The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already released a list of more than 1,200 players who have registered for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction, scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on 12 and 13 February.
The list will now be trimmed down to a maximum of 217 players, and will consist of only the names of the players forwarded by the 10 franchises.
While there will be plenty of quality batters and bowlers to pick from, the list of quality wicketkeeper-batters isn't that long. We take a look at some of the names in it.
Kishan could end up being one of the most expensive players in the auction. The 23-year-old has been one of the best players in this role in the last couple of IPL seasons. He also made his international debut for India last year and that has increased his stocks further. Kishan has accumulated a total of 757 runs, including six fifties, in the last two IPL seasons at an excellent average of 42.05.
His strike-rate has also been on the higher side of the 130s consistently in the last two seasons. A left-hander and capable of batting anywhere in the top four, Kishan gives his side a lot of flexibility.
The English top-order batter and wicket-keeper doesn't need any introduction. Bairstow has been one of the best white-ball batters in the world for about four years now and he has an excellent IPL record to his name as well. In 28 matches, Bairstow has scored 1,038 runs at an average of 41.52 and strike-rate of 142.19, including a century and seven fifties.
He is mainly a top-order batter but he has shown the ability to adapt to the middle-order in recent times as well. A batter capable of batting and doing equally well in multiple roles gives immense flexibility to teams and it will not be a surprise if franchises end up up in a bidding war for him during the auctions.
Quinton de Kock
The South African wicketkeeper-batter has immense experience of playing in the IPL and has won the title with Mumbai Indians as well. De Kock recently scored a century in the final ODI of the three-match series against India and was named the Player of the Series as well.
As far as his IPL record goes, de Kock has 2,256 runs to his name at an average of 31.33 and strike-rate of 130.93, including a century and 16 fifties. He bats at the top of the order, keeps wickets and can be a candidate for captaincy too, if needed.
Pooran didn't have a good outing with Punjab Kings in the last IPL season but that had a lot to do with his varying batting positions with every match. He has shown what he can do time and again, if he is given a chance to bat in the top four on a regular basis, and that's why there is going to be a lot of interest in his services even this time.
IPL 2020 was the best season in the tournament for Pooran as he amassed 353 runs at an average of 35.30 and an outstanding strike-rate of 169.71. His main strength is his attacking range against the spinners and that's why teams looking for good middle-overs batters will be interested in getting him on board.
The English wicketkeeper-batter is one of the rising stars in white-ball cricket. Clarke is a dangerous T20 player who is capable of scoring runs at a rapid rate. The 25-year-old's talent was on display once again during the Big Bash League 2021-22 season.
Clarke batted at the top of the order for Melbourne Stars during the course of the tournament and amassed 419 runs at an excellent average of 32.23 and an even better strike-rate of 151.26, including five fifties. With the number of teams in the IPL increasing to 10 this year, some of the franchises will surely be interested to rope him in.
Karthik's four-year long association with Kolkata Knight Riders came to an end when the franchise decided to release him ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. During these years, the 36-year-old has established himself as one of the best lower middle-order batters in the league and he is still a force to reckon with considering how fit he is and the range he has as a batter.
With a career spanning 213 IPL matches, Karthik will add immense value to any side that Picks him. The lower middle-order role is a tough one to crack for youngsters and those who aren't quite familiar with it. Karthik still has a good couple of years of cricket left in him and thus his experience makes him an excellent option for teams looking to fill that role.
Uthappa had a tough couple of years when he was released by KKR after a poor 2019 season in the middle-order. He was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals after that but he couldn't deliver in the middle-order role again as he could muster only 196 runs at an average of 16.33. Picked up by Chennai Super Kings next season, he spent most of the time on the bench once again.
But a spot opened up at No.3 for him when Suresh Raina got injured towards the business end of the tournament. Uthappa played the last four matches for CSK and delivered two crucial knocks of 63(44) and 31(15) in the playoffs and the final respectively. He showed how good a batter he still can be, if given opportunities in the top-order. He might not be the youngest of players being 36 years old right now but Uthappa still has a lot to offer, both as a batter and even as a wicket-keeper.
Despite being a regular part of the IPL for the last six seasons, Sam Billings has had the opportunity of playing only 22 matches. It is largely due to how underrated a player he is and that is quite evident considering how he has delivered in the limited number of chances he has had. Billings has three fifties to his name in the IPL and all of them have been good knocks under pressure.
He has stepped up with his performances in this BBL season as well. Playing for Sydney Thunder in the middle-order, Billings amassed 284 runs, including two fifties. His average of 40.57 shows how consistent he was and a strike-rate of 153.51 shows that he scored his runs at a brisk rate too.
Philippe has already had a short stint in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore and he is expected to be a hot property in the IPL 2022 auction once again. The 24-year-old was seen in good form during the BBL season as well, having amassed more than 400 runs at an average of 33 and strike-rate of over 140.
Philippe is an elegant batter who is a good player of both pace and spin. Behind the wickets, he is a neat glove man too. He will be an asset of interest among franchises looking to make a long-term investment.
Wade's stocks have risen quickly after his unbeaten 41 off just 17 deliveries in the T20 World Cup semifinal against Pakistan. The Australian batter smashed three consecutive sixes off Shaheen Afridi's bowling in the penultimate over of the run-chase to power Australia through to the final. The southpaw has been seen in good form in the Big Bash League 2021-22 season as well.
Playing for the Hobart Hurricanes, Wade amassed 325 runs at an average of 27.08 and strike-rate of 134.85 during the season, including two superb knocks of 80+. Like Kishan and Bairstow, Wade is also capable of batting in multiple positions and that's why he could turn out to be an attractive option for the franchises.
He has made everyone sit up and notice his performances in this BBL season. McDermott is a hard-hitting top-order batter who keeps wickets as well. He finished as the highest run-scorer in the season with 577 runs to his name at an average of 48.08 and strike-rate of 153.86. During the course of the season, McDermott also became the first batter in the history of the BBL to score consecutive centuries, and he had three more 50+ scores to his name on top of that as well. The 27-year-old is excellent against pave and has decent range against spinners as well. He has the temperament to play the long and big knocks as well, and that's why a lot of franchises will have him in their radar.