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IPL 2023 Mini-Auction: GT, LSG firm favourites with strong & well-balanced squads

IPL 2023 Mini-Auction: Gujarat Titans, Lucknow Super Giants and Chennai Super Kings are among the top three strongest sides after Auction.

IPL 2023 Mini-Auction: GT, LSG firm favourites with strong & well-balanced squads | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPL)
GT, LSG are among the strongest sides in IPL 2023 (Images: ©BCCI/IPL)

The mini auction ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 concluded on Friday and all the ten teams had the opportunity to shape up their respective squads ahead of the forthcoming edition of the lucrative league.

While few teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Gujarat Titans (GT) had more or less sorted their core team and just had to fill in for few slots, sides like Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) were the most active teams at the event. Expectedly, there were few huge buys from them and there were a few surprising picks as well. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the team which does well at the auction does well come the marquee event.

On these lines, we have identified teams that strung together strong & balanced units in the mini-auction with their available purse money.

IPL 2022, GT vs PBKS, Top Performances_ Rahul Tewatia's two sixes on two balls helps GT beat Punjab, GT move to 2nd spot _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL
Odean Smith sold to Gujarat titans for INR 50 Lakhs (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Gujarat Titans (GT)

Gujarat Titans did have a balanced team even before the auctions, as they retained most of the players that won them their maiden IPL title last season. Their only concern was the number 3 slot which was previously occupied by youngsters Sai Sudharsan and Abhinav Manohar.

That has been sorted out by an outstanding buy in the form of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson who they brought at the base price of INR 2 crore. This makes their top order even stronger, and allows the rest of the stroke makers like Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller, Hardik Pandya and Rahul Tewatia to play freely around him.

Shivam Mavi, GT’s most expensive buy of the evening, was a really good catch as it gives the franchise an option for Mohammed Shami, or gives them the room to use him in place of left-arm spinner Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore. Odean Smith, a hard-hitting all-rounder can come in handy at some stage and he was picked at his base price of INR 50 lakhs, which is a steal. Overall, a smart auction by the defending champions.

Players Picked: Kane Williamson (INR 2 crore), Odean Smith (INR 50 lakh), Srikar Bharat (INR 1.20 crore), Shivam Mavi (INR 6 crore), Urvil Patel (INR 20 lakh), Joshua Little (INR 4.40 crore), Mohit Sharma (INR 50 lakh)

Gujarat Titans Complete Squad: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Kane Williamson, Odean Smith, Srikar Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Urvil Patel, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma

Gujarat Titans (GT) Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya (C), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore/Shivam Mavi, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal

Gujarat Titans (GT) Alternate XI: Shubman Gill, Matthew Wade (WK), Sai Sudharsan/Abhinav Manohar, Hardik Pandya (C), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore/Shivam Mavi, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph/Joshua Little, Yash Dayal

IPL 2022, DC vs SRH, Top Performances_ Nicholas Pooran's 62 goes in vain as Delhi Capitals beat SRH _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
LSG bought Nicholas Pooran for INR 16 crores in auction (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)

The KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) didn’t have much to tinker in their squad, except for the fact that they needed an attacking batter in the middle-order as the duo of Manish Pandey & Evin Lewis didn’t deliver for them as expected and were subsequently released.

So, they went hard for the West Indies wicketkeeper batter, Nicholas Pooran, and got him at a whopping INR 16 crore. Though Pooran is inconsistent, he is highly capable of giving LSG what they want in the middle order. Apart from him, LSG have got left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat and veteran spinner Amit Mishra at their base prices.

With a great opening and death bowling attack along with a mix of quality all-rounders at their arsenal, Super Giants are one of the most complete units in this IPL and they can definitely be placed next to GT in terms of squad balance.

Players Picked: Jaydev Unadkat (INR 50 lakh), Nicholas Pooran (INR 16 crore), Yash Thakur (INR 45 lakh), Romario Shepherd (INR 50 lakh), Daniel Sams (INR 75 lakh), Amit Mishra (INR 50 lakh), Prerak Mankad (INR 20 lakh), Swapnil Singh (INR 20 lakh), Naveen-ul-Haq (INR 50 lakh), Yudhvir Charak (INR 20 lakh)

Complete Squad: KL Rahul (C), Ayush Badoni, Karan Sharma, Manan Vohra, Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Kyle Mayers, Krunal Pandya, Avesh Khan, Mohsin Khan, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Jaydev Unadkat, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Daniel Sams, Amit Mishra, Prerak Mankad, Swapnil Singh, Naveen-ul-Haq, Yudhvir Charak

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) Probable XI: KL Rahul (C), Quinton de Kock, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Avesh Khan, Jaydev Unadkat/Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mark Wood

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Final, England vs Pakistan_ England beat Pakistan in T20 World Cup Final; England lift the T20 World Cup Trophy 2022 _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC via Getty Images)
CSK bought Ben Stokes for INR 16.25 crores at the Auction (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Chennai Super Kings had a very good day at the office and shaped up a side that doesn’t have too many flaws. One of the biggest buys made by the yellow army was that of England all-rounder Ben Stokes. The world cup champion’s services were acquired by CSK for a huge sum of INR 16.25 crore and one may feel it is a steal given the talent he possesses.

Ben Stokes’s inclusion gives CSK much-needed balance and opens huge possibilities for the MS Dhoni-led team. Like CSK’s long time all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, Stokes could play a vital role in all departments.

Also, the yellow army bought veteran India batter Ajinkya Rahane who can come in handy on the turning tracks at Chepauk. On the whole, CSK have a batting line-up with great depth and they bat till number 9.

Their death bowling is a cause of worry, but one gets a feeling that CSK’s strong batting can compensate their shortcomings with the ball. But the Super Kings do have great spinners, utility all-rounders in Ravindra Jadeja, Kyle Jamieson, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali, and great powerplay bowlers.

Players Picked: Ben Stokes (INR 16.25 crore), Ajinkya Rahane (INR 50 lakh), Shaik Rasheed (INR 20 lakh), Nishant Sindhu (INR 60 lakh), Kyle Jamieson (INR 1 crore), Ajay Mandal (INR 20 lakh), Bhagath Verma (INR 20 lakh)

Complete Squad: MS Dhoni (Captain), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Choudhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Deepak Chahar, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Kyle Jamieson, Ajay Mandal, Bhagath Verma

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Choudhury, Maheesh Theekshana

The 16th edition of the IPL is expected to start in late March or early April 2023. It is to be played in home/away format and the franchises are expected to shape up their match-specific line-ups based on that aspect.


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