The Indian Premier League auction is one of the most popular cricketing events in the world. It has the ability to attract millions of viewers with ease, and it is an event that cricketer looks forward to. Every young player wants to make it to the IPL and it is understable, given the size and magnitude of the tournament when compared to other global sporting events.
The auction for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League will take place on the 19th of December in Kolkata. The trade window will close on November 14. All the franchises will have an extra ₹3 crore to spend in addition to what they had after the end of last season's auction. Delhi Capitals will have the biggest balance, while Royal Challengers Bangalore will have the least amount of money.
The auction is all about mind-games and tactics and without them it will be difficult to build a title winning team. Each and every rupee spent at the auction counts and teams will be looking to spend a large portion of their purse on players who will deliver for them in majority of the games.
There are quite a few over-paid players in the current IPL squads who could possibly restrict the team from picking up other expensive players. Teams could play it smart by releasing them before buying them back for a lower amount at the auction.
Here, we shall have a look at five players who could find themselves facing such a situation when the auction comes around.
#5 Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy came into the 2019 IPL season on the back of a splendid campaign with Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He also had a great Tamil Nadu Premier League and in both the tournaments, he was simply outstanding with his variations. He was expected to form a dangerous spin trio with Mujeeb ur Rahman and Ravichandran Ashwin. However, none of that came to fruition as he played just one game.
On his debut, he was taken apart for 24 runs in his first over by Sunil Narine. It wasn't a great move by Ashwin to bowl him to Sunil Narine, who loves taking on the spinners. Chakravarthy did redeem himself by picking up a wicket and conceding just 11 runs in his next two overs. After that game he was injured and ruled out of the tournament.
The mystery spinner was bought for a jaw-dropping ₹8.4 crore last season and KXIP might not be willing to retain him for the same amount. They could instead release him back into the auction. He might not garner the same interest this time around and his price probably won't go beyond ₹4 crore. Chakravarthy could still prove to be a good enough player and this move will also help them strengthen other areas of their squad.
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#4 Chris Morris
Chris Morris has been a great servant for the Delhi Capitals over the last 5-6 seasons. He has played some crucial knocks with the bat and established himself as one of the most aggressive batsmen in the league. He also proved himself to be an excellent wicket-taking option and was reliable at the death.
However, his performances have taken a hit over the last two years on account of injuries. He is no more the same batsman and can't score runs at an aggressive strike rate. His bowling is still good enough as he managed to pick up 13 wickets at a strike rate of 15.23. He was quite effective at the death as well and formed a good partnership with Kagiso Rabada.
He was retained in 2018 for a staggering ₹11 crore and considering the fact that his role is now of a bowling all-rounder and not that of a specialist all-rounder, he shouldn't go for anything more than ₹3-4 crore. They would do well to release him and buy him back for a much cheaper price as he would still be of great use to them with the ball.
#3 Sam Curran
Sam Curran is one of the emerging stars in the cricketing world and burst onto the scene in the Test series against India last year. He was sensational with both bat and ball and was England's best player. On the basis of those performances, he started a bidding war at the auction and was sold for ₹7.2 crore.
It seemed like a poor decision to select a player for such an amount based on his test match performances. He picked up 10 wickets in 9 games at a strike rate of 19.8, but it was his economy rate of 9.78 that was concerning. He managed to pick up wickets at crucial junctures of the game and picked up a hat-trick as well.
Curran was a touch expensive at the death and wasn't given much of a chance to bowl with the new ball, something that he is good at. His value could drop by ₹2-2.5 crore and KXIP could take advantage of that and utilise that money for a couple of talented domestic players instead.
#2 Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey was bought for an eye-watering ₹11 crore in 2018 and it looked like SunRisers Hyderabad finally found the answer to their middle-order woes. However, he flattered to deceive with a poor season as he couldn't even score 300 runs. Pandey started the 2019 season on an abject note as well and was dropped for a few games. However, he found form at his favoured No.3 position and scored three half-centuries.
He is unquestionably one of the best middle-order batsmen in India but ₹11 crore still feels like a bit too much. That is the same amount that was paid for KL Rahul by KXIP and looking at the gulf between their performances, teams might not bid for him at the same rate. Pandey's value might drop by ₹4-5 crore and that amount can be used to buy another quality player to strengthen the SRH squad.
#1 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina's value has dropped considerably over the last couple of years. He has been dropped from the Indian team and is pretty much out of the reckoning for a place in the squad. His performances in the IPL have also not been at the same level as we have come to expect from a player like him. Raina only scored 383 runs in 17 games at a poor strike rate of 122.
He was at fault for their loss in the final, scoring a mere eight runs in 14 balls. He also lost Chennai Super Kings review in the match and it pretty much summed up his entire season. Raina was retained for ₹11 crore, the same amount that RCB paid to retain AB De Villiers.
Stephen Fleming might not want to release their star man as it would cause a lot of backlash from their fans. Moreover, CSK has always been loyal to their players and hence, they might not want to part ways with him completely. His value might not exceed ₹5-6 crore and they can use the remaining balance to buy replacements for the likes of Imran Tahir and Shane Watson who may or may not play next season.