An autopsy of the IPL auction

– Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

An eventful mini-auction of the IPL got over in Kochi on Friday. There were stunningly astronomical sums spent on some players, some expected and some not. There were also players who went for a lot cheaper than anticipated. Revsportz tries to explore and explain which of these moves might click and the ones for which fans have to wait and watch.

Chennai Super Kings

Going all out for Stokes, playing the waiting game with perfection

They needed a fast bowler and possibly, another opener. Look what they have bought! Ben Stokes will be an amazing addition to a well-balanced side and they also netted all-rounder Kyle Jamieson for almost nothing. Shaik Rasheed is an exciting addition to a side that believes in continuity and grooming the youngsters they choose. People may say why Ajinkya Rahane? But, this is a team that hardly does anything without a plan. Be sure, Rahane, like everybody else, will be given a specific role. The inclusion of Stokes is bound to increase the strength of this team manifold. Sensible buyers and equally sensible users, they had a great day at the auction. They assembled a squad which has almost everything in every position with suitable back-ups. Not for nothing have they been one of the most consistent sides since the first edition in 2008. At the auction, they showed why. Went all out for the player they wanted and played the waiting game after that. Superb strategy.

Full squad: MS Dhoni (c), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Chowdhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Deepak Chahar, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Bhagath Varma, Ajay Mandal, Kyle Jamieson, Nishant Sindhu, Shaik Rasheed, Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane.

New buys: Ben Stokes (Rs 16.25 cr), Kyle Jamieson (Rs 1 cr), Ajinkya Rahane (Rs 50 lakh), Nishant Sindhu (Rs 20 lakh), Shaik Rasheed (Rs 20 lakh), Bhagath Varma (Rs 20 lakh), Ajay Mandal (Rs 20 lakh).

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Got the bowler, but not the batter

Did not have a lot of money in their purse and therefore, possibly could not buy another batter and spinner that they needed. But acquiring all-rounder Will Jacks for not too much and getting fast bowler Reece Topley for that cheap were cool deals. This means that other than the new Indian uncapped players, their batting remains almost the same. One is not sure if that is going to be enough. Time will tell whether this will stand them in good stead, but on paper, they are still a formidable lot, perhaps a bit too dependent on a select group of batters. Of course, the inclusions of Jacks and Topley will make them stronger. Considering that financially they were not in a position to go for the biggest of names, they should be reasonably happy with what they have got. Getting Topley with the kind of budget they had is a big steal.

Full squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Suyash Prabhudessai, Rajat Patidar, Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Finn Allen, Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Karn Sharma, Mahipal Lomror, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood, Siddarth Kaul, Akash Deep, Sonu Yadav, Avinash Singh, Rajan Kumar, Manoj Bhandage, Will Jacks, Himanshu Sharma, Reece Topley.

New buys: Will Jacks (Rs 3.2 cr), Reece Topley (Rs 1.9 cr), Rajan Kumar (Rs 70 lakh), Avinash Singh (Rs 60 lakh), Himanshu Sharma (Rs 20 lakh), Sonu Yadav (Rs 20 lakh), Manoj Bhandage (Rs 20 lakh).

Mumbai Indians

Big Green buy and other useful acquisitions

Heading towards the auction hall, this team had in mind a replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard, back-up fast bowlers, given that there could be question marks over the fitness of Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah, and a few spinners. They got almost everything. Breaking the bank for Cameron Green who has the potential of providing the services of two players and bagging Jhye Richardson for not a lot of money, they had a good day. Leggie Piyush Chawla has a lot of IPL experience and left-arm orthodox Shams Mulani is a wily customer, who is handy with the bat as well. Green and Richardson are bound to provide the firepower they seemed to be lacking last season. These procurements appear to be very handy, at least on paper. One can expect Mumbai to cause a lot of headaches to the other teams with this kind of a roster.

Full squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Tim David, Ramandeep Singh, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Tristan Stubbs, Dewald Brevis, Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah, Arjun Tendulkar, Arshad Khan, Kumar Kartikeya, Hrithik Shokeen, Jason Behrendorff, Akash Madhwal, Raghav Goyal, Nehal Wadhera, Shams Mulani, Vishnu Vinod, Duan Jansen, Piyush Chawla, Jhye Richardson, Cameron Green.

New buys: Cameron Green (Rs 17.5 cr), Jhye Richardson (Rs 1.5 cr), Piyush Chawla (Rs 50 lakh), Raghav Goyal (Rs 20 lakh), Duan Jansen (Rs 20 lakh), Shams Mulani (Rs 20 lakh), Nehal Wadhera (Rs 20 lakh), Vishnu Vinod (Rs 20 lakh).

