Purse entered: INR 48 crore
Purse left: INR 0.10 crore
Biggest buys: Ishan Kishan (INR 15.25 crore), Tim David (INR 8.25 crore), Jofra Archer (INR 8 crore)
No team raised more eyebrows and created more intrigue over the two auction days than Mumbai Indians. Entering the auction with an INR 48-crore purse, Mumbai entered Sunday with the second-biggest remaining purse of roughly 28 crores. Their biggest buy, Ishan Kishan on the first day, would end up as the most expensive buy of the auction and the second-highest bid for an Indian player at an IPL auction. But otherwise Mumbai were mostly bystanders for the remainder of the first day. That strategy lasted through the early part of Sunday until the accelerated lot began, when Mumbai quickly stacked their squad, making some of their biggest purchases. Their bids were fierce and rivals lost the gumption to fight Mumbai’s strong purse as they first landed Jofra Archer and then Tim David. David, the free agent from Singapore, became Mumbai’s biggest overseas buy in an auction. They then picked up the fast-bowling pair of Daniel Sams and Tymal Mills, and Mumbai’s first XI, which had looked distant at one point, was instantly ready.
Weak point: Quinton de Kock up front and the power-hitting Pandya brothers in the lower middle order were three of Mumbai’s biggest match-winners in the previous four-year cycle. Mumbai might not have managed to fully replace them despite the acquisitions of Tim David and Fabian Allen. Also absent is an top-quality Indian spinner.
Chennai Super Kings
Purse entered: INR 48 crore
Purse left: INR 2.95 crore
Biggest buys Deepak Chahar (14 crore), Ambati Rayudu (6.75 crore)
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings have stuck to their template of buying back their core and haven’t made much of a change from the combination that worked for them in a largely successful 2018-21 cycle.
While they could not buy back every player they wanted from last season, they managed to pick up skilled players to ensure their combination would not be affected. Devon Conway is set to play the role of Faf Du Plessis, Shivam Dube could be a more batting-oriented version of Shardul Thakur, and Adam Milne a pacier replacement for Josh Hazlewood. Super Kings did not shell out too much money on these replacement picks, and found back-ups for each of the above slots too. Overall, in a ten-team IPL where a few teams were struggling to make their ideal first XI, CSK would have walked out of the auction as one of the happier teams.
Weak point: CSK may possibly have fancied a more established overseas opener.
Lucknow Super Giants
Purse entered: INR 59.80 crore
Purse left: INR 0 crore
Biggest buys: Avesh Khan (INR 10 crore), Jason Holder (INR 8.75 crore)
Lucknow Super Giants came to the auction looking like one of the best-prepared franchises and were the only one to exhaust their purse. Overall, they seem to have all bases covered, including six international allrounders. In their first choice XI, KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock will open, Marcus Stoinis and Krunal Pandya will occupy the middle order, and Mark Wood and Avesh will lead the pace attack. Like their coach Andy Flower said, they wanted “attacking options, that’s the sort of cricket we want to play.”
Weak point: There is no glaring weak point, but their spin attack could have done with a more experienced name.
Purse entered: INR 47.5 crore
Purse left: INR 0.10 crore
Biggest buys Shardul Thakur (INR 10.75 crore), Mitchell Marsh (INR 6.5 crore)
Delhi Capitals were busy throughout as they were keen to get back their core. They bid for Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin and Kagiso Rabada, but failed to get either of them back due to their constrained purse. The loss of Dhawan will not affect them so much as they acquired David Warner at a bargain price (INR 6.25 crore). Despite the absence of Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer, Capitals still have one of the best top fours in the tournament. They also have plenty of bowling options to choose from, with three left-arm quicks in Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman. If they can get their balance and choice of first XI right, Capitals should be a force to reckon with.
Weak point: Another overseas fast bowler could have helped, keeping in mind that Anrich Nortje is still recovering from a hip injury and has not played since the T20 World Cup.
Purse entered: INR 72 crore
Purse left: INR 3.45 crore
Biggest buys: Liam Livingstone (INR 11.5 crore), Kagiso Rabada (INR 9.25 crore), Shahrukh Khan (INR 9 crore)
Ridiculed for long for failing at auctions or overspending on the wrong players, Punjab Kings were among the top performers this time around. Few franchises can match their abundance of power hitters or their batting depth. Shikhar Dhawan’s presence in the top order compensates for the loss of KL Rahul, Punjab’s captain and most prolific batter over the last few seasons. Dhawan will not only open but also rank as a strong contender for captaincy along with Mayank Agarwal. In Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone, Punjab have two of most dangerous hitters of the ball against all types of bowling in the top and middle order. If that is not enough, the uncapped Indian allrounder Shah Rukh Khan and West Indies bowling allrounder Odean Smith bookend a lower middle order that also contains the uncapped spin-bowling allrounder Harpreet Brar. Kagiso Rabada will lead a bowling attack that includes Smith and left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh and possibly Raj Bawa, who was one of the leading fast bowlers at the recent Under-19 World Cup. It would have been an easy distraction to have the biggest purse going into the auction, but Punjab remained focused to compile a balanced squad, on paper at least.
