IPL 2023 mini-auction: Mumbai Indians (MI) look to boost bowling strength while Chennai Super Kings (CSK) seek balance. Full updated squad, purse left, slots available and Players Targeting.
Less supply and more demand for players make the scheduled Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 mini-auction in Kochi more interesting. Mini-auctions are important for the teams to get the missing pieces of the puzzle. A total of 132 overseas and 273 Indian players will go under the hammer in the auction for 87 slots.
Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have done well in the auctions and as a result, they have 9 IPL trophies between themselves in the 15 seasons of the world’s marquee cricket league. However, MI and CSK had a terrible IPL last year. Both teams were at the bottom of the table with CSK ending at position 9 MI ending at number 10. Hence, this will be a crucial auction for both teams.
Scenario of Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have a purse value of INR 20.55 crore. They have retained their core team - Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishan Kishan. However, one of the superstars of MI, Kieron Pollard has now retired from T20 cricket. These are some really big shoes to fill for the team.
Mumbai Indians have slots for three overseas players and five Indian players. But still, there are some missing links that Mumbai would like to fix in this auction. MI have already made a few trades and they now have Jason Behrendorff as a left-arm pace option. However, they will look to buy more assets for the team.
So, now let us take a look at players that MI would like to have on their team.
Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Tim David, Ramandeep Singh, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Tristan Stubbs (WK), Dewald Brevis, Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah, Arjun Tendulkar, Arshad Khan, Kumar Kartikeya, Hritik Shokeen, Jason Behrendorff, Akash Madhwal Mumbai Indians Remaining Purse: INR 20.55 crore
Players that Mumbai Indians would target
All-rounder (Replacement of Kieron Pollard): Mumbai have a very sorted top order. They have Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan to open the innings. Number one T20 player Suryakumar Yadav will lead the middle order. Tilak Verma and Tim David made their mark in the last season. However, MI were not able to find proper replacement for Hardik Pandya and will have difficulty in finding someone like Kieron Pollard.
Leg spinner: Kumar Kartikeya and Hritik Shokeen are two spinners but they will surely look to add a veteran spinner to their side. MI will play a majority of their matches at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Having a good and experienced spinner will definitely make their side more balanced.
Indian bowler: MI were over-dependent on Jasprit Bumrah last year. No doubt Bumrah is a world-class bowler but he too needs support from the other end. Jofra Archer will play this year, but if any of them is unavailable, the bowling attack is not that lethal. MI also released Jaydev Unadkat, Riley Meredith and Tymal Mills.
MI have traded Jason Behrendorff, but they will like to sharpen their bowling line-up as well. Some Indian bowlers like Shivam Mavi, Yash Thakur and Mukesh Kumar may catch the eyes of the top scouting team of the IPL.
All-rounders available for MI
Kieron Pollard was the kind of player who could contribute to all three departments. With the budget that Mumbai Indians have, they cannot bid sky-high just for one player.
There is an outside chance of going for Sam Curran who has a base price of INR 2 crore. But Sam Curran would break the banks as many teams would go after him.
MI can target Jason Holder who has a base price of INR 2 crore. Holder picked 14 wickets in 12 matches with an economy of 9.42 in IPL 2022. He has scored 247 runs with a strike rate of 123 in his IPL career. MI need a player who can do power-hitting along with Tim David and bowl some crucial overs. So, this makes Jason Holder a good buy for MI.
Other players that MI may look to target are
The Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka is a fine finisher and has good experience, batting at the number 7 position. He can also bowl some quiet overs and is a good replacement for Kieron Pollard. Recently in Asia Cup 2022, Shanaka single-handedly won a couple of games for Sri Lanka.
This man is in the form of his life. Either with the bat or with the ball, you can expect a good performance from him. Additionally, Sikandar Raza is a quality spinner in T20s; he has lots of variations and that is what MI is lacking. So, MI will definitely like to get Raza as they need a spinner and an all-rounder as well. He is one of the few players to complete 1000 runs and take 50 wickets along with 50 catches in international cricket.
James Neesham and Odean Smith are other like-for-like options. MI can buy them as backup players as well.
Leg spinner that Mumbai Indians (MI) may target
Mumbai Indians just have two spinners in their squad currently - Kartikeya and Shokeen. They would really like to get one wicket-taking spinner as well. They may look for overseas options, like Adam Zampa or Adil Rashid. Or they may go for some uncapped players like they always do.
