Vidarbha’s slinger star Rajneesh Gurbani became an overnight sensation following his hat-trick in the Ranji Trophy semi-final. Witnessing Gurbani’s lean and mean bowling demeanour, most of the fans wanted the pacer to either accompany India on the tour of South Africa, or get picked by the dominant IPL teams such as Mumbai Indians or Chennai Super Kings. Although the first case is unlikely, the 24-year-old might be able to materialise the second possibility.
As reported by the Times of India, it is learnt that the 22 Ranji Trophy players for Vidarbha, including the 15 members of the Ranji Trophy winning team, have gotten themselves registered for the 2018 Indian Premier League auction, and are among the 1,122 players, who are signed up for the event. The IPL Player Auction is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on 27th and 28th January.
However, it is worth noting that registration does not automatically grant the players a spot in the auction. The finalised pool of players will be readied by the end of next week, after the franchises are done submitting their wish-list to the cricket authority
In the recently-concluded Ranji Trophy, Rajneesh Gurbani took 39 wickets at an average of 17.12, which included five 5-wicket hauls. However, the 24-year-old has collected just two wickets in four matches so far, in the Inter Zonal Twenty-20 – Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The other stars of Vidarbha, the likes of; Apoorv Wankhede, Akshay Karnewar, Faiz Fazal, Akshay Wakhare and Aditya Sarvate, are already on the IPL franchises’ wish lists. While Faiz Fazal is the second highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy, Akshay Wakhare and Aditya Sarvate are among the top ten wicket-takers in the country.
While few of the Vidarbha players have already given trials for Mumbai Indians (MI), another lot is expected to do the same for Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Monday (15 January).
The former Rajasthan Royals coach and the talent scout of Gujarat Lions, Monty Desai, admitted that big IPL teams and talent scouts had their eyes on Vidarbha players. He said that the Vidarbha players’ form was being watched in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, and was important from an IPL auction point of view.
While adding that the Inter Zonal Twenty20 was fast-tracked by the BCCI in order to acquire short-format talent ahead of the approaching IPL player auctions. Monty Desai said,
“If Vidarbha qualifies for the Super League they will get a few more matches to impress the IPL teams.”
Another renowned talent scout informed that T20 players will be required to have varying skill sets.
“Vidarbha players are talented and they showed it in Ranji Trophy. Now, they must look at gaining consistency to get noticed.”
“What might be a wicket-taking delivery in the longer format could be a boundary ball in Twenty20. The conditions, wickets, crowd pressure and the quality of players, everything is different in IPL. You need to be mentally very strong to cope with that.”
Monty Desai added that the talented first-class cricketers’ mettle will get tested in T20. He said,
“I would like to see the value they bring in when the chips are down, the attitude, the temperament, which comes into play when they approach certain games.”
Desai pointed out that as Vidarbha’s Faiz Fazal was showing “determination and hunger for runs”, he could well be a favourite pick for teams. Vidarbha have been performing well since the last couple of years but has only entered the limelight after winning the Ranji Trophy finals defeating Delhi.