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IPL 2022 mega-auction: Strategies, picks and money spent

Last updated on 12 Feb 2022 | 05:42 PM
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IPL 2022 mega-auction: Strategies, picks and money spent

Reviewing how each of the 10 teams fared on Day 1 of the IPL 2022 mega-auction

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Money spent on Day 1: 47.75 crore

Players bought: Faf du Plessis, Dinesh Karthik, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood, Anuj Rawat, Shahbaz Ahmed, Akash Deep

Most expensive buy(s): Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga (10.75 crore each)

After giving the initial impression that they would go all in for Shreyas Iyer, bidding for him till the 4.00 crore mark, RCB ended up breaking the bank for the bowlers, spending a whopping 29.25 crore (combined) on Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga and Josh Hazlewood. The strategy to overspend on the aforementioned trio made it clear that the Reds prioritized constructing a world-class bowling attack. And with Siraj already retained, it can be argued that RCB have one of the best all-round bowling attacks as of the moment, covering nearly every base with specialists and proven performers.

But owing to the overspending on the bowlers, they have failed to address a major flaw that cost them last season - not having enough quality Indian batters. A 36-year-old Dinesh Karthik was the only quality option they were able to land, and with Padikkal also gone, the batting’s Indian core looks paper thin. 

Despite the purchase of quality individuals, the balance of the team is slightly off. 

Punjab Kings

Money spent on Day 1: 43.35 crore

Players bought: Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Kagiso Rabada, Shahrukh Khan, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Ishan Porel, Jitesh Sharma

Most expensive buy: Kagiso Rabada (9.25 crore)

Not for the first time in the past decade, Punjab began the auction with almost a clean slate, but unlike any of the previous Mega Auctions, the Kings nailed it at the table. 

Having lost KL Rahul, they needed a run-bank at the top who could complement Agarwal, and they acquired just that in the form of Shikhar Dhawan (bonus, a left-hander and a potential captaincy option). For years they’ve lacked a world-class overseas spearhead that possesses the x-factor but that won’t be the case heading into this season: despite a lean 2021, Kagiso Rabada is as good as they come.

And through the acquisitions of Bairstow, Shahrukh Khan, Rahul Chahar (a steal at 5.25 crore), and Harpreet Brar, the management ensured they got nearly every single base covered with quality options, most of them being proven performers.

Not only have Punjab now assembled a well-balanced unit, the young core from last season is back too, with the arrivals of SRK, Harpreet, Porel, Prabhsimran and the retention of Arshdeep. The Kings couldn’t have hoped for a better first day and credit has to go to the think-tank, which did not panic despite not being able to acquire certain ‘Plan A’ players such as Kishan and Thakur.  

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Money spent on Day 1: 47.65 crore

Players bought: Rahul Tripathi, Nicholas Pooran, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Washington Sundar, Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, Jagadeesha Suchith, Shreyas Gopal

Most expensive buy: Nicholas Pooran (10.75 crore)

After failing in the previous two seasons due to the inexperience on the batting front, particularly the Indian core, SRH needed to go after proven performers. And at the start of the day, they had the purse for it. But bizarrely, the management once again decided to bank on potential.

While the move to aggressively go for Rahul Tripathi, one of the better uncapped batters in the country, was justified, a tad confusing was the decision to bring back both Abhishek Sharma and Priyam Garg. 

Nicholas Pooran, despite the high price tag, is a very good buy due his uniqueness and x-factor, but the fact remains that a team can only get the best out of Pooran if there are bankable run-getters at the top. Right now the Sunrisers don’t have many, with all the burden of run-scoring set to fall on Williamson. 

However, it has to be said that the Sunrisers, on Day 1, managed to assemble a very capable bowling unit. Despite Bhuvneshwar’s form and age being concerns, they have an exciting, all-round attack which has the potential to become a major force years down the line, with Tyagi, Sundar and Umran Malik all having enormous upsides. 

Gujarat Titans

Money spent: 33.15 crore

Players bought: Jason Roy, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Tewatia, Abhinav Manohar, Noor Ahmad, R Sai Kishore

Most expensive buy: Rahul Tewatia (9 crore)

Like RCB, Gujarat too went all-in to acquire the bowlers they’d shortlisted. Lockie Ferguson and Mohammed Shami cost a combined 16.25 crore and now in the form of Shami, Ferguson, Rashid and Sai Kishore, they already have a bowling line-up capable of running through sides. A potentially potent opening combo is also the pair of Shubman Gill and Jason Roy, who they stole for 2 crore. 

But as things stand, there is a gaping hole in the middle-order. While they did acquire the ever-rising Abhinav Manohar of Karnataka, there is a paucity of proven and experienced Indian options, owing to which they might encounter balance issues even if they manage to land good overseas batters on the second day. Rashid, Lockie and Roy being locks leaves them with the option of fielding just one more overseas batter in the middle. 

The move to purchase Rahul Tewatia for 9 crore could also end up haunting them. Not only have they blown 10% of their budget on one player, they have opted to do so on an individual that adds depth to neither batting nor bowling. 

Mumbai Indians

Money spent on Day 1: 18.55 crore

Players bought: Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, Murugan Ashwin, Basil Thampi

Most expensive buy: Ishan Kishan (15.25 core)

On the first look, the purchases made by Mumbai might look underwhelming. But at the auction table on the first day, it seemed like they walked out with one goal: to somehow re-acquire the services of Ishan Kishan. And they managed to do just that.

The Kishan purchase meant that they lost out on a handful of other players who were in their radar, including the likes of Nitish Rana and Jason Holder, but crucially, the five-time champions have their batting core back. The expression on the faces of the think-tank post the Kishan purchase suggested that they’d already, in their minds, marked the day as a 10/10.

