IPL auditions begin in Mumbai

By: GS Vivek
Updated: 13 Feb 2017 07:35 PM

Mumbai: Wearing a tight fitting India training jersey, Sarandeep Singh was running laps of the Wankhede stadium. MSK Prasad and Debang Gandhi, the other two members of the senior selection committee were busy chatting up on the sidelines of the inter-zonal t20 tournament. 

To see all three national selectors in one place meant the obvious --- the test team for series against Australia will be picked Tuesday at 11am. But these three wise men didn't actually matter much to the players on the ground. The Test team is a mere formality, with not too much scope.

The people who really mattered to the players at the Wankhede were Mahela Jayawardene, John Wright, TA Sekar, Pravin Amre, Kiran More and a few more huddled inside the cozy Sharad Pawar box.

The men who mattered more than the three national selectors, at least for the moment, are the IPL talent scouts who are keeping a keen eye on the games played so far.

Talent scouts from various franchisees like Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and other IPL teams are keeping an eagle eye on the performance of the players in this Mushtaq Ali inter zonal t20 tournament.

"Most teams have sent their people to watch the players and that is why these players are giving their 100 percent on the ground," says Sekar, Delhi Daredevils director.

According to Sekar, who is also a former national selector, this year once again there will be a spurge on some small domestic player and a couple of big names in the IPL auction. "All teams want to get the big names but remember the smaller the auction more.chances of seeing a couple of players getting huge sums because teams have limited options. This year again we have a smaller pool and teams will go all out, " he says

According to sources, focus will be more on fast bowlers."Most teams would want to check on a few players before they enter into the IPL auction while some teams will have specific plan in mind in the longer run, so these players have everything to play for, " says Sekar.

The IPL auction will be held in Bangalore on February 20 but all teams are likely to finalise their strategy by 18th or 19 at the end of the tournament.