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How IPL teams performed in the auction

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IPL_Indian_Premier_League_Auction_cricketThe 11th season of the Indian Premier League is right around the corner. The IPL organizers face challenges like the general elections in India and the 2019 Cricket World Cup which begins on the 30th of May. Despite all this, the IPL will be played in India and start on 29th March.

But the competition starts in the auction room before it begins on the ground.

In the auction that took place in Jaipur, all the franchises tried their best to come up with and obtain the best possible combination for their team. They got some of the players they wished for, while their competitors snatched away some key players. Let’s take a look at how each IPL team performed at the auction.

1. Kings XI Punjab (9/10)

Kings XI Punjab had the highest salary cap of 36.20 crore available before the auction began. With that much to spend, it was obvious that Kings XI would dictate the terms of auctions. Having retained only 9 players from the previous season, the task of Kings XI team management was to pick talented marquee players and, at the same time, make sure that Kings XI will have enough bench strength.

Kings XI had few bid wars with others franchises but eventually ended up picking 2 key players- Sam Curran and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy for 8.4 crore and 7.2 crore respectively. Before auctions they brought in Mandeep Singh and picked Sarfaraz Khan at a price of 25 Lakhs in the auction. They look sorted with their batsmen and all-rounders. The only area where they could have spent well is while bidding for the fast bowlers.

Overall, their performance was best in the auctions. However, buying a novice wicketkeeper like Prabhsimran Singh at 4.80 crore is not a good deal they made. Prabhsimran is surely a talented wicket Keeper-batsman but he is yet to make a mark in shorter format of the game. His performance was average with highest score of just 28 runs. With presence of KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran, it is unlikely that he will get a chance in playing XI. Kings XI fast bowling looks bit inexperienced. They have M Shami and Andre Tye but, Shami hasn’t been up to his best in last few IPLs and, Tye will have to leave mid-way for World Cup Preparations. So instead of spending 4.80 crore on a player who will be warming the bench for most of the tournament, it would have been wise if they had invested in purchasing some quality T20 specialist with some experience.

Kings XI Squad

Batsmen: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan

Wicketkeepers: Prabhsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran

Allrounders: Agnivesh Ayachi, Varun Chakravarthy, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Moises Henriques, Sam Curran

Bowlers: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, M Ashwin, R Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, Andrew Tye, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, Mohammed Shami

2. Delhi Capitals (8/10)

Delhi Capitals released 10 players, brought in Shikhar Dhawan by trading Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem with SRH. Before auctions they had a squad of 15 players with 25.50 crore to spend. Their 2 highest spends were Colin Ingram and Axar Patel for 6.4 Crore and 5 Crore each.

Their 1st XI looks good but once their international players leave for World Cup, they don’t have much strength to take the team forward. Shikhar Dhawan, Munro, Morris, Rabada and Boult will be leaving mid-way for their national duties. After 5 of those leaving from first playing XI, the 2nd string playing XI looks talented but a bit inexperienced. Delhi, for past few years have relied upon the India Under-19s rookies in IPL. This year too, they will need the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Rishab Pant and Avesh Khan to step up when it is required.

Delhi have 2 concerns at the moment- A young captain and death bowling. In the last season, death bowling was handled by their international trio of Morris, Rabada and Boult. But this time, the team management were unable to include a quality death bowler in the squad. Also, Shreyas Iyer, who will be leading again this season is yet to do a justice to his post of a captain.

Delhi Capitals Squad:

Batsmen: Colin Munro, Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Colin Ingram

Wicketkeepers: Rishabh Pant, Ankush Bains

Allrounders: Chris Morris, Jalaj Saxena, Axar Patel, Bandaru Ayyappa, Sherfane Rutherford

Bowlers: Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma, Keemo Paul, Nathu Singh

3. Rajasthan Royals (8/10)

Rajasthan Royals struggled in the first half of the last season before they promoted Jos Buttler to open the batting for them. This year too they are heavily dependent on their overseas players. Royals have always been smart performers in the auctions. This time they released Jaydev Unadkat who was priced at 11.5 crore rupees only to buy him back at 8.4 crore, thus, saving 3.1 crore from their salary cap.

