How are the IPL teams shaping up after day 1 of the mega auction?
We don't have a huge number of cricket lovers within the Sportstalk community but we do have a good number of football fans. Therefore the easiest way to describe an IPL mega auction in terms you'll likely understand is to think of it like transfer deadline day, expect that unlike transfer deadline day, shit happens!
About 90% of the world's top white ball cricketers will be bid for over the weekend with the best of them set to earn contracts in the region of $2million for 8 weeks of cricket, not bad work if you can get it!
With 2 new franchises coming into the tournament and a plethora of home grown and overseas stars for the teams to bid on it was always likely to be an exciting day and we've got at least a glimpse of how the 10 teams will line up come April's tournament.
Here's how they are looking so far and what we might expect come day 2 of the auction...
Stability, Stability, Stability! The most successful franchise in IPL history certainly likes to keep things as they are.
It was no major surprise that they opted to retain Ravi Jadeja, a player who can and regularly does win games in all 3 disciplines. To some it may have been more controversial that they also kept MS Dhoni who at 40-years-old struggled to have a major impact with the bat in CSK's latest title win but it's his leadership of this team that CSK value more highly than anything and would b almost unthinkable to have a CSK without Dhoni.
Retaining Dhoni is also a smart move longer term because while he does take up a chunk of CSK's purse now, when he does finally hang-up his gloves, it will allow the franchise to go big on his replacement in a later auction.
With CSK retaining Moeen Ali and Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the auction, they were always going to have a good core of the team from last season available and they've only added to that by re-signing Robin Uthappa, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar and KM Asif.
CSK are looking for Gaikwad to continue his fine form over the last couple of seasons
Again, some might say that in the likes of Uthappa, Rayudu and Bravo they have gone for players in the autumn of their careers but these are tried and trusted men in Chennai who will fit into a system and side that continues to deliver results.
Deepak Chahar was CSK's biggest buy of day 1 as the men in yellow re-signed him for 14 crore or approximately $1.8 million USD. Again, we are looking at a player here who the captain and coach know and trust with Chahar's ability to swing the ball early on and take wickets in the powerplay crucial to CSK's title defence.
What are they still in the market for? An opening batsman, middle order batsmen and fast bowlers. You might also say they need a wrist spinner too but they've managed without one in previous seasons so we'll wait and see,
The Capitals have been arguably the best side of the last 2 IPLs but can't shake the monkey off their backs when it comes to securing a first title.
They kept faith with Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel and Anrich Nortje pre-auction and had a busy day today reshaping their side.
Aussie coach Ricky Ponting will be re-united with David Warner, the former SRH skipper who was deemed surplus to requirements by the Orange Army last year. Warner is still the 5th highest run scorer in the competition's history and returns to the capital for a second spell with a point to prove. He is also joined by Mitch Marsh whose exploits contributed to Australia's win in the recent T20 World Cup. Despite his fine form, Marsh represents something of gamble for the Capitals given his poor history with injuries and relatively meagre returns when he has been available for previous IPLs.
Other big signings for DC included Shardul Thakar whom they had to fight off competition from multiple other suitors to land for over 10 crore. The strength of Capitals in recent years has rested with their Indian talent and in Thakar alongside young seamer Kamlesh Nagarkoti, they look to be trying to continue that trend.
Elsewhere, the Capitals also signed a couple of players who are perhaps looking to revitalise their careers in Mustafizur Rahman and Kuldeep Yadav. The Fizz had a decent season with Rajasthan Royals last time out and will offer good variety with his left-arm change ups. Meanwhile Kuldeep Yadav, once one of the most sort after wrist spinners in the world game, has struggled to make any sort of impact for the last couple of years. Can he get his mojo back at Delhi?
What are they still in the market for? Middle order batsmen and an off-spinner will be the main targets.
1 of the 2 new franchises who will feature in IPL 2022, Gujarat have moved to secure several big names including Rashid Khan and Hardik Pandya. The later who has been named captain, had a disappointing season last year with Mumbai Indians and will be looking to bounce back both with the bat and ball providing he can regain fitness.
Gujarat also signed Shubman Gill who is certainly one of India's best young Test prospects but is perhaps yet to truly find his niche in the shortest format. The opposite of course can be said of Jason Roy who may partner Gill at the top of the order and will be relishing the chance to finally get a good run within an IPL franchise.
Lockie Ferguson has been a potent weapon for KKR in recent seasons
Fast bowling wise, Gujarat also secured the services of Mohammed Shami and Lockie Ferguson both of whom are proven wicket takers at this level while Rahul Tewatia and Noor Ahmad provide even further wrist-spin options alongside Rashid.
What are they still in the market for? Batsmen and plenty of them as well as a wicket-keeper.
Last seasons beaten finalists opted to retain Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer and on day 1 of the auction brought back Pat Cummins, Nitish Rana, and Shivam Mavi.
Venkatesh Iyer was a key player in KKR's run to the final last season
I'm not sure that retain Russell was the best move by KKR. The big hitting innings have become fewer and father between in recent years and its difficult to trust his body if you are relying on him as a bowler. Worst of all, his general attitude and body language didn't suggest he was the kind of guy you'd want around the dressing room so let's see how he fairs in 2022.
With Eoin Morgan not being retained, the big question for KKR going into the auction was who was going to captain the side this year and in signing former Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer they may have moved to answer that.
What are they still in the market for? A keeper-batsman, a left-armer and some change-up bowlers will be high on the shopping list
Lucknow Super Giants
The 2nd of the 2 new franchises has managed to secure the big name signings of KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock who should form a formidable partnership at the top of the order. Meanwhile Ravi Bishnoi, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya and Avesh Khan all bring plenty of IPL experience as home players and mean that Lucknow are just a few key signings away from looking like a really competitive side.
