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IPL 2017 - Auction watch

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IPL_Indian_Premier_League_Auction_cricketAs 2017 rolls in, cricket fans around the globe have one thing on their mind: the 10th and possibly final edition of the IPL. 2017 marks the last season for the 8 Franchises under the current contract. At first, it was expected that these contracts shall be extended, but recent rumours suggest otherwise. Since the future of the IPL is uncertain, it is crucial that we make the most of the upcoming season and soak in as much as possible.

An integral part of the IPL has been the Auction. Held annually in February, 2 months before the IPL season starts, the date for the IPL 10 Auction has been confirmed and changed and finalised and postponed to the end of February. As always, fans can look forward to witnessing Richard Madlee’s rather eccentric auctioning style.

While we try to predict what each team’s outlook for the auction will be, it is quite likely that there will be many surprises. Nevertheless, today, I’m out to analyze what each team will try to achieve in the auction. Before we begin though, let’s have a look at each team’s budget.

Team

Budget remaining (in Cr. INR)

Squad Size

Overseas Players

Delhi Daredevils (DD)

21.6

18

5

Gujarat Lions (GL)

19.1

16

6

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)

23.35

19

5

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

19.75

14

4

Mumbai Indians (MI)

11.555

20

6

Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS)

14.3

16

6

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

12.825

20

8

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

20.9

17

5

Delhi Daredevils

The Daredevils have a fairly young squad. They finished in sixth place last season, just two points away from the top 4. Pawan Negi, who was last year’s most expensive Indian player, has been released by Delhi, and they will certainly look to buy an Indian all-rounder to replace him. Their most experienced players going into the auction are Zaheer Khan and JP Duminy, and they would certainly want to add another name to that list. Hence, I feel that Irfan Pathan may be one of the men on Delhi’s list. While he is well past his prime, he might be just what Delhi need.

Other options they would want to consider are Rishi Dhawan, Karn Sharma and Rajagopal Satish. Further, they have only 5 overseas players, and will look to add to that list too. Potential options include George Bailey, Jason Holder, Corey Anderson, and Trent Boult.

Further, Rahul Dravid, DD’s coach, has promoted youth development, and it is likely that the team may opt to bid for lesser known players. Australia’s Alex Ross or Matt Renshaw could be one of them.  

Gujarat Lions

Gujarat had an exceptional season last year, when they topped the table after the league stage. Sadly, they were knocked out in the playoffs, losing to both RCB and SRH. They have retained the core of their squad, releasing only 8 players, of whom Dale Steyn is the only capped player. Gujarat will look to pick up a few Indian youngsters, to add to the depth of their squad, accommodating for injuries. Further, since they have quite a large purse remaining (19.1 Crores), and only 6 overseas players, it is likely that they will make a big name signing. Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan or Mitchell Johnson…. One of them could be heading to Rajkot.

Kings XI Punjab

KXIP finished at the bottom of the pack last year, and can only look to improve. They have released just 4 players though, and have retained the bulk of their squad. They still have a whooping 23.35 Cr at their disposal, and will go in one of two directions from here. Either they will spend the money on multiple cheaper buys and look to play a different squad compared to last year; or they will spend a majority of the amount on a couple of big names, and field a similar team as last season.

They will certainly look for a good pacer though, having released Johnson. Ishant Sharma could be the man on their list. Alternatively, they may choose to go for foreign players, in which case Jerome Taylor, Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel could be names to watch. Pawan Negi and Mohammad Nabi may be viable replacements for Rishi Dhawan.

Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR currently have the fewest number of players, and a budget of just under 20Cr. Given that 21 players is the bare minimum, KKR will be one of the most active teams in this auction. However, as they can spend less than 3 Cr on average (per player), it is unlikely that they will sign too many big names.

They do not have a full time keeper (Robin Uthappa isn’t naturally a wicket keeper), and have only 4 overseas players, it is quite likely that they may make a move for someone like Brad Haddin or Johnson Charles. Even wicketkeepers from smaller countries could be targeted by the Knight Riders. Expect them to bid on either Mohammad Shahzad from Afghanistan or Mushfiqur Rahim from Bangladesh. Further, KKR certainly have the explosive power in their team, but lack stability. Someone like Cheteshwar Pujara might be a valuable asset to their team.

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians have always been one of the strongest teams on paper every season, but they just aren’t able to convert it to a proportionate number of wins. Last year, they finished 5th, after having a poor start. MI have retained 20 players, and have the smallest budget available. While they don’t necessarily need to make any buys at all, they may pick up a couple of players to strengthen their middle order. Thisara Perera or Eoin Morgan could be good buys.

Also, as Mahela Jayawardene has replaced Ricky Ponting as coach, it is likely that MI may target one of the many young Sri Lankans available. The opening pair has been a problem for the team since the days of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya, and hence someone like Shehan Jayasuriya would be a good buy. Other options include Anton Devcich, Mitchell Santner, Marlon Samuels and Imran Tahir.

Rising Pune Supergiants

One of the teams that disappointed the most in 2016, given their excellent start and squad strength, was RPS. While they have released 11 players, I wouldn’t expect too many changes this season. The RPS squad is quite strong on paper, and given one more chance, they should be able to better their performance in IPL 10. The 14.3 Cr would be well spent on Indian players, such as Abhishek Nayar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishi Dhawan, Unmukt Chand and Varun Aaron. Pune may even look to pick up a few overseas players for a low price. Expect them to target the likes of Angelo Mathews and Colin Munro.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Probably the best team in IPL 9, I highly doubt that RCB need to buy any players. They have a 20 man squad with 8 overseas players, and have retained 10 of the 11 players that started their final game last season. If they must invest the 12 Cr they have, I’d feel that it should go towards a back up for Mitchell Starc, should he or Milne get injured. Good options would be Kagiso Rabada, Josh Hazlewood, and Jerome Taylor.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

The final team in the list are the defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad. The SRH team is one of the most balanced squads going into the auction. They have a large purse at their disposal, and will be looking to spend it in order to provide some fire power to their middle order. The likes of Corey Anderson and Unmukt Chand will all be on SRH’s radar. They may also look to pick up a spinner, and Parvez Rasool or Murugan Ashwin could fit into their squad.

That concludes the analysis of IPL franchisees’ outlooks going into the auction. To finish, I’d like to include my predictions for the 10 most expensive players in this year’s auction.

10. Ishant Sharma
9. Pawan Negi
8. Matt Renshaw
7. Mitchell Johnson
6. Imran Tahir
5. Mitchell Santner
4. Trent Boult
3. Kagiso Rabada
2. Ben Stokes
1. Corey Anderson

Do leave your opinion in the comments section below; we would love to hear your views on this topic.

 

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