams will be vying for his signature.