IPL auction | How the teams fared and what can be expected on Day 2

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IPL auction | How the teams fared and what can be expected on Day 2

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Faizan Qadiri

01/27/2018

The much awaited IPL auction finally kicked off in Bengaluru and what a day it ended up being. From every mega expensive buy like Ben Stokes and KL Rahul, there were players like Gautam Gambhir and Shakib al Hassan who were picked up for unbelievably low prices making them absolute steals.

Chennai Super Kings 

Let’s take care of the old elephant in the room. The once historic franchise stunned literally everyone with their picks in the auction. Even more so it was their RTM options that left their fans fuming and with just cause. Having already retained three players who most people believe are past their prime, young blood was required to keep the veterans honest on the ground. However, Chennai decided to go ahead with Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis for their RTM options and followed that up with the signings of Shane Watson (4) and Kedar Jadhav (7.8) as all-rounders. 

While not all of their signings were bad calls, particularly the spin department, CSK still don’t have a proper opener or a strike bowler. With 17 crores left in the kitty and just 11 players on the side, they would need to be really shrewd with their bids tomorrow to have a lasting say in the IPL this time around. With the likes of Evin Lewis and Trent Boult still to make an appearance at the auction, and a good many others having another chance in the second half of the day tomorrow, Chennai will have their hands full, particularly due to the fact the other sides have more money left.

Delhi Daredevils 

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Delhi started the day with arguably the weakest side in the auction due to the lack of experience in the side. However, they took care of that in the first half an hour of the day with what can be argued was the best signing of them all – Gautam Gambhir for 2.8 crores. But there were nowhere close to being done and with the signings of Colin Munro and Glenn Maxwell which were quickly followed by the RTMs on Mohammad Shami and Kagiso Rabada, they suddenly looked like a team that was ready to pad up and play. 

Even though might have the best squad, with five proper all-rounders in the side, in the league right now, what is even more frightening is the fact that they have 12.5 crores that, if they wish, they can spend on only four players to form a team that Delhi haven’t had since the days of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, and AB de Villiers ruled the Kotla and guided the team to a top of the table finish in 2009. They most probably need one more Indian bowler to offer some sort of support to the first side but they can very much just over-inflate prices for other sides for major players.

Rajasthan Royals 

If someone woke up from crypto sleep after a year today and had a look at the Royals’ side, one would not be remiss if they thought the Rising Pune Supergiant had just been renamed as the Rajasthan Royals. Before the auction, they retained just Steve Smith and many thought that they had erred by not getting Rahane as well. They were all proved wrong as Rahane cost them just 4 crores, via the RTM option, and with the signings of Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi, the Supergiant flavour was evident. 

While the Royals have their batting lineup well settled, with the top five already signed, their lack of quality bowlers is blatantly obvious. In Jofra Archer and Darcy Short they have two talented foreign players but they have no experience of playing in Indian conditions. They still have 23.5 crores in the bank and with a minimum of eight more players to sign, but they need to get their bowling signings spot on, otherwise, it could be another year of heartbreak for the Royals’ fans. They won’t be alone in doing that and as such, they would need to be very smart in the way they approach the auction tomorrow.

Sunrisers Hyderabad 

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What a day at the office they had today! After retaining just David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, questions were raised about whether they were interested in Shikhar Dhawan. All those doubts were cleared early on as they got him back for just 5.2 crores. The signings of Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, and Kane Williamson have sorted out their top and middle order, followed by the acquisitions of Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, and Rashid Khan, they have an impressive all-rounder department as well. 

However, where they lack, like many of their opponents, is in the quality of pacers. But that is not the only worry for them. If one of the aforementioned players suffer an injury, they don’t really have too much quality coming from the squad players even though they have already signed up 16 players. With just under 8 crores left in the kitty, and it is a big ask for them to get quality players due to overflowing purses of their opponents. With just a few more top echelon of players remaining, they are likely to get outbid for most of them. Having said that, the quality they possess cannot be discarded and with a core retained, they are still a real threat.

Kolkata Knight Riders

While many might look at the side and see quite a lot of the core retained, it is not even close to the side that looked like a favorite to win the league at the start of every edition. Even though they have retained the likes of hard-hitters like Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa, the middle order of Gambhir and Pandey has been replaced by Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana who, in all honesty, are nowhere close to being good replacements. The only place that they might not be worried about is their spin bowling contingent where Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla will be a handful for most teams. 

In Mitchell Starc and Andre Russell, KKR might have a formidable pace attack but that is about it. They have lost Umesh Yadav to RCB and will not be able to buy back Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile due to a budget of just 6.9 remaining in the auction and with four players already sure to start in the playing XI for each and every game. They have a group of Indian pacers but to create the success that Yadav, Boult, and Coulter-Nile enjoyed last season would be a big ask for veterans nevermind borderline rookies.

Mumbai Indians 

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A day that started with so much promise ended up as a proper disaster. They pipped a very happy Kings XI to Kieron Pollard’s signature and got Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman as the spearhead of their attack. However, things went south from there on. Not only did they miss out on players right left and centre, RCB ensured that they paid more for Krunal Pandya, using the RTM, than they had paid to retain Jasprit Bumrah. As of now they have only two proper batsmen in the side Rohit Sharma and Surya Kumar Yadav. While no one would question the quality of their all-rounders, there is definitely a big question mark when it comes to their depth. 

Tomorrow will be a big day for the defending Champions as they would need to bulk up the middle and top order along with the bowling department that consists of just two foreign pacers. With a purse of 18.3 crores, they should have the capability to get themselves out of this mess but judging by the way things had gone today, it will be a tough ask. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore 

Apart from Delhi, they might be the only ones who would be truly happy with what they have achieved in the auction so far. Apart from retaining Yuzvendra Chahal for a measly 6 crores, they acquired the services of Quinton de Kock (2.2), Brendon McCullum (3.6), Colin de Grandhomme (2.2), and Moeen Ali (1.7) to build up a string foreign contingent for a small amount of money. In Umesh Yadav, they have a first-team regular and with Manan Vohra and Sarfaraz Khan, they might just be able to compensate for the loss of KL Rahul. 

Enough positives, let’s get to the interesting parts. The lack pacers, not just one but a couple, because fitting in Woakes into the foreign contingent is going to be an arduous task for the Bangalore franchise. Their batting has never really been a concern and it’s unlikely that it will be in the upcoming season but now the question arises as to whether there are even any domestic players that can add any value to the team. Ishant Sharma, in all honesty, could turn out to be a good buy at the end but it should come as no surprise to anyone if another foreign pacer is signed up.

Kings XI Punjab

Another team that has signed just 10 players but each and every one would be in the playing XI when the team turn up for their first match of the season. After raising the paddle for almost every player that was bid on, Priety Zinta would be quite happy with the results at the end of the day. In KL Rahul and Aaron Finch, they have a monster opening partnership and in Marcus Stoinis, David Miller, and Yuvraj Singh, match winners. Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal can add some balance to the middle order while R Ashwin and Axar Patel can send the batsmen into a tizzy. The only pacer, however, in the side is Ankit Rajput who might find it difficult to break into the side once the auction ends tomorrow.

I doubt that apart from RCB and DD, there is hardly any team that would not want to be in the position that Punjab find themselves in when they start proceedings tomorrow. With 2-3 world-class pacers in the auction tomorrow, it is going to be an absolute feast for the Kings with 21.7 crores left in the kitty. Apart from those, if they can get a couple of decent middle order batsmen, they could very well be one of the best squads in the IPL this season.

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