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Feature

IPL 2023 auction: Six uncapped Indian players who could set the auction alight

Shivam Mavi, N Jagadeesan, Mukesh Kumar and more names that could attract significant bids

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
21-Dec-2022
Shivam Mavi picked up the big wicket of Marcus Stoinis, Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021 Qualifier 2, Sharjah, October 13, 2021

Shivam Mavi has worked on his death bowling since enduring a difficult 2022 season with KKR  •  BCCI

ESPNcricinfo's pick for the top uncapped Indian talent to watch out for at the IPL auction in Kochi on December 23. Some of these players were released by franchises, while others are yet to feature in the tournament. However, they have all put in a solid body of work in India's domestic season so far.
Shivam Mavi
He can bowl at 140 kph, swing the new ball, and is a wicket-taker in the powerplay. However, Mavi has been plagued by injuries and form issues - he took only five wickets in six games and had an economy rate of 10.31 in IPL 2022 for Kolkata Knight Riders, who had bid INR 7.25 crore for him at the February auction. The fact that he's only 24 years old, and has IPL and domestic experience - he's Uttar Pradesh's pace spearhead - works in his favour. Mavi has worked on his variations, including the bouncer and the yorker, as well as his death-bowling skills, and there is always demand for Indian fast bowlers.
Yash Thakur
A name that scouts often speak of as an emerging talent, Thakur is a key member of Vidarbha's pace battery. He has impressed with his death bowling and is coming off a superb Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, where he picked up 15 wickets in 10 matches and finished with an economy rate of 7.17. Thakur, who is about to turn 24, has had multiple IPL stints as a net bowler and was most recently part of the Punjab Kings contingent.
N Jagadeesan
Jagadeesan did not get much game time at Chennai Super Kings because of MS Dhoni's presence behind the stumps, and the franchise released him ahead of the auction despite having bought him for only INR 20 lakh. Jagadeesan, 27, has battled the reputation of being a safe rather than explosive batter, and has worked on changing that perception. He made a record-breaking five back-to-back List A centuries - the only batter in the world to have achieved this - during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and has carried that form into the Ranji Trophy, where he made a 77-ball century in Tamil Nadu's season-opener against Hyderabad. He has already trialled with IPL champions Gujarat Titans, who are on the lookout for a second Indian wicketkeeper after Wriddhiman Saha.
Sanvir Singh
An up-and-coming seam-bowling allrounder from Punjab, Sanvir has impressed with strong domestic performances in recent times. Swing and accuracy are his biggest strengths with the ball and he also offers lower-order firepower with the bat. At the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he made 119 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 205.17. While he didn't bowl much in the tournament, he gave glimpses of his ability during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he took seven wickets in five games apart from scoring 156 runs. This included an excellent rearguard of 84 not out against Uttarakhand. When not playing domestic cricket, 26-year old Sanvir trains and plays league cricket in Chennai, which he credits for his growth as an allrounder.
Mukesh Kumar
Mukesh, a 29-year old fast bowler from Bengal, has been part of back-to-back India A series (against New Zealand and Bangladesh) and enjoyed a great run. He was also part of India's ODI squad for their home series against South Africa in September. It's particularly impressive that he's made it this far through domestic performances and without featuring in the IPL so far. Known for his metronomic control, Mukesh hits good lengths and deceives batters with subtle deviation off the deck. He was called up by Royal Challengers Bangalore as a net bowler last year but missed out due to Covid-19. He had a good white-ball season for Bengal too, most notably when he picked up three wickets to trigger Odisha's collapse to 86 all out in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Akash Vasisht
He dreams of playing for Mumbai Indians and representing the city his mother comes from. Akash Vasisht played a stellar role in Himachal Pradesh's run to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final, seamlessly switching from middle-order enforcer to finisher. He's a good player of spin, and offers a left-hand option to teams that are right-hander heavy. He top-scored for Himachal in the T20 competition, his 216 runs coming at a strike rate of 163.63, and also bowls decent left-arm spin. He showed his batting prowess in a tough situation in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarter-final against Bengal, scoring a match-winning 76 off 42 balls in a chase of 200.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo