With the announcement of the dates of the auction ahead of IPL 2020, the IPL teams have started to work overtime to figure out the changes they would want to make in their lineups for the upcoming season. The auctions for IPL 2020 will be held at the city of joy, Kolkata, on 19th of December. While teams like Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians fared well in IPL 2020 and might not opt to tinker much with their present squads, while teams like Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab are set to make big changes.
The teams will have to wait for the final list of players that are up for grabs at the auction before they target certain players. However, they will have the opportunity to increase their purse by releasing players who either under performed or were surplus during IPL 2019. Here is one player each team might release ahead of the auction.
Kings XI Punjab – Andrew Tye
It was yet another disappointing IPL season for Kings XI Punjab in 2019. The Kings failed to qualify for the playoffs yet again and the squad is set to go through a major overhaul ahead of IPL 2020. While there are quite a few names who are under the scanner, the non-performing overseas players are set to face to the heat.
One player who is almost certain to be dropped is Australian medium-pacer Andrew Tye. Tye was excellent for the Kings in IPL 2018 as he finished the season with the highest number of wickets with 24 scalps. Come IPL 2019, though, things turned upside down for him. The Australian, who already lost his place in the national side, looked completely out of sorts. The right-arm medium pacer took just 3 wickets in 6 games while giving away runs at an economy of 10.59. With such poor returns, Tye might have to face the axe.
Delhi Capitals – Colin Ingram
After an array of disappointing seasons in the IPL, the Delhi franchise finally got something to cheer about in 2019. With a new name, revamped coaching staff and a young confident side, Delhi Capitals made it to the playoffs. While most things clicked for the Capitals, the team’s middle-order was a bit of a letdown.
At the auction, the team showed immense faith in Colin Ingram as they dished out a whopping 6.40 crore for him and they had a reason to do so. Ingram has earned the reputation of being a T20 specialist with eye-catching performances in the Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League and the T20 Blast. Unfortunately, Ingram did not have much success in the IPL as he scored just 184 runs at an average of 18.40 in 12 games. He often struggled against the spinners on the slow Indian pitches. Delhi might want to spend their money on other, more reliable players.
Mumbai Indians – Barinder Sran
Mumbai Indians became the first team to win four IPL titles in 2019. The Rohit Sharma-led outfit was excellent throughout the tournament and was greatly benefited by the depth of the squad. The team management was successful in building a strong bench-strength last season and will look to do so once again. The defending champions will also know that they cannot afford to be complacent and will have to evaluate the performances of their players.
One name who might lose his place after the process is Barinder Sran. The Punjab seamer was bought by Mumbai Indians at a hefty price of 3.40 crore, which was a huge surprise considering that Sran did not do anything significant in domestic cricket. He went wicketless in the 2 games he played in IPL 2019. Sran’s economy of 12.75 was on the higher side as well. With the likes of Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell McClenaghan in the side, it’s highly improbable that Sran will be seen in Mumbai Indians colours.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Tim Southee
Royal Challengers Bangaloremade some big changes in their squad ahead of IPL 2019 in a bid to win their maiden IPL title. But it all went in vain as RCB, once again, ended up in the bottom half of the table. While the team failed in all the departments, the bowling in particular looked completely out of place. RCB tried to ring in changes but to no success. Tim Southee was one of those RCB bowlers who were taken apart by the opposition batsmen.
The Kiwi speedster is known for his calm head and for delivering under pressure. He is also known for his strong death-bowling skills. But unfortunately, Southee was not at his best in IPL 2019. The 30-year-old played just 3 games where he took a solitary wicket while giving away runs at a poor economy of 13.11. RCB has a history of being ruthless when it comes to dropping players and it looks like Tim Southee will have to bear the brunt of it this time around.
Rajasthan Royals – Jaydev Unadkat
After investing heavily in Jaydev Unadkat in two back-to-back seasons, it will be fascinating to see whether Rajasthan Royals are ready to take the punt once again. Jaydev Unadkat fetched a jaw-dropping sum of 11.50 crore at the 2018 IPL auctions. After a dismal performance in IPL 2018, Unadkat was released by the Royals only to buy him back at the auction for a lesser, but not small by any means, amount of 8.40. His price-tag changed but his performances did not.
The 27-year-old took 10 wickets in 11 games for the Royals and failed to perform during crucial moments of the game. He leaked runs at an economy of 10.66 runs per over which is the testimony of his inconsistency and lack of control. The Royals have heavily relied on Unadkat to deliver the goods but the Saurashtra pacer has let his team down more often than not and thus he might be released.
Chennai Super Kings – Murali Vijay
When Chennai Super Kings made a comeback to the IPL after a two-year ban and assembled a side whose average age was on the higher side, they were mocked quite brutally. The team rebutted all the criticism by winning the title. But with the defeat in the finals last year, the voices suggesting infusion of young blood have become louder than ever. While there are a number of players who aren’t at the prime of their form and fitness, some of these players are under-utilised by the Super Kings.
Murali Vijay has played just 3 games for CSK in the last two years. With the likes of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis in the side, Vijay found it difficult to make it to the playing XI. Moreover, just in case CSK looks to change things around at the top order, they might look at someone like Ruturaj Gaikwad who has been in sensational form playing for India A.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Robin Uthappa
IPL 2019 was a tournament Kolkata Knight Riders would like to forget. KKR were expected to build on an impressive 2018 season but unfortunately, they failed to live up to expectations. Injuries to fast bowlers, poor form of key players like Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla and over-reliance on Andre Russell contributed to KKR’s downfall.
However, one player who had to face major criticism for his intent, or we will say the lack of it, was Robin Uthappa. The experienced batsman scored 282 runs at an average of 31.33. While his numbers suggest that he had a fruitful season, there were occasions were he failed to win crucial moments for his side. Uthappa’s moderate strike-rate of 115.10 shows his inability to score quick runs which cost KKR a couple of matches. KKR might want to give greater responsibilities to the young Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana and that might result in an end to Uthappa’s assoc.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Yusuf Pathan
There has been a major dip in the form of Yusuf Pathan, who once used to terrify opposition camps with his hard-hitting, in the last few seasons. Pathan was an integral part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad that lifted the IPL trophy twice. However, following a prolonged poor run with the bat, Pathan was released by KKR after IPL 2017. The Baroda all-rounder has been playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad since then.
After having a decent season in IPL 2018, Yusuf struggled to get going in 2019. He amassed a paltry 40 runs in 10 games and failed miserably in the middle-overs. Yusuf does not possess the power-game he once used to. With age not on his side and quite a few younger and fitter players around, it is hard to see Sunrisers continuing with Pathan.