In all these years the Indian Premier League has never failed to excite the cricketing fraternity with its vicious twists and turns. It can be validated from the final of the 12th edition where the Mumbai Indians won their historic 4th title with the smallest of margins, 1 run. After such thrilling action, the fans craved more of the same and now they will not have to wait longer as the auction of the 13th edition is on the doorstep.
The IPL auction has its own charisma. With a bucket list of their own, every table makes it a memorable experience for the franchises involved and the spectators. Here a single move can decide the fate of the following season and that’s why the franchises keep a close eye on every commodity which is to be auctioned. However, sometimes they can also falter in their tactics which might prove costly in the later months.
Here are the 5 blunders which might happen in the upcoming IPL auction :
1. Extensive focus on overseas fast-bowlers
Over the years the IPL has been charmed by the presence of some of the world-class fast-bowling exponents. Especially the overseas pacers have been the center of attraction right from the first day of the tournament. Who can forget the likes of Lasith Malinga, Dwayne Bravo and Mitchell Starc running in and delivering fiery spells?
Even the lesser-known names like Doug Bollinger and Mitchell McClenaghan became household names in this cricket crazy nation. That’s why every year the franchises lookout for fresh overseas fast-bowling commodities in the auctions. It has certainly produced fruitful results as now the Indian youngsters are also willing to warm-up the speed gun.
However, in recent years the fast-bowling exports have not enjoyed their time in the league. In the last three seasons, there have been only 5 individuals who made it to the top 10 in the wicket-taking column. Even they have leaked runs at an alarming rate of 8.6 combined together.
On top of that, some of them have also left for the international duties midway through the tournament. In spite of this poor record, the franchises are likely to bag overseas fast-bowlers at bountiful amounts in this auction and it might not be a step in the right direction.
2. Ignoring global T20 performers
When IPL started its bandwagon the teams filled their dugout with international players. However, the plan backfired immediately as some of them couldn’t come to terms with the slam-bang cricket. Thereafter the franchises started picking players based on their T20 skillset and it served well for the tournament. Kieron Pollard and David Warner are two popular names who carved their way to the league with their impressive record in this format.
The list also includes names of Dirk Nannes, Albie Morkel, Sunil Narine and many more. These players proved their mettle in the T20 leagues around the globe and got their rewards in the form of IPL contracts. Their inclusion paid rich dividends as they helped their teams win titles. It also helped the other players in the squad to understand this format in a much better way.
Having said that some players might also fail to adapt to the Indian conditions and it has happened on various occasions. As a result now once again the franchises are playing safe and making their bet on experienced international players.
It is a wise move considering the competitiveness of the tournament but it also robs the opportunity of proven T20 match-winners. For far too long players like James Neesham, Tom Curran and Cameron Delport have been ignored by the IPL franchises and they might face the same fate if the recent trend continues.
3. Hefty pay-cheques to uncapped players
The reason the IPL has gone from strength to strength is its ability to polish the Indian domestic talents. In the last decade or so many young cricketers have made it to the senior team by performing well in this league. Besides, it has also provided these players a golden opportunity to share the dressing room with some of their cricketing heroes.
They have also been able to earn a living by following their passion which in turn has helped more and more youngsters to take up the game. Among them, certain uncapped players have been extremely fortunate to bag million-dollar deals. Though such elusive contracts are the encouraging rewards for their efforts in the domestic arena it can also have an adverse impact on their game.
In simple terms sometimes the sudden fame and added responsibility work against them and the final result is a string of poor performances. It is evident from the previous seasons where uncapped players like Shivam Dube, Rahul Tripathi, and T Natarajan bogged down under the weight of their hefty price tag. Even in this auction, it is likely to continue as the teams are invariably eager to invest in the generation next.
4. Over-buying of top-order commodities
There is no denying the fact that T20 is a format which is mostly dominated by the batsmen. They seem to have the license to send the opposition on a leather hunt. Coincidentally the league also kick-started its journey with a special knock from Brendon McCullum at top of the order and since then a pattern has evolved in this tournament.
In the history of the IPL heavy artillery at the top has played a key role in winning championships. Be it the Mumbai Indians or Chennai Super Kings every successful team has been home to some of the best top-order commodities. That’s the reason why franchises put their money on quality top-order batsmen. However such tactics can fail miserably when the batting unit turns out to be one dimensional.
The prime example of such teams are Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Though they have an explosive top-order their wobbly middle-order drags them down. The main reason for their failure is that they end up buying too many players of the same category and turn a blind-eye to experienced middle-order batsmen like Mushfiqur Rahim and Tom Latham. These teams have not learned from their past mistakes so the history might repeat itself in this auction.
5. Reckless buying strategies of RCB and KKR
In the 13th IPL auction, some of the teams will be making frequent bids. A couple of them are Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders who have made some interesting choices by relinquishing key players from their squads. So now they are left with a heavy purse and an uphill task to rebuild the side.
Both the teams have a point to prove after their disappointing campaigns in the 12th edition. So they will be keen to iron out the chinks in their armour before their next sojourn. First of all both the franchises will be looking to coin out good strategies in the upcoming auctions as they have been poor in the last couple of years.
RCB and KKR have been the victims of some poor decision-making in the auctions. Most importantly their biggest buys have turned out to be duds. If it was Shivam Dube and Shimron Hetmyer for Bangalore then it was Carlos Brathwaite for the Kolkata franchise. In recent times both the teams have spent their purse recklessly and it seems that they lack the basic strategic planning in the auctions. They have a history of making poor investments and such habits cannot be changed overnight.
The franchises should avoid the following mistakes in this year’s IPL auction.
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