The mega auction for the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was held at ITC Hotel Gardenia in Bengaluru on Saturday and this event will continue tomorrow as well. The IPL 2022 season will be played with 10 teams after the entry of Ahmedabad Titans and Lucknow Super Giants.
As many as 600 players will be going under the hammer in the first auction of this magnitude since 2018, which will also see 10 players of the India U-19 team that won the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022.
The inaugural champions of IPL, Rajasthan Royals (RR) are on a quest to win another title. RR, under the captaincy and mentorship of Aussie legend Shane Warne, won IPL 2008 but after that, they have failed to win a single title. RR have invested in young captain Sanju Samson. But they also have the finest cricketing brains as their Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara.
The Double R franchise had INR 32.75 crores left for this mega auction event. They have retained 3 players in their drafts. Jos Buttler, the dashing England opener has been drafted for INR 10 crores while the skipper of the team, Sanju Samson has been retained for INR 14 crores. Young India batter Yashasvi Jaiswal has been retained for INR 4 crores.
The Auction Signings
Ravichandran Ashwin (Base Price INR 2 crore)
The ace spinner of Team India will play for a new franchise in his IPL career. Ashwin has played for Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals earlier. Now he will play for Rajasthan Royals. RR have bought Ashwin for INR 5 crores.
The Royals have a good spin bowling all-rounder in Ashwin. He has a bulk of experience of the T20 format and he can assist Samson in his captaincy duties. The four overs from Ashwin will be good and he can also add depth to their batting order. Chris Morris was their highest-paid player last year. But he wasn’t up to the mark. RR will hope that Ashwin deliver more than him in the upcoming season.
Devdutt Padikkal (Base Price INR 2 crore)
The opener from Royal Challengers Bangalore has been shifted to RR. The Double Rs have Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal as their opening batters. But still, they went with Paddikal for INR 7.75 crores.
Padikkal was the emerging player of IPL 2020 season. He looked in decent touch last year as well. He can provide that impetus for Rajasthan Royals to kick some gas in their innings. Padikkal can open with Jos Buttler in the first few games. This combination would be deadly for RR and suppose it doesn't work, then they have Jaiswal and Samson as replacements in the top order.
Shimron Hetymer (Base Price INR 2 crore)
The West Indian hard-hitting batter will now play for the Double Rs. Shimron Hetmyer will be the key man in the middle-order of the Rajasthan Royals team. RR don't have a finisher in their team. David Miller is not part of the squad and Chris Morris has retired from all forms of cricket.
Now it is up to Hetmyer to do the job. He needs to repay the faith of the franchise. Hetmyer was bought for INR 8.50 Crores in this year’s mega auction. The Windies power-hitter will have to finish games for RR and he cannot afford to be inconsistent like he was for Delhi Capitals.
Trent Boult (Base Price INR 2 crore)
The pace bowler from New Zealand was a part of Mumbai Indians (MI) earlier. He is a dangerous bowler and it isn't easy to keep him quiet when he is on song. RR needed a quality pace bowler like Boult.
He was bought for INR 8 crores by the Double Rs. The Kiwi pace bowler is well known for his opening burst. He has been continuously doing that for New Zealand and Mumbai Indians till the last season. But Boult failed to give wickets in the powerplay overs last season, which is why the MI team hasn’t retained him. For RR, Trent needs to be consistent and bowl the hard overs.
Prasidh Krishna (Base Price INR 1 crore)
The former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player has now shifted to RR. Prasidh Krishna is a good bowler and now he represents the national side. He did well in the recently concluded ODI series against the West Indies.
Krishna was brought for INR 10 crores in today’s mega auction. In the three-match ODI series against WI, Krishna took 9 wickets which was the highest by an India bowler in that ODI series. Krishna and Boult can make a terrific combination. Like Boult, Krishna can also bowl in good areas, which will also be useful in the death overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal (Base Price INR 2 crore)
The leg-spin bowler who has been part of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a long time will play for RR in IPL 2022. Chahal is a useful bowler in the middle overs. He can get the wickets on slowish tracks and he has a good experience of playing in the Indian conditions.
RR bought Chahal for INR 6.5 crores. They also have Ashwin who will certainly be their lead spinner. Despite bowling so well for RCB, that franchise did not retain Chahal. But now he has a chance of doing well for his new franchise.
Riyan Parag (Base Price INR 30 Lakh)
Rajasthan Royals have bought Riyan Parag back in their mix. The uncapped Indian player was instrumental in India’s successful Under-19 World Cup campaign in 2018. So far, Parag has played 30 matches and scored 339 runs in his IPL career.
He was bought for INR 3.80 crores. Parag can be used as an extra bowling option alongside Ashwin and Chahal. But his main skill is batting. He has the ability to score quick runs in the middle-order. Riyan needs to pair up with Hetmyer and win games for RR consistently.
What should Rajasthan Royals look for tomorrow?
Rajasthan Royals still have INR 12.45 crores with them. They still need a quality middle-order batter. Shimron Hetmyer is a power hitter and so is Riyan Parag but they will find it tough to consolidate if RR lose the top order early. They can make Jos Buttler bat in the middle-order and open the innings with Padikkal and Jaiswal.
RR will also need a quality international pace bowler along with Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna. They can also pick a few more spinners to complement Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvedra Chahal. IPL 2022 season will be played in India, so they must keep that in mind.