The 2020 Indian Premier League is just a few days and the euphoria is beginning to build whether it is on social media or in general cricketing discussions. Everyone is busy making their own list of players that their favourite teams should opt for in the upcoming auctions.
It is said that you win half of the IPL at the auction table. And, it has been proven on a plethora of times in the past that the teams who approach the auction table with a clear understanding of what they need and what they don’t eventually end up doing well in the season.
And, like every franchise, Delhi Capitals who released as many as nine players besides trading Trent Boult and Sherfane Rutherford to add experience in the form of Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin, will be hoping to plug the holes [middle-order, lack of all-rounder, fast-bowling options] in their squad. Delhi Capitals has a budget of Rs 27.85 Crore and has 11 slots to fill out of which five can be filled by overseas players.
Here’s a look at five players Delhi Capitals can target in the upcoming season-
Another seam-bowling all-rounder who can give a real tonk with the bat, as was evident in the last edition, who the Delhi Capitals could be vying for, is 21-year-old Sam Curran. Curran had sensational start to his IPL career last season where he claimed a hattrick [10 wickets in nine games] besides scoring a half-century while playing for the Kings XI Punjab.
The Englishman was in great form in the recent T20I series against New Zealand where he claimed six wickets at an average of 25.50, and if Delhi is looking for a like-for-like replacement for Trent Boult, Curran can be a good option. Curran, in his 69-match T20 career, has claimed 63 wickets besides scoring 838 runs with the help of four half-centuries.
While there is absolutely no doubt that Rishabh Pant will be the first-choice wicket-keeper. The southpaw- his international struggles notwithstanding- is a different beast in the Indian Premier League has been the cornerstone of Delhi Capital’s resurgence last season.
But, if you look around that Delhi Capitals squad, there is no back-up keeping option for Pant. IPL is a relentless one and half month juggernaut and you need potent backup options in-case your main player is injured. And, if you look at the players who’ll go under the hammer on December 19, there is no better option than Australia’s swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey.
In the past season, Delhi has shown a penchant for throwing away successful run- commanding poons and one of the reasons for it was the lack of contribution from their lower-middle-order. Carey is a brilliant player of spin-a quality that he has time and again displayed in the Big Bash as well as in international cricket and could be of great worth to their already strong batting unit.
In a recent interview, the coach of the Delhi Capitals Ricky Ponting asserted that all the eight franchises will go gung-ho on overseas fast bowlers and the likes of Pat Cummins, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan could earn big in the upcoming auctions. That statement coming from Ponting is a great indicator as to where are the priorities are as far as DC’s team-management is concerned.
The Capitals, who released Trent Boult ahead of the auction boast of Kagiso Rabada- the last editions’ highest wicket-taker-, Keemo Paul, Ishant Sharma and Harshal Patel in their fast bowling unit, but with Rabada going through a lean phase and Ishant- who was good last season- but is not a champion in this format of the game, they would definitely want to have an able back-up in their line-up. And, no one fits the bill better than the current No.1 ranked Test bowler in the world, Pat Cummins.
With one eye on T20 World Cup on home soil, Cummins, who had previously withdrawn his name from the IPL in order to focus on International commitments, has thrown hat in the auction ring for the upcoming season, and with the plethora of skills at his disposal, the champion fast bowler is all set to start a bidding war on the 19th, and DC, like many others, would be desperate to seek his services.
Colin de Grandhomme
Another point that Ponting raised in a recent interview was how all-rounders like Colin de Grandhomme, Glenn Maxwell will be the most sought-after guys in the upcoming auction. It has always been the case in IPL auctions. All-rounders, courtesy faceted skills provide a greater balance to the side, especially in cricket.
And, this is another hole that the Calookwill looking to plug-in in the upcoming auctions. DC releases South African all-rounder Chris Morris after an underwhelming last season. And, unless the Capitals are looking to re-buy Morris at a cheaper price, the best possible option for them to fill the all-rounder’s spot is New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme.
With the Kotla pitch being a slow and sluggish one, de Grandhomme’s lack of pace on the bowl could prove to really handful for the Capitals, and add to his batting ability, he emerges as a top-quality all-round option.
As alluded to in the previous points, one of the major reasons why Delhi Capitals faltered in the playoffs and in other close matchups was because of a lack of runs by their middle-order. The failure of South Africa‘s Colin Ingram (184 runs in 12 matches) was at the heart of it.
With Ingram no longer a part of the Capitals’ set-up, the franchise would be vying for an ideal replacement, and no one can be more ideally suited to the job’s requirement as the current England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan.
Morgan is an IPL veteran, having played for franchises like Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past, and has over the course of the past decade proved his worth- both Internationally as well as in franchise cricket- and established his credentials as one of the giants of this format over and over again.
Morgan, with his cool-and-calm demeanour, can turn to be an ideal foil against the exuberance of Pant. Besides that, the World Cup-wining captain will bring with him tons of leadership experience to the Capitals’ set-up, something that could prove to be hugely beneficial to a young captain like Shreyas Iyer.
Watch: Wahab Riaz’s perfect yorker in MSL 2019
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