The IPL Auction had a lot of surprises to offer, but now that the Auctions are done and dusted, let’s look ahead to each side and how they stack up going into the next IPL season. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and who were their best buys.
Mayank Agarwal, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Akhil Herwadkar, Shreyas Iyer, Saeed Khaleel Ahmed, Zaheer Khan, Mahipal Lomror, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Nadeem, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Rishabh Pant, Joel Paris, Sanju Samson, Pawan Suyal, Mohammad Shami, Pratyush Singh, Imran Tahir, Jayant Yadav.
The Daredevils have been perhaps the biggest underachievers in the IPL, and will desperate for a turnaround in their fortunes in the Upcoming season.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Quinton de Kock, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, JP Duminy, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Carlos Brathwaite, Zaheer Khan, Md. Shami
Strenths – Their bowling looks solid, with plenty of options for Captain Duminy to turn to. Amit Mishra and Tahir as back up really adds depth to their spin department. The trio of Shami, Morris and Zaheer looks a solid unit, with good back up in Paris.
Weaknesses – The problem last year for Delhi was their batting middle order really let them down, and they could face the same problem this year. Nair and Samson in the middle order, could be really hit and miss, leading to a lot of pressure on the allrounder and the tail to follow.
Player to Watch Out For – Quinton de Kock
Expected to Finish – Delhi Daredevils this season are once again likely to struggle. 8th Place.
Dwayne Bravo, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik, Shivil Kaushik, Ishan Kishan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Sarabjeet Ladda, Brendon McCullum, Amit Mishra, Akshdep Nath, Suresh Raina, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Dale Steyn, Pravin Tambe, Andrew Tye.
Gujarat Lions have plenty of reasons to approach their first ever IPL season with plenty of optimism, and will be looking to make a lasting impression.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulker, Ravinder Jadeja, Pravin Tambe, Praveen Kumar, Shadab Jakati, Dhawal Kulkarni
Strengths – The team looks extremely solid all through. They have three explosive openers to choose from with Dwayne Smith available as well. Faulkner, Bravo and Jadeja provide excellent allround options. There are plenty of selection issues to sort out, but they arise from having plenty to choose from, which is ideal for any side.
Weaknesses – There are potential issues with the seamers the team has. While they have Dale Steyn, but given the 4 overseas players max restrictions, its hard to see how they will play him. If Steyn players, then one of McCullum or Finch will have to sit out and they will have to open with Ishan Kishan, which doesn’t quite give their side the same firepower at the top.
Player to Watch Out For – Dwayne Bravo
Expected to Finish – Definite Contenders for Playoffs, but could just miss out eventually. 5th or 6th.
KINGS XI PUNJAB
Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Nikhil Naik, Akshar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Pradeep Sahu, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Swapnil Singh, Marcus Stoinis, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra.
Kings XI Punjab have had a few good seasons in the IPL, but for the most part have flattered to decieve. They had a very disapointing season last year and one would think the only way they can go from there is forward.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Shaun Marsh, Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma
Strengths – Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller and Johson, form a very formidable foursome who on their day can win any game from any situation. Rishi Dhawan is a very promising Indian all-round option and will Kings XI will benefit with him backing the foreign fire power they have.
Weaknesses – There is a definite over-reliance on the foreign foursome. They will not play all the games, and when they are rested, there is a considerable gulf in between their class and the rotation options available. There is also no frontline spin option available, which could hurt them.
Player to Watch Out For – Glenn Maxwell
Expected to Finish – Its a tough one, but it would be surprise if a side with the firepower of Marsh, Miller, Maxwell and Johson doesn’t challenge for the playoffs. However I feel the gulf in quality between those 4 and the rest could eventually see them miss out. 7th Place.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Shakib Al Hasan, Manan Ajay Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Gautam Gambhir, John Hastings, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, Sheldon Jackson, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Andre Russell, Rajgopal Sathish, Jaydev Unadkat, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav.
Kolkata Knight Riders is one franchise that has really gotten its act together. After being among the also rans for most of the early seasons, the Knight Riders have been among the real contenders in the recent season and will look to continue that trend in the coming IPL too.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, John Hastings, Suryakumar Yadav, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla
Strengths – The pitch is Kolkata traditionally offers a lot a help to spinners and Knight Riders well equipped to make full use of that. Even if Narine is unable to bowl on account of his bowling action, there are the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Brad Hogg that they can turn to.
Weaknesses – The Knight Riders seem a little short when it comes to a front line seamer. Umesh Yadav had a very poor series in Australia and if he starts to leak runs Knight Riders would be found short.
Player to Watch Out For – Manish Pandey.
Expected to Finish – There are plenty of rotation options availalbe and eventually they will settle on a formula and combination that works, and this side is one of the strong contenders to feature in the playoffs, but there are better sides out there. They could just miss out. 5th or 6th.
