Boy-o-boy-o-boy, the IPL Auction is a crazy place, where there is no care, whatsoever about the money, oh well only for the franchisees who have plenty of money left. As expected, it was Glenn Maxwell, Chris Morris, and the usual Indian suspects - Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, who went sold.
Players bought: Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, C Hari Nishaanth, K Bhagat Verma, Harishankar Reddy
CSK would be pleased, not because they missed out on Glenn Maxwell, their ace target for the 2021 edition of the tournament but because they got their other target, relatively cheaply for just seven crores. Now the seven might look like a lot of money but for a franchise, who have their players set in the other places and just have one foreign slot available, it was an expected buy for them. Now, Ali will not just act as an off-spinner but will also double up as an aggressive option for the franchise as a batsman.
Combine that with Krishnappa Gowtham, you have two players with a similar role, interchangeable. However, that Pujara decision was puzzling, wonder where the troll here is but with Hari Nishaanth, they came back really well to round up the auction.
Players bought: Steve Smith, Vishnu Vinod, Ripal Patel, Tom Curran, Umesh Yadav, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddharth, Sam Billings
Now, think about it, they have Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, and of course Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma, so adding Steve Smith was a natural decision, right? Ya, that’s where it gets confusing, in a franchise, where they lack power-hitters, at least from the last season, why would you get Smith? But barring that bizarre move, they got in Umesh Yadav for just 1 crore and that combined with Lukman Meriwala and M Siddharth, they have it pretty much covered.
To top it all, they got Tom Curran, another all-rounder, hats off, forget that, scratch that, they got Sam Billings, you don’t really know, Biiiii Biii Billings!
Kolkata Knight Riders
If you think Delhi had a meh time, Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t want them to be lonely, with the buy of Shakib Al Hasan. Now he is indeed a two-time IPL champion, he is indeed a great all-rounder, World’s No.2 T20I all-rounder but that accounts for nothing. He hasn’t played a lot in the last year, owing to his ban and when he was back, he played against a second-string side in West Indies. More importantly, if you really look into it, they don’t need another all-rounder, a left-handed batsman when they have three in Narine, Morgan, and Rana, why would you need another leftie and that too in a season where Bangladesh players’ availability is in doubt. Where are the openers KKR? Sheldon Jackson, good buy but he doesn’t open as well!
Then they surprised em’ all, with Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, and Harbhajan Singh. All I can say is that Ben Cutting looks like a legendary buy, thanks KKR for being with us during meme-times.
Players bought: Dawid Malan, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh
Well, every franchisee is on something, aren’t they? While Chennai Super Kings were munching their own mixture, Punjab were munching brains and crashing them into a mixture grinder, with Dawid Malan’s buy. But just as I say this, utter a nonsense statement, they get crazy buys, to redeem themselves. Shahrukh Khan in a middle-order that had no finisher is a great move and not getting two foreign players to do that role this time around, might just work! Now that’s not it all, they got experience in the form of Moises Henriques, another hit. The best piece of business, Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith - easily Australia’s future bowling attack with the white-ball, KXIP, oh had to do it, Punjab Kings got themselves covered!
Oh, chuck that out, they got Fabian Allen and Jalaj Saxena, two great options with the ball and great hitters with the bat. All base covered, now time for a trophy?
Players bought: Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Arjun Tendulkar, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen
Unlike other teams, Mumbai were pretty clear with what they wanted, after leaving a ton of foreign players from their successful year, last time around. The re-purchase of Nathan Coulter-Nile made sense but more impressive was their purchase of Adam Milne, someone who can effortlessly fill in for James Pattinson, with his pace and also his ability to change pace. But are they top-tier? Are they great, no but they do the job, just enough! They even got Piyush Chawla but in all, it was shocking for them to not get the best of players.
Then, they dropped the truth bomb, by getting James Neesham and Arjun Tendulkar, two all-rounders. While Marco Jansen is a great prospect, he certainly won’t be an IPL cut, yet!
Players bought: Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
As much as I would have wanted them to be a hit, they have it a bit perplexing. Remember they let go of their skipper Steve Smith, which leaves a lot of gap in the middle-order. Now if they are looking to fill in that gap with Shivam Dube and Chris Morris, you know what it reads? TERRIBLE! Also, what’s the thing about having three left-arm pacers, who am I kidding? Chetan Sakariya is a great buy and then they even got Akash Singh back, looks like a good left-arm seamer party? Don’t forget KC Cariappa, who hasn’t got it figured out in the last few years. But in all, it was disappointing, with a big hole in the middle, bottom order for the franchise.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Players bought: Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, KS Bharat, Suyash Prabhudesai
When it comes to RCB, they always mess up something or the other but ever since Mike Hesson has come on board, they were supposed to be better. But where do I start making sense of these signings, is there a university somewhere already for a course on RCB? Glenn Maxwell is a perfect buy and if you double that with Kyle Jamieson, they have two all-rounders, who are of the best level but is that what they were missing? With Dan Christian, two becomes three. Where is a death-bowling option though? That’s something that they really wanted, damn sad, they didn’t get one. Kane Richardson would be a sad man, knowing that he has to defend totals with Navdeep Saini. But getting three world-class all-rounders is a great prospect, so that is somewhere hanging between hit and miss.
VERDICT: SOMEWHERE HANGING BETWEEN HIT AND MISS
Players bought: Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedhar Jadhav, Mujeeb ur Rahman
What do I say about SRH? It was evident that they were going to be spectators in the Auction. They did try to get a few players here and there but mostly were outbid by the opposition teams. But they did get Jagadeesha Suchith, who is an exceptional player, great with the ball and the bat, not to forget in the field. But nothing impressive, so meh! They already have two Afghans in the team, making it three, with Mujeeb ur Rahman. But if you really think about it, having Kedhar Jadhav in the squad is, err, something embedded in Chennai culture?