This season, they have similar worries as that of Delhi Capitals. Smith, Stokes, Buttler, Oshane Thomas will leave them mid-way for World Cup. Jofra Archer is also in contention for inclusion in England squad for the World Cup. Due to their absence, there will be a dearth of power hitters in the batting line up. Also, if Archer, Stokes and Thomas are not available then their fast bowling looks weak. They will be left with only Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni and Varun Aaron. It means the opponent batsmen can have a go at these bowlers which will result in Royals chasing a big target or failing to defend a low target.

The good thing they did in the end of the auction that may have gone unnoticed is picking up 3 quality uncapped players at base price. They picked Ashton Turner, Manan Vohra and a prodigy from Assam- Riyan Parag. These 3 players picked at very low price might turn out to be very handy in the 2nd half of the season.

Rajasthan Royals Squad:

Batsmen: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith, Aryaman Birla, Manan Vohra

Wicketkeepers: Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Prashant Chopra

Allrounders: Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Mahipal Lomror, Riyan Parag, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Ashton Turner, Shubham Ranjane

Bowlers: Shreyas Gopal, Midhun S, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas

4. Kolkata Knight Riders (7/10)

KKR looked balanced side even before they entered into auction. They retained their core and they are not heavily dependent on their overseas players who will be leaving mid-way for World Cup. As of now, Only Andre Russell will be leaving them but Lynn and Sunil Narine will be available for all matches. Considering this they brought in Carlos Braithwaite who won’t be a part of West Indies ODI team for the World Cup.

They have followed a policy of keeping it short and simple. They have a squad of 21 players-least amongst all 8 franchises. In the auction, they added some bowling firepower in their squad. If we look at the loop holes then their fast bowling unit consists of novice fast bowlers. They released players like Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Tom Curran and Vinay Kumar. Compared to this, their current bowling unit look weak.

The death bowling will be a concern and, they are likely to miss services of Kuldeep Yadav in latter half of the tournament. In the auction, instead of going for all-novice bowling unit they could have gone for extra spinner and a death-over specialist fast bowler.

KKR Squad:

Batsmen: Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh

Wicketkeepers: Dinesh Karthik, Nikhil Naik

Allrounders: Andre Russell, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Carlos Brathwaite

Bowlers: Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Prithvi Raj, Harry Gurney, Anrich Nortje, Lockie Ferguson

5. Royal Challengers Banglore (8/10)

RCB brought in Marcus Stoinis from Kings XI Punjab during trade window. They made some really good purchases in the auction. The best pick made by them was Shivam Dube who is an Indian all-rounder and is likely to feature in all matches. His presence along with Stoinis has strengthened RCB’s middle order, which now has power hitting all-rounders.

They are likely to miss services of Virat Kohli, Tim Southee, Moeen Ali, S Hetmyer and Yuzvendra Chahal due to World Cup in the 2nd half of the tournament. But, unlike few other teams, RCBs think tank was smart enough to pick replacements for it. They have Henrich Klaasen as wicket-keeper who can also open the innings, Nathan Coulter Nile for Tim Southee and Washington Sunder and Pawan Negi as spin bowling all-rounders.

RCB also brought in few Indian players to fill in the gaps in their middle order. Gurkeerat Singh, Himmat Singh, Akashdeep Nath and their home grown talented opener from Karnataka- Devdutt Padikkal. Overall, they looked balanced team. They have Mohammad Siraj and Umesh Yadav in the team but they have got M Chinnaswamy stadium as their home ground. If they could have added a death over specialist, then it would have been a perfect auction for them. Nevertheless, they look well set for IPL 11 with a good mixture of experienced and young players.

RCB Squad:

Batsmen: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Milind Kumar, Himmat Singh, Shimron Hetmyer

Wicketkeepers: Parthiv Patel, Heinrich Klaasen

Allrounders: Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Marcus Stoinis, Prayas Ray Barman, Akshdeep Nath, Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube

Bowlers: Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohammad Siraj, Tim Southee

6. Mumbai Indians (7/10)

Mumbai Indians did not spend much to buy marquee players but some of the decisions they took were bit surprising. They brought in Quniton De Kock before auction. They already have Ishan Kishan in the squad and De Kock will fly back after 1st half of IPL to join South African team. Mumbai Indians will be missing their key players like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jaspreet Bumrah in 2nd half of the tournament. Evin Lewis and Jason Behrendroff are also expected to be picked in West Indies and Australia team respectively for World Cup.

