The illustrious Bangladeshi wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has finally made himself available for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions for the 2020 edition of the tournament. A few days ago, the former Bangladesh skipper made himself unavailable because of some unknown reasons. But now he is ready to start a fierce bidding war in between the franchises.
Right now, the former Bangladeshi captain is leading his Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise Khulna Tigers in the ongoing BPL. It seems that he is not happy with the salary cap gaps between Bangladeshi players and foreign players who are taking part in the same tournament. Playing some great innings in the recently concluded T20I and Test series against India in India, Rahim has made a strong case for himself going into the player auctions.
Here, we will take a look at 3 specific franchises who will most probably bid for the wicket-keeper batsman in 19th December’s player auction. Rahim could start a three-way bidding war between these franchises:
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Kolkata Knight Riders are the team with second best purse left ahead of the IPL player auctions. They have got as many as Rs 35.65 Crore left in their kitty. With 11 overseas spots up for grabs in their squad, they will surely try to sign some of the big names from both the Indian and overseas cricketing world.
Kolkata had released as many as 10 players from their squad to get ready for a squad overhaul. With young Indian domestic bowlers who have a lot of potentials, their bowling base is covered well. The problem lies in the batting department. With their batting stalwarts like Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa released, they will surely try to buy a reliable top-order overseas batsman.
Mushfiqur Rahim fits in the above role well. He is a solid top-order batsman and everyone around the cricketing world knows that but at the same time, Kolkata does not have any reserved specialist wicket-keeper in their current squad. So, Rahim can play a role of that specialist backup wicket-keeper for KKR captain Dinesh Karthik.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
With a huge purse of Rs 27.90 Crore remaining, Royal Challengers Bangalore are bound to make some high bids for international cricketing stars in the upcoming player auction. Bangalore has released as many as eleven players from their last season’s squad. Right now, they have got 13 players on board.
As far as wicket-keeping is concerned, Bangalore has got only a single specialist player in the form of veteran Indian southpaw Parthiv Patel. But if any kind of injury happens to him in early or mid-season, then there is nobody in the squad to replace him as a specialist wicket-keeper. At this point, Mushfiqur comes into the picture.
Recently retired South African legend AB de Villiers has given up on gloving job long ago and now plays as a specialist top-order power-hitting batsman in RCB. If they get their hands on Rahim, he can add that stability to their middle-order which they are lacking from past few seasons. They have got a strong top order but it’s the middle order concern which they need to address if they want to stand a chance to win their first-ever IPL.
Delhi Capitals (DC)
Delhi Capitals are a side who constantly keep on changing their team year in year out. They try to experiment a lot each year and that’s the main reason for their inconsistency over the years in a highly competitive tournament like IPL. But from the past few seasons, they have maintained a core of Indian international and domestic players who are adding stability to their squad.
With a remaining purse of Rs 27.85 Crore, they are obviously going to spend a lot of money to cover their remaining bases going into next season. They have as many as 11 slots left to fill their 2020 squad. They have got one of the most fearsome if not the best bowling attack right now and their main focus will surely be on their batting department.
One more concern hovering in minds of the Delhi think tank is that they don’t have any backup wicket-keeper if their star man Rishabh Pant gets injured. That’s the main reason they will try to go all-out for a specialist wicket-keeper batsman who can strengthen their batting line-up at the same time. And who is more suitable to this profile than a tried and tasted Mushfiqur Rahim?
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