Just three months left till the beginning of the cricket extravaganza, IPL. With it’s 10th season starting this summer, teams are all but set to enter the market to brainstorm their way through building a team that would make them the favorites for the trophy. The auction for the 10th season of IPL takes place on 4th Feb in Bangalore.
All teams have retained and released a number of players. With the owners entering the market, here is a list of players that the teams would be eyeing to bring perfect balance to the squads.
(For list of released players: Click Here)
Mumbai Indians: Jason Roy
Mumbai Indians have faced opening wows for past couple of seasons. Finding an ideal partner for Rohit Sharma at the top would be the challenge for the management at this year’s auctions. Mumbai tried the left-handed wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel at the top who only scored 177 runs from his 10 innings as the opener. He scored only a solo fifty to go with a strike rate of 116.
Jason Roy can prove to be an ideal replacement for Parthiv at the top. He has proved once and again his abiilities to get his team to a flying start at the start. This can lift some pressure off the skipper Rohit Sharma who likes to take some time at the start before going all haywire at the opposition bowlers.
Jason Roy has played 128 innings in T20 scoring at a Strike Rate of 144 at an average of 30 runs per innings. He also has 4 hundreds and 20 fifties at top of the batting order.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Ishant Sharma
With a formidable batting line-up containing star players naming Kohli, Gayle, AB deVelliers and Shane Watson, RCB are a force to be concerned with. To go with them they also have young players like Sarfaraz Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal who have showcased their talent for Bangalore many a times.
The only thing that stops Royal Challengers from claiming the title is their fast bowling department. With the return of Mitchell Starc this season, it already looks stronger than previous seasons. Harshal Patel and Varun Aaron did not prove to be the right people for this job, maybe that’s why the team owners have let them go this season.
Ishant Sharma is a player who can add balance to this side making them invincible in bowling as well. With experience to go with him, he can exploit the bounce at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to trouble the opposition batsmen.
With 59 wickets in 70 innings in IPL at an economy of 8.05, Ishant can prove to be a real match winner for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 10th season of the IPL.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Trent Boult
Kolkata Knight Riders are a team that has always been known for the balance they bring to the pitch every match. With Morne Morkel, now, released by the team owners, and Andre Russell banned by the authorities to play cricket, there is no experienced fast bowler that can lead the formidable pace attack.
The inclusion of a certain Trent Boult can bring that experience and variety to the pace attack of the Riders. His swing at the start of the innings is a certain plus for KKR.
He hasn’t played much matches in the IPL but his T20 record proves why he is a real match winner.
With 56 wickets in 56 innings at 8.11, he is a perfect buy for the two time winners.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Imran Tahir
The champions had a go at the left-handers at the 2016 auction. With as many as 11 left handed players in the squad, they brought a different approach to the game. But they let go of many of them this year including Trent Boult and Eoin Morgan. The team now looks more balanced and homes all variety of players. The one player that they lack is an experienced full-time spin bowler.
With the exclusion of Karn Sharma from the squad, it would be interesting to see who do the Hyderabadis go for in the auction. Imran Tahir is one of the man contenders for this position this year. With Imran back in the auction market, the owners will keep an close eye om him and bid big for the leg-spinner.
He has 29 wickets in 20 games played he has played in the IPL at 14.96 balls per wicket. He might just be the player who can lead Sunrisers to consecutive trophies.
Kings XI Punjab: Morne Morkel
Kings XI Punjab has never been a team to raise eyebrows, but their performance in last couple of seasons has got everyone saying their name. With stars like Maxwell and Miller in the line-up, they certainly do propose a strong claim to the title. With young pacers like Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma performing great for the Kings their squad seems pretty balanced.
With the exclusion of Mitchell Johnson, inclusion of a fast bowler who can consistently click 140 KMpH, would be a great boost to their bowling line-up. Right man for the job- Morne Morkel. With his swing and bounce, he can be a lethal bowler on a pace friendly at Mohali.
Morkel took 10 wickets in as many matches in last season for KKR. Hope he can repeat the same performance in the coming season.
Rising Pune Supergiants: Corey Anderson
A new team, a new core. Rising Pune Super Giants were one of the best buyers in previous auction. With a solid batting line up and a lethal bowling attack, they were certainly counted as one of the favorites for the trophy. But nothing went right for the Dhoni led team. Faltering at crucial moments, the team failed to cope up with pressure. With a streak of losses, they were out of the tournament pretty quick.
This year, they have released a whole bunch of players and will look to buy new ones tomorrow at Bangalore. With them releasing all-rounders like Thisara Perera and Albie Morkel, Corey Anderson might be their best chance of going for the title.
The hard hitting all rounder from New Zealand could be crucial in providing the energy and balance that the team needs. He has constantly given match-winning performances for Mumbai Indians in previous seasons and could be able to do the same for Super Giants.
Gujarat Lions: Pawan Negi
Gujarat Lions has one of the most balanced squads in the tournament. Though a new team, they pretty much gave a strong performance. With their bold play and confident line-up they once again would look to go all the way to the finals.
They have pretty much covered all the basis with the exception of a certain spinner in their ranks. Pawan Negi might be the answer to this problem. The most expensive player last season, Pawan Negi didn’t perform as well as expected but him being in the team brings balance due to his hard-hitting abilities down the order.