IPL auction 2018: Yuvraj under pressure after failing to perform in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy


New Delhi: Yuvraj was the toast of the nation when India won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 but the 36-year-old is unlikely to attract interest from the franchises when he goes under the hammer on Saturday in Bengaluru.

Hailed as one of the greatest to have played the shortest format of the game, Yuvraj’s dismal performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy has not gone unnoticed by the franchises and he faces uncertainty over his IPL career.

With his India career as good as over, most of the franchises are unlikely to indulge in a bidding war for the two-time World Cup winner due to his high marquee base price of Rs two crore.

He had a horrible Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, where he aggregated 208 runs off 216 deliveries at a dismal strike- rate of less than 100 (96 plus).

Yuvraj’s sequence of scores in Mushtaq Ali Trophy is 50 not out (40 balls), 35 not out (35 balls), 8 (16 balls), 4 (8 balls), 21 (14 balls), 29 (25 balls), 40 (34 balls), 17 (33 balls) and 4 (11 balls).

The troublesome part is that he batted in the top four on most days and never looked like in control as Punjab lost out on a spot in the final primarily due to his slow batting.

While the franchises are not ready to come on record, it is learnt that Yuvraj’s fate will also depend on where he is placed in the auction pool.

“Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad have all picked up Yuvraj during the previous auctions at hefty price only to release him after one season. The reason being Yuvraj not providing value for money,” an IPL franchise official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“Out of 14 matches, it is not clear whether Yuvraj still has the ability left in him or not to make a difference in at least five or six matches. His bowling is nowhere as it used to be and fielding has gone down by a few notches. He will be lucky if someone picks him up at the base price. May be Kings XI Punjab, where he had played for first three seasons,” the official said.

The other thing going against Yuvraj is the fact that he is not seen as a captaincy material like a Gautam Gambhir or a Harbhajan Singh as his place in the playing XI in any franchise is not certain.

It will be good for Yuvraj if he comes into the auction pool early as then all franchises will have the purse to atleast buy him at the base price.

“It all depends on where he comes in the auction pool. He may get a team if he comes into the auction early. The business dynamics is such that if he is coming after – say two or three lots, then people will be cautious.

“They won’t easily do away with Rs two crore in which they can buy couple of solid uncapped Indian players,” another official concluded.




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