KL Rahul has become a key performer in all formats for India
Jason Holder and Marcus Stoinis offer all-round options and have been effective for SRH and DC in recent tournaments. Alongside the likes of Hooda and Pandya, it means that Lucknow have a good crop of all-rounders who all offer something slighty different with both bat and ball.
They've also managed to secure the signing of England's Mark Wood who will bring genuine pace to their side and gives KL Rahul a different option in those middle overs.
What are they still in the market for? KL Rahul had to carry his previous franchise PBKS and so he'll be hoping for some middle order reinforcements to help with the run scoring. Elsewhere, a left-arm fast bowling option wouldn't go amiss.
As defending champions, Mumbai went into last season's IPL with high hopes of being the first team in the tournament's history to win 3 back to back titles but ultimately failed to live up to expectations.
Big names Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah were retained alongside the ever excellent Suryakumar Yadav and experienced Kieron Pollard.
Mumbai splashed out plenty on bringing Ishan Kishan back to the franchise with the pocket rocket of a left-hander perhaps also getting the chance with the gloves now that Quinton de Kock has left. He had a bit of scratchy performance last year (as did many in MI) and as well as taking de Kock's keeper role will likely be eyeing up a spot as opener too.
Elsewhere Mumbai had a quiet 1st day at the auction, spending 3 crore on Dewald Brevis, the U-19 South African batsman who has been dubbed the next AB de Villiers but who might find that the IPL is a few steps higher in level than the cricket he has been playing so far in his fledgling career. They also signed Murugan Ashwin who will at the very least add an extra spin option to their ranks.
What are they still in the market for? Bowlers of all shapes and forms. Jasprit Bumrah is good but unfortunately for MI, he can't bowl all 20 overs...
Punjab Kings have certainly been consistent in previous editions of the IPL but unfortunately for their fans that is consistently awful with the franchise having only once reached the playoffs. A major shake-up was inevitable with only Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh retained, leaving the Kings with plenty of cash to throw around on day 1 of the auction.
They did opt to re-sign Shahrukh Khan and Harpreet Brar but it was the other buys that really caught the eye. Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow and Rahul Chahar certainly bring a pedigree that has been missing in previous years and with a few more careful signings PBKS will be hoping that this is finally the year they can deliver.
What are they still in the market for? The middle order and all-round options have long been a weakness and they'll need to look for further options on day 2 of the auction to avoid falling into a familiar problem.
The Royals are the franchise that I follow and while they look less likely to have as strong an English contingent as they have in previous years they are still in pretty good shape after day 1 of the auction.
Having opted to retain the likes of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal, the Royals further strengthened their options in the top order by acquiring emerging star Devdutt Padikkal as well as Shimron Hetmyer who began to repay the faith that franchises have placed in him with a couple of good innings for DC last year.
Part of their problem in recent years has been how to fit all the top-order talent into a starting XI with so many of their players being better suited to batting in the top 3. Have they created a similar problem with Samson, Buttler, Padikkal and Jaiswal?
The Royal's bowling was very inconsistent last year but they have brought in Ravi Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna and Yuzvendra Chahal and in that regard already look to have the core of good and varied bowling attack to choose from with undoubtedly a bit of firepower still to come.
What are they still in the market for? Middle order and all-round options will be the Royal's main orders of business on day 2.
The long wait continues for RCB and their fans who despite having seen some of the world's premier short form cricketers grace their colours, are yet to claim a first IPL title.
With Virat Kohli stepping down from the captaincy, RCB are left with something of a dilema in regards who will lead the team this year. Sheryas Iyer was hotly tipped to be the man but has since gone to KKR with RCB signing the experienced Faf du Plessis as an option alongside Glenn Maxwell who they retained should they wish to appoint an overseas skipper.
Elsewhere, RCB brought back Harshal Patel whose wicket taking exploits looked like they might take the men in red and gold all the way in 2021. He is joined by Josh Hazlewood who showed his value in this form of the game last year for CSK while RCB also signed Wanindu Hasaranga, the talented Sri Lankan who shone at the recent T20 World Cup and will be looking to further his claims as being one of the best short form cricketers around with a good run in the upcoming IPL.
Watch out for the googly...
What are they still in the market for? A resolution to the captaincy question (assuming they haven't already answered it). Middle-order and all-round options and a left-armer.
It'd be fair to say that last season SRH had a stinker! It is no real surprise then that most of their established stars have been shipped out with just captain Kane Williamson and youngsters Abdul Samad and Umran Malik retained. SRH have though moved to reunite Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Priyam Garg, and Abhishek Sharma with the side so there will be plenty of familiar faces within a side that has generally seen stability as the way forward.
Indeed the SRH ownership have been quite vocal against the idea of these mega-auctions, suggesting that they don't encourage franchises to develop young talent and therefore perhaps it wasn't majorly surprising to see them literally put their money where their mouth is in signing so many.
SRH have kept faith with young raw talent like Abdul Samad, Umran Malik and Priyam Garg to turn things around in 2022
Most of SRH's business on Day 1 saw them bringing in plenty of home grown talent to sit alongside the names already mentioned with Washington Sundar,Rahul Tripathi, Kartik Tyagi and Shreyas Gopal all bringing IPL experience with them.
In fact the only non-India player that SRH have signed apart from their skipper Kane Williamson is Nicholas Pooran who has a real point to prove following a couple of lean seasons for PBKS.
What are they still in the market for? Overseas players and preferabbly ones that can add a bit of experience to an otherwise raw middle order
There are still a huge number of big name cricketers up for auction on day 2 so expect to see things heating up as the 10 teams bid against each other for their services!