Kolkata Knight Riders

Some cheers at the end of the day

Till the fag end, it seemed as if it was not going to be their day. Quiet when the big bids were going on because of monetary constraints, they were initially outdone even when they decided to go for a few Indian players of their choice. Fortune smiled on them somewhat in the closing stages. Getting Shakib Al Hasan, David Wiese, Litton Das and N Jagadeesan was not that bad after all. These can be handy buys, especially Das of Bangladesh, who is fast establishing himself as a dangerous T20 bat. Even Kulwant Khejroliya can be a useful option. Not in national headlines of late, this left-armer has pace and can hurry batters into awkward positions. A bit of a gamble, you can say, but one worth taking for a team with so little in the kitty. Spectators for a better part of Friday’s proceedings, KKR made some smart moves in the end.

Full squad: Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Anukul Roy, Rinku Singh, Shakib Al Hasan, Mandeep Singh, Litton Das, Kulwant Khejroliya, David Wiese, Suyash Sharma, Vaibhav Arora, N Jagadeesan.

New buys: Shakib Al Hasan (Rs 1.5 cr), David Wiese (Rs 1 cr), N Jagadeesan (Rs 90 lakh), Vaibhav Arora (Rs 60 lakh), Mandeep Singh (Rs 50 lakh), Litton Das (Rs 50 lakh), Suyash Sharma (Rs 20 lakh), Kulwant Khejroliya (Rs 20 lakh).

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Some good buys, but will that be enough? Time will tell

Their task was simple. They had the biggest purse going into the auction hall and had to almost rebuild the side. One has to say they did that. Yes, the biggest of buys did not belong to them, but getting Harry Brook, Mayank Agarwal and Henrich Klaasen was not bad. Plus, there was Akeal Hossain and a clutch of uncapped Indians who have done well in this format. Their fast bowling unit did not need reinforcements. So they concentrated on other departments and got on board some important names. They look fairly balanced at the moment. Having said that, the batting will depend quite a lot on Brook. Barring Rahul Tripathi, there are not many batters who can be classified as guaranteed IPL performers. If new buy Samarth Vyas gets a look-in and how he fares if he does, will be interesting to watch.

Full squad: Abdul Samad, Aiden Markram, Rahul Tripathi, Glenn Phillips, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen, Washington Sundar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Umran Malik, Anmolpreet Singh, Akeal Hosein, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Mayank Dagar, Upendra Yadav, Sanvir Singh, Samarth Vyas, Vivrant Sharma, Mayank Markande, Adil Rashid, Heinrich Klaasen, Mayank Agarwal, Harry Brook.

New buys: Harry Brook (Rs 13.25 cr), Mayank Agarwal (Rs 8.25 cr), Heinrich Klaasen (Rs 5.25 cr), Vivrant Sharma (Rs 2.6 cr), Adil Rashid (Rs 2 cr), Mayank Dagar (Rs 1.8 cr), Akeal Hosein (Rs 1 cr), Mayank Markande (Rs 50 lakh), Upendra Yadav (Rs 25 lakh), Anmolpreet Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Samarth Vyas (Rs 20 lakh), Sanvir Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Nitish Kumar Reddy (Rs 20 lakh).

Delhi Capitals

Judicious buys, by a well-balanced side

Already a well-rounded side, they made few but important purchases. Of course, spending so much on the uncapped Mukesh Kumar made the headlines. But then, there were other good buys as well. Rilee Rossouw, Manish Pandey and Phil Salt are welcome additions to an already strong batting line-up. On paper, this side is seriously strong. They did not go for the biggest draws of the day but focussed on buying players who have the potential of increasing their overall strength. At the end of the day, they did that. Very astute thinking, one must say. Don’t go all out for the bigger names, but look at those who add value to your side. Not many teams can show this kind of restraint and tactical awareness. Well done Delhi Capitals. Over to the players now.

Full squad: Rishabh Pant (c), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Ripal Patel, Rovman Powell, Sarfaraz Khan, Yash Dhull, Mitchell Marsh, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Khaleel Ahmed, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Aman Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Praveen Dubey, Vicky Ostwal, Rilee Rossouw, Manish Pandey, Mukesh Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Phil Salt.

New buys: Mukesh Kumar (Rs 5.5 cr), Rilee Rossouw (Rs 4.6 cr), Manish Pandey (Rs 2.4 cr), Phil Salt (Rs 2 cr), Ishant Sharma (Rs 50 lakh).

Rajasthan Royals

Holder yes, but Root?

One thought they would go big on an all-rounder and a middle-order batter. Getting Jason Holder and surprise pack Joe Root means they fulfilled those requirements, although questions will remain over the decision to go for Root. One of the best Test batters of his generation, the former England Test captain’s credentials as a T20 force are yet to be established. If he finds a place in the XI, he will most probably play a holding role, with others going for the kill. Holder is a good addition. He can bowl four overs and has also developed this ability to play shots early on in his innings. A valuable inclusion is Adam Zampa. Rajasthan showed patience by not bidding for him when his name first came up and he went unsold. But it also means they are spoilt for choice when it comes to spinners. Maybe, just maybe, they could have perhaps gone for a more robust middle-order man, because most of their gun batters are more successful in the top-order slots.

