Jadeja, McCullum likely to be in demand in IPL

Bangalore: Dashing wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, Sri Lankan master batsman Mahela Jayawardene and R Vinay Kumar will attract top bids when 144 players from eleven countries go under the hammer in the IPL V auction here Saturday. Only eight Indian players, including V V S Laxman who is unlikely to win the confidence of the franchisees, figure in the auction.

Though the teams have been given the room to expand their pool of players to 33 from 30, franchises may not be too keen to strengthen their T20 stables. Only the exuberant ones among the franchises will spend their maximum bid allocation of two million dollars. With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) terminating its contract with Kochi Tuskers for breach of terms of the agreement, the franchises would be eager to pick the cream of players from the expelled outfit.

Given the track record, Jadeja, Vinay Kumar and Parthiv Patel, McCullum and Jayawardene will be much sought-after. Jadeja, who has matured into a match-winning all-rounder, could be bought by Mumbai Indians, who had failed to win a transfer two seasons ago. Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils too would be desperate to bag the all-rounder.

Bought by Kochi Tusker for USD 95,000, Jadeja could potentially attract a bid over USD 1.2 million. "He is an exciting player, who can bat bat, bowl and field with equal measure. We wouldn`t be surprised if he goes for even USD 1.5 million," said a source from a franchise. RCB, who failed to get Vinay in the bid last year, would be keen to buy the swing bowler, who is handy with the bat.

Pune Warriors too would be interested in Vinay. McCullum may not be the dashing opener he was in IPL I, but he could be destructive if he finds his bearings. Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals could possibly bid big for the Kiwi dasher.