Corey Anderson, Jos Buttler, Jasprit Bumrah, Unmukt Chand, Marchant de Lange, R Vinay Kumar, Shreyas Gopal, Kishore Kamath, Siddhesh Lad, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Kieron Pollard, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Ambati Rayudu, Jitesh Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Nathu Singh, Lendl Simmons, Tim Southee, Harbhajan Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Akshay Wakhare.
The defending champions will once again be looking for a strong run in the coming edition.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Jos Buttler, Hardik Pandaya, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Nathu Singh, Tim Southee
Strengths – The side appears about as complete a unit as one could hope for at this level. The addition of Jos Buttler provides some very serious hitting ability lower down the order. The side has proven players through and through.
Weaknesses – The side could have done with a few more spinners. Additionally the opening slot could have been stronger. If Parthiv Patel and Simmons have a big dip in form, then it could upset the balance of the side with Rohit having to move up to open leaving their middle order a little light.
Player to Watch Out For – Jasprit Bumrah
Expected to Finish – Would be a surprise if they finish outside the Top 4, could even push for Top 4.
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS
Baba Aparajith, Murugan Ashwin, Ravichandran Ashwin, , Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Scott Boland, Deepak Chahar, MS Dhoni, Ashoke Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Albie Morkel, Ishwar Pandey, Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera, Kevin Pietersen, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Jaskaran Singh, RP Singh, Steven Smith, Saurabh Tiwary, Adam Zampa.
In their debut season will be looking to start out strong.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Ajinkya Rahane, Faf Du Plesis, Steven Smith, Kevin Pietersen, Saurabh Tiwary, Mitchell Marsh, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Ishwar Pandey.
Strengths – That batting line up is as close to being the ultimate fantasy T20 line up, as a line up could be. Smith, Faf, KP and Dhoni batting in the same line up !!
Weaknesses – The bowling looks a little exposed in the seam dept.
Player to Watch Out For – Kevin Pietersen.
Expected to Finish – A very strong squad. Top 4.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Iqbal Abdullah, Sachin Baby, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, AB de Villiers, Praveen Dubey, Chris Gayle, Travis Head, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfaraz Khan, Virat Kohli, Vikramjeet Malik, Adam Milne, Harshal Patel, Kane Richardson, Mandeep Singh, Mitchell Starc, Vikas Tokas, Shane Watson.
Even though Royal Challengers have consistantly done well in the IPL, but they have never quite gone all the way and they will be looking to change that this year.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadav, Stuart Binny, Sarfarz Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Varun Aaron, Mitchell Starc
Strengths – The batting speks for itself. The who’s who of T20 batting play in this side.
Weaknesses – Wicket-Keeper is a huge problem for this side. They let Dinesh Karthik go, and that means they have only two keepers in ABD and Travis Head. If Travis Head plays then one of Watson and Starc has to miss out, as they are not dropping Gayle or ABD. In all likelihood it is going to be Starc to miss out and that would deplete the bowling considerably. The only other option is for ABD to take the gloves and he has not been to keen to do that off late. Finding the right balance could be a real challenge. Ultimately they could have to go for part time Keeper in Kedar Jadav, which is never ideal.
Player to Watch Out For – Virat Kohli
Expected to Finish – If they can effectively sort out their keeping issues, they should get Top 4.
Ricky Bhui, Trent Boult, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Eoin Morgan, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ashish Nehra, Mustafizur Rahman, KL Rahul, Ashish Reddy, Vijay Shankar, Bipul Sharma, Karn Sharma, Barinder Singh Sran, Yuvraj Singh, Aditya Tare, T Suman, David Warner, Kane Williamson.
Last year the Sunrisers suffered from the fact that after Warner and Dhawan, they had no experience apart from Eion Morgan in their batting whatsoever. In buying Yuvraj, they have tried to address that issue.
Likely 1st Choice Playing XI – David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Eoin Morgan, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha, Karn Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar Kr, Trent Boult, Ashish Nehra
Strengths – They have all bases covered. Warner, Williamson and Morgan are giants in this format, and in Nehra and Boult they have two very good bowlers for the format. Yuvraj and Deepak Hooda bring plenty of fire power in the middle.
Weaknesses – Its really hard to find one. This side looks to most complete there is. Bhuvaneshwar Kr, can be a liability at times, and they could have done with more experience in the spin dept.
Player to Watch Out For – Kane Williamson
Expected to Finish – Really think this is the most well balanced side out there. Top 4 at the very least, and wouldn’t be surprised to see this side walk away with the trophy.
There are plenty of quality sides, out there that would be fighting for playoff spots, some of them will miss out, as there are only 4 slots they will all be vying for. Rising Pune Supergiants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad are the 4 strongest sides. However Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders are more than capable of going toe to toe with any of them. Kings XI Punjab have that X-Factor about them, but there are better sides out there, and I don’t see them finishing higher than 7th. Delhi will have another quiet season and should finish 8th.