IPL 2023 Retentions: Sunrisers Hyderabad have the highest purse (INR 42.25 crore) while Kolkata Knight Riders lowest (INR 7.05 crore) ahead of IPL 2023 mini-auction.
Ever since the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega-auction of 2022, one thing was certain: teams buying players for short-term goals might end up releasing them under pressure. Out of all the teams, one was certain to face the wrath of the owners, and that team was Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Just like the sun rises every day, the auction paddle for the Sunrisers went up every time a player was being auctioned. Sometimes this is done to genuinely secure a player, and other times it is done to raise the price for other teams.
Well, all in all, SRH’s strategy ended up hurting them, as they had more bowlers in their eleven than batters and were one of the least balanced teams in the IPL. The situation was similar for the Kolkata Knight Riders too, who ended up buying short-term players without really keeping the long-term future in hindsight, and the last minute withdrawals of players like Pat Cummins, Alex Hales and Sam Billings have put the gears in reverse for the Knight Riders.
Just before the 16th edition of the IPL, a mini-auction is on the cards, which is scheduled to be conducted on December 23, 2022 in Kochi. Just before the auction, the trading window for players was closed on November 15 at 5 PM IST for the teams to release or retain their existing batch of players to make money for new guns and ammo that are up for grabs.
Summary of the pre-auction trading window
Indian Premier League
IPL 2023 Start Date
IPL 2023 Mini-Auction
23rd Dec 2022
Name of Teams
CSK, RCB, MI, KKR, DD, RR, PBKS, GT, LSG, SRH
IPL Retained Played 2023
Released Players (All Teams)
“Confusion hi Confusion hai, Solution kuch pata nahi”
There is a famous song from the path-breaking Hindi film ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ which depicts the situation of most of the IPL teams post the 2022 season: "Confusion hi confusion hai, solution kuch pata nahi, solution jab mile to question kya tha pata nahi”. Among all the teams, SRH and Punjab Kings (PBKS) have the highest purse amounts left with INR 42.25 crore and 32.20 crore, respectively, followed by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Mumbai Indians (MI).
The situation is one where these franchises are on life support, especially with SRH, as the players they were banking on after the David Warner saga, were Kane Williamson and Nicholas Pooran. And when their management released both Williamson and Pooran, whom they had retained or bought them for INR 14 crore and 10.75 crore, respectively, irony died a slow death.
Even with the likes of KKR, who have the lowest purse size remaining (INR 7.04 crore), with 11 players to fill in, it has been nothing but confusing as even though they released 15 players, the cost of the players released and retained has a huge negative gap despite the quantity. KKR management tried to fill Cummins' shoes by trading in Shardul Thakur from the Delhi Capitals (DC). KKR were the most active team in the trading window as they traded back ace pacer Lockie Ferguson from the Gujarat Titans (GT). They also secured the services of Afghanistan wicketkeeper and batter Gurbaz Rahman as they traded again with GT in the pre-auction trading window.
Purse Balance Left (INR)
Player Slot Left
Decoding Sunrisers Hyderabad & Kolkata Knight Riders
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) now have INR 42.25 crore left, which is the most, and have a gap of 13 players to fill in, which is also the most among all the IPL teams. With the current SRH squad with their retained players, the team lacks an opener to partner with Rahul Tripathi, assuming Aiden Markram bats at number 3. For SRH, their middle order has always been a problem, and they do not seem to have a core group that can do their job in the batting department.
SRH have always been known to have a strong bowling unit, and the pattern continues for them with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Marco Jansen, Thangarasu Natarajan, and Umran Malik in their arsenal. The problem for SRH grows as the type of players entering the mini-auction do not fit their batting requirements, despite a large purse amount left with 13 players to fill.
SRH Strengths: Strong pace bowling with healthy mix of Indian and foreign bowlers
SRH Weaknesses: Poor management, visible loopholes and lack of depth in batters and all-rounders sections.
Target players for SRH: SRH should look to target Mayank Agarwal who can fill in the opening slot along with Tripathy/Glenn Phillips, or can even come in the middle order as Mayank has a strike rate of 145.8 vs spin as compared to 129.7 against pace in T20 cricket. SRH have been missing a batting all-rounder and have only been relying on Washington Sundar to do the job.
In the upcoming auction, they can go for the big Aussie all-rounder Cameron Green or the man with the midas touch, Ben Stokes to settle their middle order woes. The only missing puzzle in SRH’s bowling depth is a leg spinner and SRH management can try to bridge it with either Ish Sodhi or Adam Zampa in the upcoming mini-auction.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Retained Players: Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Fazalhaq Farooqi*, Glenn Phillips*, Kartik Tyagi, Marco Jansen*, Rahul Tripathi, Thangarasu Natarajan, Umran Malik, Washington Sundar
Released Players: Jagadeesha Suchith, Kane Williamson*, Nicholas Pooran*, Priyam Garg, R Samarth, Romario Shepherd*, Saurabh Dubey, Sean Abbott*, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Sushant Mishra, Vishnu Vinod
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
The two-time IPL champions, Kolkata Knight Riders are the other team with the most players (11) to fill in with the lowest purse amount (INR 7.05 crore). Ever since the Gautam Gambhir era, the team has looked different on the field and hasn’t really been able to achieve anything except for the IPL final in 2021 where they ended up on the other side of the spectrum.
KKR appeared as perplexed as a teenager looking for a job in IPL 2022 mega-auction. They signed Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane and low on gas T20 opener Aaron Finch. Midway through the auction, KKR realised they didn’t have a proper explosive keeper batter and then bought anything and everything who could don the keeper’s glove in the form of Sam Billings and Sheldon Jackson, only to have them released a year later.
With the opening of the trading window after Cummins, Billings and Hales announced their unavailability, KKR will look for options more than ever. KKR’s over-reliance on Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana and Andre Russell backfired last season too, as once they didn’t perform, the Kolkata-based franchise looked nothing more than a below par domestic team. KKR is the only team with three genuine all-rounders in the form of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and now Shardul Thakur.
KKR Strengths: Good mix of bowling all-rounders who can do the job with the ball in the spin department and pinch hit with the bat.
KKR Weaknesses: No real fire power at the top who can score at more than 10 runs per over in the powerplay. Lack of Indian bowlers who can bowl at the death. An all guns blazing wicketkeeper batter who can go hard from ball one.
Target players for KKR: With the low purse value, there aren’t many good players they can go all out on. But KKR would like to secure the services of Nicholas Pooran who can bat in the middle and keep wickets too, or a Tim Siefert. KKR can also target someone like a Jason Roy who can give them an explosive start to their innings.
With KKR leaving out Shivam Mavi, they only have Umesh Yadav as an Indian pacer in the squad, and they should look to target Siddharth Kaul who was the highest wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament (SMAT) 2022 with 19 wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders Retained Players: Andre Russell*, Anukul Roy, Harshit Rana, Lockie Ferguson (T)*, Nitish Rana, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (T)*, Rinku Singh, Shardul Thakur (T), Shreyas Iyer, Sunil Narine*, Tim Southee*, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer Released Players: Aaron Finch*, Abhijeet Tomar, Ajinkya Rahane, Alex Hales*, Ashok Sharma, Baba Indrajith, Chamika Karunaratne*, Mohammad Nabi*, Pat Cummins*, Pratham Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Rasikh Dar, Sam Billings*, Sheldon Jackson, Shivam Mavi
The IPL 2023 mini-auction is slated to be held on December 23 in Kochi.