IPL 2020: Winners and losers from the auction
The IPL 2020 Auction that concluded on the 19th December in Kolkata consisted of 997 registered players out of which 332 were shortlisted by 8 IPL franchises comprising of 186 Indian players, 143 overseas players and 3 players from associate nations. Of this list of cricketers, 62 were sold for a combined total of Rs.140.3 crore.
With such a large outlay of money on professional cricketers, there are bound to be some major success stories as well as failures and disappointments. Not all investments always work out. But today we are going to look at which teams turned out to be shrewd buyers and dealt their hands quite nicely in the auction and which teams seemed to have bamboozled everyone with their selections and the amount of money they spent on their respective purchases.
Delhi Capitals pulled off 2 of the biggest coups before the auction even started by acquiring experienced Indian cricketers in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahne from the Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals respectively. These are 2 current Indian internationals who have not only shone throughout their time in the IPL but have also captained their former franchises to reasonable levels of success.
Also see – Ranji points table
Not to mention that Delhi Capitals now have a top 5 batting order comprising 5 Indians namely, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. The additions of Jason Roy (INR 1.50 crore), Chris Woakes(INR 1.50 crore), Shimron Hetmyer (INR 7.75 crore), and Marcus Stoinis (INR 4.80 crore) for a combined total of just INR 15.55 crore seems like a bargain when you take a look at the names on that list. It shows that they are also looking to get together a strong foreign contingent by adding to the likes of Kagiso Rabado, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Keemo Paul.
Apart from retaining key players from a championship-winning squad, Mumbai Indians did some enviable business in the off-season by signing Trent Boult from Delhi Capitals, who would not only add experience to the already-stocked up bowling unit of the Mumbai Indians but also provide a quite worthy alternative to Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga, who are fan favourites but are slowly succumbing to age and the wear and tear of fast bowling.
Buying Chris Lynn at a base price of INR 2 crore could turn out to be the bargain of the auction. The opening batsman from Queensland, Australia is seen by some as a ‘risky-buy’ due to his inconsistent form during his 5-year stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders, coupled with frequent shoulder problems. But he is undoubtedly an outright match-winner on his day, and match winners are hard to come by, so at INR 2 crore, this seems like an absolute no-brainer.
MI's biggest buy from the auction was Nathan Coulter-Nile for INR 8 crore. It does seem like too much for an Australian who has never really been able to cement his place in any IPL franchise he has represented, but with Hardik Pandya on the road to recovery from a long injury layoff, it wouldn’t hurt to have an adequate back-up option.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders had by far the biggest outlay of cash amongst all the IPL franchises. INR 15.50 crore for Pat Cummins may seem like a bit too much but the Australian quick is coming off a stellar 2 years at the international level and is currently the No.1 ranked bowler in Test cricket, hence he may just be the signing they need to fetch them that elusive 3rd title. Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi, and Tom Banton will add some much-needed firepower to a batting line up that has lost the likes of Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa, who were proven run-getters in this competition.
The signing of Varun Chakravarthy for INR 4 crore seems to be the riskiest move since he has not played professional cricket since he sustained a shoulder injury while on duty with the Kings XI Punjab, where he failed to live up to the hype. Chris Green seems to be a canny buy since he is an experienced T20 cricketer who has played in leagues all over the world and is an asset for any team.
The loss of Ajinkya Rahane to the Delhi Capitals in the trade window seemed to be one that could hurt Rajasthan Royals in the long run but the acquisition of Robin Uthappa, a proven run-getter in IPL cricket for a fee of INR 3 crore seems to be a smart signing seeing as they need a suitable replacement for the aforementioned Indian Test batsman.
RR have also significantly boosted their bowling line up by adding experienced internationals in the form of Tom Curran and Andrew Tye for a measly INR 2 crore combined. The signing that could prove to be a game-changer for the Royals could be David Miller, who on his day can tear any bowling line up apart, but of late has been woefully inconsistent, which would explain why they were able to snap him up for a meagre fee of INR 75 lakh. Yashasvi Jaiswal could also be a rabbit pulled out of a hat since he has had an astonishing domestic campaign over the last year and at the tender age of 18, could be viewed as one for the future.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab didn’t seem to have any qualms about raising their paddle on players they felt they needed. This was seen when the spent a massive INR 21.25 crore on Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell who both in their own rights can define the season of their teams with their on-field displays. Are they worthy of such high investments? Their enormous fees suggest that other teams were also willing to pay such high amounts for their services.
KXIP desperately needed to boost their bowling line up and they have done so with the additions of experienced internationals like Chris Jordan and Karnataka all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham who should prove to be an adequate replacement for Ravichandran Ashwin who was traded to the Delhi Capitals. The team coached by Anil Kumble has also placed importance on acquiring young Indian talents such as Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Hooda.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore has always seemed to be the loser of the IPL auction. They always seem to miss out on players who would give them exactly what they need and settle for domestic alternatives who might have potential but do not have the experience to deal with the small boundaries and flat wickets of the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
This year they decided to turn a leaf as seen with the acquisitions of Chris Morris for INR 10.75 crore and Kane Richardson for INR 4 crore. Both quicks from South Africa and Australia respectively represent signings who have years of experience and would complement the Bangalore team's contingent of Indian fast bowlers (Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj).
Most importantly, RCB has added Aaron Finch. The destructive Aussie opener would help take some of the burden off of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings made some questionable decisions at the auction table. Piyush Chawla for INR 6.75 crore? Sam Curran for INR 5.50 crore or Josh Hazelwood for INR 2 crore? All of these buys seem either way more than the going rate for these players, as in the case of Sam Curran or completely unrequired as in the case of Piyush Chawla and Josh Hazelwood. They now seem to have at least 6 on-field players who can field at Fine Leg and Third Man.
They already have well-accomplished leg spinners in the form of Imran Tahir and Karn Sharma, so there was no need to buy another leg spinner, whilst also having Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner in their roster. Of all the teams Josh Hazelwood would have wanted to be a part of in IPL 2020, CSK would have been at the bottom of that list. Just imagine a 6 foot 5 quick from Sydney steaming in and bowling off cutters on an absolutely dead Chennai wicket. Sam Curran seems to be a good fit for the Kings since his style of bowling will suit the wickets that they will be playing on at their home venue, but were there any cheaper options out there? Such as Mustafizur Rahman, who surprisingly went unsold in this year's auction. But Sam Curran does add a lot of depth and value to the batting line up.
To an outsider, it seemed as though the Sunrisers Hyderabad attended the auction only because there was a table reserved under their name. By the end of the auction, they ended up spending only INR 6.90 crore out of the INR 17 crore that they had in the bank. Are they so confident with the squad they already possess? Their biggest buy was Mitchell Marsh for his base price of INR 2 crore. But Mitchell Marsh, unfortunately, brings a lot of question marks along with him, so he is not a marquee signing. The rest of the buys seem like they had been made just to make up the numbers in the squad apart from the signing of Priyam Garg who will captain the India U-19 team in the upcoming Under -19 World Cup. He seems like an investment for the future and could learn a lot from David Warner and Kane Williamson.
As usual, the IPL auction came with its fair share of surprises and drama, but it all adds to the spectacle that is this world-renowned T20 competition. Teams have been learning every year, but some seem to be making the same mistakes or taking the same risks and it is intriguing to see whether these work out.Published 24 Dec 2019, 21:50 IST