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HomesportscricketWhen gloves make way for gavels

When gloves make way for gavels

Bengaluru: It’s that time of the year when cricketers turn spectators, watching all the action unfold with bated breath as franchises tussle against each other in the IPL players’ auction. Unlike the mega auction where franchises have to build from scratch, the mini auction is muted in comparison but there still can be some high octane action as teams look to fill the missing pieces.

In all 333 players are set to go under the hammer in Dubai but franchises can fill only a maximum of 77 with 30 of them being for overseas players. DH takes a look at what each team could be eyeing in the auction.

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE

RCB, still seeking their maiden IPL title, will be gunning to fix three major holes — a fast bowler who can be destructive at the start and death, a spinner with the ability to rein in the opposition in the middle overs and a finisher who can add weight to a decent batting line-up. Gerald Coetzee, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are some options available in the fast bowlers’ category while going back to Wanindu Hasaranga or Tabraiz Shamsi — both former RCB players — may not be bad option in the spinners’ category. It’ll be interesting to see if RCB retain pacer Harshal Patel who is slowly regaining his mojo again. Tamil Nadu cricketer Shahrukh Khan as a finisher is worth a try given the compact nature of Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Available cap: Rs 23.25 cr; Available slots: 6; Available overseas slots: 3

Squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Rajat Patidar, Virat Kohli, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash S Prabhudesai, Will Jacks, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Cameron Green, Mayank Dagar, Manoj Bhandage, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Rajan Kumar.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

The defending champions have most bases covered but still have Rs 31.4 crore available which they probably will be looking to splurge on a world-class all-rounder following Ben Stokes’ unavailability for next season. Chris Woakes, a solid batter lower down the order and good fast bowler, could be in CSK’s radar but knowing how cunningly smart the franchise operates, they may just train their guns on a Shardul Thakur or Harshal Patel. CSK also may need a finisher given skipper MS Dhoni’s advancing age and diminishing brutality. They will be eyeing for a solid Indian middle-order batter and Karnataka’s Manish Pandey could be an ideal fit for them.

Available cap: Rs 31.4 cr; Available slots: 6; Available overseas slots: 3

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Nishant Sindhu, Ajay Mandal, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Deepak Chahar, Maheesh Theekshana, Mukesh Choudhary, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh, Tushar Deshpande, Matheesha Pathirana.

DELHI CAPITALS

Given the fact that their skipper Rishabh Pant is still recovering from the horrific road accident he suffered nearly a year ago and uncertainty looming over his availability, Delhi Capitals will be seriously looking for a wicket-keeper batter as an ideal back-up. There are plenty of options available in the Indian category but if they wish to go for a foreign back-up, then Sam Billings could be the right asset. DC, one of the most underperforming franchises, will be looking to pick a strong finisher and a strong Indian middle-order batter who can raise the tempo when required. A strong Indian fast bowler is also a requirement for them.

Available cap: Rs 28.95 cr; Available slots: 9; Available overseas slots: 4

Squad: Rishabh Pant (capt), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Abishek Porel, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Vicky Ostwal, Anrich Nortje, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Khaleel Ahmed, Ishant Sharma, Mukesh Kumar.

GUJARAT TITANS

With skipper Hardik Pandya migrating back to his ‘home’ Mumbai Indians, it’s very evident what the former champions need — a star all-rounder who can do what the Baroda man did. Given that there aren’t many options available of Pandya’s quality in Indians available for purchase, GT may just splurge on a foreigner although they can buy only 2 overseas players. Pandya’s exodus has also weakened their bowling considerably which means they will have to rope in a couple of pacers to add strength to the attack. An Indian back-up for Wriddhiman Saha may also be on their mind although Australian Matthew Wade can do that job.

Available cap: Rs 38.15 cr; Available slots: 8; Available overseas slots: 2

Squad: Shubman Gill (capt), David Miller, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Abhinav Manohar, B Sai Sudharshan, Darshan Nalkande, Vijay Shankar, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Mohammad Shami, Noor Ahmad, Sai Kishore, Rashid Khan, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma.

