Ever since the eight franchises released their respective lists of retained players, speculations for the auctions were rife, and the two-day event didn’t disappoint. There were numerous bidding wars, some for the star players and some for the unknown ones. Some big names remained unsold while some obscure ones fetched big bucks.
Expectedly, Ben Stokes was the most expensive player in the auction and unexpectedly, Jaydev Unadkat came out as the most expensive Indian. Gambhir going back to Delhi, Yuvraj to Punjab and Faf and Bravo to Chennai were the highlights of the event.
Now that every team has their squads set-up, let us analyse their performance in the equation and whether they were successful in building up a good squad over the course of two days.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS:
The Knight Riders had gone into the auction with Sunil Narine and Andre Russell already in the kitty. Though their reluctance to sign Gambhir up once again was a surprise, a move for Chris Lynn was certainly expected and they did ultimately buy him.
They followed it up with another expensive buy, Mitchell Starc. Early in the auction KKR had their overseas quota set and they just had to focus on the Indian guns and back-ups.
However, despite spending everything they had in the purse, Knight Riders haven’t managed to build up a formidable side. They don’t have much experience in the side and their no outright choice for captaincy.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS:
The IPL giants went into the auction with the aim of buying back most of their players and they did succeed in it. They look a good side again with a nice bunch of experienced as well as young players.
They comprise of maestros in all areas apart from the pace attack which looks relatively young. But then they have this world-class captain who can bring the best out of anyone.
And because they will be playing majority of their matches in Chennai, they have assembled a formidable spin attack. Let us see if they would be able to replicate their goods of the past.
Rajasthan Royals bought two of the most expensive players in the auction, Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat. They even went on to bag both DÁrcy Short and Jofra Archer, two of the hottest overseas uncapped properties.
However, as far as the Indian players are concerned, they don’t have a name big enough to create fear in the opposition’s dug.
However their batting looks settled with many experienced players in the side, their bowling attack doesn’t has that edge and this might hurt them in big matches.
Hyderabad got their job done without much of a fuss in the auction. They used their RTMs on the usual suspects and made Manish Pandey their most expensive buy.
Their side is however short of someone who can finish the games for them in tricky situations. While Yusuf Pathan is no more the batsman he used to be, going for Carlos Brathwaite would make them lose an important overseas spot.
SRHs strong Indian pace line-up is definitely one of their strongest point and may make an important impact in winning them matches.
KINGS XI PUNJAB:
Kings XI looks a formidable side on papers right from the top of the order to the bottom, they have a world class player on almost all of the positions. However, one blunder they created is that they don’t have a wicket-keeper good enough to play every match and so they would have to rely on KL Rahul for those duties.
Moreover, there are questions if Yuvraj Singh can carry the team’s responsibility on his shoulders and if there are any replacements.
Overall, the side looks fairly balanced, however, they would want their experienced bunch to keep things tight as the squad doesn’t have good players to replace them.
The Daredevils from Delhi have built quite a good team. They have a very talented batting attack and with match winners at every position and a bowling attack which is feared by the world. However, apart from Morris they don’t have a game changing all rounder.
Thus, it can easily be said that their squad is easily on of the best and might as well challenge for the title this summer.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
For the first time in history, they have been able to make a balanced squad for the captain. They have the strongest bench strength of all the eight franchises.
In McCullum, Vohra, Patel and De Kock they have a good and variant choice to select openers. There is also a good middle lower order batting attack to finish the game after Kohli and De Villiers are done.
From the bowling point of view, Chahal, Umesh, Coulter Nile, Southee and Siraj are more than capable of bowling the opposition out.
MI have managed to maintain the core of the team which helped them to claim the title last year. They have also revamped their pace attack with the addition of Mustafizur and Cummins.
With a relatively good opening pair and a deep middle order batting line-up they can turn any match to themselves. To complement this, they have big hitters like Pandya, Rohit and Pollard on the small boundaries of Wankhede. The only downside of their team is the lack of an experienced spinner.