IPL 2022 Auction Review
Two frenetic days of auction bidding and drama gave way to ten finalized IPL 2022 squads. At the end of the mega process, which saw 204 players being sold, I rate the performance of the ten franchises at the Indian Premier League mega auction.
Chennai Super Kings [CSK]
Noticeably calmer than the rest of the tables, Chennai Super Kings appeared sorted with their thinking, which clearly revolved around getting a large chunk of their IPL 2021 team sheet back into the mix and building a decent core of players. Mere mortals cannot judge if the Chennai Super Kings squad looks good or bad because they simply have too many brains in the setup.
A shrewd MS Dhoni as a leader and a franchise that backs experience over anything else, CSK once again stuck to their usual auction mantra but pulled a surprise with the purchase of Under-19 star Rajvardhan Hangargekar, an excellent player who could make their starting XI. While they splurged on some familiar names, CSK has a lot riding on these big …
Delhi Capitals [DC]
Delhi Capitals would have been left questioning the timing of the mega auction, having built an extremely good squad over the last three years. But here we are in 2022, with Delhi losing the core of their line-up, and having to rebuild from scratch. Well almost. Their retentions were already top-notch, but DC still needed to get their auction right.
They did well on day one to steal David Warner for INR 6.5 crore, and rope in the likes of Sarfaraz Khan (arguably the best buy of the auction at INR 20 lakhs) and Mustafizur Rahman at cheap rates. However, they couldn’t quite build a formidable fast bowling group, something that made them a fearsome unit in the last couple of IPL seasons. The spin department also looks thin on paper while their overseas backup players aren’t the strongest either.
Gujarat Titans [GT]
Given the draft choices they made – a top-notch trio of Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, and Rashid Khan – much was expected of Gujarat Titans, but they lacked clear planning and it showed evidently when they had no wicketkeepers until the final hour of the auction and then frantically bid on two of the first names that came up in the accelerated auction.
The middle-order lacks firepower with much riding on David Miller and Hardik Pandya, both not in their best form in recent times. The bowling attack, the quicks, in particular, stand out with Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, and Alzarri Joseph potentially forging a formidable trio.
Lucknow Super Giants [LSG]
Incredibly well balanced, Lucknow Super Giants bid on multi-utility players and got some from the top drawer early in the auction. Alongside their three draft picks – KL Rahul, Ravi Bishnoi, and Marcus Stoinis – Lucknow had several issues sorted out at the onset, helping them remain collected as the auction paced up.
The late bids for Dushmantha Chameera and Evin Lewis gave them two solid backup overseas players. They pushed the barriers to beat Mumbai Indians at securing Avesh Khan, another massive win considering the rest of their pace attack. The pace attack is still dependent on Mark Wood staying fit throughout or Chameera stepping up in his stead, but overall a solid auction for Lucknow ahead of their first season.
Kolkata Knight Riders [KKR]
It’s hard to understand what exactly Kolkata Knight Riders were looking for from the auction. Their early bids for Pat Cummins, Shreyas Iyer, and Nitish Rana broke the bank and left them with two one-dimensional middle-order batters and an overseas pacer who may not even be available for the whole duration.
From there, it was hard work rebuilding the team. With a forgettable day one, Kolkata could have salvaged things a bit by being slightly proactive earlier on day two, especially to acquire some Indian batters and overseas all-rounders or quicks, but they waited too long and eventually ended up having to plug too many holes towards the end. The late bids for Alex Hales and Sam Billings salvaged their auction to an e…
Mumbai Indians [MI]
Mumbai Indians wouldn’t be too pleased with their squad despite the exceptional overseas group of quicks they have built for future seasons. The Jasprit Bumrah-Jofra Archer pairing with Tymal Mills and Riley Meredith to back up is the talk of the town, but they sorely miss an Indian standout quick.
Mumbai let go of the likes of Kartik Tyagi, Avesh Khan, and Prasidh Krishna too easy and paid the price, eventually having to settle down for a relatively mediocre lot of Indian fast bowlers. The spin attack also appears thin on paper. The bid for Tim David makes their batting top-notch yet again, with South Africa’s under-19 star Dewald Brevis another good buy in what could be the last mega auction in the IPL.
Punjab Kings [PBKS]
It’s safe to say Punjab Kings aced the auction and built a sensational squad for the years ahead. There is flexibility, a solid batting core, hard-hitting batters, one standout quick, good support seamers, a frontline spinner, and a clear backup spinner. They ticked several checkboxes along the way and on paper, have the best squad heading into the IPL 2022 season.
The team has their four overseas picks sorted, and bid on good backup ones with several young Indian players also exceptional picks in this format. The batting, in particular, stands out with Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Mayank Agarwal, Liam Livingstone, and Shahrukh Khan forming a terrific top five. They probably missed out on an Indian left-handed middle-order…
Rajasthan Royals [RR]
Rajasthan Royals, like Lucknow and Punjab, sorted their batting group pretty quickly and had one of the best buys of the auction in Yuzvendra Chahal. With their batting line-up, a premier wrist-spinner, an Indian quick (Prasidh Krishna) and two first XI overseas picks other than Jos Buttler (Trent Boult and Shimron Hetmyer) sorted, Rajasthan had a dream day one at the IPL auctions.
They roped in some useful names towards the end of the auction in Rassie van der Dussen and Nathan Coulter-Nile. The latter might need to be in the XI as they seem to lack a powerful all-rounder. The finishing group is still light unless they plan on opening with Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal and moving Jos Buttler down the order. They w…
Royal Challengers Bangalore [RCB]
While the general sentiment early on was that RCB messed up the auction, they slowly built a good unit with well-rounded quicks, an impressive group of young players, and the standout leg-spinner in Wanindu Hasaranga, who could also be the one balancing this line-up. This is assuming RCB has eventually figured out that they need to back Hasaranga, something they failed to do last time around.
The likes of Finn Allen and Sherfane Rutherford are good overseas backup buys, but their first-choice buys, in particular, that of Faf du Plessis could make their plans too rigid, especially if they decide on the South African as captain. The middle-order is light on experience with too much onus placed on Glenn Maxwell, …
Sunrisers Hyderabad [SRH]
Sunrisers Hyderabad arguably had a poor auction with them backing too many young Indian unproven players. The fact that they do not have one standout senior Indian player in the batting group could work against them when building the squad. Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram could form the middle-order alongside Abdul Samad with Washington Sundar as a floating batter, but they do not quite have the experience of conditions and it could work against Sunrisers.
The bowling revolves around Indian quicks with Marco Jansen, again inexperienced, the only solid first-choice frontline overseas quick. Sundar aside, the spin bowling is also pretty light, and this could force the likes of Abhishek Sharma and Shreyas Gopal to play through the season.