Weak point: Punjab might have possibly wanted another Indian option for their middle order.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Purse entered: INR 48 crore
Purse left: INR 0.45 crore
Biggest buys: Shreyas Iyer (INR 12.25 crore), Nitish Rana (INR 8 crore)
Kolkata Knight Riders entered the auction having retained four of their match-winners from last season: Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. On the first day of the auction, they bought back Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins and Shivam Mavi in an attempt to retain their core. They might also have found a potential captain in the India batter Shreyas Iyer, who was the third-most expensive buy of the auction. But those purchases left Knight Riders without a big chunk of their purse. They were mostly quiet through the first half of day two, but later picked Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav to fill some holes in their squad.
Weak point: While Ajinkya Rahane lends experience and could be part of KKR”s leadership group, can he bat aggressively, a requirement if he opens? Alex Hales is possibly their best opener on paper, but it might be tricky to fit him into their XI.
Purse entered: INR 62 crore
Purse left: INR 0.95 crore
Biggest buys: Prasidh Krishna (INR 10 crore), Shimron Hetmyer (INR 8.5 crore)
Rajasthan Royals retained Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal – all three batters. On the first day of the auction, they bagged R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal for a combined INR 11.5 crore. Add Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna to that and they have a potent bowling unit. By the end of the first day, they had most of their first-choice XI in place. But on day two, they went into hibernation and had only four overseas players on their roster before the last round. A late dash then saw them pick up Rassie van der Dussen, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Daryl Mitchell.
Weak point: The opening pair of Devdutt Padikkal and Yashasvi Jaiswal lacks experience. Also, both are left-handers, which oppositions can exploit, unless Jos Buttler opens and pushes one of them into the middle order. Another issue could be their lower middle order. If they go with Nathan Coulter-Nile in their XI, they appear a batter short. If they opt for James Neesham, their death bowling could become a weak point.
Purse entered: INR 68 crore
Purse left: INR 0.10 crore
Biggest buys: Nicholas Pooran (INR 10.75 crore), Washington Sundar (INR 8.75 crore), Rahul Tripathi (INR 8.5 crore)
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s emphasis on investing in bowlers at auctions may have left them with a familiar weakness once again: a lack of big names in the batting order. Kane Williamson, nominated as captain, has been fighting a troublesome elbow so they could have done with another experienced international batter. Luckily in the bowling department, they have got their core back: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik and T Natarajan, and they have added Kartik Tyagi and Sean Abbott apart from allrounders Marco Jansen and Romario Shepherd.
Weak point: If Williamson is unavailable for even a single game, SRH will have a big void in their top three. They also lack a top-quality spinner – Indian or overseas – so they will have to manage with Washington Sundar, Shreyas Gopal, and a few overs from their part-timers.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Purse entered: INR 57 crore
Purse left: INR 1.55 crore
Biggest buys: Harshal Patel (INR 10.75 crore), Wanindu Hasaranga (INR 10.75 crore) Josh Hazlewood (INR 7.75 crore)
Royal Challengers Bangalore retained a solid core in Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj. They added some particularly strong options, especially on the bowling front, during the auction. They’ve got Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood and Wanindu Hasaranga as likely starters, but also the likes of Jason Behrendorff and David Willey as back-ups. They bid INR 7 crore for Faf du Plessis, which may have been a tad higher than expected. But du Plessis does add value – as a potential captaincy candidate respected by all, an outstanding fielder, and a batter who can be banked on. What du Plessis’ addition does though, is give Royal Challengers two batters of the same type at the top in him and Kohli – unless they go the wildcard route and decide to pair up the exciting but untested Anuj Rawat up top with du Plessis. They also have some depth in batting courtesy a number of bowlers who can bat, and the combination of that, the solidity of du Plessis, and the potentially unburdening effect of giving up the captaincy could produce a more free-stroking version of Kohli.
Weak point: The middle order is a bit raw, with two of the spots potentially occupied by Rawat and one of Mahipal Lomror or Luvnith Sisodia. That leaves Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik with slightly greater responsibility.
Purse entered: INR 52 crore
Purse left: INR 0.15 crore
Biggest buys: Lockie Ferguson (INR 10 crore), Rahul Tewatia (INR 9 crore) Mohammed Shami (INR 6.25 crore)
Despite having a trio of matchwinners in Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill, a core that was at par with those of Mumbai or Super Kings, Gujarat Titans faltered at the auction. It wasn’t until the end of Day 2, for example, that they picked a wicketkeeper. Eventually they managed to acquire both Matthew Wade and Wriddhiman Saha, but their squad construction was strange. They splurged heavily on Rahul Tewatia, who starred in one of the most memorable IPL matches in history but hasn’t done all that much either side of that with either bat or ball. Luckily their initial bids were worthy: Jason Roy was picked at base price, and although Lockie Ferguson was an expensive purchase, he has shown he can rattle batting orders with his pace. The big question for Titans is whether Vijay Shankar and the uncapped Abhinav Manohar can work with the top order and create a platform for Hardik.
Weak point: The inexperience in the batting. They could shuffle someone like Matthew Wade higher up the order, but that means they could also find themselves in deep trouble if a clutch of early wickets fall. If Hardik can’t bowl, the fifth bowler’s quota could also be a potential sore spot.
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