Adam Zampa is bowling with an economy of less than 7 in T20s. Mumbai Indians want someone to bowl with such an economy in the middle overs. Rohit is a smart captain and can use him in the powerplay and in death overs as well. So, he will be a good wicket-taking option for MI. Bumrah, Jofra and Zampa are like a dream bowling attack.
England’s best T20 spinner in the current squad. The experience that Adil Rashid brings to the table is second to none. He can pick up crucial wickets in the middle overs and is a disciplined bowler. Surely, he will be a great buy for Mumbai Indians.
Scenario of Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) do not make lots of changes in their side. However, this year is going to be a little different. Robin Uthappa and Dwayne Bravo have now retired. So, CSK will need their replacements. CSK have INR 20.45 crore in their bank and can buy two overseas players.
In IPL 2022, CSK lacked in bowling, even their bowling was weak as Deepak Chahar was injured. Dwayne Bravo was the highest wicket-taker for CSK with 16 wickets. Now in the absence of Bravo, they will definitely need a gun bowler in his place.
CSK have a strong core team under the likes of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar. They have young talents like Shivam Dube, Mukesh Choudhary and Maheesh Theekshana. Chennai have one of the finest spin bowling attacks. They have Jadeja, Ali, Santner and Theekshana. What CSK need is a reliable batter, a death bowler and an all-rounder.
CSK Squad: MS Dhoni (C & WK), Devon Conway, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Maheesh Theekshana, Dwayne Pretorius, Subhranshu Senapati, Mitchell Santner, Matheesha Pathirana, Tushar Deshpande, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Mukesh Chaudhary, Prashant Solanki, Deepak Chahar, Simarjeet Singh
Chennai Super Kings Remaining Purse: INR 20.45 crore
Players that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will go after
CSK love multi-dimensional players. Dwayne Bravo was MS Dhoni’s go to man but in his absence, CSK will need a good all-rounder. Dwaine Pretorius is one option but Chennai need more all-rounders.
Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu were like pillars for Chennai’s middle order. In the last season, CSK clearly missed the touch of Suresh Raina. Honestly, it will be really hard to replace someone like Raina. After all, he is “Mr. IPL” for a reason. They would like to have a dependable batter in the middle order as well.
Deepak Chahar and Mukesh Choudhary are new ball bowlers. CSK are lacking a death bowler. Bravo played a crucial role while bowling in the death. But now they need a gun death bowler.
Batters that CSK might target
There are very few established Indian batters currently who can bat at number 6 or 7. So, CSK might target some foreign players there. Sam Billings and Heinrich Klaasen are two good options that might interest CSK. They may also go with Devon Conway as their wicketkeeper and target Harry Brook.
Sam Billings is a good option for CSK as he can keep wickets as well. He can play those impactful innings in the middle order. He was part of CSK and played a couple of memorable knocks for them. In IPL 2018, Sam Billings won CSK a lost match against KKR. So, he is used to the CSK environment and knows his role.
Heinrich Klaasen has a strike rate of 136.45 in his T20 career. He is capable of playing destructive innings in the middle order. Additionally, he can keep wickets so he can be a good back up wicketkeeper option. Klaasen can be a good asset for CSK in the upcoming years as well.
Harry Brook is a sensational player in the middle order. He has over 2400 runs with an average of 34 and a strike rate of 148. If CSK can go with Conway as a keeper then they will undoubtedly want Harry Brook in their team.
In the absence of Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson and Suresh Raina, CSK were not able to perform that well last year. However, they have a solid opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway. But they may go for one more Indian batter.
Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane are well-suited for this role. However, they may not fit in the scheme of things for CSK. But you never know, what MS and CSK are thinking as they can make some bold moves as well.
Mayank could well be one of the most expensive Indian batters in this auction. There are fewer chances of him playing for CSK. On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane can be a good buy. He is a good player of spin which is an important skill to have at Chepauk. Also, Rahane can anchor the innings and provide stability. Ajinkya has a good record in IPL and under MS, we may see his best.
CSK released Narayan Jagadessan last month but may look to buy him again. Jagadeesan had a great domestic run and is in great form as he registered a rollicking double hundred for Tamil Nadu against Arunachal Pradesh in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23. CSK can consider Jagadeesan as a wicketkeeping option as well.
A Death Bowler who can bat in the lower order
CSK will surely like to have Sam Curran back on their side. However, if that does not go well, they may target Cameron Green, Jason Holder or James Neesham. Or they can go with a full-time bowler like Reece Topley, Josh Little, Kane Richardson or Chris Jordan.