IPL 2017: Squad strengths, weakness and prediction
IPL 2017, the 10th edition of the tournament, will begin on 5 April, 2017.
The IPL 2017 auction is out of the way and as expected players from England as well as the uncapped stars from the Indian domestic circuit were in high demand. What was heartening to see was that the franchises showed their interest in three players from associate nations too, with the noteworthy pick being 18-year old Rashid Khan from Afghanistan, who went for a whopping INR 4 Crore.
Players who had performed well in the Indian domestic season including the likes of Aniket Choudhary, Ishank Jaggi, Ankit Bawne, and Mohammed Siraj deservedly got a look in. The talent scouts from the IPL franchises also had their eyes on players like T Natarajan and M Ashwin, who had performed well in the TNPL.
Now that the auction is done, it is a good time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of all eight IPL squads.
The IPL 2016 champions made some smart buys in the auction with the most expensive being young Rashid Khan from Afghanistan and his team mate Mohammad Nabi, being a smart pick at the base price of INR 30 lakhs. The Sunrisers have a settled pace bowling line-up, hence they targeted a couple of spinners to add variety and succeeded in grabbing a few.
Strengths: A strong bowling line up, which was the key to SRH winning the title in 2016, has got more bite with the inclusion of spinners like Pravin Tambe, Rashid Khan and Nabi besides adding a death over specialist in Chris Jordan. SRH also have some useful seam bowling all-rounders in Moises Henriques, Ben Cutting and Ben Laughlin.
Weakness: Their batting line-up is top heavy with David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan followed by Kane Williamson (though it remains to be seen if he will get into the final XI) and Yuvraj Singh. The middle and lower middle order looks a little light on paper and this is where local talents like Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar, Tanmay Agarwal and the experienced Naman Ojha will have to come good and complement their bowlers.
Prediction: A place in the play-off.