Players that each franchise can target at mini-auction

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have announced their list of players retained and players released. There is still room to make some trades but the hand, in large part, has been dealt. IPL mini-auction will take place on 19 December in Dubai and teams have been delivered a list of players that would be up for grabs. Now it is up to the franchises to declare who they’re interested in with 77 slots to be filled.

We take a look at the auction strategy each franchise can employ two weeks from now.

Chennai Super Kings

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CSK released Ben Stokes, due to injury, and the retired Ambati Rayudu from their title-winning squad from last season. Other key releases are Dwaine Pretorius and Kyle Jamieson. The release of Stokes and Rayudu are crucial areas to fill.

With that in mind, some of the players CSK could target are Manish Pandey, Alzarri Joseph, Josh Hazlewood, Shahrukh Khan, Karun Nair, Pat Cummins. Australia’s World Cup winner Cummins can be an interesting inclusion with the seamer bringing in level-headed bowling approach and plenty of experience at the top level. Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh Khan would be a fairly smart and obvious choice considering he hails from the state. Manish Pandey could well be top of CSK’s ‘must get’ list as a substitute for Rayudu. Pandey is a composed batter and has the ability to forge partnerships.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

RCB released Josh Hazlewood in a big and bold move. Other key exits are Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga. In all, Royal Challengers Bangalore let go of 11 players. Meanwhile, the franchise have brought in allrounder Cameron Green from Mumbai Indians in a trade.

With purse of Rs 23.25 crore and six slots to fill, including three overseas ones, RCB have enough money in the bank to make one or two big signings. RCB need a power hitter and Shahrukh Khan is an interesting choice after being released by Punjab Kings. Aman Hakim Khan, released by Delhi Capitals, could be an interesting get as someone who is a new ball bowler and has the ability to go hammer and tongs. RCB could well get him without breaking bank either. South Africa’s Gerald Coetzee is one that RCB could get for his raw pace and a perfect replacement for Hazlewood. Even though RCB released Hasaranga, the team can still go after the Sri Lanka spinner and for a lower value. If not, there is an option to get Adil Rashid. With Harshal Patel not part of the squad, someone who could fill his shoes is Kartik Tyagi. The former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) bowler can be one for the long term.

Gujarat Titans

IPL 2023 runners-up have a huge gap to fill after trading Hardik Pandya to Mumbai Indians. With Pandya not in the squad going into the mini-auction, Gujarat Titans have a hefty Rs 38.15 crore remaining in their purse with eight slots to fill. Dasun Shanaka, Shivam Mavi, Odean Smith and Alzarri Joseph are some of the key players released.

GT have been stellar in the two seasons due to their reliable finishers like David Miller, Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan but with Pandya gone, they need someone who can stabilise the innings if needed. Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Sai Sudharshan and Vijay Shankar are all useful but have IPL strike rate of less than 140.

GT could target the likes of Travis Head, Harry Brook, Finn Allen as explosive batters who can attack the opposition. The team may also go for a keeper alongside Saha with Shashank Singh and Luvnith Sisodia likely choices.

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians have already made two important moves in the trade window. Romario Shepherd has come in from Lucknow Super Giants and  With Pandya joining, MI needed to make space in the purse and that warranted a move for Cameron Green to RCB. In terms of players released, England’s Jofra Archer is a big one owing to long injury layoff.

MI have a purse remaining of Rs 17.75 crore, the third lowest among the 10 teams, and have a maximum of eight slots to fill. They, however, could play bold for one signing and conservative on couple more. MI may target overseas bowler/allrounder at the mini-auction. This opens the door for Coetzee who had a stellar World Cup campaign for South Africa. Wanindu Hasaranga, on the road to recovery, was released by RCB. If fit, he could be a neat addition to the spin bowling department with the ability to bat at eight or nine. Bangladesh’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman is reportedly the only Bangladesh player to register at the elevated base price of Rs 2 crore. A star in global T20 leagues, the spinner could be an option if Hasaranga doesn’t work out. Interestingly, MI can also make the most of the opportunity to sign MI Cape Town players Beuran Hendricks and George Linde.

Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals have released 11 players from last year’s squad including West Indies batter Rovman Powell and South Africa batter Rilee Rossouw. Of the 11, three are bowlers and eight are batters which highlights where they will be focused during the mini-auction.

DC have a maximum of nine slots to fill, four of them overseas options. They have Rs 28.95 crore to spend on at least two players to meet the IPL squad criteria.

