Sports

IPL Auction 2024 | The franchises’ shoppinglist

IPL Trophy.
| Photo Credit: File Photo

When the think-tanks huddle up for the auction, a look at what each franchise will wish for.

Chennai Super Kings: The defending champion’s starting XI, except retired Ambati Rayudu, is already in place. But CSK, with its sizeable purse, may end up playing spoilsport for a couple of other franchises. The franchise will be keen on having strong back-ups in place for injury-prone Matheesha Pathirana and Moeen Ali. Not to mention a quest for a finisher once ‘Thala’ Dhoni hangs up his boots. Is Shahrukh Khan calling?

Mumbai Indians: The franchise has been the talk of the town ever since the team balance has got a huge fillip with Hardik Pandya’s homecoming. But it will have a limited budget to add a quality pacer to reduce the pressure on Jasprit Bumrah.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Having released 12 players, including six speedsters, KKR could be the busiest table at the auction. Besides adding to the pace battery, the franchise will also be hoping for a reliable backup wicketkeeper to Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

Rajasthan Royals: Kumar Sangakkara and his think-tank will have their eyes set on two big catches: a reliable middle-order bat and an all-rounder. One of them can be an overseas buy. But with a tight purse, it will be interesting to see who it will opt for.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Despite finishing at the bottom of the points table last season, SRH has retained its core. It will be eyeing an explosive opener and a quality pacer who can combine effectively with veteran Bhuvneswhar Kumar.

Gujarat Titans: Following Hardik’s departure, it’s a given that the 2022 champion will target a big-ticket all-rounder to maintain the balance of the team, . Who will it be? In fact, the ball will be in Titans’ court, considering it has the largest purse available. Besides the all-rounder, it will also be on the hunt for an overseas pacer to partner Mohammed Shami.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: It has at least three slots: a finisher (preferably an all-rounder), a pacer, and a spinner. At least one of them has to be an overseas buy. Can it get its act right this time around, at least on the auction table?

Delhi Capitals: Though Rishabh Pant is likely to return to the field, the Capitals need a strong back-up as a finisher, having lost faith in Rovman Powell. They will also require a ready-made replacement for Prithvi Shaw and left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed.

Lucknow Super Giants: Mark Wood is set to be available for the entire duration of the IPL. Still, should England pull him midway through the season to prepare for the T20 World Cup, the new management under Justin Langer will be eyeing a strong back-up. Entering the auction with the smallest purse, can it create viable backups?

Punjab Kings: To fill the slot brought about by Shahrukh Khan’s release will be on top of the agenda for the Kings. Will they go for an Indian all-rounder who can finish the games effectively and then make the squad with quality back-ups from the domestic circuit?

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