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS

The table of KKR is where a lot of action could unfold considering they have 12 slots to fill — the most by a franchise this auction. This automatically means literally every major department needs reinforcement but major areas of concerns are lack of genuine fast bowlers, a solid middle-order batter and a strong wicket-keeper batter. Since they have money to spend, they may splurge big on the pacers and then procure a home wicketkeeper which will help balance the books. They will also targeting some back-ups for first-choice players.

Available cap: Rs 32.7 cr; Available slots: 12; Available overseas slots: 4

Squad: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Rahmullah Gurbaz, Jason Roy, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Suyash Sharma, Harshit Rana, Sunil Narine, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy.

LUCKNOW SUPER GIANTS

LSK, like CSK, actually have a near complete squad. One area where they’ll be looking to strengthen is fast bowling but the problem could be the lack of a strong purse to go all out. So they may just settle for a domestic talent or even try buying an Indian pace-bowling all-rounder like Shardul Thakur which will bolster the squad. They many even try going after Harshal Patel, a wicket-taking pacer that could provide them the much-needed cutting edge.

Available cap: Rs 13.15 cr; Available slots: 6; Available overseas slots: 2

Squad: KL Rahul (capt), Devdutt Padikkal, Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis, Prerak Mankad, Yudhvir Singh, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Yash Thakur, Amit Mishra, Naveen Ul Haq.

MUMBAI INDIANS

Although Mumbai Indians were once the most expensive franchise and are joint most successful team with five titles, they are one of the most prudent buyers. The scouting team is fabulous in identifying hidden gems and the management picks them at bargain prices, mixes them with a bunch of superstar players to achieve maximum success. Having already made the big move to buy Hardik Pandya and a core sorted, they’ll go big for a seasoned pacer who could be the ideal partner for ace Jasprit Bumrah. In all probability they’ve figured who they want and expect them to go big for a pacer.

Available cap: Rs 17.75 cr; Available slots: 8; Available overseas slots: 4

Squad: Hardik Pandya (capt), Rohit Sharma, Dewald Brevis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, N Tilak Varma, Tim David, Vishnu Vinod, Arjun Tendulkar, Romario Shephard, Shams Mulani, Nehal Wadhera, Jasprit Bumrah, Kumar Kartikeya Singh, Piyush Chawla, Akash Madhwal, Jason Behrendorff.

PUNJAB KINGS

A proven finisher and a seasoned fast bowler to accompany the deadly Kagiso Rabada would be high priority for another franchise who have been part of the IPL from the start but are yet to taste glory. Considering they have good money in the bank, they may just loosen the purse strings for those two and use up the remaining for fill-ins. They may also want an top-order batter considering they appear somewhat weak in that department too.

Available cap: Rs 29.15 cr; Available slots: 8; Available overseas slots: 2

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Jitesh Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Liam Livingstone, Harpreet Bhatia, Atharva Taide, Rishi Dhawan, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Shivam Singh, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar, Vidwanth Kaverappa, Harpreet Bhatia.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS

The Royals too look more or less settled. They, however, will be on the look out for a finisher, probably a fast bowling all-rounder type, or just go in for a genuine foreign pacer as a back up Trent Boult because they have enough Indian talents of the same.

Available cap: Rs 14.15 cr; Available slots: 8; Available overseas slots: 3

Squad: Sanju Samson (capt), Jos Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Yashavi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Kunal Rathore, Donovan Ferreira, R Ashwin, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Sen, Navdeep Saini, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Sharma, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa.

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD

Possessing the second largest purse after Gujarat Titans, Sunrisers Hyderabad will be involved in a fair bit of buying. Top of their list will be solid top-order batter and a strong finisher. If SRH can get those two right, they have a potent look to themselves. SRH may also be gunning for a wrist-spinner considering they have two of finger type in their squad.

Available cap: Rs 34 cr; Available slots: 6; Available overseas slots: 3

Squad: Aiden Markram (capt), Abdul Samad, Rahul Tripathi, Glenn Phillips, Mayank Agarwal, Heinrich Klaasen, Anmolpreet Singh, Upendra Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen, Washington Sundar, Sanvir Singh, Shahbaz Ahmad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, T Natarajan, Umran Malik, Mayank Markande.

(Published 19 December 2023, 00:50 IST)

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