The mega auction for the IPL 2022 took place on February 12 and 13, with more than 200 players securing contracts from ten teams. The IPL management committee classified the 600 players on the final list into four categories: hitters, bowlers, all-rounders, and wicketkeepers.
A team’s playing XI must include at least one wicketkeeper. As a result, franchises always want to have two to three backup wicketkeeper alternatives available. Several well-known wicketkeepers, on the other hand, received no bids in the super auction. On that topic, let’s take a look at five unsold wicketkeeper-batters who are expected to be signed as replacements by clubs.
The wicketkeeper – batter Mohammed Azharuddeen grabbed the limelight after the batter got picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He got picked in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League. The Kerala-based batter put his name in the auction himself at the same price as last year. Unfortunately, he did not get picked by any franchises in IPL 2022.
Mohammad Azharuddeen showcased a wonderful performance in the 2020-21 season in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The right-handed hitter, however, was unable to reproduce his brilliance in the just concluded 2021-22 SMAT. He scored just 147 runs at an average of 21 in seven games for Kerala. His team was also eliminated from the competition after losing by five wickets to Tamil Nadu in the quarterfinals.
Aside from batting, the 27-year-old is also a reliable wicketkeeper. A number of teams will be keeping an eye on Azharuddeen in case he has to be replaced. While opening the batting order, the batter can help his team get off to a fast start.
Former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) wicketkeeper batter Shreevats Goswami was unsold at the IPL 2022 mega auction, despite having a base price of INR 20 lakh. Goswami has a lot of domestic cricket experience. The 32-year-old batsman has appeared in 104 T20 matches, scoring 2311 runs at a strike rate of 27.18.
In terms of his IPL career, Goswami has played for a number of teams. That includes Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), and his old team, SRH. The left-handed batsman has appeared in 31 IPL matches. He scored 293 runs at an average of 14.65 with a strike rate of over 100. Goswami is also the owner of a half-century.
Veteran wicketkeepers like Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade got picked by the franchises in the latter of the IPL 2022 auction. It might not be surprising to anyone if Goswami comes back to the biggest tournament in the world.
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The South African wicketkeeper batter Heinrich Klaasen went unsold at the IPL 2022 mega auction. The base price set by him was INR 50 Lakh. None of the franchises showed any interest in him despite his impressive strike rate of more than 140.
The 30-year-old batter is known to be a finisher with an impeccable ability to handle pressure overs. Klaasen is also exceptional behind the stumps. He played for Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous edition of the IPL.
Klaasen’s talent is visible through the numbers he has achieved throughout T20I cricket. He has three half-centuries under his name. Therefore, Klaasen could be a viable option as an injury replacement for the franchises.
Ben McDermott is an Australian Wicketkeeper-batter who went unsold in the IPL 2022 mega auction. Like Klaasen, McDermott placed himself at INR 50 lakhs in the auction, yet no franchise showed any interest in him.
The 27-year-old has appeared in 93 matches with a scorecard of 2386 runs at the strike rate of 132. The batter has 11 half-centuries and 3 centuries under his belt in the short format of the game. The power hitter has also made the ball fly over the boundaries more than 100 times in his T20 career.
Considering his stats and his form in BBL, several franchises could be looking at him as an option as the replacement of injured players in IPL 2022.
Josh Philippe is another Australian power-hitting opener who went unsold in the IPL 2022 mega auction. The 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batter put himself in the auction for a base price of INR 1 cr. However, none of the franchises showed any interest in him.
The hard-hitter was a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore at his base price of INR 20 lakh in the IPL 2020. Philippe made his name in the Australian domestic scene has not managed to showcase his true form at the international level as well. He represented Australia in ten T20I matches making 138 runs at a poor average of 13.8. However, Philippe can catch the eyes of some franchises who are looking for replacements because of his hard-hitting nature.