For most of us, the excitement surrounding the new Indian Premier League season really begins with the auction. It was a little delayed this year but that just served to build up the anticipation and when the trading finally began, it didn’t disappoint.
Once again, records were broken, shock purchases were made and we were surprised to see certain players left without a franchise. But who were the winners and losers ahead of IPL10? Here’s a round up of who came out on top.
Note: New Squad Purchases in Bold
Vivo IPL 10 Post Auction Team Rankings
1. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Aniket Choudhary, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Sarfaraz Khan, S Aravind, Kedar Jadhav, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi.
They may have let their fans down in the knockout stages up to this point but this is by far the strongest side in the tournament. Last season, Virat Kohli hit a scarcely believable 973 runs while AB De Villiers followed in third place in the Orange Cap race with 687.
Chahal and Watson were second and third in the leading wickets takers and now they have Mills who, if he stays fit, will be a key throughout this tournament.
2. Sunrisers Hyderabad
Tanmay Agarwal, Mohammad Nabi, Ekalavya Dwivedi, Rashid Khan, Pravin Tambe, Chris Jordan, Ben Laughlin, Mohammed Siraj, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, David Warner, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Kane Williamson, Siddarth Kaul, Bipul Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh, Ben Cutting, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar.
The bookmakers have gone for Mumbai as second favourites but SRH are the reigning champions and needed to do little to change a winning formula. Shikhar Dhawan needs to support David Warner a little more with the bat but with Bhuvneshawar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman joined by new signing Jordan, this is the best bowling unit in the competition.
3. Rising Pune Supergiants
Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Kumar, Dan Christian, Milind Tandon, R Tripathi, Manoj Tiwary, Lockie Ferguson, MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Steven Smith, Faf du Plessis, Mitchell Marsh, Ashok Dinda, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Adam Zampa, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Usman Khawaja, Mayank Agarwal.
Despite finishing seventh last year I’ve ranked Pune at three based on Stokes’ arrival and the fact that this is a talented franchise that had bad luck with injuries. The change in captain could also bring a fresh approach.
4. Mumbai Indians
Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, K Gowtham, Karn Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, A Gunarathna, K Khejroliya, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, J Suchith, Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler, Tim Southee, Jithesh Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Punia.
Mumbai need to avoid their traditional slow start and I’d like to see more from Kieron Pollard who had a poor Big Bash. But if Mitchell Johnson stays fit, a top four slot should be nailed on.
5. Gujarat Lions
Nathu Singh, Basil Thampy, Tejas Singh Baroka, Manpreet Gony, Jason Roy, Munaf Patel, Chirag Suri, Shelly Shaurya, Shubham Agrawal, Pratham Singh, Aksh Deep Nath, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Andrew Tye, Ishan Kishan, Pradeep Sangwan, Shivil Kaushik, Shadab Jakati, Jaydev Shah.
Despite finishing second in the regular season, Gujarat are largely unfancied. As KKR have shown, you don’t need to change a winning formula to be successful and while there are no high-profile purchases from the auction, there didn’t really need to be. If Mumbai slip up, the Lions will claim another place in the knockouts.
6. Kolkata Knight Riders
Trent Boult), Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rovman Powell, R Sanjay Yadav, Ishank Jaggi, Darren Bravo, Sayan Ghosh, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Singh Rajput.
In contrast I feel that KKR have made too many changes that could unbalance a successful side plus Woakes and Bravo could prove to be weak buys. I’m expecting them to finish comfortably outside of the top four.
7. Kings XI Punjab
Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Martin Guptill, Darren Sammy, Rinku Singh, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Axar Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhiman Saha, M Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Pardeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, Hashim Amla.
Kings need Maxwell and Miller to be at their most destructive and they could repeat their previous best of a place in the final. However, too much pressure falls on too few and I expect KXIP to be in the bottom two.
8. Delhi Daredevils
Angelo Mathews, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Ankit Bawne, Aditya Tare, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Shashank Singh, JP Duminy, Mohammed Shami, Quinton de Kock, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Zaheer Khan, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Syed Ahmed, Pratyush Singh.
Sorry Delhi fans but I think your team was the worst performer in this auction and along with some questionable signings, you’ve let Imran Tahir go. The bookies have the Daredevils as 5th favourites but I’ve got them at the bottom of the pile, particularly if they continue with the bizarre selection policy from last season.
2017 IPL Best Picks
A little under 12 months ago it’s unlikely that any IPL side would be waving huge amounts of cash at Ben Stokes. The England all-rounder had single-handedly lost the world T20 final by serving 4 consecutive balls into Carlos Brathwaite’s slot but unlike many of his contemporaries, the Durham man is prepared to learn from poor performances and he isn’t the one-dimensional bowler that this final over suggested.
Rising Pune Supergiants made Stokes the best paid international player ever but if he lifts them from last season’s seventh place, into the play offs then the price tag will be irrelevant. One concern will be a modest T20 batting average of 22.71 overall and a best of just 38 at international level but expect that to grow and combine with skilled death bowling that is certain to see Pune improve.
