For the first time in an IPL auction, uncapped players will feature on the first day. The uncapped players will follow the marquee set and the first sets of capped players (batsmen, allrounders, wicketkeepers, fast bowlers and spinners). The move was necessitated due to the interest in uncapped players among the franchises. Here is a look at the five names that could feature high on the list of the franchises in the uncapped category.
Base price: INR 20 lakh (US$ 31,250 approx)
Former England captain Michael Vaughan wants the ECB to fast-track his passport so that he can play for England at the earliest. Dale Steyn thinks "this kid is going to be special". That kid is Jofra Archer, who has caught the attention at the Big Bash League this year with Hobart Hurricanes. He has delivered inswinging yorkers to both right and left-hand batsmen at speeds in excess of 145 kph repeatedly in the end overs. Archer, from Barbados, has settled in England and plays for Sussex. He is also is an athletic fielder and has taken and effected some stunning catches and run-outs in the BBL. Although owners have tightened up on overseas buys at auctions, Archer will be a big temptation.
Archer has 44 T20 wickets* at an economy rate of 7.81 and a strike rate of 17.40, along with an average of 22.77. In the end overs (between 17 and 20), Archer has 14 wickets at an economy rate of 9.07 and an average of 18.35. In the BBL, Archer has 15 wickets at an economy rate of 7.35, with a strike rate of 14.1. In the end overs, he has taken eight wickets at an economy rate of 8.27 with an average of 12.75.
Base price: INR 50 lakh ($78,125 approx)
T20 think-tanks are always lured by X-factor players. With his unique bowling action - he runs in like a slow medium-fast bowler only to spin the ball both ways - Mujeeb has managed to flummox batsmen consistently. He opens the bowling for Afghanistan. Even if he is classified as an offspinner, Mujeeb says he bowls the offbreak, legbreak, googly and carrom ball. He is only 16 years old; Mujeeb became the first international player born in the 21st century after he made his debut against Ireland in an ODI in December. He finished as the Player of the Match with returns of 4 for 24.
A month prior to that he helped Afghanistan win their maiden Youth Under-19 Asia Cup with another match-winning performance in the final against Pakistan. IPL franchise scouts had travelled to Malaysia during the Asia Cup. And other T20 franchises came calling: Mujeeb was hired by Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League. The IPL has already featured two Afghanistan spinners, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi - both for Sunrisers Hyderbad - and Mujeeb is likely to follow in their footsteps
Mujeeb is the third-highest wicket-taker in the U-19 category since the previous Youth World Cup in 2016.*
Base price: INR 20 lakh ($31,250 approx)
With his consistency in the top order, Tripathi lit up his maiden IPL, last season, when he opened for Rising Pune Supergiant. Although he has had a lean run of form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India's domestic T20s, Tripathi scored two quickfire centuries and a 91 for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy. All his three big knocks came when Maharashtra were in trouble against stronger opponents like Karnataka and Delhi.
Self-confidence and bold strokeplay define Tripathi's batting. Last IPL, he brought these qualities to the fore and finished with the fourth-best strike rate in the Powerplay overs. Tripathi might not have the same stature as some of the other illustrious openers, but he has the temperament to excel, and, hence, is likely to be an attractive buy.
Last IPL, in the Powerplay, Tripathi scored 290 runs from 184 balls at a strike rate of 157.6. His overall IPL figures read: 391 runs at a strike rate of 146.44 and an average of 27.92.
Base price: INR 40 lakh ($62,500 approx)
"The young Yusuf Pathan" - that is how Hooda is known in the IPL circles. Hooda is a powerful hitter, and can bat anywhere in the middle order, can bowl decent offspin, and is a terrific fielder. Hooda's promise was recognised by Rajasthan Royals before Sunrisers bought him. Sunrisers have the right-to-match card option to retain Hooda, and will be tempted to use it based on how the rival franchises drive the bidding.
Hooda has scored 373 runs at an average of 14.34 and a strike rate of 139.17 from 30 innings. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali this season, playing for Baroda, Hooda had a strike rate of 150.66 in eight matches, where he scored 226 runs at an average of 32.28.
Base price: INR 20 lakh ($31,250 approx)
Gowtham was picked up by Mumbai Indians last season for INR 2 crore ($312,500), but didn't play a match. Gowtham is a useful allrounder, who can bat at any position and can hit the ball fiercely. The numbers support Gowtham's stature in domestic cricket: he has a strike rate of 165.15 in 12 games for Karnataka in the last two seasons of the domestic T20 tournaments, while his economy rate is a frugal 6.97 per over.
Gowtham has played 27 T20s, and scored 310 runs at an average of 16.31 at an impressive strike rate of 159.79. He has also picked up 20 wickets with a bowling average of 28.95 and an economy rate of 7.06.
*Statistics up to date until January 25, 2018