The IPL auction is less than 2 weeks away from us and the excitement levels are skyrocketing with every passing day. 1097 players have registered themselves for the auction with players like Shakib Al Hasan, Steve Smith and Chris Morris being some of the big names who will go under the hammer. However, Mitchell Starc and Joe Root didn’t register themselves for the auction.
James Neesham is one of the many players who will be a part of the auction, and his base price is expected to be around INR 50-75 lakh. He was a part of Kings XI Punjab last season, but he wasn’t used properly by the KL Rahul-led franchise. He is a dangerous middle-order batsman and also has the ability to pick up important wickets with the ball, although he has the tendency to be a bit expensive.
He has scored 1903 runs in 136 T20s at a strike rate of 137.1 and averages 25.71. He also has 126 wickets to his name at a strike rate of 16.8 while conceding at just over 9 runs per over. There are quite a few teams that are in need of an all-rounder like Neesham either as a starter or as a squad player.
Here’s a look at 3 such teams who can pick James Neesham in the IPL auction:
1. Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals had their best ever season last year as they qualified for the final for the first time in their history. They have retained 17 players for the upcoming season and have a maximum of 3 overseas slots that can be filled. With Woakes, Nortje and Rabada in their squad, they are well stocked in the pace bowling department.
Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis are the other two overseas players in the squad, and they will try to buy a middle-order batsman who can provide some competition for places, and Jimmy Neesham would be a decent choice considering the fact that he would mostly be available at a bargain price.
Hetmyer wasn’t quite consistent last season and even his alternative, Alex Carey didn’t look quite comfortable batting in the middle order. Neesham would be a pretty good backup to have in case he fails to get going, and he would also provide cover for Stoinis if the Australian is injured or suffers from loss of form.
2. Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals had yet another poor campaign last season winning just 6 games from 14, and as a result, they have already made some big changes. By appointing Sanju Samson as their new captain, they have signalled the start of a new era. He will now be their 3rd captain in three years after Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith were at the helm over the last couple of years.
Their middle order wasn’t quite strong last year and Steve Smith’s mediocre season certainly didn’t help them. As a result, they had to push Jos Buttler to No.5, which isn’t something they will want to do this season given how explosive he can be at the top of the order.
Neesham would be a handy player for them as he can bat in the middle order and provide an answer to their middle-order woes. His bowling would be a bonus for them, and it would enable the Royals to play an extra batsman as well. The New Zealander would also function as a backup for Ben Stokes.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
After 3 consecutive seasons of finishing outside the top 4, RCB finally managed to qualify for the playoffs last year. They had a pretty well-balanced squad, and it was expected that they would retain the majority of their players. However, that wasn’t the case as they have released a lot of players and will be very busy during the auction.
While Padikkal, Kohli and AB de Villiers scored plenty of runs, their middle order failed to deliver the goods. As a result, they have released Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali and Gurkeerat Singh. RCB will be searching for a couple of middle-order batsmen to fill the vacancies in their squad.
Jimmy Neesham could be targeted by the Kohli-led franchise as he is a proven performer. He has the ability to score runs at a good strike rate and would also deliver a couple of useful overs as the 6th bowler. The Kiwi connection with Mike Hesson might prove to be useful and his former international coach might keep an eye on him.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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