The IPL 2023 mini auction is officially in the history books. The highly anticipated event took place in Kochi on Friday, December 23, where the ten IPL franchises shelled out a combined total of ₹167 crores to sign as many as 80 players of their choice for the upcoming IPL season.
The all-rounders received massive pay contracts, which was quite unsurprising. The acquisition of Sam Curran by his former team, the Punjab Kings (PBKS), for ₹18.50 crore made him the most expensive player in IPL history.
While the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) paid a record sum of ₹16.25 crore for England all-rounder Ben Stokes, the Mumbai Indians (MI) paid a staggering ₹17.50 crore for Australian batting all-rounder Cameron Green.
How does the batting attacks of all ten teams stack up after the IPL 2023 auction?
The IPL has been home to several world-class batters since its inception in 2008. It will be the same case in the upcoming season as well, where all ten franchises have a strong batting group consisting of some world-beaters on their roster.
On that note, we rank the batting units of all ten franchises for IPL 2023.
#10 Gujarat Titans - 7.5/10
Their consistent bowling attack paved the Gujarat Titans' (GT) way towards a remarkable IPL win in their maiden season earlier this year.
Once again, GT's bowling unit seems to be their biggest weapon, with their batting unit perhaps being the weakest among all franchises.
Gujarat bought Kane Williamson and Srikar Bharat, who are expected to bat in the top order and accompany Shubman Gill in the top three. This means that Hardik Pandya and David Miller will be burdened with consistently scoring runs at a brisk rate.
Both Pandya and Miller had outstanding IPL 2022 seasons, and the Gujarat-based franchise will need the pair to once again be at their best if they want to rack up 160 or more runs in most games.
While adding Odean Smith for just ₹50 lakh was a smart move, it remains to be seen how GT will make room for his inclusion in the starting XI.
#9 Royal Challengers Bangalore - 7.8/10
Once a franchise that had Virat Kohli at his peak alongside Universe boss Chris Gayle and the legendary AB de Villiers, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will not head into the IPL 2023 as the best batting unit.
While they will have a solid opening pair in skipper Faf du Plessis and Kohli, both have a combined age of 72. The middle order will revolve around youngster Rajat Patidar and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who is currently recovering from a serious leg injury.
However, in the finishing department, RCB will once again be too dependent on Dinesh Karthik. The 37-year-old had a stellar IPL 2022, but it will be interesting to see how he performs next season.
#8 Rajasthan Royals - 8/10
Similar to last season, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) lack depth in their batting department. While they have some great quality in their top order, Devdutt Padikkal proved to be a misfit in the middle order last season.
Buying Jason Holder for ₹5.75 crore was a shrewd move by RR. He will bridge the gap between their five specialist batters and bowlers. However, his T20 batting average of 15.98 and a strike rate of below 127 aren't ideal for a No. 6 or 7 batter in the IPL.
RR will require both Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson to have proficient seasons in the 16th edition of the marquee league.
#7 Kolkata Knight Riders - 8.1/10
KKR did the majority of their work in the trading window, spending a lot of the funds by bringing in Lockie Ferguson, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Shardul Thakur.
They added in-form Narayan Jagadeesan as another wicketkeeping option who can also provide combination flexibility should Gurbaz not live up to expectations. Bangladesh's Litton Das, too, bought for just ₹50 lac, can double up as a keeper and a top-order batter.
The Kolkata-based franchise also possesses a strong middle order consisting of Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, and Rinku Singh. They also added world traveler David Wiese as a back-up to Russell.
However, they appear to be short of batting backups, with Mandeep Singh being the only viable Indian option to bat in the middle order.
#6 Punjab Kings - 8.3/10
Punjab Kings (PBKS) hit the headlines after breaking the bank for Sam Curran with the highest ever IPL bid of ₹18.25 crore. However, given that their batting still significantly relies on their overseas batters to perform, it did nothing to enhance their overall balance.
With Harpreet Singh Bhatia being the sole selection from the auction for a potential fit, Punjab have not found a reliable enough replacement for Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order following his ouster from last year.
Despite this, PBKS still boasts some powerful hitters in their ranks, including Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Shahrukh Khan. With skipper Shikhar Dhawan playing as an anchor, all the big-hitters are expected to play around the southpaw and go hard from the word go.
#5 Lucknow Super Giants - 8.5/10
Despite paying a hefty sum of ₹16 crore, which can be a bit too much for Nicholas Pooran, it was a signing the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) really needed. They wanted a middle-order batter and a finisher, having released both Evin Lewis and Manish Pandey, so it's no wonder they went hard for Pooran.
