IPL Auction Strategies: Analysis and Likely XI Prediction

With the auction for the 2019 season done and dusted, here is my review on the auction strategies used by the 8 teams for the 2019 season.

Chennai Super Kings

CSK Auction performance
Chennai Super Kings

Captain: MS Dhoni.
Batsmen: Suresh Raina, M Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dhruv Shorey, Faf du Plessis.
All rounders: Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Chaitanya Bishnoi.
Pace bowlers: Mohit Sharma, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, David Willey, Lungi Ngidi, , Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar.
Spinners: Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh.

A batting heavy CSK didn’t have much work to do other than getting a fast bowler as they had a thin backup options. They have filled this spot by buying Mohit Sharma, a former player of the franchise. He was one of the Indian bowlers available in the auction.

There was another pick in Ruturaj Gaikwad. He’s an opening player for Maharashtra. Though he is unlikely to feature in the playing XI, but he is a good backup option for this side.

Likely XI: Watson, du Plessis, Raina, Rayudu, Dhoni, Jadhav, Santner, Bravo, Harbhajan/Karn, Thakur, Mohit Sharma

Delhi Capitals

DC Auction performance
Delhi Capitals

Captain: Shreyas Iyer.
Batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Hanuma Vihari, Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford.
Keeper: Rishabh Pant, Ankush Bains.
All rounders: Harshal Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Jalaj Saxena.
Pace bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Nathu Singh, Keemo Paul, Bandaru Ayyappa, Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult.
Spin bowlers: Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane.

DC, my favourite team before it disbanded in 2012 has now got a new expansion. Daredevils Capitals, as the Delhi franchise is now known as, has been consistently finishing at the bottom half of the table. They had the second biggest purse coming into the auction and had to fill the middle order and all-rounder spots. DC also needed good backup players.

Their first buy – Hanuma Vihari, though unlikely to feature in the XI, is a solid backup option to the top 4. Their next buy – Axar Patel, at 5 cr, is nothing but bargain as he fills one of the all-rounder spots left vacant after Delhi traded 3 players to SRH. They also purchased the explosive Colin Ingram, a utility batsman.

They also had a problem with their pace department which they have addressed this by bringing in Ishant Sharma for a meagre 1.1 cr. Other buys include Ankush Bains, Nathu Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Jalaj Saxena and Bandaru Ayyappa.

Overall this side looks well settled with their top 4 – Dhawan, Shaw, Iyer, Pant, complemented by Rabada, Morris, Axar and Boult.

Likely XI: Dhawan, Shaw, Iyer, Ingram, Pant, Morris, Patel, Boult, Rabada, Mishra, Tewatia

Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR Auction performance
Kolkata Knight Riders

Captain: Dinesh Karthik.
Batsmen: Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Joe Denly, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Rinku Singh.
All rounders: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Carlos Brathwaite.
Pace bowlers: Anrich Nortje, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Yarra Prithviraj, Shrikant Mundhe, Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Spin bowlers: Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav

KKR was expected to be battling out for players, as they had to fill a lot of spots, and not end up with a squad as thin as the one they had last season. WI allrounder Carlos Brathwaite was their first and the biggest purchase of the day at 5 cr. Known for his big hitting abilities, he was underutilized at SRH last season. 

Other utility buys include Lockie Ferguson and Joe Denly for 1.6 and 1 cr respectively. These three players should provide the much needed balance in the middle order as well as good backup options. KKR will also hope that the team clicks perfectly, just like they did in the last season.

Likely XI: Lynn, Narine, Uthappa, Gill, Karthik, Russell, Brathwaite, Piyush, Kuldeep, Prasidh Krishna, Mavi/Nagarkoti

Kings XI Punjab

KXIP Auction performance
Kings XI Punjab

Captain: Ravichandran Ashwin.
Keepers: Lokesh Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh.
Batsmen: Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Karun Nair, David Miller.
All rounders: Andrew Tye, Sam Curran.
Pace bowlers: Mohammed Shami, Agnivesh Ayachi, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot.
Spin bowlers: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Harpreet Brar, Varun Chakravarthy, Murugan Ashwin.

This is yet another team who had a busy time at the auction, after releasing most of their players in the auction pool. They had only 9 players when they went into the auction.

Their biggest purchase was Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu, at 8.4 cr. They also fought with other franchises to secure the services of Mohammed Shami and Sam Curran for 4.8 and 7.2 cr respectively, solving their bowling woes. They also solved their wicket-keeper headache by buying two keepers – Nicholas Pooran for 4.2 cr and the uncapped Prabhsimran Singh for 4.8 cr.

Other purchases include Sarfaraz Khan, Agnivesh Ayachi, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Murugan Ashwin, Hardus Viljoen, Harpreet Brar.