With Prithvi Shaw displaying a miserable show last season, DC could go after Travis Head for an all-Aussie opening pair alongside David Warner. Another batter that DC could target is New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra. The Black Caps player showed his ability to score and do it at good pace during the World Cup. With DC dropping middle order batters Manish Pandey, Rilee Rossouw, Rovman Powell, and Sarfaraz Khan, they need reinforcements in this department as well. With that in mind, Daryl Mitchell could be just the player for the job. In the bowling department, they may go after Gerald Coetzee and Pat Cummins.

Lucknow Super Giants

Lucknow Super Giants have been to the playoff in two seasons but not been able to contest for the trophy. They would be aiming for someone special to elevate their performances when it matters most. LSG have retained 19 players from the previous season and kept six overseas players. They can bring in at most six more players, including two foreign recruits, from their purse of Rs 13.15 crore. LSG brought in Devdutt Padikkal to bolster their batting and sent Avesh Khan to Rajasthan Royals as part of the trade. Also exiting the franchise was Romario Shepherd (joining Mumbai Indians).

Karun Nair and Jaydev Unadkat are two of the biggest names to be released by LSG. Daryl Mitchell and Shakib Al Hasan are choices to strengthen the middle order. LSG only have one strong spinner in their midst in the form of Ravi Bishnoi. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Wanindu Hasaranga could be useful additions in that department.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Expect Kolkata Knight Riders to be aggressively involved in the mini-auction after releasing the most players ahead of the deadline. Reduced to 13 players, KKR have had a firesale of players and are clearly looking for an overhaul under the mentorship of Gautam Gambhir. KKR released 12 players including six overseas individuals.

With 32.7 crore remaining in their purse, KKR will go big for players they are after. Travis Head is expected to be one of them after impressing plenty at the ODI World Cup especially after a blazing century in the final. Additionally, he brings in off-spin bowling abilities to highlight his CV further.

Shahrukh Khan is someone KKR can aim for as a finishing partner for Rinku Singh. Having released David Wiese and Shardul Thakur, KKR need someone as backup for injury-prone Andre Russell. Azmatullah Omarzai is an ideal pick in that regard.

With KKR releasing six seamers, they need multiple options. A quality fast bowler with experience would be top of the chart and Josh Hazlewood fits that bill perfectly. Also presenting an option for the fast-bowling department is Kartik Tyagi who may become a long-term investment.

Punjab Kings

Still gunning for their first IPL title, Punjab Kings have retained 17 players ahead of the mini-auction which means they have space for a maximum eight players including two overseas. Among the players released, Shahrukh Khan is the most glaring choice.

With Rs 29.1 crore remaining in the purse, PBKS have the money to make a splash. Among the players retained, Shikhar Dhawan might be past his best while Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone have not been consistent. With two overseas slots remaining, they could fill one with Harry Brook of England.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

One player that Sunrisers Hyderabad could consider signing is one that they released: Harry Brook. Having released him ahead of the mini-auction, SRH could go for him against but at a lower price. Having spent Rs 13.25 crore on him in auction last year, they failed to get the most out of him in a forgettable campaign. The team is heavily dependent on the trio of Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, and Glenn Phillips for their runs and need others to step in. With three overseas slots available and Rs 34 crore in the bank, it does make sense to give Brook another chance.

SRH need a massive overhaul to overturn a dreadful season where they won just four games. They have the money to spend at the mini-auction and can go after the players they desperately need. They’ve released Adil Rashid and Akeal Hosein indicating they might look for a spinner and Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman is one they can go after; former SRH bowler Mohammad Nabi is also a choice.

With middle-order batters struggling in IPL 2023, SRH need reinforcements in that department. Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra are options worth exploring. Another role that needs clarity is the opening slot with the team shuffling things around. As it stands, Abhishek Sharma and Mayank Agarwal are the only two options. Enter, Travis Head, maybe?

Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals had a close finish in contention for playoffs last season. They would look to go one better this time around. Sanju Samson-led side has released nine players from their squad and retained 16. There has been one trade with Avesh Khan coming in as Devdutt Padikkal went the other way to LSG.

With a squad of 17 players, RR have at most eight gaps to fill and three in the overseas category. They don’t have the big bucks to spend though with Rs 14.5 crore remaining.

RR have released some big names in the form of Joe Root and Jason Holder. The team has a strong top-order of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler and Samson but struggle in the middle. With Padikkal leaving, a middle-order choice becomes blatantly obvious. Harry Brook, Daryl Mitchell, Steve Smith, Rovman Powell and Shahrukh Khan are some choices. One more gap is in the medium-pace department and someone like a Chris Woakes would be useful.

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