The stage is all set for the Indian Premier League 2020 mini-Auction as franchisees have started arriving in the City of Joy. A total of 332 players will go under the hammer in Kolkata on Thursday, December 19, as eight franchisees will exercise their right to collectively pick up to a maximum of 73 players, including up to 29 foreigners.
The pre-auction trading was completed by the teams last month and they now have a core around which the final combination will be built in the open bidding process. Also, keeping the uncertainties in mind, franchisees will be looking for backups as well for the two-month league.
While the Kings XI Punjab has the maximum budget heading into the auction, the Chennai Super Kings have the least players to fill in.
The Kings XI Punjab yet again will be the most active table in the auction hall, whereas Chennai Super Kings is the team who will have the luxury of going for only selected targets, considering their purse and requirements are only limited now.
Chennai Super Kings
With just five slots to fill, team management of Stephan Fleming, Micheal Hussey, Lakshmipati Balaji, Eric Simmons will be looking for the energy of youth as the team is highly built with experience. Hard hitters in the middle order will be the one area they will have an eye on to finish innings towards the end. Being the second most successful team in IPL, they would like to stick to their idea of playing with more Indians in the squad and winning in the process. The team on the quest of winning their fourth IPL title will look to start the season on a high with a reasonably good IPL Auction.
Trading-in of big Indian names like Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin has given Ricky Ponting and Co a solid Indian contingent. The Delhi Capitals think tank of Ricky Ponting, Vijay Dahiya, Mohammad Kaif, James Hopes will be looking to buy in good overseas players for better options in the middle-order, and also all-rounders and fast bowlers to accompany speedster Kagiso Rabada. Before the auction Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said, “There’s going to be a lot of focus and attention on fast bowlers, overseas ones in particular”. He also said, “Going into the auction you have to be very specific about the kind of players you need”.
Kings XI Punjab
One of three teams, who haven’t won the IPL title yet, Kings XI Punjab would definitely like to take the gold home this season. Playing with a combination of 6 batsmen and 5 bowlers had backfired them in many games last season. They missed one or two quality all-rounders who could chip in with some overs for a breakthrough or play a cameo with the bat. The arrival of former Indian captain Anil Kumble has already seen two all-rounders being traded in the team. With the maximum salary cap available, the team management of Anil Kumble, Wasim Jaffer, Jonty Rhoades will be looking for a change of fortunes in the new season.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The able minds of Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, David Hussey, Abhishek Nayar who have taken the reigns of the KKR management will like to take the team to a third IPL title. The two-time champions last won the title in 2014 and it’s time that they fight hard for glory. Also, the spin department will be one area the team will eye on the auction day.
The largest management team of the Indian Premier League consists of Mahela Jayawardene, Zaheer Khan, Robin Singh, Shane Bond, Sachin Tendulkar, John Wright, Kiran More who are part of the MI Family (MI Paltan). They are the most successful team in the league with four titles and in the conquest of going for a fifth title, they will try to fill the gaps of their team in the IPL Auction. After trading in Trent Boult and Sherfane Rutherford from Delhi Capitals and Dhawal Kulkarni from Rajasthan Royals, the Mumbai Indians have strengthened their team even more.
The newly appointed head coach Andrew McDonald will start his IPL stint from the IPL 2020 Auction along with the support staff of Zubin Bharucha, Amol Muzumdar and Brand Ambassador Shane Warne. The inaugural champions will look to end their title-winning drought starting with some smart buying in the IPL Auction. Also, before the auction, if we talk about the players in each team then Royals have the best overseas players in the form of Jos Butler, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, and Jofra Archer. Letting go of the established Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni and Krishnappa Gowtham can turn out to be bad for them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Even with the most expensive player of the IPL, Virat Kohli and the superman of cricket, AB de Villiers in the squad, this team has failed to win a single IPL title in the thirteen seasons so far despite playing three IPL finals. Always a star-studded team, RCB has failed to make a balanced squad in the auction and then faltered in the league. With a new coach Simon Katich and mentor Mike Hesson, the team would like to play smart in the auction first-up. Liberty of buying six overseas players allows them to have a lot of options of foreigners on their table out of which the team can choose from.
The exit of their head coach Tom Moody allowed Sunrisers to rope in 2019 World Cup winning coach Trevor Bayliss. He will head into his first IPL auction with sharp-minded people like VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralidharan and also the assistant coach Brad Haddin. This star-studded think tank would like to make the most of the IPL Auction and fill the gaps they need to. Sunrisers Hyderabad, like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, has held on to their team from the previous season and just released a few players to bring in new faces and energy in the team.
The IPL Auction 2020 will be a crucial one for some teams while others will try and fill some gaps which they need to. The battle of bids between the franchises will be an intriguing one to watch.