IPL auction 2018 has been sensational in many aspects and predictable in many. At the end of the two day gala event in Bengaluru that saw 580 players go under the hammer 431 Crores spent, we seek to define who walks out winners and losers.
Before going into the analysis, we urge you to read our team strategies in this article that we launched before the auction and turned out to be 100% accurate!
The Tom Moody franchise has a lot of reasons to celebrate. Just as we had predicted, the team splurged heavily on a batting depth in acquiring Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson, Wridhiman Saha and Yusuf Pathan amongst others. The side also held onto its older squad with players such as Deepak Hooda and Rashid Khan. New additions such as Sandeep Sharma and Carlos Braithwaite add strength to the side. Overall, the orange army looks very promising and will be a force to reckon with in the IPL 2018.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
An entirely different RCB turned up at the auction table this time around. Investing heavily on proven skills over just big names, Vettori had acquired the services of top class players Quinton de Cock, Chris Woakes and Baz. In yet another accurate prediction from our side, RCB invested heavily on good bowling options to counter the high scoring Chinnaswamy stadium. Quinton de Cock is an ideal replacement for both Gayle and Rahul as he opens batting and also keeps wickets. It will be interesting to see Washington Sundar bowl alongside Yuzvendra Chahal. RCB’s pick of Moeen Ali was pure class as the franchise think tank thought beyond just T20 Franchise brands.
Delhi Daredevils and winners are not found often in the same premise, and yet here we are. Delhi Daredevils have done exactly what was required, invest in T20 champs. Delhi Daredevils have procured the services of Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro, Jason Roy and Trent Boult. Bringing back Gautam Gambhir is a major plus as the local fan base can connect strongly to the veteran. Sandeep Lamichhane, a bowler from Nepal, is also in the squad and it will be interesting to see if he features. Overall Delhi has a good lineup and a good chance of making the playoffs.
Chennai Super Kings
Personally a bit of a disappointment, the CSK franchise had made very different strategic decisions than what we are used to witnessing. For starters, the franchise refused to procure any T20 franchise players with the exception of Bravo. This might affect the overall performance of the side. The middle order is solidly packed with Raina, Jhadav, Rayudu, Dhoni and Du Plesis but no one to finish off games. Jadeja isn’t still up there and Bravo’s finishing games are feigning. CSK were probably desperate to fill in Ashwin’s void and were visibly overanxious with the spinners. Personally, the fact that CSK went for veterans made sense as the team was rebuilding after a two year gap and experience can be a force multiplier. One important aspect of the auction was CSK’s struggle with procuring pace options and they might have had to settle with a second string pace attack. CSK will have to rely on lot of strategizing in order to overcome this, and their greatest solace will be the fact that they have a mastermind skipper to lead the side.
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Kings XI Punjab
Kings eleven misfired seriously and the trigger happy Preity Zinta might have a few issues to cope up with as far as the squad is concerned. The squad has only three overseas batsmen one of whom is Chris Gayle which limits the options gravely. Most surprisingly, Kings XI does not have a single full time keeper and will be forced to have KL Rahul behind the stumps, a move that proved very costly to RCB. Also, should Rahul be unavailable, Kings XI will be forced to go with a domestic keeping replacement which is pathetic, considering they shelled 11.5 crores for him. It doesn’t end there as there are absolutely no spin backups as well, with only Ashwin and Axar Patel in the playing 11; 22 year old Mayank Dagar and Afghan 16 year old Mujeeb Zadran make up a very fragile reserve. To cap off things, Kings XI also don’t have a captain to lead, Yuvraj Singh is a possibility but his position in the team is uncertain. There are whispers about Ashwin leading the side but never have we seen him captain franchise, let alone an absolutely new one. Miller is a possibility, though he had poor results last time as skipper. Aaron Finch is a probable choice and Kings XI will have to be content with what they have. All this, while they could have retained/ matched for Hashim Amla or even Eoin Morgan.
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