The IPL Auction 2020 took place last Thursday in Kolkata as all the eight franchises tried their best to assemble a well-balanced unit. Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris emerged as the biggest winners of the auction as the trio fetched a deal of 10 Crores or more.
The fans hailed the team managements for showing interest in the domestic stars like Virat Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal and R. Sai Kishore. However, the franchises even made a few questionable decisions at the auction. For instance, Mumbai Indians spent 8 Crores for Nathan Coulter Nile while Chennai Super Kings used 6.75 Crores from their auction purse to sign Piyush Chawla.
On the basis of the final squads of all the teams, here’s how the points table of IPL 2020 looks like:
8. Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals continued their streak of releasing Jaydev Unadkat and buying him back at a cheaper price as they bought him once again for 3 Crores. Besides, Rajasthan stacked up their fast bowling attack for no reason by signing Andrew Tye and Tom Curran in the final moments.
They went for the out-of-form players, Robin Uthappa and David Miller in the auction. Just like 2019, the entire pressure will come on the shoulders of their three English stars- Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal will have to play with supreme consistency to save RR from a bottom place finish.
Their skipper Steve Smith and new signing Uthappa play a similar type of game and they may kill the momentum of the innings. In the bowling attack, Archer will not have much support as Unadkat and Ankit Rajpoot are the team’s best Indian pacers. Also, their spinners don’t have much experience under their belt.
7. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s wait to win their first IPL trophy may not end in 2020 as well because the team management did not play in the auction. They bought two overseas openers, Aaron Finch and Josh Phillipe but the Bangalore-based franchise already had Parthiv Patel and Devdutt Padikkal in the squad.
Bangalore needed a solid middle-order batsman who could play well with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali. However, Mike Hesson went after Chris Morris in the auction. Morris is a bowling all-rounder and, Glenn Maxwell could have been more valuable than him for RCB.
Besides, RCB had retained the duo of Mohammed Siraj and Pawan Negi before the auction. They signed injury prone Dale Steyn while also grabbed the services of Kane Richardson. The bowling attack may not perform with consistency hence, RCB would not even make it to the ‘Top 4’.
6. Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Orange Army, Sunrisers Hyderabad received a massive blow when Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out of IPL 2020. All SRH needed to do was sign Shakib’s replacement in the auction and seemingly they signed Mitchell Marsh for that role.
It is a bit confusing why Hyderabad signed him in the auction as they do not have any vacant overseas spots in the team. Besides, SRH had also released Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan before the auction. They grabbed the duo of Priyam Garg and Virat Singh as their replacements.
The top order of Sunrisers looks solid with Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, David Warner and Manish Pandey but the number 5 and 6 batsmen will decide their fate in the season. Since they do not have much experience in that section, it is unlikely that they will make it to the playoffs.
5. Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab will face a problem of plenty in the upcoming IPL season because they have six high profile foreign stars. Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, James Neesham and Glenn Maxwell all deserve to be in their playing XI.
On the other side, they lack a solid Indian player who could replace any of the aforementioned players. There is no one except Gayle who could open the innings with KL Rahul while Murugan Ashwin is the best alternative for Mujeeb. Maxwell can be replaced by Sarfaraz Khan.
The dearth of Indian talent may trouble Kings XI Punjab because their bowling attack looks very weak without Cottrell and Mujeeb. Also, Rahul does not have much experience of leading an IPL side. Expect Punjab to stay in the race to the playoffs but end at the number 5 position.
4. Chennai Super Kings
Call it MS Dhoni’s magic or describe his talent of bringing the best out of his players as magical, the leader of Chennai Super Kings has always taken his team to the playoffs. Chennai disappointed in the auction as they splurged 6.75 Crores for the services of Piyush Chawla.
They signed the pair of Sam Curran and Josh Hazlewood but they did not solve their problem of the middle-order. If any of the batsmen from Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav fail to get going next year then, Chennai does not have a solid replacement.
They unnecessarily went after Chawla in the auction because they already had five prominent spinners before the auction. They should sneak into the top 4 with a dominant performance at home but the team will not start as favourites to win IPL 2020.
3. Mumbai Indians
The defending champions Mumbai Indians earned the appreciation of the cricket universe with their performance in the trade window. They recruited the trio of Sherfane Rutherford, Trent Boult and Dhawal Kulkarni to bolster their fast bowling attack.
Yet they went after Nathan Coulter Nile and spent 8 Crores for his services. He is unlikely to play in their first XI but the Aussie will play the backup role in the team. Just like Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians will face a problem of plenty as they have too much talent to fit in one playing XI.
The players will be under pressure to save their spots in the team because even two or three failures will take them out of the team. They have an abundance of resources in every department and thus, Mumbai will have a strong chance of finishing in the top 3 of the points table.
2. Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders broke the bank to sign Pat Cummins for 15.50 Crores in the IPL Auction 2020. This bid made Cummins the most expensive overseas signing in the IPL history and the fans have very high expectations from the Australian fast bowler in 2020.
Kolkata lacked a fiery name in their pace bowling department last year while Robin Uthappa’s poor form used to slow down their innings. They solved both their issues in the auction. First, they signed Pat Cummins and then they bought Rahul Tripathi for 60 lakhs.
The Shahrukh Khan owned franchise has a perfect blend of youth and experience now. Also, Kamlesh Nagarkoti should be fit to play in 2020 hence, Kolkata Knight Riders will start as the favourites to win IPL 2020. Dinesh Karthik and co. should be in the top 2 of the points table.
1. Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals have the most balanced team in IPL 2020. Their top 5 players of the batting order can alone win the title for them. Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer are impact players who can single-handedly win matches for their team.
Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin are the premier all-rounders of the team. Besides, Ajinkya Rahane will play the backup role for the top 5 batsmen. Their bench strength is fantastic with the likes of Jason Roy and Mohit Sharma present there.
Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Woakes will be the team’s top fast bowlers who should feature in the first playing XI. There is no weakness in this team as they have leg-spinners Sandeep Lamichhane and Amit Mishra on the bench. The Delhi fans will be very happy with the team and, the Capitals will start as the favourites to win IPL 2020.
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