IPL auction: SRH buy Vishnu Vinod

Vishnu Vinod
Vishnu Vinod. File photo: KCA

Swashbuckling Kerala wicketkeeper-batter Vishnu Vinod was picked up for Rs 50 lakh by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL auction at Bengaluru on Sunday. The 28-year-old from Pathanamthitta, who had a base price of Rs 20 lakh, had gone unsold on the opening day. But on Sunday, SRH and Mumbai Indians expressed interest and in the end the former bought him.

There has been no doubt about Vishnu's ability. However, the chances have been too few and far in the IPL. Vishnu has played three games for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past. He was also part of the Delhi Capitals squad last IPL, but did not feature in a single game for the star-studded outfit.

But he is likely to get his fair share of chances this IPL. West Indian Nicholas Pooran and Kiwi Glenn Phillips are the other keeper-batters in the SRH squad.

Vishnu is the perfect T20 player. He can bat, bowl, field and keep! Vishnu can be used as a floater either at the top of the order or in the middle order. He also has the rare ability to produce the big shots from word go as he demonstrated in his stunning 26-ball unbeaten 65 against eventual champions Tamil Nadu in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarterfinals this season. His whirlwind knock contained seven sixes and two fours.

Vishnu played another special knock, this time in a winning cause, against Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy One-Day competition. Vishnu along with Sijomon Joseph (71 not out) added a record unbeaten stand of 174 for the seventh wicket to lift Kerala from 120/6 and script a sensational win. The right-hander remained unbeaten on 100 off 82 balls.

Former Kerala coach P Balachandran rates Vishnu highly. "Vishnu is the most naturally talented Kerala batter that I have seen. I am sure he can be a match-winner if he gets ample opportunities in the IPL," Balachandran told Onmanorama.

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