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IPL 2024: Theorising the auction strategy of CSK, MI, KKR & SRH

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Last updated on 14 Dec 2023 | 07:59 AM
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IPL 2024: Theorising the auction strategy of CSK, MI, KKR & SRH

What do these four teams need to do to strengthen their squad in the upcoming auction?

Kolkata Knight RidersCurrent Probable XI: Jason Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Experienced Pacer

Wishlist: Experienced pacers, an Indian back-up wicketkeeper and a back-up for Andre Russell

CDC’s picks for KKR: KS Bharat/Urvil Patel, Harshal Patel, Mitchell Starc, Rovman Powell/Odean Smith

KKR had the worst run-rate (7.8) and the worst average (20.1) for opening batters in IPL 2023. That problem was evident in how they ran a circus with as many as seven openers last season, out of which only two - Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz - scored more than 200 runs. 

But the problem is the team dynamics don’t allow them to stack up the top-order with two overseas batters, considering how their bowling department is devoid of too many experienced bowlers. Hence, they will be running behind a robust Indian wicketkeeper option at the Auction, notably KS Bharat or can even target a wildcard option in Urvil Patel. 

With them releasing Lockie Ferguson and Shardul Thakur, pace is a department they could want to strengthen. Considering how their bowling unit is stacked up, they will go hard on someone like Mitchell Starc, who can provide the bite missing in this bowling unit. 

Otherwise, they would have to settle with Harshal Patel or Chetan Sakariya, who are all good back-up options. In terms of overseas options, someone like Rovman Powell could be right up their alley as a replacement for Russell.

Chennai Super KingsCurrent CSK’s XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Finisher, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Maheesh Theekshana, Mukesh Choudhary/Tushar Deshpande

Wishlist: Finisher, Express pacer, Pace-bowling all-rounders

CDC’s picks for CSK: Shardul Thakur, Shahrukh Khan, Harshal Patel, Karun Nair, Gerald Coetzee, Daryl Mitchell

Unlike other franchises, Chennai Super Kings already have a stable line-up. But if there are two things for them to aim at the auction, it will be to buy a finisher, preferably Indian and an all-rounder to fill a void at No.9, where they are laced with two options: Shardul Thakur and Harshal Patel. 

MS Dhoni has a knack for converting players into all-stars, and Shardul is one such player. Barring Dhoni, captains have struggled to get the best out of Shardul, and hence, a return to CSK isn’t out of the realm. If not, they would want to go crazy on Harshal, whose cutters could be valuable on a slow surface like Chepauk.

On the batting front, don’t be shocked if CSK shell at least 10-15 crore for the Junior Super King Shahrukh Khan. He’s someone who fits the bill perfectly to replace Rayudu and potentially could double up as an off-spinner. They could even venture the above 30 shores for someone like Karun Nair or Daryl Mitchell - both of whom offer diversified skillset. 

It wouldn’t be a shock if they go for Alzarri Joseph, who the franchise knows well. Keep an eye on CSK getting a few of their sister-franchise players like Alzarri or Gerald Coetzee. 

Sunrisers HyderabadCurrent SRH’s XI: Mayank Agarwal, Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Shahbaz Ahmed, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Marco Jansen, Bankable pacer/ Bowling all-rounder / Wrist spinner

Wishlist: A bankable pacer, a bowling all-rounder, Wrist spinner

CDC’s picks for SRH: Wanindu Hasaranga, Shivam Mavi, Pat Cummins, Gerald Coetzee

It was a big surprise when a team of natural match-winners faltered to finish at the bottom of the table in IPL 2023. SRH had eight points in the season, and much of the disappointment was due to the bowling unit, in particular, the spin department. 

Last season, SRH’s spinners had the second-worst average (38.3) and took the second-lowest number of wickets (23) among all teams. Their lack of penetration hurt the side big time.

Also Read: IPL 2024: Harry Brook to MI? Hasaranga to SRH? Who could go where

That’s precisely why they could - and probably will - shell out a lot to get an X-factor spinner like Wanindu Hasaranga, who will fit the bill perfectly. Hasaranga will not come cheap but SRH, luckily, have the purse to snap up the Sri Lankan, who will be a hot property at the auction.

SRH could even target the Australian skipper Pat Cummins, who could help fill the void at No.8/9, where they need desperate strengthening. If they don’t get Cummins, then a possible replacement in that department could be Gerald Coetzee, someone Markram knows quite well. 

If they are after an Indian pacer at the Auction, Shivam Mavi could emerge as a strong option. 

Mumbai Indians

Current MI’s XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya, Tim David, Romario Shepherd, Piyush Chawla, Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorff 

Wishlist: Overseas spinner, back-up all-round options, off-spinning all-rounder

CDC’s picks for Mumbai Indians: Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hosein/Adil Rashid, Yash Dayal, Aman Khan, David Willey/Lance Morris, Abdul Basith

With Hardik Pandya’s trade, Mumbai Indians already have a stable core in their setup. One of the main areas of concern could be the spin department, considering only Chawla is experienced. That’s where they could target someone like Adil Rashid, who will extend their batting line-up and be available for cheap. If not, they would be lining up for Akeal Hosein, who offers powerplay bowling and batting depth. All of this if there is a lot of competition for Wanindu Hasaranga. 

Another one of Mumbai’s concerns would be the pace back-up options, and they would want to acquire Alzarri Joseph, who has a proven record for Mumbai and can extract seam and bounce at Wankhede. MI could also be keeping a close eye on Yash Dayal and Aman Khan, with the former showing his worth in IPL 2022 and the latter, a local lad. Mumbai would love to snap Aman cheaply, with a view of having a cover for the injury-prone Hardik. 

Apart from these, outside options for Mumbai are David Willey and Kerala’s Abdul Basith. While Willey offers something similar to Behrendorff with the ball, he also strengthens the batting depth. Abdul Basith, meanwhile, has shone through for Kerala at the domestic level, playing as a finisher - something that MI love. 

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