Exploring the possibilities for IPL 2020 while reflecting on the past seasons
With the IPL Auction 2020 set to be held in Kolkata later this month, there is a lot of hype surrounding the Indian Premier League. However, this year’s auction is expected to be on a smaller scale as franchises are allowed to retain as many players as they’d like. Some small changes are anticipated for the squads in the one-day event. As the franchises gear up for the auction, we take a look at this glamorous and glorious wing of Indian cricket that has grown to gain popularity worldwide.
The commercial aspect
The IPL has grown to become the world’s pre-eminent T20 tournament and there’s no surprise that it is an expensive extravaganza. This year, franchises have been allotted a staggering amount of 85 crores to design their teams with an additional amount of 3 crores. So, we can expect some whirlwind of commerce but the chances of a Jaydev Unadkat or a Varun Chakravarthy going under the hammer are scarce.
Interestingly, Delhi Capitals are leading the table at INR. 8.2 crores while Rajasthan Royals are second on the list with INR 7.15 crores. Dinesh Kartik’s Kolkata Knight Riders are at third position with INR 6.05 crores and the Sunrisers Hyderabad are at INR 5.3 crores. Kings XI Punjab are at INR 3.7 crores whereas Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are at INR 3.2 crores and INR 3.05 crores respectively. Royal Challengers Bangalore are at the last spot with just INR 1.8 crores. It would be interesting to see how these franchises make the best of their budgets to create the desired teams.
Looking back at past seasons: Lessons learnt and what to expect
Exploring the teams
Looking back at last year’s tournament- lessons learnt- would help us understand what to expect in 2020, better.
IPL 2019 was an interesting tournament with surprise performances and memorable cricket moments. To begin with, the Delhi Capitals had been on a streak of bad performances until 2018. But, last year, they redeemed themselves with a total run score at 2207 and eight out of 14 wins. With an all-new jersey, the team established its position in the game under the new leadership of current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting as the coach. By the end of the tournament, they emerged at the 3rd spot right behind the winning titans Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. It goes without saying that in IPL 2020, the stakes for Delhi Capitals would be even higher. It would be interesting to see if they are able to rise as champions this year.
Another team that will be under the spotlight will be Royal Challengers Bangalore led by Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli. Despite having cricket stars like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle (for the better part) in the team, RCB has not won the IPL even once since the event’s inception. Kohli has led the team in seven of those IPL seasons. It would be fair to state that Kohli’s record as the RCB skipper has been below-par.
In 2019, RCB was at the bottom of the barrel with Rajasthan Royals when it came to the Win/Loss ratio scoring a total of 2208 runs in the tournament.
There were speculations about changes in leadership for this edition of the IPL. However, the team’s newly-appointed Director of Cricket Mike Hesson recently ruled out any such changes. It would be interesting to see if Kohli, who is regarded as one of the world’s best cricketers, is able to change things for the RCB team this year.
Looking at the players
The first player who will be making the rounds in the auction is T Natrajan. He has been with Sunrise Hyderabad for two years now but has never played a match despite being a good spinner The franchise is expected to release T Natrajan as they look to strengthen their batting line by pushing more Indian batsmen in the team.
Chennai Super Kings KM Asif is another bowler who has not been given ample opportunities to prove his metal. He played two matches in IPL 2018 for the team and has been on the stand since then. It is anticipated that the franchise will look to release him and get an opening batsman as a substitute for Ambati Rayudu. Interestingly, Rayudu announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in July this year. However, in August, he declared that he was willing to play all formats of cricket again. There are speculations that CSK is looking to replace the batsman.
Furthermore, Rahul Tripathi of Rajasthan Royals is another player who is expected to get replaced. His IPL career seems to have faded with time. In the beginning, he was in great form when he played for Rising Pune Supergiants under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership. This led Rajasthan Royals buying him for more than INR 3 crores in the 2018 auctions. Tripathi performed well that that year. However, in IPL 2019, his strike rate went down and so did the average. In 2018, Tripathi batted in 12 matches for the Royals where he made a total of 226 runs with 18 fours and 8 sixes for 173 balls. His batting average was at a mediocre 25.11. Chennai can look at buying Rahul and he may get his mojo back under Thala’s leadership this year.
Another name that has become synonymous to IPL is Varun Chakravarthy. He was bought by Kings 11 Punjab for more than INR 8 cr but he played only one match for them where he scored 35 runs in 3 overs and since then he hasn’t played any matches. Kings is very likely to release him and buy a batsman to strengthen their batting attack.
IPL started in the year 2008 and since then it has changed the world of cricket for fans and players alike. This year’s IPL will be the 13th edition and is much- anticipated as always.
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