Kings XI Punjab’s mentor Virender Sehwag and co-owner Ness Wadia discuss a player during the IPL Auction 2018. 
Cricket

Report Card: Who Got the Best Deal at IPL 2018 Auctions?

A total of 169 players were sold among 8 franchises in the IPL 2018 players’ auction on 27-28 January in Bengaluru. Team owners spent Rs 431.7 crore in total during the mega event.

It was a very interesting auction, considering the fact that most of the franchises have managed to come out with balanced units. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have always relied on their batsmen, now have bowlers such as Umesh Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Along with Sunrisers Hyderabad, RCB seems to be the most compact unit this season.

Here’s a look at how each franchise fared at the event.

1. Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings have been one of the best, when it comes to acquiring players at the auction. But this time they seemed to have lost their steam. They bought not-so-agile players, such as Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu.

Surprisingly, CSK decided to take the stars of the olden days – Shane Watson and Harbhajan Singh. The CSK team management will have to live on the hope that these players stay fit for the next three years.

If Jadhav and Rayudu score runs, then it will be great, but there is a chance of them conceding some easy runs on the field. They also saved the most amount of money at the end of the auction – Rs 6.5 crore.

2. Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils had one of their best times at the auction this year. This time they didn’t go over the top, when it came to spending for particular players. Their most expensive player is Glenn Maxwell for Rs 9 crore. They have acquired Gautam Gambhir, who knows how to mould a successful side.

Delhi’s only issue will be the middle-order. They will heavily rely on the young guns – Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. They had a hot and cold season last year. If the duo don’t fire, then Delhi could be in big trouble.

3. Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians have a fantastic bowling line-up in Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah, but the blue brigade will struggle with their batting.

They will be relying heavily on their captain Rohit Sharma. And if Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya fail to fire, Mumbai could be in huge trouble. They have also invested in a young wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan.

4. Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals scalped two of the most expensive buys in the auction. They acquired Ben Stokes for Rs 12.5 crore and Jaydev Unadkat for Rs 11.5 crore. Rajasthan will have no issues in putting the runs on the board with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler in their side.

However, all the pressure will fall on Unadkat, when it comes to bowling. Steve Smith will certainly look to chase in most of the matches.

5. Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders have two great top-order batsmen in Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa. But an even better bowling attack in Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc and Kuldeep Yadav. Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell can do the job for them in the middle order.

KKR’s biggest problem is that they don’t have a captain material player in their side. They might look towards Robin Uthappa to lead.

6. Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab made the boldest moves at the auction this year, and at times it worked wonders for them. They can have a settled opening pair in KL Rahul and Aaron Finch. They will surely try Chris Gayle in the first few games and if he scores big, then Punjab could easily be one of the contenders to win the IPL.

They have good finishers in David Miller and Marcus Stoinis, and also an experienced off-spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin.

The only department Kings XI Punjab lack in is an experienced set of fast bowlers.

7. Royal Challengers Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore have finally got a good bowling attack. Umesh Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile will lead the pace attack and they will be supported by the spinners Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal. And if the likes of Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers shine with the bat, then RCB could be the team to look out for in the IPL.

8. Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Sunrisers Hyderabad seem to have the most compact side after the IPL Auction 2018. Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner can provide good starts consistently at the top, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan and Wriddhiman Saha can man the middle order.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma and Rashid Khan are more than able to keep performing consistently for their side.

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