New Delhi: With the Indian Premier League's draft to take place on December 15 at the Mumbai Cricket Association's clubhouse in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, it promises to be an exciting affair with some big players on the platter.
The IPL Players' draft to allow two new franchises based in Pune and Rajkot pick 10 players of their choice and the duo have some big match winners in the list and who gets picked by whom could set the tempo.
The two suspended franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will see their players be picked by the two new outfits owned by Sanjeev Goenka and Intex.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni, Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina are proven batsmen in the T20 mode and who gets a shot where spices up the draft.
Dhoni will likely be the skipper of one of the sides and his IPL batting statistics prove how handy he is in this format. Dhoni has played 129 matches with a batting average of 39.30 to show how pivotal he is with the willow. Dhoni has also won the coveted title twice and saw Chennai make the most appearances in the semi-final too.
Suresh Raina meanwhile has an IPL hundred with 3699 runs in 132 games. He has been a sheer match-winner all his life and has regularly chipped in with the goods for CSK in all these years. This time though it will be interesting how he performs given he might not play under Dhoni.
The explosive Brendon McCullum who smashed his way into the IPL by scoring an emphatic 158* for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008, has been a good player for CSK in the past two seasons. McCullum is a live wire in the field and his batting prowess means either Pune or Rajkot have a cracking player in their kitty.
Also there are Rajasthan's Shane Watson who has been a massive player for his side over the past few seasons. Ajinkya Rahane and Aussie skipper Steve Smith are classy batsmen who have done well in all three formats. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo are the all-rounders who sum up a star-studded list for the teams to opt for.
The ninth edition of the IPL is scheduled from April 9 to May 29 next year.