The active auction dynamic of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has made it one of the most-followed sporting events in terms of business. Every year, each of the eight franchises comes to the auction table to pick their dream team of players in hopes to win the coveted IPL trophy.
Apart from the players picked, though, there’re also players who get released/traded among franchises. Consequently, this allows the other franchises to purchase, or even repurchase those candidates to further bolster their squads.
So keeping that spirit of barter-benefits in mind, let’s look at some players from the current season who might not be retained by their franchises for the next IPL season.
Here’s the IPL list:
1. Delhi Capitals, Chris Woakes
The Delhi Capitals had acquired Chris Woakes, the premier English all-rounder, at his base price of INR 1.5 Crores in the auction last December. With his proven ability to pick wickets upfront in the powerplay, Woakes was expected to complement the likes of Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada in Delhi’s quest to acquire their maiden IPL trophy.
But those plans got shafted when the Birmingham-based pacer decided to pull out of the tournament pre-season to focus on his international career. Even later in the year, when the COVID-19 enforced postponement of the tournament allowed him to reconsider his decision, Woakes opted against participating since he was expecting a child.
The Capitals eventually replaced him with Anrich Nortje, the South African speedster, who turned out to be a super-sub for the franchise. Across his 9 appearances this season, Nortje, courtesy of his lightning-quick pace, has picked up 12-wickets at an economy of 7.75.
Considering how well Nortje has fit into the Capitals’ fast-bowling side of things, it seems unlikely they’ll reinstate his original spot-holder in the team next season.
2. Mumbai Indians, Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan, the New Zealand-based pacer has been associated with Mumbai since 2015, winning three IPL trophies with them. The Kiwi left-arm quick’s hit-the-deck bowling approach has been a major ingredient behind Mumbai’s success in recent years, especially in the power-play, where he has been the most prolific with his performances.
Coming into the 2020 season, it was quite obvious that ‘Mitch’ would be competing for his spot with a lot more seam-bowling options in the tank. It wasn’t going to be easy featuring as first-choice in a side that boasted the likes of Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga, and Nathan Coulter-Nile; but given how much of an asset he has been for MI, he could’ve been rewarded with a loyalty bonus and drafted into the first-XI.
Unfortunately, though, that hasn’t happened so far in this season, with the team preferring to play Boult and James Pattinson- Malinga’s eleventh-hour replacement- instead. What’s more, Pattinson’s strategy to bowl short, and Boult’s left-arm angle pretty much cover both the skillsets Mitch brought into the side. All these factors make his inclusion in the team somewhat redundant, and could well open a slot for him in the auction for the next season.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Umesh Yadav
RCB’s misfiring bowling-unit has been a constant problem for the side over the past few editions. The team have lost countless matches from winning positions, thanks to their inexperienced bowling attack making a mess of a situation at the death overs.
This season, however, things have looked quite different, with the induction of Chris Morris and Isuru Udana in the team. The two experienced stalwarts have done well to shield RCB’s young, domestic fast-bowling attack and have restricted the run-flow at the death overs to quite an extent.
Amidst this new-look RCB bowling attack, Vidarbha seamer Umesh Yadav stands out as a glaring omission. The 32-year-old pacer got chances in RCB’s first two matches of the season, but his expensive, wicketless outings soon forced captain Virat Kohli to relegate him to the bench.
He hasn’t played for them since, and with both Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj finally coming good, it’s not too preposterous to wonder if Umesh has played his final game for RCB.
4. Kolkata Knight Riders, Tom Banton
KKR opted for a revamped approach in this year’s auction, deciding to let go of Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa in order to blend in more young blood into the side. Subsequently, the likes of Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, and Tom Banton were expected to be the frontrunners for taking up the new opening slots.
But the abundance of top-order batsmen has conjured a new problem for the Knight Riders. The management’s ‘horses for courses’ approach in trying out different batsmen as per the situation, hasn’t allowed any opener- barring Gill- to really cement their position at the top. The uncertainty clearly reflects the team’s young batting line-up; most of the batters have been disappointingly inconsistent this season.
Banton, the 21-year-old English opener, has been the most affected by the constant shuffling in the batting line-up. Across his two outings for KKR, the young Somerset batsman has batted as an opener and two-down positions, scoring only 18 runs. With the team being focussed on investing in its budding, local talents, KKR might be better off releasing Banton and simplify their opener conundrum.
5. Kings XI Punjab, Krishnappa Gowtham
Ravichandran Ashwin’s transfer from the side meant that Punjab were lacking an experienced spin-bowling option. Thankfully, the team cross-traded Krishnappa Gowtham- the wily Karnataka off-spinner- from the Rajasthan Royals to supplement that absence.
But given how the Bengaluru-based all-rounder has fared this season, KXIP have the right to be disappointed, and may already start looking beyond him. In his two appearances, Gowtham has claimed just a solitary wicket at an abysmal average of 84. Batting-wise, too, his contributions haven’t been much useful; of the 42 runs he has scored this year, none of them have come in a winning cause.
The team seem to have already moved on from him to Murugan Ashwin as their other spin-bowling option. It seems highly unlikely that he will retain his place in the side for the next season.
6. Rajasthan Royals, Jaydev Unadkat
RR’s love-hate relationship with Jaydev Unadkat has stretched on for two seasons now. Every year, the team purchases him from the auction pool at an exorbitant price; only to release him, and later, reinstate him at a lower price.
But it looks like the Saurashtra left-arm-quick might have finally reached the end of his rope. Unadkat hasn’t entirely disappointed on the wicket-taking front; across 33-games, the Southpaw has picked up 25-wickets.
What works against him, though, are his un-economical returns; in each of his three seasons, Unadkat has conceded more than nine runs per over. His tendency to go for runs has cost RR games. Most recently, he bowled a game-changing 25-run over against RCB, which cost them an almost unassailable match. With the presence of young guns like Kartik Tyagi and Akash Singh in the side, his torrid time at RR seems to have finally reached an end.
7. Sunrisers Hyderabad, Siddarth Kaul
SRH, with as many as four international capped players in their Indian pace-bowling attack, stands out as one of the most promising IPL franchises. However, like another franchise from the East, they too might be dealing with a problem of quantity over quality.
Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the team still haven’t been able to settle on one fixed, Indian fast-bowling candidate who can partner him. The likes of T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, and Siddarth Kaul have all been tried, but none of them have proven to be consistent.
So it’s natural for the team to free up some of that bench-space and expand their options. At the moment, Kaul seems to the fast bowler they’ll be missing the least. The Punjab-pacer was quite instrumental to the SRH’s success in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, picking up a total of 37 wickets.
But he hasn’t quite replicated his wicket-taking form over the past two seasons and has also been a tad expensive. As a result, he has struggled to find a spot in the playing XI. Releasing/trading him with another team would inarguably benefit both parties.
8. Chennai Super Kings, Shane Watson
The ongoing edition of the IPL has exposed a massive hole in CSK’s strategy to stick with experience. The core of their veteran players, barring a few names like Faf du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja, have hardly been able to come good this season. Several of their players are under the radar for being relieved of their duties next season.
39-year-old Australian opener Shane Watson’s name stands out rather prominently as one of these aforementioned underperformers. Watto has featured in each of CSK’s 10 games where he has accumulated 285 runs. Not the worst stats for a CSK batsman, by any means, but the fact that he occupies one of the team’s crucial, overseas player spots doesn’t help the team’s combination problems.
In all likelihood, this will be Watson’s last IPL season and he might not feature in playing capacity in the tournament again. That does leave him as a viable coaching/commentary candidate, should he choose to take up those roles.
~Written by Soham Bhowal
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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