3 surprising picks in the IPL 2020 auction
This year, the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction was held in Kolkata and 332 players went under the hammer as teams vied to arrive at a settled combination. In total, there were 62 spots filled up amongst the 8 teams. With the majority of the teams choosing to retain their core players, franchisees had to formulate an effective strategy in order to pick the remaining players. Ultimately, they needed to have the right balance in their squad.
While there were many smart buys like James Neesham (Kings XI Punjab), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals) and Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians), there were also some surprising decisions made by the teams. On that note, let us look at 3 such surprising picks in this year's auction.
#3 Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals INR 7.75 crores)
With the Delhi Capitals already having established Indian batting stalwarts like Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, skipper Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, it was a surprising decision to pick Shimron Hetmyer at such a huge price. There is no question about his talent and hitting ability.
Delhi's top-4 batsmen are likely to be Indian players (Rahane, Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant). If Hetmyer is asked to bat at number five, then there are chances that he would be underutilised. Apart from him, Capitals also bought swashbuckling England opener, Jason Roy. They could have given some thought about picking an extra pacer who could be handy at the death overs. Right now, they have only Kagiso Rabada and Keemo Paul who are capable of bowling during the death overs. The management would be hoping that this decision does not backfire them.
#2 Pravin Tambe (Kolkata Knight Riders INR 20 Lacs)
It is often said that T20 is a youngster’s format. But Pravin Tambe has certainly proved them wrong. After making his IPL debut at 41, Tambe has made giant strides by picking wickets at regular intervals and breaking crucial partnerships. However, he has played his last game in the year 2016 for Gujarat Lions against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Currently aged 48, no one would have expected that Tambe would be picked by someone. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) snapped him up for a base price of INR 20 lacs. It would be exciting to see if the veteran leggie will get any chance to play in the star-studded KKR side.
#1 Piyush Chawla (Chennai Super Kings INR 6.75 crores)
Piyush Chawla has been a veteran in the IPL with over 150 wickets. However, the Chennai Super Kings picked him up for Rs 6.75 crore in this auction. Chawla expressed his excitement and happiness in joining the CSK outfit. But the move seems to be astounding because Chennai already has a truckload of players. With the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma, and Imran Tahir already part of the squad, it was not a wise decision to add an additional spinner in the squad. In fact, last season Karn Sharma played a solitary game for CSK and the team has spent Rs 5 crores on him.
Though the leggie might be smiling, there is certainly doubt about his place in the XI. Coach Stephen Fleming mentioned in the press conference that Chawla and Dhoni have a great rapport with each other. In fact, he was part of the victorious Indian team in the 2007 inaugural ICC World T20 as well as the 50-over World Cup winning team in 2011.
Published 20 Dec 2019, 19:28 IST