IPL 2022 Mega auctions are scheduled to take place next year. Teams must have already started charting out their strategies for the auction. These mega auctions tend to sort of make or break teams in their 3-year cycle. Delhi Capitals finally found a resurgence with the 2018 mega auctions. Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders used the mega auctions to good effect in 2011 to build a core team. But there have been many examples of how teams have gone wrong during the mega auctions.
StumpsandBails looks at 5 possible mistakes the franchises might commit in the IPL 2022 mega auctions:
#5 RCB indulging in an overseas star batsman
A top-quality overseas seamer has been RCB’s Achilles heel since Mitchell Starc’s standout season in IPL 2015. RCB have struggled to find a gun overseas bowler right since then. Their inability to nail down a standout fast bowler is owing to their indulgence in bringing in batting superstars into the setup. Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Shimron Hetmyer, and Glenn Maxwell have all been RCB’s pet batting investments over the years. It’s time they showered love on top bowlers too.
#4 Punjab Kings assembling a new team all over again
Teams that tend to finish at the bottom of the pile generally look for an overhaul the next season. But the fact that Punjab Kings assemble an altogether new team every season confounds cricket lovers. They go in for a major overhaul, especially in the mega auctions. Kings must refrain from bringing in wholesale changes this season. They have talent in abundance in the form of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Nicholas Pooran. Kings also boast of quality young players in Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, and Shahrukh Khan. They must trust these players to deliver for them in the coming years.
#3 Delhi Capitals not retaining Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is not a spent force. He comes back roaring into form every time you write him off. Dhawan has been a revelation for DC since he joined them in 2019. His average and strike rate have consistently improved over the last 3 years. Dhawan has added plenty of new strokes to his game and looks in great shape executing them. DC has an abundance of batting riches. Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant form their Indian core. The temptation to retain Axar Patel or Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan may just force DC to release Dhawan. This may prove to be an anomaly. DC will be better served with Shikhar Dhawan in their ranks.
#2 MI using RTM to retain Krunal Pandya
MI had first brought Krunal Pandya in 2016 for INR 2 crores. He had a couple of good seasons with them in 2016 and 2017. Pandya in fact was the Man of the Match in the 2017 IPL finals. This prompted MI to use the RTM on Krunal in the IPL 2018 mega auctions. They bought him for INR 8.8 crores. But Pandya has done little since then to justify either the price tag or the faith. MI will be tempted to use RTM on Krunal Pandya once again in 2022 mega auctions. But it might prove to be a counterproductive move this time.
#1 Chennai Super Kings retaining MS Dhoni
IPL is not a platform for emotions and relationships. CSK is one team that defies this norm. The foundation of the franchise is built on the implicit trust of its players. CSK rarely let go of the stars that have served them well over the years. They keep persisting with players who are well past their prime. CSK might not commit the same mistake in the 2022 mega auction. They must realise there is life beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni at CSK. It’s time they started investing in the youth and nurtured future leaders. Their current captain is well past his glory days. The franchise must realise this.