They say life is all about the choices we make. Indeed, it is, and this holds even truer in the case of the Indian Premier League (IPL). It is never easy identifying the right personnel to make up the composition of the T20 team. Most of the times, it is more or less dependent on the gut instincts while picking a player apart from all the other strategies that are involved. To keep the faith and raise the paddle for a player is never an easy job.
Even though that cricketer might be a very good sportsman, there are various other factors that come into play. These might include the team combinations, whether or not he will fit into the environment and various others. In the IPL 2020 auction, the teams have shown belief in a few players and picked them. Whether on not these are the right picks – only time can tell. However, based on the preliminary analysis, here is how the franchises performed.
The Rating for each of the eight franchises for their performance at the IPL Auction 2020:
1. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) – 8.5/10
The Chennai Super Kings might not have had a lot to do at the IPL Auction. But they had some important gaps to fill up. In the last couple of seasons, bowling has seemed to be a weakness and their strong batting order managed to make up for it.
But to win championships more often, a team needs a strong bowling line-up. Since they were dictated by how other teams went about their picks, their options were limited. They added an experienced leg-spinner in the form of Piyush Chawla.
MS Dhoni is someone who loves having fast-bowling all-rounders in his team. By getting Sam Curran, they made a good choice and the youngster will have a huge learning curve while playing for this team. Josh Hazlewood is a back-up overseas pace option that they have invested in and the side also picked a young talent in the form of R Sai Kishore.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) – 6.5/10
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team tried to make up for their shortcomings from the last few seasons. However, the way that they fared at the auction was extremely disappointing. Despite having a bigger purse than some of the other teams, they failed to utilise it well. The team finished the auction with INR 6.40 crores left.
They could have easily gone ahead and pick Pat Cummins at a further higher price. But they backed out after hitting the INR 15 crores mark. The thinking behind getting someone like Chris Morris at INR 10 crores left many perplexed.
Morris hasn’t been at his best of late and yet the team shelling out such a huge price for him has raised a few questions. Rather than investing in Aaron Finch and Chris Morris, they could have gone after someone like Glenn Maxwell who can play in the middle-order and is a game-changer. RCB failed to realise that a top-order batsman isn’t what they exactly require. Giving Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers the best chance to face most of the deliveries is ideal for the team.
3. Delhi Capitals (DC) – 9/10
The Delhi Capitals (DC) did a fair job at the IPL 2020 Auction. Ricky Ponting and his team exactly identified the weakness and tried to get picks who could make up for those. For instance, the team struggled with a middle-order batsman who could hit the big shots and change the momentum of the game.
Colin Ingram wasn’t able to bring up the desired results. Thus, they have invested in a great pick like Shimron Hetmyer who has proved his potential on the Indian tracks. Since they let Chris Morris go, the team bought two good all-round options in the form of Chris Woakes and Marcus Stoinis.
The England cricketer can be used with the new ball in the powerplay and they can thus save Kagiso Rabada for the later stages. Similarly, Alex Carey is another alternative they have got for the middle order. Just as a back-up, they purchased Jason Roy and he can at a bargain price. For the away games, he can be quite useful.
4. Mumbai Indians (MI) – 8/10
The Mumbai Indians (MI) would have looked good even if they didn’t buy any players at the auction. But they went ahead with a few picks and invested huge amounts on some of the players. While these picks could be thought of as back-up options, they are questionable.
Despite having Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, they bought Chris Lynn. The Australia cricketer isn’t someone who is a back-up and can’t just warm the bench. But if one of these three bats lower down the order, it could even upset the balance of the side.
Spending INR 8 crores for someone like Nathan Coulter-Nile didn’t seem a wise choice. Rather, they could have spent this money more wisely on some other player. Also, instead of going with Saurabh Tiwary, the management should have picked some other Indian option.
5. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) – 9.5/10
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have made some brilliant picks at the IPL 2020 auction. They were clear about what they wanted and didn’t let the money spoil their strategies. In fact, the management planned it out perfectly and good some more game-changers in the set-up and yet finished with INR 8.50 crores left.
Eoin Morgan was an excellent pick and has possibly been in the best form of his life. He adds great strength to the middle order. Bowling seemed a major issue last year as there weren’t adequate options for the skipper. Thus, they invested hugely in Pat Cummins who could be a brilliant move and can pay them huge rewards in the upcoming season.
Varun Chakravarthy adds that x-factor and would have had a lot of learnings from the previous season. Chris Green could be an unknown commodity for many but is a great back-up for Sunil Narine and is quite economical. Tom Banton, at just INR 1 crore, is a steal deal and they’d take it any day.
6. Rajasthan Royals (RR) – 7/10
Rajasthan Royals had somewhat the kind of a mixed result auction. While they picked some good players, they also seemed to have made some bad choices. Instead of investing smaller amounts on a few players, they could have put it all on one player who could have been the x-factor for them.
Looking at the current composition of the squad, Robin Uthappa is a decent option to have. But many might not agree with them going back for the likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Oshane Thomas. Both these players have disappointed on the big stage in the past irrespective of their domestic performances.
With Andrew Tye nursing an injury at the moment, there are several questions about his future. Tom Curran has seemed to have struggled in the subcontinent conditions. Moreover, it is tough to accommodate these players in the eleven since they have got better overseas options. David Miller has also blown hot and cold. RR should have looked to invest in better Indian players.
7. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) – 9/10
With the broadcast deal that is in place, the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) could have afforded to spend more lavishly at the auction. Even though Anil Kumble and his team did a good job at the auction table, they couldn’t unleash the full potential of having a huge purse. Glenn Maxwell is a very good investment and adds great stability to the batting order.
Sheldon Cottrell is another interesting pick that they made. The left-arm pacer was always expected to make it big at the auction. But the question is whether he will be able to make it big on such a huge platform under immense pressure.
KXIP bought James Neesham at only INR 50 lakhs. This player could well be a game-changer for them in the tournament if given the opportunities. It’d have been nice had KXIP invested in a better overseas pacer. Yet, Chris Jordan is a good option.
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) – 7/10
Watching Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the IPL 2020 auction, it seemed as if they were present at the venue just for some window shopping. For about three hours since the start, they didn’t even bother raising the paddle. They let some of the big players go to other teams right in front of their eyes.
Rather, they chose to pick some value-for-money options. The fans might have been disappointed that they didn’t pick a big player for the middle order. The likes of Virat Singh and Priyam Garg seem promising options but there is a lot of inexperience in there.
Mitchell Marsh was with the Deccan Chargers in the past and has a brief idea of the SRH environment. However, he hasn’t proved in potential in the sub-continent yet and has struggled in the IPL. It seems as if there are still some problems with the middle order. Fabian Allen could be a back-up option for the banned Shakib Al Hasan.
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