Indian Premier League [Reuters]

The Player Auctions for the seventh edition of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) start on 12 February and will span over a period of two days.

Here is IBTimes UK's list of top five batsmen who are expected to set the ground afire with their hard hitting.

1) George Bailey

George Bailey Australia
Australia skipper George Bailey raises his bat after reaching his half-century in the fourth ODI against IndiaBCCI Official Website

The captain of the Australian T20 team is expected to be the most sought after player in the upcoming auctions because of his capacity to hold an innings together and steer the team through safety following a top order collapse.

With an average of 30 and strike rate close to 150, his gumption with the bat is not in doubt. His performance against India in the subcontinent will be a major factor in his valuation and the fact that he brings a lot of leadership qualities to the side is likely to encourage franchisees to loosen their purse-strings.

2) Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh
Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh returns to the Pune Warriors squad after a back problem forced him to sit out the first two matches of the Indian Premier LeagueReuters

In spite of going through a lean patch in the international circuit, Yuvraj's capability with the bat will never be in doubt. This will be an ideal platform for the southpaw to stamp a claim on his berth the Indian team.

The 32-year-old was heralded for his performances with Kings XI Punjab, but his medical condition and the pressure of captaincy at Pune Warriors had appeared weighing down on him.

With a lot of talent to draw on and a desire to prove himself yet again, he will be one to watch out for any franchisee willing to go the distance.

3) Corey Anderson

New Zealand's Corey Anderson is another player who has hogged the limelight over the past year for overhauling Shahid Afridi's longstanding record of the fastest 100.

His performance with bat and ball against India has been a major talking point in the ongoing series and franchisees looking to add a genuine all-rounder to the squad will be scrambling for his signature.

4) Yusuf Pathan

KKR Yusuf Pathan
KKR batsman Yusuf Pathan in a punishing mood against the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL 2013 gameRon Gaunt/IPL/SPORTZPICS

Much like Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf has failed to live up to expectations in recent years but with a hammer of a bottom hand and the ability to roll his arm over, he is among the best T20 players in the country.

Franchisees looking for local talent will take into account the impact he had with Rajasthan Royals in their inaugural season and will be hoping that he can recover the same form.

5) Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen has again been left on the sidelines.Reuters

A man with a point to prove, Pietersen in his prime is among the most dangerous batsmen in the world.

With an average of 37 and a strike rate above 140, he is one of the marquee players on sale in the auction. Axed for reasons still debated on, Pietersen will be looking to make the best of the opportunity and show the world what he is still capable of.