Dinesh Karthik holds the record for most dismissals among wicketkeepers in IPL history © Getty Images
Dinesh Karthik holds the record for most dismissals among wicketkeepers in IPL history © IANS

The ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will finally make its presence felt for the first time when the players get auctioned one by one starting Saturday, February 6. A total of 351 players will go under the hammer, from which a total of 116 can be picked. The upcoming edition of the IPL will be an important one, as it is one that will get to see the introduction of two new teams in the league — Rising Pune Super Giants (RPSG) and Gujarat Lions (GL) — in place of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will be looking for their third title win along with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). READ: IPL 2016 Player Auction: Top 10 bowlers to watch out for

Following are 10 wicketkeeper-batsmen who are most likely to hit the headlines during the players auction:

1. Sanju Samson (Base Price: Rs 2 crores): Samson has been a remarkable wicketkeeper-batsman and an upcoming superstar for RR since making his debut for the franchise in 2013. Samson has already made it to the list of the 10 wicketkeepers with most dismissals in the league’s history. While he was not drafted into either Pune or Rajkot where a few players from RR and CSK have been picked in the initial draft. Samson, however, should be a hot buy during the auction. Expect a tussle between the franchise owners. READ: Top 10 batsmen to watch out for in IPL 2016 player auction

2. Dinesh Karthik (Base Price: Rs 2 crores): Dinesh Karthik has played for various franchises such as Delhi Daredevils (DD), MI, and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and is an asset for any side, especially due to the fact that he is the leading wicketkeeper in the tournament’s history with 84 dismissals. Even though RCB released him last year, he will probably end up going for a big sum with a base price of Rs. 2 crores.

3. Jos Buttler (Base Price: Rs 1.5 crores): Buttler has been England’s first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman in limited-overs cricket, and is in spanking form at the moment after smashing a century against South Africa in the first of the five-match ODI series at Bloemfontein. If picked, Buttler will finally make his IPL debut.

4. Johnson Charles (Base Price: Rs 30 lakhs): The West Indian wicketkeeper-batsman has impressed as an aggressive opener, especially during West Indies’ victorious campaign in the ICC World T20 2012. Charles’ ability to get a side off to a quick start (as is evident with his T20 strike-rate of 120) is what the franchise owners will be looking for during the auctions.

5. Mushfiqur Rahim (Base Price: Rs 30 lakhs): Bangladesh’s premier wicketkeeper-batsman as well as Test captain, Rahim is one of the most reliable stroke-makers in the side. Rahim had a decent run in the 2015 edition of BPL, and will look to be the fifth Bangladeshi in IPL history after Alok Kapali, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Mortaza.

6. Morne van Wyk (Base Price: Rs 30 lakhs): The 36-year-old South African has played only one season in the tournament’s history, but is still one of the most hard-hitting batsmen in the world at the moment. Van Wyk’s record of having scored nearly 3,000 T20 runs at 30 and a strike-rate of 122 will be the talking points when it is his turn to go under the hammer.

7. Aditya Tare (Base Price: Rs 20 lakhs): Who can forget that incredible six by Tare off RR’s James Faulkner during the final group match of IPL 7 at the Wankhede Stadium, with Mumbai Indians qualifying for the playoffs after chasing the target down in less than 15 overs. While that moment may easily be Tare’s most well-remembered, he T20 average of 27.60 and strike rate of 128.41 makes him a value addition.

8. Ishan Kishan (Base Price: Rs 10 lakhs): Captain of the Indian side in the ongoing ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2016, Kishan has been marked as a bright prospect for the Men in Blue in future. Kishan has shown promise with the bat in recent times, especially with 138 against Canada Under-19 team in the warm-up stage of the tournament and 52 against Nepal Under-19s in a winning effort.

9. Rishabh Pant (Base Price: Rs 10 lakhs): Pant recently made an entry into the record books when he hammered the fastest half-century in the history of Youth ODIs, eventually hammering 78 off 24 deliveries to set up the victory for India Under-19s against Nepal Under-19s during the group match of the Under-19 World Cup (with Kishan bringing up his fifty in the same match).

10. Manvinder Bisla (Base Price: Rs 10 lakhs): Bisla has had quite a few knocks to brag about in the past in IPL, including his 48-ball 89 in the final of the 2012 IPL that helped KKR register their maiden title victory by beating CSK in the final. While Bisla could not make much of an impact in the last couple of editions of the cash-rich league, he will look to return to his destructive ways of yore should he get picked by any of the franchises.

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)