Former India and Chennai Super Kings cricketer Suresh Raina has named Jammu and Kashmir left-arm pacer Mujtaba Yousuf, Saurashtra batter Samarth Vyas, Afghanistan's 15-year-old spinner Allah Mohammad as his top uncapped picks from the upcoming IPL 2023 player auction, to be held in Kochi on Friday.
Yousuf, 20, had played against and even dismissed Raina in the past in the Indian domestic cricket circuit. He has played for Jammu & Kashmir in all formats of domestic cricket since 2019.
He is known to have good variations of the slower ball and can even deliver cutters too. Yousuf was previously a part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a net bowler in the last two editions of the IPL.
Vyas, on the other hand, had an outstanding Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy, hitting the most sixes in the tournament (22). He also scored a double century during this year's Vijay Hazare Trophy and played a key role in Saurashtra winning the title in Ahmedabad.
"I played with Mujtaba (Yousuf) in the Syed Mushtaq Ali. As a left-arm fast bowler, he has good action and good control on the swing. Then you have Samarth Vyas from Saurashtra who has scored at a strike rate of over 150 and was among the top five run-getters in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and just won the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
He is a very good prospect," said Raina, who is an expert with JioCinema as part of their auction coverage. Raina spoke highly about off-spinner Mohammad, who is the youngest player in the upcoming IPL player auction and amongst the eight Afghanistan players in the player pool.
"But watch out for Allah Mohammad. At 6ft 2inches and 15 years old, he is an off-spinner with a big heart. A lot of talent coming from Afghanistan." After playing in local U-16 tournaments, Mohammad started to train with the Afghanistan U-19 team and made his debut in the Shpageeza League for Mis Ainak Knights. He claimed five in his first three matches including a 4-15 in his second match against Hindkush Stars.