A wake-up message for West Indies as well as an unconventional strategy from KKR

Franchises have taken the IPL 2023’s initial significant step by releasing players in advance of the Dec 23 auction. The following are the main talking topics from IPL team KKR’s retaining day: the 2nd smallest squad and the smallest wallet. You can watch last night IPL match highlights of KKR Team to know which players performed the best.

Franchises may utilize transactions to boost the amount of money available for such an auction. This is what Delhi Capital did after they sold Kolkata Knight Rider the Indian all-rounder Shardul Thakur that they had acquired for Rupees 10.75 crore.

But Knight Riders made distinct use of the trading window. Thakur was indeed the 3rd player they acquired through a trade after acquiring Afghanistan wickets opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz & New Zealand pace bowler Lockie Ferguson from Gujarat Titans. To acquire 3 players, Knight Riders spent INR 21.25 crores during the trade window, a choice that can be questioned by some considering that they might have been able to purchase more players at a lower price during the auction.

Why Knight Riders would disagree is as follows. They needed to address the three voids left by Sam Billings, Pat Cummins, and Alex Hales since they were previously aware that they wouldn’t be available again for IPL 2023. They also pursued three players who would probably start for them. Ferguson is a fast who can bowl throughout all areas of the game & has already experienced some success using them. Gurbaz provided the firepower just at top of the team that they badly lacked the previous season. They found a wicket-taking spinner who really can bat in the bottom order with Thakur to replace Cummins. There wasn’t any certainty that Knight Riders would have acquired Thakur for such an amount had he entered the future mega auction since Thakur had already been bid by several franchises at the previous mega auction.

To Knight Riders, this auction will be challenging. They now only have 14 players within their team, so they need to strengthen their bench, although they only possess INR 7.05 crore. They lack the financial resources to outbid their rivals, therefore they’ll need to be clever about whom they desire and how to obtain them.

An alarm for the West Indies?

West Indies’ underwhelming results in the last two Twenty20 World Cups have not gone undetected, and the players’ reputations appear to have suffered in the competition they once dominated. 10 West Indian players—Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Holder,  Nicholas Pooran, Odean Smith, Fabian Allen, Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, and Dominic Drakes—were released from the IPL franchisor’s rosters on Tuesday. For comparison, only two South African gamers were also released.

The mega-auction characteristics resulted in the purchase of several of these players at high prices last year, and the clubs may attempt to repurchase some among them at lesser rates. But does this also speak to the status of Windies cricket? Is the fact that IPL franchisees want to see players with a broader range of talents and at the pinnacle of their health a wake-up call for their players rather than only looking at powerful batting?

What will Mayank Agarwal do after this?

Punjab Kings have all said that Mayank Agarwal, who captained the team in IPL 2022, deserved to be fired well before they named Shikhar Dhawan as their new captain. Despite being retained at INR 12 crore the previous season, Agarwal only managed to score 196 runs with a scoring rate of just 122.5. A squad with a lot of powerful hitters finished sixth during his guidance. It only made sense to release Agrawal & potentially attempt to repurchase him at a reduced price since the Kings will be choosing a different captain for their team next season.

The problem, however, is that veteran Indian hitters are always in great demand and often hard to come by in a smaller auction similar to the one taking place next month. Although he only scored 165 runs and had a 154.2 strike rate with in Twenty20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he has been quite productive in prior IPL seasons as well as an excellent fielder. Many clubs are looking for just an Indian top-order hitter, so Agarwal could be in for another hefty payoff.

Many paths to rehabilitation

The three teams, Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Mumbai Indians, who placed eighth, 9th & tenth, respectively, past season, each have a distinct retention plan.

The Sunrisers had largely disassembled their classes of 2022, dismissing their skipper Kane Williamson as well as top batter Pooran, who has possibly developed into a future leader. Williamson’s sharp decline in batting performance occurred at the same time when Sunrisers finished last in 2021 & third last in 2022. The highest price paid for just West Indian players at an auction, Pooran’s 306 runs at the strike rate of 144.34 the previous season didn’t offset his INR 10.75 crore asking price.

According to CBTF news, Brian Lara, the Sunrisers’ newly appointed head coach, desired a fresh beginning and wasn’t afraid to bench great players in favor of a (mainly) younger set of athletes who have shown the potential of progressing quickly. Although it is a practical strategy, Sunrisers may aggressively chase well-known players just at auction since they have the greatest purse as a safety net.

Mumbai, as Sunrisers, has missed the playoffs each of the last 2 years. They used a dubious tactic in the last mega auction: they overspent on a few players, which led them to acquire lesser-known participants in quantity to bolster the roster. Mumbai has already discharged 13 players, one additional than Sunrisers, and among them are numerous bowlers who, for the most part, either failed to make an impression or were not given the chance. But the essence of them is still there. They anticipate Jason Behrendorff, who they acquired at Royal Challengers Bangalore in exchange for Jofra Archer, to just be healthy and create a potent pace assault alongside Jasprit Bumrah. Bombay, though, still lacks a reliable all-rounder as well as a starting spinner, and its renowned scouts and vast coaching team have a lot of work to do to address those gaps.

In contrast, the Super Kings merely cut eight players, notably Chris Jordan, who had participated in 4 IPL 2022 games, the injury-prone Adams Milne, who appeared in only 1 game this season, & Robin Uthappa, who’d already retired. It is unknown whether they would repurchase the thirty – nine years all-rounder Bravo, who was the sole regular member of the first XI that was released.

The leadership of the Super Kings seems to have enough trust in their current bowling core, which consists of Matheesha Pathirana, Mukesh Choudhary, Simarjeet Singh, and Dwaine Pretorius, despite the possibility that Bravo may still be acquired for a lesser price. Deepak Chahar, having missed the previous season due to an injury, is also with them. Additionally, MS Dhoni’s team has a potent assault under the direction of Sri Lanka player Maheesh Theekshana again for spin-friendly living conditions for Chepauk after Ravindra Jadeja said he was prepared for a “restart” against Super Kings.

So, although Sunrisers underwent a makeover, Mumbai & Super Kings kept the core of their respective teams. To fill vacancies at the auctions on Dec 23, all 3 franchises are going to have a great deal of work to do.

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