With the 2016 IPL Auctions just around the corner, the excitement levels are at an all time high. The fate of several renowned individuals, as well as rookies, will be decided by the one blow of the auction hammer. The IPL auctions have been instrumental in shaping up the careers of numerous individuals. More than just shaping up the careers though, the IPL player auctions have made unknown overseas cricketers, household names in India.
This time around, there is an added incentive to be excited. The emergence of the two new franchises in place of the suspended Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings has simply added more spice in the tournament. The Sanjiv Goenka owned and MS Dhoni led Rising Pune Supergiants in one of the new teams that promises to go the distance in the upcoming edition of the IPL. The second team is the Gujarat Lions, owned by the Intex Group and led by Dhoni’s former Chennai Super Kings teammate Suresh Raina.
Recently in December, the trading window for the 9th edition of the IPL was open. A few trades were made and now the teams would look to strengthen their units by acquiring the best players for the upcoming edition. As many as 351 individuals are stated to go under the hammer in the auction process, and at most, only 116 of them will be brought. The maximum amount of 116 arises due to the fact that several teams have opted to play safe by retaining their core units.
The players in the marquee category involve respected names of the game such as Ashish Nehra, Shane Watson, Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh, Dale Steyn, Aaron Finch, Martin Guptill and Dwayne Smith. The T20 veteran Michael Hussey too is in the auction and this might be his last outing in the IPL. Out of the all the players in the auction, either of Yuvraj Singh or Shane Watson will fetch the maximum amount. Both are utility players, who have done well in the recent past.
The reigning IPL champions, Mumbai Indians for instance, have retained as many as 19 individuals. This has indicated that the think tank of the Mumbai based franchise is pretty happy with the current unit and expects them to do well in the near future. With master strategists like John Wright and Ricky Ponting at the auction table for Mumbai Indians, one can expect them to make a couple of buys. Out of their remaining purse of 14.4 crores, the Mumbai management would be eager to buy a couple of pacers. Lasith Malinga, a synonymous name with the Mumbai side, has struggled in the last couple of years. Malinga can no longer be relied on to do the job with the ball single handedly. The injury to Mitchell McClenaghan too has dented the plans of the Mumbai Indians.
The men from Kolkata are another unit that is well settled. The personnel managing the Knight Riders have found deep satisfaction in the results yielded under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir. With their batting looking well settled and bowling too seeming to be strong, the Knight Riders will just be making a couple of buys out of their remaining purse of 17.95 crores.
Delhi Daredevils has been a side often languishing at the bottom end of the points table. The management of the Daredevils would be eager to add a couple of high profile names in their arsenal. It will be the batting department, where the Daredevils would look to purchase. After releasing Yuvraj Singh, they have a budget of 37.15 crores for the auction. Expect them to be one of the biggest spenders in the auction. The Daredevils in all probability, will shell out on Shane Watson and Martin Guptill, two feared names in T20 cricket.
After a remarkable 2014 IPL, the Kings XI Punjab had a horrible run in the 2015 edition. With Virender Sehwag calling it a day, the Punjabis would be eager to find a solid opener at the top. The presence of Alex Hales in the auction might be their solution. After releasing George Bailey, the Kings XI would also want another captain and Shane Watson might once again come into the fray. With their spin cupboard looking weak with just Axar Patel, the spinners too will be on the agenda of the Kings XI.
Undoubtedly the most entertaining side in the IPL, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have almost everything. With Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers in their batting command, they definitely won’t be spending a lot from the batting front. Bowling wise, they have Mitchell Starc and Adam Milne, along with Varun Aaron. Bangalore would look to add a few utility players in their rank and might go after an all rounder like Irfan Pathan.
Sunrisers Hyderabad rely heavily on their overseas batsmen and to negate that, the Sunrisers management would want to get an Indian batsman in the ranks. As they have let go Dale Steyn, their purse has shot up to 30.15 crores. In order to seek a like for like replacement of Dale Steyn, they might go after New Zealander Tim Southee in the auctions.
The Gujarat Lions look like any T20 batting powerhouse with the likes of Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Bravo in the ranks. They along with the Rising Pune Supergiants, will shell out in opulence in order to constitute a strong IPL lineup. The much demanded likes of Yuvraj Singh, Shane Watson and Dale Steyn will be on the agenda of both the teams.