It’s that time of the year when the countdown to the upcoming IPL edition begins. Like all the previous seasons, the auction this year will yet again kickstart the proceedings and lead the build-up to another edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The auction for the next year’s IPL is scheduled to take place on December 19th and will be held in Kolkata. Though the auction will not see a whole lot of players go under the hammer, it will still have a lot of value attached for players who will be willing to be a part of this lucrative T20 league.
With the trading window open until November 14, teams will have their task cut-out before the auction to plug the gaps in their squads before the auction. Every team will have a set of players that they might wish to rope in for the new season and with some exciting names that go under the hammer every year, each player has a certain X-factor associated that differentiates them from the rest of the players.
Runners-up from last season, the Chennai Super Kings don't have too much of a history in tinkering with their squad, and will only have a few players on their radar to enhance the pre-existing balance of their side from the previous edition.
The MS Dhoni-led franchise often play their cards very smartly and are known to make the best moves on the auction table. Even this year, the Chennai-based franchise would want to make the right choice by selecting players who can contribute for the team to cross the final hurdle.
Here we take a look at three players who CSK should target in the auction 2020, or through the trading window.
#3 Manan Vohra (Opening batsman)
The Punjab-born batsman was bought by Rajasthan Royals in the previous edition at his base price for INR 20 lakhs. However, Manan Vohra failed to break into the playing XI in any of the matches, despite a mediocre season for the franchise. Vohra, who has represented Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous IPL editions, enjoyed success with his home franchise but couldn’t replicate his form with RCB.
An opening batsman, the right-hander can add a lot of value at the top of the order. CSK faced a torrid time with their openers struggling for form through the entirety of last season, and Vohra could fill that void and contribute with his experience in the IPL and at the domestic level.
In 2019, CSK had the worst average for the opening partnership with a poor strike rate in the first six overs. Vohra’s experience playing for Punjab might come in handy for Chennai at the top of the order and he could be a bargain buy to sort out their issues at the top of the order.
#2 Ashton Turner (Hard-hitting batsman)
A young Australian who attracted eyeballs after his match-winning efforts in an ODI against India in Mohali in 2019, Ashton Turner was bought by Rajasthan Royals at his base price for INR 50 lakhs in the dying stages of the auction in 2019. Turner, who comes in with a reputation of a hard-hitter in the lower-order had a peculiar start to his IPL career for the Royals.
Turner did not have the greatest of starts for his side as he bagged three consecutive ducks before opening his account in his fourth match. However, he had very little role to play for the Royals as the towering big-hitter could not cement his place in the side. However, the 26-year old can be in Chennai’s scheme of things, with MS Dhoni in need of a good finisher to slot into the lower order.
The 26-year old has seamlessly fit into the finisher's role at the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League and can find himself donning a similar role at CSK, where he could be given a license to wrap up games with his fiery batting display.
#1 James Neesham (Seam-bowling all-rounder)
One of the most talented T20 freelancers, James Neesham was surprisingly unsold from the 2019 player auction as he failed to attract bids from any of the franchises. However, the prolific Kiwi all-rounder has made a strong case for himself with some consistent performances in T20 leagues across the world, which could push for him to land a contract with the Chennai Super Kings.
CSK currently lack a quality seam bowling all-rounder and with Dwayne Bravo not in the best of form in the past few years, CSK would want to strengthen this department by availing the services of the 29-year old Kiwi. Neesham comes in with a reputation of a being a capable big-hitter in the death overs, apart from his ability to bowl proper four overs of seam bowling which makes him a valuable addition for the CSK setup as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season.