Review On IPL 2014 Auction Results :

1. Mumbai Indians – Once again stole the cynosure, Corey Anderson. Loss of Mitchell Johnson will hurt them as Malinga does not seem to be in good form and their other purchase Zaheer Khan is struggling big time; Hazelwood is the only saving grace. But, the core batting group they retained along with Mike Hussey might pay them the dividends. Should have gone for an additional all-rounder other than Corey Anderson, as his fitness has the reputation of being unstable!!

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Aditya Tare, 2 Michael Hussey, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 CM Gautham 8 Harbhajan Singh /J Saxena, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Lasith Malinga /Hazelwood, 11 Pragyan Ojha

2. Chennai Super Kings – They came to auction retaining most of their core team and less purse value compared to other teams. They were not able to buy back Michael Hussey and left out Badrinath. This might compromise their solidity in the batting. Also, lost Murali Vijay to DD but inclusion of B McCullum will add more fire power. Pace bowling resources are meager though!!

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Baba Aparajith, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 MS Dhoni, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin/M Manhas, 9 Ashish Nehra, 10 Ishwar Pandey /Mohit Sharma, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus.

3. Royal Challenger Bengaluru – They spent a whooping amount of 14 crores to buy Yuvraj. Batting looks omnipotent; buys of Michael Starc, Varun Aaron and Dinda will give them ample fast bowling options. Muralidharan is once again with RCB and this will strengthen their bowling.

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Chris Gayle, 2 Parthiv Patel, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Vijay Zol, 7 Albie Morkel/Ravi Rampaul, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Shadab Jakati, 10 Varun Aaron / Chahal, 11 Ashok Dinda.

4. Kings XI Punjab – Made same very good purchases this time including Mitch Johnson / Bailey / Maxwell / Sehwag and Pujara. They have secured their batting resources well. MJ will spearhead the bowling attack supported by Awana & Balaji. Thisara Perera and Rish Dhawan fill the berths of all rounders. Very well balanced side, with only one niggles of spin bowling options. They already found a captain in form of George Bailey.

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Sehwag, 2 Manan Vohra 3 Pujara/Mandeep Singh, 4 George Bailey, 5 David Miller, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 W Saha, 8 Rishi Dhawan, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Shivam Sharma, 11 L Balaji/Awana.

5. Sunrisers Hyderabad – Unlike the previous franchise owners (DC) of Hyderabad, SRH made some clever purchases this time. They bought David Warner and Aaron Finch, who are in prime form. Purchased Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ishanth Sharma, who have a decent IPL record and can support Dale Steyn well. Bought back Amit Misra as a spin bowling resource and Sammy for all rounder. Venu Gopal Rao / Brendon Taylor (from Zimbabwe) might be the dark horses!!

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 David Warner, 4 N Ojha, 5 Darren Sammy/Henriques 6 I Pathan/Rasool, 7 B Kumar 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Karn Sharma, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Ishanth Sharma

6. Delhi Daredevils – The only franchise not to retain any of their players prior to auction. So, they had full budget at their disposal. Brought back KP using the right to player card. KP/deKock/Karthick/Vijay/Shami/Couter Nile has all been calculated yet smart purchases. They also bought back Kedar Jadhav and Nadeem. This team has good composition.

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 M Vijay, 2 de Kock, 3 Kevin Petersen, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 Ross Taylor / K Jhadav, 6 S Tiwary, 7 Laxmi Ratan Shukla/ J Neesham, 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Shahbaz Nadeem, 10 Mohammad Shami, 11 Rahul Shukla.

7. Rajasthan Royals – As always, they have not gone after big names and focused more on “talented” players. Purchased Steve Smith, as there is a fear of burn out of Watto / Hodge. Strengthened the bowling by including Cutting and Southee. They stick with their strategy of investing in future players and buys of Karun Nair/U Chand/ Tewatia are testimony to that. Lack of spin bowling options !!

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Unmukt Chand / K Nair 2 A Rahane, 3 S Watson, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Brad Hodge, 6 Sanju Samson, 7 Stuart Binny, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Rajat Bhatia/ A Nayar, 10 Dhaval Kulkarni, 11 Pravin Tambe/ Iqbal Abdullah.

8. Kolkata Knight Riders – Ex-champions have retained only their skipper and star spinner. Batting seems to be excessively dependent on Gambhir and Kallis. Middle order is dependent on success of big hitters like Lynn/Uthappa/Pathan. Pace battery seems to be full strength. Karn Sharma would have been better buy compared to Piyush Chawla.

Sportzcosmos XI:

1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Manish Pandey, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 Chris Lynn, 5 Robin Uthappa, 6 Manvinder Bisla, 7 Yusuf Pathan 8 Kuldeep Yadav 9 Morne Morkel /Pat Cummins, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Sunil Narine.

Overall Analysis:

The BIG teams tried to “manage” the auction so as to sustain their existing dominance. Rest of the teams tried to build their strength by including new players. DD was an exception as they had to build right from scratch. Together the teams spent close to 44$ million (43.8$ millions exactly), this spending has been characterized by the player(s) reputation, performances, promise and backed by some rational thinking by each team. Each team has bought only 7 overseas players and rightfully so; the more overseas players you buy the harder it is to resist the temptation of shuffling the playing 11 frequently. All the teams have focused on getting the right combination. But, KXIP and SRH have done very well in that aspect; they had a very successful auction this time. These are the two teams to watch out this season; it won’t be surprising if we witness less dominance by the CSK/MI this year!!

Highlights

1. Teams spent less on overseas players and consequently Indian domestic players were well compensated in    this auction .
2. Teams cleverly used the right to match card and more in case of retaining Indian domestic players..
3. Yuvraj Singh bought for 14 crores by RCB, despite his poor form.
4. DD paying 12.5 crores to buy Dinesh Karthick.
5. Indian domestic player, Karn Sharma fetching 3.25 crores in the auction.
6. Mumbai Indians not going hard for Mitchell Johnson.
7. A Zimbabwean cricketer Brendon Taylor getting an IPL contract.

Chandra Sanghubhatla [Chandra is the CTO of Sportz Cosmos and a Sports Analyst for the Cricket Galaxy. He tweets here]

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