Tymal Mills at £1.4m is more of a gamble and Indian fans, and supporters of RCB in particular who witnessed his displays in the recent T20 series may be wondering what the fuss is all about. If in doubt, check a highlights reel where Mills bamboozled Chris Gayle and Mahela Jayawardena while playing for his county Sussex against Somerset last year.
The left armer has lightning – 90+ MPH – pace and a devilish slower ball that can literally make him unplayable at times. Fitness, and that long standing back complaint, will be a worry over a long tournament and Royal Challengers will need to manage Mills through his first IPL and rest him if it’s needed.
While those two Englishmen grabbed the headlines, the signing of Jason Roy by Gujarat Lions went under the radar. Roy performed solidly for Sydney Sixers for the first half of the Big Bash and while his T20 international record is underwhelming at the moment, he has four centuries in the shortest format. Having witnessed two of those tons at first hand, I’m sure that the Lions have a real bargain here.
At IPL 9 while playing for Kings XI, Mitchell Johnson had just called time on his international career and he looked like a man in need of a rest. He got that break, performed brilliantly for Perth Scorchers at the Big Bash, and I think that Mumbai have made a shrewd purchase here. Johnson looks fit again and back to his hostile best.
In my opinion, Delhi Dardevils got a lot wrong at this auction but their best purchase by far was that of South African seamer Kagiso Rabada. He’s just 21 and seen as something of a test specialist but he has a respectable bowling average and economy rate in the short form and this could be a breakthrough tournament.
Kings XI Punjab didn’t do a great deal of business themselves but I like the signings of Matt Henry and Varun Aaron. With Eoin Morgan, Darren Sammy and Martin Guptill also snapped up and David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Hashim Amla and Shaun Marsh as the retained overseas, it wouldn’t surprise me if Henry sits it out but he is a typically nagging Kiwi bowler who takes wickets and is hard to get away and if KXIP are to improve, Henry and Aaron should start as a new ball pairing.
KKR are another franchise who, for me, didn’t do well at this auction but Trent Boult is the best of their signings. A dangerous left armer who is surprisingly good in the field. The same qualities are held by Chris Jordan who crosses from RCB to the Sunrisers and will bring a safe pair of hands, dangerous late order hitting and skilled death bowling to the reigning champions.
Of the remaining domestic purchases, there are no real standouts with franchises leaving behind some established names in the hope of landing another Rishabh Pant but Pawan Negi and Aditya Tare could be useful acquisitions for RCB and Delhi respectively.
2017 IPL Worst Picks
I’m not here to push the qualities of all the English players so the list of worst picks starts with Chris Woakes who arrives at KKR for a sizeable 4.2 Crore. At test level and in English conditions, this is an impressive cricketer with great movement and control of the ball who could eventually become the successor to Jimmy Anderson.
Woakes is more than useful with the bat too but away from home and in limited overs formats he bowls too straight with little variation in pace and length. I don’t understand the big price tag here.
Kolkata spent considerably less on Darren Bravo but again, this doesn’t look to be a wise investment. He is experienced but is overlooked for the West Indies T20 squad where he has a best of 42 in 11 knocks. Why would you pick Darren Bravo when Marlon Samuels was left unsold?
As for Delhi Daredevils, where do we start? Aside from Rabada, their overseas purchases are admittedly dangerous but hugely injury prone and it would be no huge surprise to see Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews and Pat Cummins all spending more time in the physio’s room than they do on the bench.
I’m sorry but I don’t buy in to the fairy-tale surrounding 45 year old Pravin Tambe. At 10 Lakh, Sunrisers Hyderabad haven’t exactly broken the bank to land him so you may argue that this isn’t a bad signing but it’s not money well spent if he doesn’t play.
I’d also add that any funds spent on the underwhelming Saurabh Tiwary represents a gamble. It’s only 30 lakh but he doesn’t bowl, offers a very, very rare contribution with the bat and I think he’s the one poor purchase for Mumbai Indians.
Players to Watch
While Tambe could well sit out the whole of IPL 10, he may enjoy watching young leg spinner Rashid Khan, the 18 year old leg spinner from Afghanistan who comes here as one of the associate players. Khan has to battle a strong Sunrisers overseas roster but there is a lot of discussion around a teenager who has 31 wickets in 21 T20Is.
New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson will have his work cut out to get a game for Pune but he has impressed since coming into the Kiwi squad at the end of last year.
But for many, it’s the young Indian players that stir the most excitement as we wait to see just who will break through this year. And from the big list of potential names, the price tags surrounding Aniket Choudhary and T Natajaran have raised the most eyebrows.
Choudhary lines up with pre-tournament favourites RCB and at 27, isn’t in the youngster category and his stats don’t exactly justify the price tag. However, the Royal Challengers rarely get it wrong so we have to watch out for him.
Natajaran isn’t much younger at 25 and once again has very little experience. KXIP do get things wrong but there is a lot of talk around his name.