They picked Yuvraj Singh who is not in good form neither in good physical fitness. Instead of spending 1 crore on him, they could have opted for some other domestic player who is amongst runs. With players like Suryakumar Yadav, Siddesh Lad already present in squad, it will be interesting to see if and when Anmolpreet Singh gets his chance.

They also bought Lasith Malinga but he too will be unavailable in 2nd half due to World Cup. Mumbai Indians 1st string side looks well set but in absence of their key players, it is yet not sure about who will bat in their top 4 and who will lead them in absence of Rohit Sharma. They could have utilised their funds in better way to rope in few players who could have been a solution to all these uncertainties.

MI Squad:

Batsmen: Evin Lewis, Quinton de Kock, Anmolpreet Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad

Wicketkeepers: Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare

Allrounders: Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Yuvraj Singh, Pankaj Jaiswal

Bowlers: Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Rasikh Salam, Lasith Malinga, Barinder Sran

7. Chennai Super Kings (6/10)

With a salary cap of 8.4 crore and only 2 Indian player’s slots to fill, CSK had hardly anything to do in auctions. The other franchises took full advantage of this as they pushed CSK to the corner when CSK tried to have a bid war.

CSK clearly were looking for a left hand fast bowler who is a T20 specialist. They had Jaydev Unadkat on their radar but RR pushed them to 8.4 crore rupees in a bid war and then they had to give up. They also tried to buy Mohammad Shami but eventually had to give up. Finally, they ended up buying Mohit Sharma for inflated price of 5 crores. They also bought Maharashtra’s opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad for 20 lakhs.

They have maintained their core. But just like Mumbai Indians, they will be missing services of MS Dhoni, Jadeja, Du Plesis, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir and Kedar Jadhav in 2nd half due to World Cup. They could have looked for Indian wicket keeper batsman as a backup for MS Dhoni. Currently, they have N Jagadeeshan who is inexperienced to play at IPL level. So Sam Billings will have to keep wickets which will eat up 1 place out of 4 they have got for foreign players. They already have DJ Bravo and Shardul Thakur to bowl in death overs. Instead of putting 5 crores on a single bowler who is not sure to play in all matches, it would have been better if they had gone for an all-rounder. Same is the case with Ruturaj Gaikwad. He is a talented player but with Dhruv Shorey already in the squad, it remains a question whether Gaikwad will get many chances.

CSK Squad:

Batsmen: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, M Vijay, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Sam Billings, Dhruv Shorey, Ruturaj Gaikwad

Wicketkeepers: MS Dhoni, N Jagadeesan

Allrounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Monu Kumar, David Willey

Bowlers: Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, Mohit Sharma

8. Sunrisers Hyderabad (6/10)

Sunrisers picked just 3 players but the amount they spent on them is too big considering their availability. Martin Guptill and Jonny Bairstow will leave for World Cup preparation in 2nd half of the tournament while Wriddhiman Saha has not performed with the bat and his fitness remains a big concern. Last season he batted at number 6 or 7 in most of the matches. The only option for wicket keeper that remains is Shreevats Goswami who played few matches last season but couldn’t make an impact.

Along with Guptil and Bairstow just take a look at the list of players who will be missing out on 2nd half of the tournament due to World Cup - David Warner, Kane Williamson, Shakib-Al-Hasan, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Bhuvneshvar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Billy Stanlake. With so many players out from their first playing XI, they need to manage balance in their squad. Most likely Manish Pandey will lead 2nd string team but even if they reach the qualifiers it will be difficult for them to win. Sunrisers could have addressed these concerns in a better way during auctions.

SRH Squad:

Batsmen: David Warner, Martin Guptill, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Ricky Bhui

Wicketkeepers: Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Jonny Bairstow

Allrounders: Shakib Al Hasan, Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi

Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Billy Stanlake



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