The upcoming auction for the IPL might be a small one in terms of the number of players who can be picked and the amount that can be spent. But by no means, this mini-auction has lost its essence. In fact, it is as important as any other IPL auction given the time at which it comes. There will be a mega-auction before the IPL 2021 season. Thus, teams will have to figure out their core once again; not only keeping the emotions in mind but also keeping an eye on the future.
The talents whom they’d pick on 19 December 2019 could be the stars for the future. Talking of talent, there is so much of it everywhere which could be quite tempting. But there are specific needs the eight franchises would want to address. It has been like that for some time now and the teams have been extremely smart with their picks at the IPL auctions. You could expect something of similar sorts this time as well and here is how franchises would want to possibly shape up at the end of the process.
Here are the specific gaps that the franchises will look to plug in:
1. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Like always, the Chennai Super Kings looked pretty much sorted and will be able to go forward even without this auction. But there are some areas which are a slight concern for them. For most of IPL 2019, they went ahead with only three overseas options. With the purse that they have, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they decide to invest big on one of the overseas all-rounders or bowlers. Since the Chennai pitch is quite slow, Jaydev Unadkat should make a good choice at least for the home games.
The rest of it could be quite specific. CSK will look to have replacements available for Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson. Except for the fear of injuries, there aren’t many concerns with the batting. Thus, Chennai could go for a couple of bowlers or all-rounders and a back-up batsman for the middle order. The likes of Pat Cummins and James Neesham could be in their radar.
Player slots left: Five (three domestic, two overseas)
Money spent: INR 70.40 crore
Purse remaining: INR 14.60 crore
Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Jagadeesan Narayan, Karn Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Monu Singh, MS Dhoni, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Shardul Thakur, Suresh Raina.
2. Delhi Capitals (DC)
By bringing in Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin, the Capitals have added more experience to their squad. They also cleared some amount of clutter with the plethora of opening options they had in the past. Now, the onus is on them to make up for it by picking some good options for the middle-order. They have got a huge purse and can go hard after players like Eoin Morgan, Shimron Hetmyer or Glenn Maxwell.
Then comes the need for having a couple of good all-rounders. There are some great options available and they will look to improve the overall balance of the eleven. The team might even invest in an overseas pacer since they lack the quality in their attack. They’d surely not mind having someone like Sheldon Cottrell who is good in most of the conditions.
Player slots left: 11 (six domestic, five overseas)
Money spent: INR 57.15 crore
Purse remaining: INR 27.85 crore
Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer.
3. Kings XI Punjab
While KL Rahul seems to be the leadership choice at this point, the Kings XI Punjab might want to have a more solid captain. That is where someone like Aaron Finch comes into the picture. The Australian white-ball captain didn’t have a great time with the franchise the last time. But now, he’s got the resources and he has been in brilliant form this year.
Otherwise, their batting order looks good enough. Maybe an all-rounder who can hit a few lusty blows and give a couple of overs every game will be useful. The Kings XI Punjab might be keenly interested in having Varun Chakravarthy or any other Indian spinner in their squad just as a cover. All this aside, their primary focus would be to pick some good overseas bowling options – possibly left-handers.
Player slots left: Nine (five domestic, four overseas)
Money spent: INR 42.30 crore
Purse remaining: INR 42.70 crore
Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, K Gowtham, Hardus Viljoen, Harpreet Brar, Jagadeesha Suchith, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan.
4. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
By releasing a few big players, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have opened up their purse. The decision to leave out Chris Lynn might be a surprising one but could be a good one in the hindsight. They were paying a bit too much for him. KKR could look to keep Shubman Gill as one opener and can even try Nitish Rana as the other. To be on the safer side, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they look to get someone like Tom Banton.
Like quite a few other teams, the Knights need a lower middle-order batsman since Andre Russell seems to like batting up the order. Also, the team would require a back-up option for the Caribbean all-rounder. Bowling in an area they’d want to work upon intensively at this auction. They will surely go hard after a couple of options – either overseas or Indian as there is a lot of inexperience there.
Player slots left: 11 (seven domestic, four overseas)
Money spent: INR 49.35 crore
Purse remaining: INR 35.65 crore
Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine.
5. Mumbai Indians (MI)
The Mumbai Indians (MI) can fill up to seven slots but they do not have the purse for the same. Nevertheless, they seem pretty much sorted like the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Kieron Pollard’s form with the bat and given that he is bowling again is a massive positive for the side and that changes the dynamics completely. They have some good all-rounders in the Pandya brothers and the bowling looks fierce.
MI might look for an off-spinner who can give them some tight overs. Their talent scout team is quite good and thus might pick a couple of interesting Indian cricketers like Yashasvi Jaiswal or Priyam Garg. If possible, the side might want to get a back-up player for Lasith Malinga. Maybe someone like Dale Steyn who could share the burden with the Sri Lankan veteran and will be good enough even if he plays half the number of games in the season.
Player slots left: Seven (five domestic, two overseas)
Money spent: INR 71.95 crore
Purse remaining: INR 13.05 crore
Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McCleneghan, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Rohit Sharma, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult.
6. Rajasthan Royals (RR)
The Rajasthan Royals (RR) is one of those teams which will have a lot of work at the IPL auction. It might be just 11 slots but they’ve got a lot of shopping to do. Their team seemed very unbalanced last season and that is one area they’ll have to work on. It would be in the best interests of the team not to invest in any top-order player at the auction. At most, they should look to pick just one back-up option.
Rather, they should look to build up good options for the middle and the lower middle-order. The likes of Chris Morris, James Neesham or Sam Curran could possibly find a place in this team. But it would be much better to have Indian options for these slots. The rest – they will have to put into the bowlers. Again, Indian bowling options is what they will look for. The likes of Piyush Chawla and Ishan Porel should be good options.
Player slots left: 11 (Seven domestic, four overseas)
Money spent: INR 56.10 crore
Purse remaining: INR 28.90 crore
Ankit Rajpoot, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Steven Smith, Varun Aaron.
7. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Every time there is an IPL auction, there will be a lot of eyes keeping a close watch on RCB. The team has done well in the IPL but never managed to last the distance. RCB might regret the fact that they let Shimron Hetmyer go watching his recent form and might want to get him back. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they try to pick the likes of Eoin Morgan or Glenn Maxwell given the small size of the Chinnaswamy.
Alex Carey is another option the team will look forward to as he not only keeps wickets but can open the innings or bat at four. That adds flexibility to the side and could strengthen the middle order. The former New Zealand coach, Mike Hesson, might bring in a bit of Kiwi flavour into the side for the upcoming IPL edition. But they have to remember the cliched that batsmen can win you games and bowlers can win you championships. RCB should apprehend that at least now and spent most of their money on the bowling options.
Player slots left: 12 (six domestic, six overseas)
Money spent: INR 57.10 crore
Purse remaining: INR 27.90 crore
AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal.
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
Kane Williamson might have done a fabulous job as the skipper but he doesn’t contribute a lot to the balance of the side. Since SRH has a mighty opening pair in the form of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, Williamson can’t buy much time in the middle at three on most of the occasions. Thus, if the franchise decides to go back to Warner to lead the side, they can be a lot more flexible.
They can then get someone like Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan or Shimron Hetmyer into the side. Manish Pandey will bat at number three and one of these players could bolster the middle order which has been a problem for a long time now. The Sunrisers will want a good Indian spinner or spin all-rounder in their ranks to do well in the upcoming edition of IPL.
Player slots left: Seven (five domestic, two overseas)
Money spent: INR 68 crore (US$ 9.6 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 17 crore
Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha.
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