997 players had registered for the annual cricket carnival in India and only 332 were shortlisted for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 auction scheduled to take place on December 19 in Kolkata, for the remaining 73 slots available across the eight IPL franchises. Out of these 332 players, 186 are India and 143 are overseas cricketers and three from associate nations.
Seven overseas players — Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell from Australia, Dale Steyn from South Africa, and Angelo Mathews from Sri Lanka — have listed themselves for the highest possible base price of INR 2 crore. And, nine foreign players — England’s Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and David Willey, South Africa’s Chris Morris and Kyle Abbott, and Australia’s Adam Zampa, Shaun Marsh and Kane Richardson — have listed themselves for a base price of INR 1.5 crore.
But much before the base-price list was released by IPL, the eight franchises had released quite a few players while most retaining their core squad from previous season. Three-time winners Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are among the teams to have retained their core squad, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be the most busiest team at the auction having released the most number of players (12) while Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking for a complete overhaul having let gone off Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla. Meanwhile, among the trades done between the franchises, KXIP parted ways with skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, who was roped in by Delhi Capitals.
So before the big day in Kolkata, let’s take a look at the each of the eight franchises, their present squad after the release and retention, amount of money left in their purse and what they will be looking for at the auction.
Despite releasing 10 players, the defending champions still looked one of the most settled side even ahead of the auction. Mumbai have retained their core unit with Rohit Sharma as their skipper and opener along with Quinton de Kock. In Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, Mumbai have found two strong middle-order options while also having the services of the experienced Kieron Pollard and the formidable Pandya brothers. And their bowling department that comprises of two T20 specialists - Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah, with Rahul Chahar adding the leg-spin option. Moreover, their squad has been strengthened by the addition of three new pacers - Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni and Sherfane Rutherford.
Squad: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Kieran Pollard, Quinton de Kock, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Trent Boult (T), Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni (T), Aditya Tare, Sherfane Rutherford (T), Jayant Yadav.
Purse remaining: Rs 13.05 crores
Slots remaining: 7 (two overseas)
What they need: With the core team set, Mumbai Indians would be looking for back-up options for their batting lineup and for the spin department.
After an impressive season where they had reached the play-offs after a gap of seven seasons, Delhi Capitals are looking to strengthen themselves more and add a new touch to their squad. They have released nine players ahead of the auction including all-rounder Chris Morris, although it would be surprising if Delhi do not enter a bidding war for the South African all-rounder. The reason why he was released was simply because he was way too expensive and in Kolkata, Delhi would like to re-rope in Morris but at a lower price. The two Colins were released because Delhi had staked themselves with way too many Indian top-order batters.
Meanwhile, they traded Jagadeesha Suchith to KXIP in exhange for Ashwin, Rutherford to Mumbai, along with Mayank Markande (who the franchise had earlier traded from Mumbai Indians) and Rahul Tewatia to Rajasthan.
Squad: Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, R Ashwin (T), Ajinkya Rahane (T)
Released: Chris Morris, Colin Ingram, B Ayyappa, Hanuma Vihari, Jalaj Saxena, Manjot Kalra, Nathu Singh, Ankush Bains and Colin Munro,
Purse remaining: Rs 27.85 crores
Slots remaining: 11 (five overseas)
What they need: Some solid pace options to accompany Kagiso Rabada.
Kings XI Punjab
Having released some big names including David Miller and Andrew Tye and trading Ashwin to Delhi, KXIP are expected to be the busiest franchise as they will head to Kolkata with maximum amount in their squad. They released seven players in all and have space for nine cricketers including four overseas players.
Squad: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, K Gowtham (T), Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith (T), Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande
Released: David Miller, Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, Moises Henriques, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi and Varun Chakravarthy.
Purse remaining: Rs 42.70 crores
Slots remaining: 9 (four overseas)
What they need: The core batting lineup has been retained, but KXIP need back-ups for the top and middle order. They will also be looking for all-rounders and pacers.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Chris Lynn's release was the most shocking move made Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of IPL 2020 auction. The big-hitting Aussie opener has been responsible for many a victory for KKR but inconsistencies might have forced the two-time winners to make the decision. Robin Uthappa, who played a vital part of KKR's 2014 title win, and Chawla, who was part of KKR's 2012 and 2014 winning team, have both been released.
