IPL Auction is just two days away and most of the teams are in their last stage of planning and scouting.
The second part of the article is focusing on the possible target areas for the four bottom-placed teams in IPL 2018. They would look to utilize the auction to add more potent weapons to take them to the coveted play-off spots.
3 times IPL Champions Mumbai Indians always have a strong team with some world-class players like Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah but their balance was disturbed in the last auction where they end up significantly short in the spin bowling department. Even in their current squad post-release and retention, the 3 spinners are Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar and Anukul Roy. Although Markande was one of the best findings of IPL 2018 and played all 14 matches for MI, Chahar played only 3 IPL matches and Roy is yet to make his debut. So they will desperately look for a good quality spinner although the options are few. One of the very good options would be the Australian young spinner Adam Zampa, who have the second best bowling record in IPL but was not picked in the last edition. For an Indian option, they may try to get hold of Axar Patel who was part of MI squad earlier.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings had a very good auction last time where they bid aggressively and built a squad which looked good on paper. KL Rahul was the star for them but lack of performance from other big guns like Yuvraj, Gayle and Finch made them miss the play-off spot. They have already released Yuvraj and Finch and also released their two bowling spearheads Mohit Sharma and Barinder Sran. They can look for middle order options like Angelo Mathews and Moises Henriques both of whom can provide bowling option also. They can also go for some Indian fast bowlers like Mohammad Shami, Aniket Choudhary and Tushar Despande to provide cover for Ankit Rajpoot and Andrew Tye.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers remained an enigma in IPL. They keep producing one of the strongest squads only to miss out on the big prize. Although they have retained the core of their team, they have released some of the big guns like Brendon McCullam, Quinton De Kock, Chris Woakes and Corey Anderson. Their bowling is covered with both Indian and Overseas stars like Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tim Southy and Moeen Ali. They should try to have some good young players in the top of the order to support Captain Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. Possible options could be experience players like Manoj Tiwari and Hanuma Vihari or upcoming stars like Ilind Kumar and Shivam Dubey who are having a strong Ranji Trophy season.
Team Delhi daredevils keeps finishing in the bottom position despite having a strong team. They have gone through a name change and hopefully that their new name will bring some good luck for the team. They have a batting line up full of Indian stars like Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and the local boy Shikhar Dhawan. Whereas their pace bowling attack is full of overseas stars like Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult and Chris Morris, they would like to add some balance. Some of the overseas batting picks for them could be experienced players like Hasim Amla and Angelo Mathews. For bowling, they may look to pick experienced Indian players Jaydev Unadkat and Axar Patel.