That said, the job for the Rohit Sharma-led side is far from done. Mumbai still have a lot of bases to cover, particularly on the bowling front. How Day 2 goes will tell us whether the Ishan Kishan gamble was a risk worth taking. 

Chennai Super Kings 

Money spent on Day 1: 27.55 crore

Players bought: Robin Uthappa, Dwayne Bravo, KM Asif, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande

Most expensive buy: Deepak Chahar (14 crore)

Chennai Super Kings are known to retain their core. They are the ones who started the tradition. On the first day of the IPL 2022 auction, they took it a step ahead. Chennai bought six players, five of whom have played for them in the previous three seasons. They didn’t go hard for many in their pool of their former players, often bailing out by the INR 5 crore mark, losing out on Faf du Plessis in the process. It was clear they were saving money for Deepak Chahar, whom they signed at a whopping INR 14 crore. In the other lot, they went till as far as INR 8.75 crore for Shahrukh Khan, losing him to Punjab. 

Hence, their combination looks quite similar to the preceding few seasons. With du Plessis gone, they now seems likey to open with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa with Moeen Ali at three. Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni form their middle-order with Dwayne Bravo and Deepak Chahar as their bowling all-rounders. Spending INR 27.5 crore, they have locked in eight first-choice players with the bowlers spot still vacant. 

Delhi Capitals

Money spent on Day 1: 31 crore

Players bought: Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Marsh, Mustafizur Rahman, KS Bharat, David Warner, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ashwin Hebbar, Sarfaraz Khan

Most expensive buy: Shardul Thakur (10.75 crore)

Delhi Capitals’ strategy was quite clear from the start. They went aggressively for their former players and bowlers. However, competing against teams with a larger purse, their attempts were synonymous with a batsman playing more shots for fewer runs. 

Early in the day, they went for Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer and R Ashwin. In the bid to re-sign their players from the 2020-21 season, they got someone from way back in 2013 - David Warner for only INR 6.25 crore. They went for nearly everyone in the bowler’s lot - Lockie Ferguson, Josh Hazlewood, Deepak Chahar, Mark Wood, Rahul Chahar - but missed out because of rising competition. They had to pay an extravagant INR 10.75 crore to fetch Shardul Thakur. 

But Delhi probably compensated for it with Mustafizur Rahman at base price. Indian spinners went at surprisingly low bids and Kuldeep Yadav, despite no certainty about what to expect from him, is a decent buy at INR 2 crore. Mitchell Marsh provides the all-round option and an excellent bridge between a riveting Shaw-Warner opening duo and the madness of Rishabh Pant in the middle. Concurrently, Srikar Bharat is the strongest Indian back-up wicketkeeping option in the whole league. 

Lucknow Super Giants

Money spent on Day 1: 52.1 crore

Players bought: Quinton de Kock, Mark Wood, Avesh Khan, Jason Holder, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Ankit Rajput, Manish Pandey

Most expensive buy: Avesh Khan (10 crore)

A lot of teams struggle to frame an impactful middle-order. Lucknow have addressed that with plenty of options in that department. In addition to the retained Marcus Stoinis, they signed Deepak Hooda and Jason Holder at bargain prices. Yes, Lucknow had to shell INR 8.75 crore for Holder but it is still a few bucks less than expected. The fact that all these players can contribute with both bat and ball gives their side an efficient look. Krunal Pandya was probably their only overpriced buy - INR 8.25 crore in this category.

They have covered other bases as well. Bagging Quinton de Kock at only INR 6.75 crore has enabled them to pair him with KL Rahul at the top. Manish Pandey may have underperformed for the last four season but can complement their opening duo. In a critical decision, they spent INR 10 crore for Avesh Khan, leaving themselves only INR 7.4 crore for the rest of the auction. But alongside Mark Wood, they have taken care of their pace attack. 

Thus, Lucknow have secured nine players who will be the first-choice pick for any other franchise. 

Rajasthan Royals

Money spent on Day 1: 49.85 crore 

Players bought: Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult, KC Cariappa, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna

Most expensive buy: Prasidh Krishna (10 crore)

The only side that had to build a bowling line-up from scratch, it was surprising to see Rajasthan Royals’ interest in Shikhar Dhawan as the first player at the auction. It was clear that they are indeed interested in at least one specialist opener when they won the bidding war for Devdutt Padikkal. 

More importantly, they filled plenty of slots in other departments also. Often struggling for quality spin, they have addressed the issue with two of the most experienced Indian spinners - Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. You couldn’t have asked for anything better. The pace attack comprises of an experienced overseas pro and an emerging Indian pacer. Although, both of them have a reputation of blowing hot and cold in the league thus far, Rajasthan have built a forceful bowling attack nevertheless. Shimron Hetmyer’s inclusion bolsters the middle-order. 

Kolkata Knight Riders 

Money spent on Day 1 : 35.35 crore

Players bought: Pat Cummins, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson

Most expensive buy: Shreyas Iyer (12.25 crore )

The smiles in the Kolkata camp after bagging Nitish Rana said everything about their approach. They wanted their former players back even if it would cost them a fortune. They shelled out INR 8 crore for Rana and INR 7.25 crore for Shivam Mavi. However, they didn’t show any interest in Dinesh Karthik, one of their two captains since the previous mega-auction. 

They were out hunting for a captain and Shreyas Iyer was fitting the bill perfectly, Hence, it was no surprise that Kolkata jumped in the bid for him at INR 6.75 crore and pressed for him until they fetched him for the then most expensive bid - INR 12.25 crore. Thus, counting their retentions, Kolkata have filled various slots in their batting order alongside securing spin and all-round options. But how they park other vital spots will be the key to their balance, knowing their budget is quite limited. 

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