‘Prediction professor’ Pankaj Singh believes that from the state, pacer Nathu Singh & Aniket Choudhary are the ‘hot properties’
Indian Premier League (IPL) now is just not a romantic idea anymore but a potential platform for players to exhibit their wares and impress selectors at the highest level. As Team Rajasthan players flexed muscles under the pitiless sun at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) stadium during trial matches in an attempt to make it to the Vijay Hazare Trophy squad, the murmurs of IPL auction on February 20 were also within earshot. As many as 14 names from the team feature in the IPL 2017 player auction list that includes both the colts and veterans- domestic giants like Pankaj Singh and anonymous names like Ankit Lamba.
This year, Aniket Choudhary and Nathu Singh are being seen as the ‘hot properties’ which can likely get bidders taking their base price of 10 lakh and 30 lakh respectively to a grand new level. Last year, Mumbai Indians had splurge 3.2 crore over Nathu, but unfortunately he didn’t get an IPL debut and this year he has been released by the franchise. The left-arm seamer Aniket on the other hand was picked by Punjab in 2013 but had a similar fate. What’s making them grab attention is the duo’s growing popularity among the selectors. If one is known for his sheer raw pace, the other one has caught the eyes with his finesse of action.
Moreover, both the pacers right now are with Team India in Pune to help prepare the Kohli outfit to tackle the fiery Mitchell Starc. Of late, Aniket was also a part of training camp of Team India ahead of series against New Zealand and India A warm up game against Bangladesh.
Even Team Rajasthan skipper is anticipating a favourable response for the two boys. “Nathu and Aniket stand a very good chance this season and I am pretty much sure they will make a cut.” He believes that everything in the end will depend upon what the respective franchises are looking for to complete their pack of players and add to it the luck factor.
Commenting upon can a franchise representing Rajasthan help more local players get a chance to play the league, the skipper quipped, “Having a franchise that represents Rajasthan can help create more opportunities for the local boys but previously Rajasthan Royals didn’t add to the cause as hardly 1-2 players were picked from the state and their entire base was of Mumbai. So I don’t think the team’s expulsion from IPL has made much difference as far as the players are concerned.”
The domestic stalwart Pankaj Singh also features in the auction list along with another senior player- ‘keeper Dishant Yagnik, who was a regular with Royals.
Last year, three players were picked up during IPL bidding. Seamer Deepak Chahar has been retained by Pune Warriors while both Mahipal Lomror (Delhi Daredevils) and Nathu Singh will go under the hammer this time.
TEAM RAJASTHAN PLAYERS TO GO UNDER HAMMER- Nathu Singh, Aniket Choudhary, Pankaj Singh, Tanvir Ul-Haq, Dishant Yagnik, Mahipal Lomror, Ankit Lamba, Arjit Singh, Tijinder Singh, CP Singh, Rajesh Bishnoi Sr, Rajesh Bishnoi Jr, Ashok Menaria and Rahul Chahar.
VIJAY HAZARE 15-MEMBER SQUAD- Manender Singh, Divya Pratap Singh, Ashok Budania, Puneet Yadav, Ashok Menaria, Mahipal Lomror, Arjit Gupta, Salman Khan, Dishant Yagnik (vice captain), Tijinder Singh, Rahul Chahar, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pankaj Singh (captain), Aniket Choudhary and Nathu Singh.