Ahmedabad along with Lucknow are the two new IPL franchises. These teams need to build their team from scratch. They have the luxury of picking players first through the draft, later through the auctions. The draft will allow them to pick 2 Indian and 1 overseas player. Here are 5 Gujarat Players Whom Ahmedabad Franchise Can Target.
They will then compete with the other 9 teams in the mega auctions to build their squad. Ahmedabad will be keen to bring in local flavour to their squad. Hometown players help build a relatability factor with the fans. Ahmedabad will be keen to rope in key Gujarat-based players.
5 Gujarat Players Whom Ahmedabad Franchise Can Target
#5 Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat is one of the most hardworking Indian Cricketers. He keeps toiling relentlessly in the domestic circuit. Unadkat is one of the giants in the Indian domestic circle. He is a popular name in Gujarat and Ahmedabad circles. Ahmedabad will be keen to rope in a player of his experience and dedication. Unadkat being a senior figure brings in a lot of calmness to the dressing room. He will surely be on the team’s radar.
#4 Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya made his IPL debut in 2016. He had fantastic 4 seasons with MI up until 2020. If 2020 was a mixed year for him then 2021 was even worse. MI did not retain Krunal. The snub might surely have had an impact on him. Krunal is one player who performs the best when he has his backs to the wall. Ahmedabad will be keen to have a player of his calibre in their squad.
#3 Chetan Sakariya
Cheteshwar Pujara had famously said Chetan Sakariya is the best T20I bowler in Saurashtra. Sakariya’s rise has been so rapid that he made his India debut immediately after making his IPL debut. Owing to limited retentions, Rajasthan Royals had to release him. Ahmedabad will be following him closely. They will be eager to have a bowler like him who has brilliant T20 smarts. Sakariya is a wonderful character as well to have in the team.
#2 Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel has a breakthrough IPL season in 2021. He finished with 32 wickets equalling Dwayne Bravo’s IPL record for most wickets in a single season. He was able to win many games for RCB with his skill. Patel kept them in the game even in a lopsided playoff contest. He soon earned his India cap in the format. Patel is a smart thinker. He will be high on Ahmedabad’s Wishlist.
#1 Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya made his IPL debut with Mumbai Indians in 2015. Pandya played a stellar role in MI’s 4 title wins from 2015-20. His career went on an overdrive with him making his India debut in 2016. Pandya ever since has never really looked back.
His strike rate of 153.91 with the bat signifies his importance as a finisher. He has the tendency to pick crucial wickets too. India are yet to identify an able allrounder replacement for him let alone an IPL team. Ahmedabad’s first pick in the auctions is most likely to be Hardik Pandya.