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IPL 9 auction: Top 10 hot property players up for grabs

Here's mid-day's 10 picks for today's IPL players draft that the two new teams - Pune and Rajkot - will want to acquire

MS Dhoni
IPL matches: 129 Runs: 2,986 Avg: 39.29
Pune, who have the right to pick the first player, will in all probability gun for the legendary India skipper. Dhoni's poor form in the on-going Vijay Hazare Trophy is not going to be a concern, especially when it comes to the class and calibre of the Ranchi hero.

MS Dhoni. Pic/AFPMS Dhoni. Pic/AFP

Ravichandran Ashwin
M: 97 W: 90 Avg: 24.22
Ravichandran Ashwin's variations are proving to be too difficult for the batsmen to read. The South Africans were the latest to experience them. Ashwin's ability to play some big shots makes him a player with a deadly combination of skills.

Suresh Raina
M: 132 R: 3699 Avg: 34.25 W: 24 Avg: 38.67
No batsman in the IPL has been as successful as Suresh Raina. His ability to clear the ball at will, his part-time spin bowling and athletic fielding gives him an edge over other Indian capped players. His consistency is another factor.

Steven Smith
M: 46 R: 961 Avg: 34.32
Steven Smith is one of the most street-smart cricketers around. His astute leadership at Rajasthan Royals in the last IPL was widely appreciated despite being knocked out in the Eliminator. Cricket Australia too was convinced that he is their next leader.

Ravindra Jadeja
M: 111 R: 1383 Avg: 23.44
W: 67 Avg: 27.55
The recent SA Test series proved to be a fine comeback for Ravindra Jadeja. The left-arm spinner made his way back into the team after a heavy duty show in the first three Ranji Trophy matches. In Rajkot's conditions, he's a nightmare for batsmen.

Dwayne Bravo
M: 91 R: 1163 Avg: 24.74 W: 105 Avg: 21.53
The West Indian was one of the most successful players for CSK in the last IPL, claiming 26 wickets. Bravo's electrifying fielding and big hitting compliments his fine bowling. He also had a decent outing for the Dolphins in the Ram Slam T20 tourney in SA.

Faf du Plessis
M: 45 R: 1081 Avg: 30.03
The South African all-rounder is a dangerous prospect in limited overs cricket. The Indian team had a first-hand experience in the recent ODI series where he scored three consecutive half-centuries and a hundred. He played a pivotal role in CSK reaching the final of IPL 2015.

Ajinkya Rahane
M: 81 R: 2195 Avg: 33.77
Ajinkya Rahane's ability to quickly adapt to different formats and flexibility at various batting positions makes him a hot property. His fine run with the Indian team and stupendous show while opening for RR in the last IPL makes him a fine prospect.

Brendon McCullum
M: 76 R: 2080 Avg: 29.30
The New Zealander would be one of the most preferred choices of the two teams today. And why not? McCullum's shrewd cricketing brain, his ability to brutally hit the cricket ball and a fine pair of hands behind the wicket are crucial for T20 success.

Chris Morris
M: 27 R: 90 Avg: 22.50 W: 27 Avg: 26.37
If any team looking for a utility player, then they don't need to look beyond Chris Morris. The SA pacer can be a very handy T20 player, glimpses of which were shown in the last IPL where the RR all-rounder scored 76 runs & claimed 13 wickets.

All you want to know about IPL players draft...

Q. Venue?
A. MCA's Recreation Club, BKC

Q. Number of players in the draft?
A. 50

Q. Players belong to?
A. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the two suspended teams for two years

Q. No of players to be picked today?
A. Maximum 10

Q. The rest?
A. They go into the auction in February

Q. Franchisee purse?
A. A minimum of Rs 40 crore and a maximum of Rs 66 crore to make up their squads

Q. Price band for five shortlisted players?
A. The first player gets Rs 12.5 crore, the second Rs 9.5 crore, third Rs 7.5 crore, fourth Rs 5.5 crore and the fifth Rs 4 crore.

Q. Who will pick the first player?
A. New Rising, the owners of the Pune franchise, since they made the most successful bid. Thereafter, Rajkot will get a chance to pick and the remaining eight players will be picked alternately.

Q. Will the existing retention rule apply?
A. Yes. Pune & Rajkot will be allowed to pick a maximum of 4 capped Indian players each

Q. Will the players earn the same salaries as they got from their former teams?
A. The existing contracts of players who go into the draft will be protected. "For example, if MS Dhoni's contract with CSK was worth, say Rs 15 crore, the franchise signing him up as the first player from the draft will have to pay him that much," a franchise official was quoted as saying by ESPNCricnfo.com.

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