IPL
The new IPL season kicks-off with the auction on Thursday. Image Credit: IPL

Dubai: The mini auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 to be held on Thursday is expected to be a fascinating one as all the franchises will aim to fill the slots in their teams with the best players. The money and each team’s available slots mean that franchise bosses will have to do intense homework to get the right players to make their team stronger. A total of 332 cricketers will go under the hammer from 1pm (UAE time) for the 73 slots that are up for grabs.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians have released players such as Evin Lewis, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Beuran Hendricks, Ben Cutting, Yuvraj Singh, Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Pankaj Jaswal, Alzarri Joseph. They have at the same time retained their core team that made them the champions. They have nearly $1.8 million remaining in their purse and may try to go for players such as England opener Jason Roy and 21-year-old rising star Tom Banton, who caught the attention of everyone playing for Qalandars in the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 tournament in Abu Dhabi in November. To strengthen their bowling they may try to get in Chris Green and Nathan Coulter-Nile. They have seven slots (five domestic and two overseas) to fill.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, who finished at the bottom of the heap in the last edition of the IPL will aim to change the fortunes of their team in this edition under the guidance of none other than India skipper Virat Kohli. Despite having his focus on the ongoing series against West Indies, Kohli announced through a video chat released by the Bangalore team that his team will cover all the bases that are required to build a strong squad. They have 12 slots available (six domestic and six overseas players) and have $3.9 million remaining in their purse to spend. They are likely to aim for Australians Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins and West Indies’ Sheldon Cottrell.

Chennai Super Kings have five slots (three domestic and two overseas players) and $9.9 million with them. They may go for Sam Curran and Jason Holder from international stars and Piyush Chawla and Robin Uthappa from domestic front.

Delhi Capitals have 11 slots (six domestic, five overseas) and $3.9 million at their disposal and may eye to get England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan and even domestic star Jaydev Unadkat. Sunrisers Hyderabad have only around $2 million remaining and with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in the squad, they may eye for some more good hitters to fill in their seven slots available.

Kings XI Punjab has the maximum money at their disposal with $6 million. As their captain Ravichandran Ashwin has been traded to Delhi they need a strong captain such as Morgan. With Anil Kumble as coach, the team will judiciously use their money to fill the slots.

Kolkata Knight Riders may buy back Chris Lynn, whom they released but stole the thunder in the T10 tournament. They may also eye India’s promising player Deepak Hooda.

Rajasthan Royals too have 11 slots available. Their new coach Andrew McDonald, will have to do a lot of thinking in picking the right players. All franchise owners have arrived in Kolkata with their thinking caps on.