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Delhi Capitals have built a nice young squad once again with a good core group of players. They got David Warner, who is an attacking opening batsman, and Shardul Thakur, an all-rounder. Buying Mitchell Marsh, a power-hitting top-order batter who won Australia the T20 World Cup was a good tactic. They invested in left-arm pacers, such as Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, and Khaleel Ahmed. Their team is looking very strong this year, and they should make a strong push for the IPL Title.
Chennai has been the most consistent team in the whole tournament. They are notorious for buying as many all-rounders as possible, and that gives MS Dhoni more options to use. They won the title last year and looked to buy back many of the same players. However, they lost Shardul Thakur and Faf du Plessis to teams that had more money. CSK replaced them with Shivam Dube and Devon Conway respectively. Deepak Chahar’s hamstring injury is a concern, but they have capable backup players. For example, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, is a tremendous prospect. Chris Jordan and Adam Milne give them great pace, something they didn’t have last year and is a great move from the management. With the type of chemistry this team builds and with a captain like MS Dhoni, I predict a strong future for this team.
3. Punjab Kings
Punjab had the biggest purse out of all of the teams, and they didn’t let it go to waste. Their previous squad was completely overhauled, as only Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh were retained. They paid for Liam Livingstone who is a dynamic batter who can bowl both off and leg-spin. They bought the young phenom Raj Bawa who played fantastically in the U19 World Cup. They also got Kagiso Rabada who will lead the bowling attack. The things that will restrain this team are the lack of Indian talent, and they don’t have batting depth, which has proved to be crucial in T20s.
One of the new teams, the Super Giants, impressed me during the auction. They started off with KL Rahul, Marcus Stoinis, and Ravi Bishnoi, and they built their team around these selections very nicely. They got Quinton de Kock and have a nice group of Indian batters with KL Rahul, Deepak Hooda, and Manish Pandey. Pacers like Avesh Khan and Jason Holder will be crucial. The one concern is the spinning department, but Ravi Bishnoi should be a long-term option for Lucknow. Overall, Lucknow had a good auction strategy and comes into the season with all bases covered.
Mumbai has always looked to fill their middle-order Indian all-rounders like Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya, but this year, they have lost both. They tried to replace them with Tim David, but he isn’t a genuine all-rounder. These Indian options gave them the flexibility to play more overseas bowlers, but they don’t have that this year. They bid for N. Tilak Varma, who gives them an Indian option, but he isn’t that experienced. They also bought Dewald Brevis, a South African phenom. Their most notable addition is Jofra Archer, who will return next year, and the combination of Bumrah and Archer will be amazing. For this year, however, they don’t have as many options as they would like to have.
6. Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB needed a captain and made one of the most underrated moves of the auction. They chose Faf du Plessis. Faf is a brilliant captain and, in my opinion, a better batting option than Shreyas Iyer. One problem this team has had in the past is a weak bowling order, but they fixed that this year with Hazlewood and Hasaranga. However, closing a hole opens another one, as they do not really have a strong Indian middle-order batter, which is crucial with the number of overseas bowlers and Faf that they have. Once again, this team will be very reliant on Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis, and if they don’t perform, RCB will be in big trouble.
Rajasthan invested in Indian bowling options like Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, and Navdeep Saini along with a few overseas bowlers such as Trent Boult. They found Devdutt Paddikal, who is one of the best young batsmen in the league, and Yashasvi Jaiswal, a promising batter. Once again, their lack of Indian batters will hold them back, but they have a strong roster on paper.
Gujarat looked to follow what CSK has done so well, investing in all-rounders. They have Hardik Pandya, Dominic Drakes, Rahul Tewatia, and Vijay Shankar. However, their batting department looks weak on paper, with the only notable players being Shubman Gill. Also, they didn’t plan in their auction strategy for a wicket-keeper, so had to frantically bid in the end overs for Matthew Wade and Wriddhiman Saha, neither of which are batters opposing teams will fear very much.
KKR bought Shreyas Iyer as their captain for 12 crores. Their team’s success will depend on the performance of their bowling unit, which has underperformed in the past years. Their batting group looks similar to last year, with Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine. They don’t have a good wicket-keeper, which is very problematic. Their success depends on the performance and fitness of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy. If those two are healthy, they could produce excellent bowling performances, but their batting is a concern.
SRH was disappointed during the auction. They were quiet during the first day and didn’t make that many notable moves during the second day. They got Nicholas Pooran for 10 crores, a massive overpayment in my opinion. They have too many overseas players that they bought, with not many quality Indian players in between. Their lack of high-performance Indian players will limit them, which is why they are at the bottom of this list.
Adi Anand is 13-years-old and an 8th grader living in San Jose, California. He is an avid cricketer and sports aficionado.
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