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IPL 2024: Harshal Patel on the radar for DC, RCB and LSG?

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Last updated on 15 Dec 2023 | 11:52 AM
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IPL 2024: Harshal Patel on the radar for DC, RCB and LSG?

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

Delhi Capitals

Current Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, David Warner*, Mitchell Marsh*, Rishabh Pant (subjected to fitness), Overseas Wicketkeeping Middle-Order Batter*, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Seam Bowling All-Rounder, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje*, Khaleel Ahmed

Wishlist: Number five batter, wicketkeepers, seam bowling all-rounder for number 8, replacements for mercurial players

CDC picks for DC: Harshal Patel, KS Bharat, Josh Inglis, Mohammad Nabi, Dwaine Pretorius, David Wiese, Azmatullah Omarzai

Delhi Capitals have a number of touch-ups to do. Their first priority should be filling the vacant spots in two complex roles - a sound middle-order batter good against spin and a genuine number eight who can bowl at least three overs of pace and contribute with the bat. 

The uncertainty around Pant means they need that middle-order batter to be a wicketkeeper as well. Josh Inglis emerges as the perfect fit. Given the Ricky Ponting connection, it almost looks like a done deal. A backup Indian wicketkeeper with batting credentials should also be on their list, bringing KS Bharat into the picture again. Bharat also becomes a backup opener to cover for Shaw’s mercurial form. Both Inglis and Bharat should be available without much competition which means…

….DC can splurge for Harshal Patel, their best bet to occupy the number eight spot. They will have more options, namely Shardul Thakur, Dwaine Pretorius, David Wiese and Gerald Coetzee, but based on quality and being a local player, Harshal should be on top of DC’s wishlist. 

Once DC fill these two slots, their focus will be on creating backups, primarily for their mercurial, injury-prone and underperforming players, namely Shaw, Mitchell Marsh and Lalit Yadav. 

The best options here: KS Bharat (as explained above), Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Hrithik Shokeen.

If Delhi can fill the number five and the number eight slot for under 20 crore, they will have enough in their purse to create these backups. Overall, the team has the purse but needs to identify the right players. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Current Probable XI: Faf du Plessis*, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell*, Cameron Green*, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Mahipal Lomror, Mayank Dagar, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Reece Topley*, Mohammed Siraj

Wishlist: Overseas pacer, backup overseas batting all-rounder, domestic spinners, an overseas spinner

CDC picks for RCB: Mitchell Starc, Gerald Coetzee, Azmatullah Omarzai, Murugan Ashwin, Kartik Tyagi, Chetan Sakariya

With du Plessis, Maxwell, Green and Topley, RCB have a powerful but rigid overseas combination in their XI. The return of Rajat Patidar further solidifies their XI. Their overseas purchasing will primarily be about creating backups. They already have a reserve player for Maxwell and du Plessis in Will Jacks.  

In other departments, creating a backup for the injury-prone Reece Topley will be the top of RCB’s priority. Among top-tier options, they may eye Mitchell Starc, Alzarri Joseph, Gerald Coetzee or Dilshan Madushanka. Securing Starc can take up a significant portion of their remaining purse. 

Azmatullah Omarzai is the best like-for-like replacement for Green in the current auction but again, RCB will have to tackle tough competition to acquire him. Their last overseas slot can go to either an extra batter or an overseas spinner, whoever is available around their base price. A wide range of players are available, from Rovman Powell to Daryl Mitchell in the batting department and from Mujeeb Ur Rahman to Adil Rashid as spinners. 

Most of their shopping will be in the lot of domestic players. The spin department is short of experience. Between Mayank Dagar and the two leg-spinners, Himanshu Sharma and Karn Sharma, there lies an experience of only 11 IPL matches over the last three seasons. Hence, they can bolster that department further with Shreyas Gopal or Murugan Ashwin at a low price.  

They will also need more Indian pacers, putting Harshal Patel back in the picture, alongside Shardul Thakur, Kartik Tyagi and Chetan Sakariya. Hence, RCB’s major focus will be to build a bowling line-up with the 23.25 crore left in their bank. 

Lucknow Super Giants

Current Probable XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Quinton de Kock*, KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran*, Marcus Stoinis*, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Mark Wood*, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohsin Khan, Yash Thakur/Yudhvir Singh

Wishlist: Indian pacers

CDC picks for LSG: Kartik Tyagi, Chetan Sakariya, Harshal Patel

Lucknow released eight players, yet they are a side that will have very little to do at the auction. They have 19 players in their squad with two overseas slots left but hold multiple cards up their sleeves in every department, including the backups. The inclusion of Devdutt Padikkal via trade gives them an extra Indian batter. With reports emerging about KL Rahul set to shift himself to the middle-order, Padikkal can bat at his preferred position, and open the innings alongside Quinton de Kock. Meanwhile, Kyle Mayers can replace any of de Kock, Pooran and Stoinis, if required. They have all three major kinds of spinners too. That leaves us with their fast bowling. 

Lucknow have six fast bowlers in their ranks, including two overseas options in Naveen Ul Haq and Mark Wood. While they have the option to buy more overseas pacers, they will look at the Indian lot to cover for the injury concerns around Mohsin Khan and the inexperience among the rest. That is where Harshal Patel becomes an excellent option for LSG. He can extend the batting further and his variations will suit the sluggish pitches at Lucknow’s home ground - the Ekana Stadium. In other options, those who don’t contribute with the bat, they can also bid for Kartik Tyagi or Chetan Sakariya. 

Lucknow have an affinity for all-rounders but under a new coach, Justin Langer, their approach might differ. Expect them to be active when the fast bowlers turn up at the auction. 

*overseas players

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