Full squad: Sanju Samson (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldip Yadav, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa, Joe Root, Abdul PA, Akash Vashisht, Murugan Ashwin, KM Asif, Adam Zampa, Kunal Rathore, Donovan Ferreira, Jason Holder.

New buys: Jason Holder (Rs 5.75 cr), Adam Zampa (Rs 1.5 cr), Joe Root (Rs 1 cr), Donovan Ferreira (Rs 50 lakh), KM Asif (Rs 30 lakh), Murugan Ashwin (Rs 20 lakh), Abdul PA (Rs 20 lakh), Akash Vashisht (Rs 20 lakh), Kunal Rathore (Rs 20 lakh).

Punjab Kings

Curran alright, is the rest of the squad okay?

They must be feeling happy since they got what they wanted by having Sam Curran for a record sum. The management was clearly bent on him and gave it all that they had to bag him. Surely, the biggest headline of the day. Curran can be handy in Indian conditions with the ball and with the bat lower down the order. That way, the owners of the team should be delighted that their mission was successful. They also got Sikandar Raza for dirt cheap and he can also be a handful on Indian pitches. But do they have all bases covered? It can’t be said with certainty. They needed batters who have made their presence felt in the IPL and at the end of the day, they did not tick that box. Raza can play that role of course and possibly, this team will have to select their four foreigners very, very cleverly to get the best out of what they have put together.

Full squad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shivam Singh, Mohit Rathee, Vidwath Kaverappa, Harpreet Bhatia, Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran.

New buys: Sam Curran (Rs 18.5 cr), Sikandar Raza (Rs 50 lakh), Harpreet Bhatia (Rs 40 lakh), Vidwath Kaverappa (Rs 20 lakh), Shivam Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Mohit Rathee (Rs 20 lakh)

Gujarat Titans

Too much on Mavi. And Williamson? Some tricky calls out there

Here is another team that needed a fast bowler and a batter. On paper, they got Shivam Mavi for an unexpectedly huge sum and Kane Williamson. Point to note is, Mavi is not a proven performer in the IPL despite getting opportunities. And Williamson has had more success in this competition as a captain rather than a batter. In that sense, both are tricky buys. Getting Joshua Little is certainly good news for the defending champions. Odean Smith can also turn a match on his day. KS Bharat gives them another option in that wicketkeeper-opener slot occupied mostly by Wriddhiman Saha last season. This is still a fairly balanced side, with just about enough in each department.

Full squad: Hardik Pandya (c), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, R Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma, Joshua Little, Urvil Patel, Shivam Mavi, KS Bharat, Odean Smith, Kane Williamson.

New buys: Shivam Mavi (Rs 6 cr), Joshua Little (Rs 4.4 cr), Kane Williamson (Rs 2 cr), KS Bharat (Rs 1.2 cr), Mohit Sharma (Rs 50 lakh), Odean Smith (Rs 50 lakh), Urvil Patel (Rs 20 lakh).

Lucknow Super Giants

Pooran surprise and other handy buys

One of the sides that might have gone home satisfied after the auction. Yes, they did not get the biggest buys of the day and ended up spending a fortune on Nicholas Pooran. But one has to say that if Pooran clicks, they have got what they needed before they came to the auction. A gun batter was one of their requirements and Pooran has the potential to be one. A fast bowler, preferably a left-armer given the fitness-related uncertainty over Mohsin Khan, was another requirement. Well, they have got Jaydev Unadkat at the peak of his prowess and also Daniel Sams, who can chip in with the bat. Romario Shepherd has been another cheap purchase. Putting too many eggs in the Pooran basket one can say, but going by what they needed and what they bought, it was in probability a good auction for them.

Full squad: KL Rahul (c), Ayush Badoni, Karan Sharma, Manan Vohra, Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Kyle Mayers, Krunal Pandya, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Yudhvir Charak, Naveen-ul-Haq, Swapnil Singh, Prerak Mankad, Amit Mishra, Daniel Sams, Romario Shepherd, Yash Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Nicholas Pooran.

New buys: Nicholas Pooran (Rs 16 cr), Daniel Sams (Rs 75 lakh), Jaydev Unadkat (Rs 50 lakh), Romario Shepherd (Rs 50 lakh), Amit Mishra (Rs 50 lakh), Naveen Ul Haq (Rs 50 lakh), Yash Thakur (Rs 45 lakh), Prerak Mankad (Rs 20 lakh), Swapnil Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Yudhvir Charak (Rs 20 lakh).

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