Released players: Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Piyush Chawla, Joe Denly, Yarra Prithviraj, Nikhil Naik, KC Cariappa, Matthew Kelly, Anrich Nortje, Shrikant Mundhe, Carlos Brathwaite.
Purse remaining: Rs 35.65 crores
Slots remaining: 11 (four overseas)
What they need: KKR will see an addition of lot of new players at the end of IPL 2020 auction. With two top-order batters released, KKR will need openers and a player for No.3 position. They also need a replacement for all-rounder Andre Russell, who is prone to injuries, and with Brathwaite released. They would also like to add a pacer and an attacking spinner to their lineup.
Two big players were let gone off ahead of IPL 2020 auction by the 2008 champions. While Rahane parted ways to join Delhi Capitals, Krishnappa Gowtham too was traded, to KXIP. Overall, 11 players were released after yet another dismal show in IPL 2019 where they finished second from behind.
Smith and Rahane struggled to go big right from ball one, leaving Sanju Samson to fight a lone battle at the top of the lineup only to wait for Jos Buttler to fire. Ben Stokes too failed to stand upto the expectations. And, Jaydev Unadkat experienced yet another dismal campaign last season. The Royals also witnessed a change in captaincy midway through the season. And with overseas players leaving IPL 2019 in the second month for World Cup preparations, none apart from Riyan Parag and Shreyas Gopal showed intent.
Squad: Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Mahipal Lomror, Varun Aaron, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande (T), Rahul Tewatia (T), Ankit Rajpoot (T)
Purse remaining: Rs 28.90 crores
Slots remaining:11 (four overseas)
What they need: Rajasthan will look to add a few big-hitting batters in their lineup including a solid opener and a couple of strong pace options as well. However, Royals have just 28.90 crores to fill 11 spots so they would be looking to spend judiciously.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Another auction, and another chance for RCB to build a strong unit, after another poor season. They had finished bottom of the table in IPL 2019 after losing seven games in a row. A total of 12 players have been released by RCB including the well-talented Shimron Hetymer and threatening Dale Steyn. All RCB need are match winners.
Squad: Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali, Yuzvendra Chahal, AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Mann, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini,
Players released: Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetymer, Akshdeep Nath, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Prayas Barman, Tim Southee, Kulwant Khejroliya, Himmat Singh, Heinrich Klaasen, Milind Kumar and Dale Steyn.
Purse remaining: Rs 27.90 crores
Slots available: 12 (six overseas)
What they need: RCB will be looking for back-up batters, but most importantly, some good bowlers, especially pacers. IPL 2019 witnessed RCB's worst-ever bowling show both with the new and with the old ball.
They released five players including Shakib Al Hasan, yet they looked a well-set side ahead of the auction. Shakib was banned by ICC for two years and hence was released. Besides, SRH have a little too many overseas options ready to take their spot in the playing XI leaving Shakib as a liability. Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan were released owing to their inconsistencies.
Squad: Kane Williamson, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shahbaz Nadeem, Billy Stanlake, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan.
Released: Deepak Hooda, Martin Guptill, Ricky Bhui, Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan
Purse remaining: Rs 17 crores
Slots available: 7 (two overseas)
What they need: SRH will look for strong middle-order batters, the option that had hurt them in the latter part of IPL 2019.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK looks the most balanced side, as always, after releasing just five players which included no big names. The core team has been retained.
Squad: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, M Vijay, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav, Lungi Ngidi, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Monu Kumar, N Jagadeesan, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif.
Released: Mohit Sharma, Sam Billings, David Willey, Scott Kuggeleijn, Dhruv Shorey and Chaitanya Bishnoi
Purse remaining: Rs. 14.60 crores
Slots remaining: 5 (two overseas)
What they need: With Sam Billings released, CSK will be looking for a back-up strong-hitting top-order option. They would also look for an all-rounder having released two in David Willey and Scott Kuggeleijn