It was always going to be a crackerjack of an IPL auction for the 2022 season, and it really lived up to the hype. Several records were broken – Ishan Kishan went to Mumbai Indians for a record Rs 15.25 crore, while Deepak Chahar’s bid of Rs 14 crore by Chennai Super Kings is the highest for an Indian melon in the world. history of the IPL. However, even after nine hours of relentless bidding by ten IPL teams, there are gaps for each team to fill when bidding resumes on February 13.
Firstly, IPL champions CSK and former IPL champions Mumbai Indians have so far been remarkably conservative in bidding, opting to buy out most of their cricket stars even at very high auctions. It’s no wonder CSK didn’t have the financial firepower to go for Shahrukh Khan, or make competitive bids to fill their favorite all-around slots by buying Krunal Pandya or Jason Holder.
Both teams will be looking to buy some serious pace overseas today as CSK only have Chahar and Mumbai Indians have their only pace-keeping in Jasprit Bumrah. None of their picks in KM Asif or Basil Thampi would be first picks in any IPL playing eleven.
The Delhi Capitals will also be looking to step up their attacking pace. The top-ranked IPL team has, since the run-up to the auction, lost its fast bowling champions to Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan. Let’s face it: Mustafizur Rahman doesn’t live up to these names and Shardul Thakur – can be erratic on days off, usually the first change. Quality pace to share the new ball with Anrich Nortje is what the Capitals will be looking for.
The Lucknow Super Giants also need pace – Mark Wood isn’t the most versatile pitcher designed for the T20s and Avesh Khan will need more support than he gets from Jason Holder and Ankit Rajpoot.
Gujarat Titans don’t have a decent pasta yet. Hardik Pandya is terribly out of shape and Jason Roy came in for a bargain at the auction on Saturday. However, the dearth of quality hitters on this side is such that the Titans think tank was forced to make a big offer for Rahul Tewatia, hoping to secure his batting prowess when in reality Tewatia -even is more of a lower middle order pinch hitter. . The Titans will be desperate to use the rest of their Rs 18.85 crore to buy quality T20 pasta.
While the Punjab Kings got most things right in Saturday’s auction, the team seems to have missed a trick or two in bidding for good all-rounders. It’s understandable: most of the team’s money was spent on buying Dhawan (Rs 8.25 crore), Rabada (Rs 9.25 crore) and the big shot Shahrukh Khan (Rs 9 crore) that the team seems to have forgotten that they need a rounder all-hitter quality at number six or seven. Expect the team to get big for the likes of a Shakib Al Hassan on Sunday.
The Rajasthan Royals also lack versatile talents. Riyan Parag and Ravichandran Ashwin are all they have to show for in the all-rounder slot and neither player is a true proponent of both trades to even strictly qualify as an all-rounder in the first place. Expect a bidding war between RR and PBKS for more all-rounders when the rest of the auction begins.
Sun Risers Hyderabad need experienced hitters to score big, and at the moment they only have Kane Williamson to show for themselves. Rahul Tripathi and Priyam Garg are good uncapped hitters, no doubt. But they lack the international experience this team desperately needs in the batting department. In fact, this requirement was so pronounced that the team pulled out all the stops to outbid (successfully) Nicolas Pooran, who ended up bidding them a high price. However, many would agree that it is a gamble at best.
Royal Challengers Bangalore only need a few more bowlers after assembling a delightful batting team including Kohli, Du Plessis, Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik. This priority also seems to be in the right place, thanks to the successful offers they have secured for Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasaranga and 2021 purple cap winner Harshal Patel. It’s fair to say that RCB looks like the most complete team on paper as things stand.
Kolkata Knight Riders have only one Indian spinner in Varun Chakravarthy. Their pace attack also looks a bit bare with Mavi and Pat Cummins (whose availability and fitness will be under a question mark). So expect the men in purple to get big for bowling talent on Sunday. They also need a wicket-keeper and Sheldon Jackson doesn’t seem to fit easily into the XI of an IPL team.