Delhi already had a sound XI on paper before heading into the auction. Although, they were missing players with all-round skills. They were expected to go after a few all-round players who may or may not start in the XI but can be handy back-ups.
This is where Delhi’s strategy seemed strange in the auction. The only all-rounder they tried to sign was Cameron Green and they went for him quite aggressively, bidding until 17.25 crore, which was nearly 89% of their purse. Spending that heavy an amount on a player with little T20 experience under his belt (only 21 T20s overall as yet) and without being guaranteed a playing XI spot is quite questionable.
Meanwhile, many handy all-rounders like Sikandar Raza and David Wiese were bagged by other teams without any challenging bids.
What makes it more baffling is the signing of Manish Pandey and Ishant Sharma. Two veterans with a grim record over the past few seasons only exhausted slots that could have been invested in more valuable players. In the last accelerated auction round, Delhi had over 9 crore left in the purse with only one spot available.
The only multi-skilled purchase is Phil Salt at his base price of 2 crore. Probably Delhi’s best buy in the auction, Salt adds value both as a wicket-keeper and an attacking opener, whenever required.
Delhi’s last pick was Rilee Rossouw, probably the best pick in the last accelerated round. A T20 globetrotter, Rossouw adds the most star value to Delhi’s roster from this auction. He is a brilliant replacement for both Mitchell Marsh and Rovman Powell from Delhi’s provisional XI before the auction and can walk in ahead of Powell too. However, the South African is another one of those single-skilled players purchased by Delhi.
David Warner*, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh*, Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Rovman Powell/Rilee Rossouw*, Sarfraz Khan, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje*, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed
Auction verdict: Average
From the team that lost the bid for Cameron Green to the side that won it. Mumbai spent 85.2% of their purse to secure the Australian all-rounder. It was a strange decision knowing that the five-time champions would have benefited a lot more from a bowling allrounder. Green, on the contrary, has bowled only 22 overs in eight innings he has bowled in 21 T20s. Based on their current first-choice XI, Mumbai will have to make certain changes to fit in Green, make optimum use of his primary skill that is his batting and churn out four overs from him in every game.
However, as Akash Ambani, the owner of Mumbai Indians suggested, Green is picked for his future value. “If you have noticed, over the last two auctions, we have deliberately picked players that are young and give us more lifetime value and that’s why we thought that Cameron is the perfect guy for us to come in,” he said.
Moving past Green, Mumbai bought two overseas pacers in Jhye Richardson and Duan Jansen to bolster their pace department. While those are significant inclusions, the lack of purse limited them to buy back Piyush Chawla as their only specialist wrist-spinner.
Rohit Sharma ( c ), Ishan Kishan (wk), Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Dewald Brevis*, Cameron Green*, Tim David*, Hrithik Shokeen, Jofra Archer/Jason Behrendorff*, Kumar Kartikeya, Jasprit Bumrah
Auction verdict: Average
The Hyderabad franchise had a number of gaps to plug. With the right intent and the maximum purse, they have addressed most of the issues, rendering the 2023 IPL auction a successful venture for them.
Their first aim was a top-quality leg-spinner and bagged one as soon as Adil Rashid appeared as the first spinner in the auction, without any bids to counter. On top of that, they also fetched Mayank Markande, just in case they need an Indian leg-spinner in the XI.
But their biggest signing was Harry Brook. He came at a whopping expense of INR 13.25 crore, but with their purse, Hyderabad got him without breaking a sweat. And the further addition of Mayank Agarwal to their roster ensured they have plenty of batting resources to pick from. In Heinrich Klaasen, they fetched a solid wicketkeeping backup.
Post their big signings, Hyderabad filled other slots with handy domestic cricketers, including the likes of Vivrant Sharma, Mayank Dagar and Sanvi Singh to complete their squad of 25.
The only player Hyderabad missed was a seam bowling all-rounder. Considering they completed the auction with 6.55 crore still in the bank, they could have pushed for Sam Curran. His inclusion, or of any other reliable seam bowling all-rounder, could have given their XI a complete look. But they tick boxes in all other departments, which now lend them great flexibility in their first-choice XI.
Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram*, Glenn Phillips (wk)*, Harry Brook*, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Adil Rashid*, Umran Malik, T Natarajan/Kartik Tyagi
Auction verdict: Very good
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Bangalore had one of the most stable XIs heading into the auction. Hence, they were only looking for back-ups and acquired two England cricketers, which can be justified by the presence of Englishmen in their management.
Will Jacks comes in as a like-for-like replacement for Glenn Maxwell with immense potential for the future. Reece Topley is a decent back-up for Josh Hazlewood, especially when the side already has David Willey. Both Maxwell and Hazlewood are recovering from injuries that make the inclusion of Jacks and Topley significant.
Bangalore acquired five domestic players within INR 1.9 crore. Therefore, despite going in with a budget of only INR 8.75 crore, they were left with INR 2.25 crore post the auction.
Could they have gone for an Indian wicketkeeping reserve for Dinesh Karthik is the only question they didn’t answer.
Faf du Plessis ( c )*, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell*, Mahipal Lomror, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga*, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood
Auction verdict: Average
Lucknow Super Giants
Lucknow had two spots to fill in the auction - a batter at number three/four and reserve for the injury-prone Mark Wood at number eight. They took care of the first by signing Nicholas Pooran at an extravagant amount of INR 16 crore. But they won’t be bothered about the price given they had the third highest purse. And Pooran blends in nicely with the prerequisites for Lucknow.
Lucknow picked three overseas pacers as a potential replacement for Wood. Two of them - Daniel Sams and Romario Shepherd - can be useful with the bat at eight but none of them - Naveen Ul Haq being the third - can clock 145 kph as regularly as Wood. Hence, there remains question marks if they are an ideal replacement for the English pacer.
Lucknow also pouched Jaydev Unadkat and Amit Mishra at base price. In spite of irregular appearances in IPL over the past few seasons, they are decent reserves owing to their experience.
If anything, Lucknow missed out on a top-notch all-rounder and with a remaining purse of INR 3.55 crore, they could have signed at least one but it felt like they didn’t really eye anyone. Still, they tick most boxes and Pooran’s signing keeps them in a good shape.
KL Rahul ( c ), Quinton de Kock (wk)*, Nicholas Pooran*, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis*, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Mark Wood*, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohsin Khan
Auction verdict: Good