IPL auction 2020: Moneyball - A pacer, spinner, overseas star - What IPL teams need
After pruning a list of 997 players who had initially registered for the Indian Premier League’s 2019 auction, a total of 332—186 Indians, 143 overseas and three from associate nations—will be called out at Thursday’s event in Kolkata. The initial list was trimmed after the eight franchises submitted their shortlists.
With as many as 35 players available for the auction, Australians top the overseas recruits’ section. In the top bracket with a base price of Rs 2 crore are Australian pacer and No 1 Test bowler Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell.
Other players to have opted for the highest bracket include South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews. Since all the teams will be disbanded ahead of the 2021 season for which fresh auctions will be held, a lot of the franchises may not buy big on Thursday.
RCB purse Rs 27.9 crore
All eyes will be on perennial strugglers Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who have released 12 players and are left with Rs 27.90 crore.
Captain Virat Kohli will still have his trusted personnel in AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav and Parthiv Patel but the exit of players like Marcus Stoinis, Steyn, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee and the exciting Shimron Hetmyer will leave some big spots to fill in the squad. RCB may in all likelihood go for big-hitting Australians Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell.
However, they are also without a frontline overseas bowler after the release of Steyn. This is one area where they may look to spend on since RCB’s batting looks well-placed with Kohli, de Villiers, Patel, Indian T20 sensation Devdutt Padikkal and Shivam Dube on their roster.
RCB have also roped in reputed Kiwi coach Mike Hesson, who has previously worked with Kings XI Punjab. Hesson, who had followed the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy closely in Surat, is expected to play a big role on auction day.
MI purse Rs 13.05 crore
Mumbai Indians’ squad is more or less set. But there seems to be an opening at the top order after they let go of explosive West Indies batsman Evin Lewis. The four-time winners however can still slot in Mumbai batting mainstay Suryakumar Yadav, who has been in great domestic form.
Mumbai’s U-19 player Yashasvi Jaiswal—who has recently been in news for his batting exploits—could be another option. Release of players like Yuvraj Singh, Alzarri Joseph and Adam Milne should not hurt Mumbai Indians, who are left with Rs 13.05 crore.
CSK purse Rs 14.6 crore
Like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings too have more or less a settled side. They already have 20 players on the roster and can still pick two more overseas players among the five available slots. With Rs14.60 crore available, the MS Dhoni-led side may still go for players chosen for very specific roles. Adding someone as reputed as Cummins, Aaron Finch, Jason Roy, Alex Carey or even Tim Southee would add to CSK’s firepower.
KXIP purse Rs 42.7 crore
With the biggest purse (Rs 42.7 crore) and nine slots to fill, Kings XI Punjab will be one of the busiest teams on Thursday. KXIP have traded off their captain Ravichandran Ashwin with Delhi Capitals. It remains to be seen if they go for former player Maxwell, who is back in the pool after taking a short break from the game to deal with mental health issues.
Kings XI Punjab also need fast bowlers to partner Mohammad Shami. They have a good roster to choose from, with Steyn, Cummins, Andrew Tye, Southee, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Sheldon Cottrell available. This year’s 50-over World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan is also up for grabs, and KXIP may find a perfect leader in Morgan.
DC purse Rs 27.85 crore
Delhi Capitals have stacked their side with plenty of Indian cricketers, latest being Ajinkya Rahane who moved from Rajasthan Royals. A team which seems to be on the upward curve after years of disappointment, Delhi Capitals have shown promise under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer.
They have a purse of Rs 27.85 crore and 11 available slots—including five overseas players. The team that finally made it to an IPL playoff last year could benefit from adding all-rounders, an element which is lacking from their side.
RR purse Rs 28.9 crore
Rajasthan Royals have a requirement of 11 players after spending a few weeks trading players during the official window. Their biggest loss was the release of Rahane, and Royals—a team known for putting huge emphasis on domestic players—would be looking to make the most of their Rs28.90-crore purse. Steve Smith will remain their captain, with a good core comprising Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer at his disposal.
KKR purse Rs 35.65 crore
Two-time IPL winners Kolkata Knight Riders have 11 slots free, including four overseas players. They have a purse of Rs 35.65 crore—the second biggest of all teams—and a requirement to fill quite a few spots.
The exit of Lynn opens up the possibility of adding another dashing batsman at the top, and KKR may aim to go for someone like Jason Roy or Aaron Finch. They have an exciting list of Indian players, especially fast bowlers, and KKR would do well by adding a few big names in their bowling line-up.
SRH purse Rs 17 crore
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will enter the auction with seven open slots (two overseas). They have a purse of Rs 17 crore. While their batting department looks settled with David Warner, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow forming the backbone, Sunrisers Hyderabad would be keeping an eye on the fitness of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who has constantly struggled with fitness issues over the last one year. They have a few exciting Indian bowlers but adding more options will help them cover all bases.