After the second day of the League Auction for its 7th edition, the unsold players’ list looked a little less surprising. Most of them were presented again, and after the franchises analyzed their own numbers to make a final charge, the popular ones were bought- apart from a few pleasant shocks from the uncapped players’ list.
Let us take a brief look at each franchise and their best (and worst) buys:
Best buy: Marchant De Lange for 30 lakhs. Many will argue that the current flavor Corey Anderson was a steal for Rs. 4.5 crore, but the tall quick South African pacer can prove to be the difference on a Malinga off-day.
Worst buy: NOT retaining Mitchell Johnson. A bad decision in this case, considering his recent form. Retaining guys like Rayadu and Harbhajan shows loyalty, but they are defending Champions and are well short world class bowlers.
Strengths: Plenty of allrounders. The presence of last year’s Orange Cap Michael Hussey at the top.
Weaknesses: Weak middle order. Dependence on Indian bowlers- Ojha, Harbhajan and Zaheer.
Chennai Super Kings
Best buy: Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith for 3.5 and 4.5 crore each. Much needed muscle in a solid top order.
Worst buy: Ashish Nehra for 2 crore. Why?
Strengths: The emergence of new bowling hope Mohit Sharma, and the presence of Purple Cap Dwayne Bravo.
Weaknesses: Reliance on all-rounders for bowling. Bravo, Jadeja, Ashwin, Smith and Raina. Hilfenhaus is a must-pick in matches because of his pedigree.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Best buy: Mitchell Starc for 5 crore. Provides the boost at the bottom in a top heavy team.
Worst buy: Yuvraj Singh for 14 crore. Way too much money for a guy who might not bowl on that flat pitch.
Strengths: Top 4- Gayle, Kohli, Yuvraj and AB, as well as the presence of Albie Morkel.
Weaknesses: AB batting too low in the order again.
Best buy: Quinton De Kock for INR 3.5 crore and Jimmy Neesham for INR 1 crore. Smart picks. Ross Taylor for 2, as well as Rahul Sharma for 1.9
Worst buy: Dinesh Karthik for 12 crore? Only to make him Captain, while KP is around.
Strengths: Shami’s arrival. A team built from scratch. Good balance in the side.
Best buy: Steve Smith for 4 crore.
Worst buy: The squad is so cheap again that there have been no bad buys.
Strengths: Sanju Samson and Pravin Tambe– youngest and oldest players in the squad. Trump cards. The Australian all-rounders Watson and Faulkner, as well as Tim Southee.
Weaknesses: Inexperienced young players, but that is also a boon.
Kings XI Punjab
Best buy: The trio of Bailey, Maxwell and Johnson. Tremendous talent.
Worst buy: None
Strengths: Sehwag could be the joker in the pack, on a comeback trail. Shaun Marsh is back in top form as well.
Weaknesses: Only Murali Kartik as the known spinner. Saha as the ONLY keeper in the squad.
Best buy: Aussie openers Finch and Warner.
Worst buy: Not retaining Cameron White. Irfan Pathan for 2.4 crore? He is a shadow of the bowler he used to be.
Strengths: Top order, as well as Steyn and Ishant combination.
Weaknesses: Middle order of Naman Ojha, Sammy and Pathan. Unreliable.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Best buy: Chris Lynn for 1.3 crore and Pat Cummins for 1 crore. Crucial young Aussie talents.
Worst buy: Yusuf Pathan for over 3 crore? Based on what?
Strengths: All rounders like Ryan Ten, Shakib, Kallis and Russell.
Weaknesses: Their strengths.