Euro 2020 Special
 

Indian T20 League: Winner And Losers From The Mini-Auction

The mini-auction for the 2023 edition of the Indian T20 League concluded last week with all ten franchises breaking the bank to acquire key players. Overseas players broke records during the mini-auction, with all-rounders from England and Australia seeing fierce bidding wars from franchises. As the dust settles, it is clear that some teams came out of the mini-auction with greatly improved teams, while others might have mismanaged their auction strategy and are left with critical gaps in their squad.

Let’s take a look at where each team stands after the Indian T20 League mini-auction:

 

Winners – Team Chennai

Team Chennai decided to overhaul their team in the mini-auction after a disastrous campaign earlier this year, with the franchise deciding to let go of many core players. Team Chennai’s marquee acquisition in the mini-auction was Ben Stokes, who fetched a record sum of  ₹16.25 crores. They have also secured the services of New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson and Ajinkya Rahane.

With the next edition of the Indian T20 League likely to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s last appearance in the Indian T20 League, the franchise is keen to make it to the finals of the tournament – with a captaincy change likely. Ben Stokes is expected to fill up the space vacated by Dwayne Bravo but also serve as the team’s captain for the next edition.

In the bowling department, Kyle Jamieson is expected to add firepower in the death overs. But the absence of Josh Hazlewood and Dwayne Bravo will be keenly felt. An injury-free season is key to a successful season for Team Chennai as they lack quality backups in the bowling department.

 

Winners – Team Mumbai

Team Mumbai made fierce bids for both Sam Curran and Cameron Green before settling in for the Australian star. The all-rounder is expected to form a core part of Team Mumbai’s plans throughout the season, with Surya Kumar Yadav’s incredible form in T20Is making their batting lineup the best among all teams on paper.

With the retention of Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer, Team Mumbai were already strong with their pace attack. The addition of Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardsonto their squad further increases the depth of their bowling lineup. With their spin lineup lacking any big-name stars, Rohit Sharma has to rely on his pacers to deliver consistently throughout the season.  

 

Winners – Team Hyderabad

Team Hyderabad have brought in England’s Harry Brook to replace Kane Williamson, with the English star expected to play in the middle-order for the team. Mayank Agarwal could be a potential captaincy option for Team Hyderabad and is expected to add firepower at the top of the order. Heinrich Klaasen is expected to be the first-choice wicketkeeper, doubling as the team’s finisher for most of the season.

The absence of Rashid Khan exposed Team Hyderabad’s weakness last season, and they have snapped up Adil Rashid and Akeal Hossain to bolster their spin department in the mini-auction. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is expected to lead the bowling attack alongside Thangarasu Natarajan.

It is the batsmen who have been the weakness of Team Hyderabad in the past, and their fortunes to outright win the next edition of the Indian T20 League are low.

 

Losers – Team Lucknow

Team Lucknow might have made the biggest miscalculation of the mini-auction by acquiring Nicholas Pooran for a record 16 crores. To be fair, Team Lucknow were in desperate need of a middle-order batsman after they released both Manish Pandey and Evin Lewis. The franchise also focussed much of its remaining purse on acquiring all-rounders – Daniel Sams, Romario Shepherd and Prerak Mankad are expected to be bowlers who can help the team with the bat when the situation demands.

It remains to be seen if Nicholas Pooran can justify the high price he fetched in the auction. Except for the former West Indies captain, there are unlikely to be any major changes to their starting XI from the last season.

 

Losers – Team Bangalore

Team Bangalore went into the mini-auction with just 8.75 crores and expectedly did not make any major signings. They were able to sign England’s Will Jacks and Reece Topley to their team, with the remaining purse spent on domestic players. Team Bangalore have decided to place their faith in the core team that took them to the third-place playoffs last year, with the likes of Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell leading the team.

Team Bangalore are banking on Wanindu Hasaranga to do most of the heavy lifting in the bowling department. But the rest of the bowling attack looks weak, especially as they return to the batting-friendly Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. With the lack of a solid opener who can attack from the first ball and the absence of a strong finisher apart from Glenn Maxwell, Team Bangalore might once again struggle to win the games with close margins.

 

Losers – Team Punjab

Despite their record acquisition of Sam Curran making all the headlines last week, Team Punjab look under-equipped once again entering into the tournament. Team Punjab still heavily rely on their overseas batters, with Shikhar Dhawan underperforming as an opener. Team Punjab entered the mini-auction with a very large purse but failed to pick any match winners for their team.

With Jonny Bairstow already in the team, the addition of Liam Livingstone has the potential to bolster Team Punjab’s batting lineup at the top. Shahrukh Khan can also be the X-factor for the team if he is given enough opportunities. Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada are exceptional with the ball in the shortest format of the game and can win games for the team if they are given enough scores to defend.

With an excessive emphasis on Sam Curran’s acquisition, Team Punjab might have lost track of the overall picture. They will enter the next edition of the Indian T20 League with less than an ideal lineup.

 

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