This also makes LSG's top five a lethal faction, consisting of KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Deepak Hooda, Pooran, and Marcus Stoinis.
However, the finishing role will be worked by Krunal Pandya and Ayush Badoni, where LSG can fall behind. The other two lower-order options for LSG would be youngster Prerak Mankad and Australian all-rounder Daniel Sams.
#4 Delhi Capitals - 8.7/10
The Delhi Capitals boast a powerful top order that can win matches on its own. With a striking opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and David Warner, followed by Rilee Rossouw/ Mitchell Marsh and Rishabh Pant, the Delhi-based franchise have some serious strength in their top four.
As backups, they even possess Manish Pandey, who is an IPL stalwart, and Phil Salt, who himself is an attacking top-order dasher.
However, much like RR, Delhi too lacks resources in the lower-order and has the problem of a long tail. If Rovman Powell fails to perform, the franchise will have to be reliant on Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, and Axar Patel to provide the finishing touches in the death overs.
#3 Sunrisers Hyderabad - 8.8/10
The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) came into the IPL 2023 auction with the biggest purse of ₹42.25 crore and acquired every player they raised their paddle for barring Ben Stokes.
Firstly, they splashed ₹13.25 crore to purchase Harry Brook, who comes with a T20 strike rate of 148.48 in 99 games, and that too while batting in the middle order. SRH already had two brilliant overseas middle-order dashers in Aiden Markram and Glenn Phillips.
As far as their top order is concerned, the Orange Army sensibly picked Mayank Agarwal at ₹8.25 crore, who will partner Abhishek Sharma at the top. Flamboyant batter Rahul Tripathi will add value while batting at No. 3.
SRH also went big on Jammu & Kashmir's Vivrant Sharma, who comes in as a left-handed top-order batting backup. In Sanvir Singh, SRH have a hard-hitting all-rounder who recently smashed a 19-ball 55 for Punjab against Hyderabad in this year's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He has a T20 strike rate of 186.41.
It's worth noting that the franchise also have Abdul Samad and Washington Sundar, who could be lethal down the order.
#2 Chennai Super Kings - 9/10
A team with a plethora of choices and options available at their disposal, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be seen as one of the most explosive batting units in the upcoming tournament.
Where other IPL franchises are too dependent on their top order to fire, CSK's batting strength ascends as deep as No. 9 or even No. 10 if they play Kyle Jamieson instead of Maheesh Theekshana.
Firstly, Ruturaj Gaikwad will be a mainstay right at the top of CSK's batting order. Alongside Gaikwad, the franchise can go with Devon Conway or even Ben Stokes, who has the ability to bat anywhere in a 20-over game.
Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, and Shivam Dube will form an adept middle order before skipper MS Dhoni and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja take care of the finishing role.
As for the backups, the likes of Shaik Rasheed and Nishant Sindhu have joined Rajvardhan Hangargekar as the youngsters from the Indian U19 team to watch out for. Among the proven Indian signings, picking Ajinkya Rahane at his base price provides an experienced Indian backup for Ambati Rayudu, also allowing them to break a string of left-handers in the line-up.
#1 Mumbai Indians - 9.2/10
With a strong Indian core coupled with a bunch of hard-hitting overseas dashers, the Mumbai Indians (MI) will once again be a force to be reckoned with as far as their batting unit is concerned.
A star-studded batting lineup will see Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan take up the opening slots. The pair know each other well, and the chemistry between them can certainly set the tone for MI.
Following Rohit and Kishan, Mumbai also have the best T20 batter of recent times in Suryakumar Yadav, who enjoyed a superlative year with India, having scored 1164 runs at an immaculate strike rate of 187.4 across 31 T20I innings.
MI's middle order is stacked up by the inclusion of Australia's hot prodigy, Cameron Green, who was bought by the franchise for a windfall ₹16.25 crore. If Mumbai can find the right role for Green in the middle order, the prospect of him and Tim David finishing the innings could be irresistible.
Not to forget, MI will also want to fit Tilak Verma in the middle of the order. The Hyderabad-born left-hander had a terrific IPL 2022, where he scored 397 runs at an average of above 36 and a strike rate of 131.
That's not all for MI since they are home to two of South Africa's most destructive young batters in Dewald Brevis and Tristan Stubbs. One of the two can be included in the first XI should MI go ahead with only one overseas bowling option.
The two Indian backup batting options for the five-time IPL champions are Ramandeep Singh and Vishnu Vinod, who can both operate at a strike rate above 140.
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