They now look like a mini-RCB side, after buying players released by RCB in the last 2 seasons (Rahul, Gayle, Mandeep, Sarfaraz, M Ashwin). Nevertheless, they look well sorted now.

Likely XI: Rahul, Gayle, Agarwal, Nair, Miller, Sarfaraz/Mandeep, Curran, Tye, Chakravarthy, Ashwin, Shami

Mumbai Indians

MI Auction performance
Mumbai Indians

Captain: Rohit Sharma.
Batsmen: Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Yuvraj Singh.
Keepers: Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare.
All rounders: Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Pankaj Jaiswal.
Pace bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Lasith Malinga, , Barinder Sran, Rasikh Dar.
Spin bowlers: Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anmolpreet Singh.

MI headed into the auction to fill their squad with reliable backup options. They bought 6 players. The biggest buy was Barinder Sran at 3.6 cr. He could be the replacement for Bumrah, if he is rested anytime during the season due to workload management.

Former MI Player and last season’s mentor, Lasith Malinga returns as a player for the next season. By buying Yuvraj Singh, MI becomes my second favourite team (no brownie points on guessing which my favourite team is), despite going unsold in the first round of auction. They also bought uncapped players Anmolpreet Singh, Pankaj Jaiswal and Rasikh Dar. They’ve also traded Jayant Yadav from DC right after the auctions.

Likely XI: de Kock, Lewis, Yadav, Rohit, Krunal, Kishan, Hardik, Bumrah, Cutting, Malinga/Pollard, Yuvraj/Anukul/Markande/Yadav

Rajasthan Royals

RR Auction performance
Rajasthan Royals

Captain: Steve Smith.
Batsmen: Ajinkya Rahane,  Aryaman Birla, Rahul Tripathi, Liam Livinstone, Shashank Singh, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag.
Keepers: Sanju Samson, Prashant Chopra, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer.
All rounders: Stuart Binny, Ben Stokes, S. Midhun, Mahipal Lomror, Shubham Rajane.
Pace bowlers: Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas.
Spin bowlers: Ashton Turner, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Ish Sodhi

Having retained the core of the last season, Rajasthan were definitely bolstered by the return of their captain, Steve Smith. Despite that, they were in need of good Indian bowlers. They played a smart move by releasing Jaydev Unadkat to the auction pool and buying him at a lower price than last season and followed this by buying another pacer in Varun Aaron.

They also filled their overseas spots by buying Oshane Thomas, Liam Livingstone and BBL sensation Ashton Turner and also bought Manan Vohra to strengthen their middle order prospects.

RR now need to focus on what their batting order will look like, as it will get confusing especially after the return of Smith.

Likely XI: Rahane, Tripathi, Smith, Samson, Buttler, Stokes, Gowtham, Archer/Thomas, Kulkarni, Unadkat, Gopal.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

RCB Auction performance
Royal Challengers Bangalore

Captain: Virat Kohli
Batsmen: AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Devdutt Padikkal.
Keepers: Parthiv Patel, Akshdeep Nath, Heinrich Klaasen.
All Rounders:  Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube.
Pace bowlers: Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohammed Siraj.
Spin bowlers: Prayas Barman, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Here comes my favourite team. RCB had a pretty balanced team last season only to be let down by their batting. They had their bowlers and all-rounders sorted before going into the auction. All they needed to have quite a lot of batsmen to provide cover to Virat and de Villiers.

One big purchase they made was that of Shimron Hetmyer for 4.2 cr. He had impressed by showcasing his talent in the Ind-WI matches last month. Another bug purchase was that of the uncapped all-rounder Shivam Dubey for 5 cr. Both of them were expected to go for big amounts in the auction. They also made utility buys in the explosive Protea keeper Heinrich Klassen and batsman-keeper-all-rounder package Akshdeep Nath. They bought a few domestic players – Milind Kumar, Himmat Singh and Prayas Barman.

RCB improved their squad massively by addressing the concerned areas. Their playing XI will depend a lot on who their 4 overseas players will be.

Likely XI: Kohli, Patel, de Villiers, Hetmyer, Stoinis/Ali, Dubey, Sundar, Southee/Coulter Nile, Yadav, Siraj, Chahal

Sunrisers Hyderabad

SRH Auction performance
Sunrisers Hyderabad

Players: David Warner, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Billy Stanlake, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, Deepak Hooda, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abhishek Sharma

Last year’s runner-up had a settled squad much before the auction despite losing Shikhar Dhawan to DC. They have some of the best batsmen as well as having the most feared bowling attack in the tournament.

The only major requirement was a keeper. They addressed this by buying two keepers – Jonny Bairstow for 2.2 cr and Wriddhiman Saha for 1.2 cr, after releasing him back to the pool. 

Likely XI: Warner, Williamson, Pandey, Shakib, Pathan, Abhishek Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar, Kaul, Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan

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