IPL 2023 auction review: Rajasthan Royals
The IPL mini-auction was held in Kochi [Source: Twitter]
The much-awaited IPL mini-auction, held on December 23, involved many twists and turns. While some big names broke the bank on expected lines, some couldn't attract any bidder, surprising fans and experts.
The inaugural IPL champions, Rajasthan Royals, entered the auction with a decent amount of INR 13.20 Crores in their purse. They bought some exciting names, expected to ensure balance in their star-studded team.
So, let's analyse and assign RR a score out of 10 based on their performance in the mini-auction.
What were the primary needs of RR?
After releasing Rahul Tewatia, RR were searching for an all-rounder who could offer them the extra batting option without compromising the bowling quality.
They even tried to fill that spot by promoting Ravichandran Ashwin, but it did no good as the veteran spinner blew hot and cold with the bat despite trying his best.
Also, their out-of-the-box move to promote Ashwin to number three certainly hampered their batting, as the other batters had to bat out of their respective positions.
So, they had to buy a genuine all-rounder who could accelerate in the lower middle order.
Besides this, they needed some backup middle-order batters as they had released the likes of Daryl Mitchell and Rassie van der Dussen.
Positives: Holder, Ferreira and Domestic buys
In pursuing an all-rounder, RR bade for Sam Curran until the 13-Crore mark but had to pull out eventually.
Then, they bade till 7.25 Crores for Ben Stokes, but it was a wrong approach, as Stokes, a perfect top-order candidate in T20s, would've been a misfit in a lineup having Buttler, Jaiswal, Padikkal, Samson and Hetmyer.
Finally, they found an ideal player for their team in Jason Holder, for a reasonable price of INR 5.75 Crores. Donovan Ferreira was a smart buy for only 50 Lakhs, considering his incredible ability to dispatch the ball into the stands.
They bagged Akash Vashisht for a mere 20 Lakhs, which was impressive. He can be their number four, where they misfitted Devdutt Padikkal last season.
They also invested in domestic batters like Abdul P A and Kunal Rathore, buying them for 20 Lakhs each. Murugan Ashwin, as a backup for Yuzvendra Chahal, was also a decent buy.
Negatives: Unnecessary buys in Root and Zampa
Their other buys in the auction weren't convincing. Despite having India's two best spinners in their setup, the Royals spent INR 1.5 Crores on Adam Zampa, who they won't even field ahead of Buttler, Hetmyer, Holder and Boult in most games.
They also bought Joe Root for INR 1 crore, which surprised many, as they have a packed top order and can't play him over their first-choice four overseas players.
Final Rating for auction performance: 6/10
Thus, RR spent INR 2.5 Crores unnecessarily and returned with a decent INR 3.35 Crores remaining in their purse.
They certainly could've utilised these INR 5.85 Crores better, bidding for some Indian domestic batters like Samarth Vyas (Sold for INR 20 Lakhs), Priyam Garg (unsold) and an Indian backup for Holder in someone like Prerak Mankad (Sold for INR 20 Lakhs).
Probable playing XI
Devdutt Padikkal (Backup: Akash Vashisht)