Since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL), while the franchises have unearthed several talents from across the globe, among the overseas lot, the tournament has majorly been dominated by Australian as well as Windies cricketers. Shane Warne, leading the Rajasthan Royals in 2008, once again reminded the cricket fraternity of his leadership skills, as his team went on to defeat MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to win the inaugural edition. Since then, the tournament has seen several Australians – Michael Hussey, Steve Smith, Shane Watson and David Warner leave a huge impact in the lucrative tournament.
Similarly, talking about firepower, very few cricketers have had the kind of impact West Indies have in the tournament. Chris Gayle, arguably the most destructive limited-overs batsman in modern-day cricket, has entertained the Indian fans with several breathtaking knocks. The opposition captain and his troops still have their hearts in their mouths till the time Gayle is at the crease and would breathe a sigh of relief only if they manage to avoid the Gayle-storm. The franchises even gamble on playing a half-fit Gayle, as on his day, he can demolish any bowler.
Similarly, Dwayne Bravo is yet another Champion cricketer who has had a phenomenal impact for CSK and is still one of the best all-rounders in the tournament. Kieron Pollard is another Windies player, who hits the ball as powerfully as anybody else in the business, and is also a great leader in the Mumbai Indians dressing room. A lot has changed in the dynamics of the game since 2008, but what hasn’t changed, is the fact that both the Aussies and players from the Caribbean continue to be on franchises’ radar. The upcoming IPL 2020 auction in Kolkata would be no different.
While the likes of Gayle, Pollard, and Bravo might not be as dangerous as they used to be, as many believe the experienced troika are past their prime, West Indies cricket has seen the rise of two new big-hitting left-handed batsmen in Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran. Pooran was rightly retained by Kings XI Punjab, but RCB have possibly made yet another big blunder by releasing Hetmyer – who has been a nightmare for the Men in Blue in the ongoing limited-overs series. Windies opener Shai Hope might not be as aggressive as Pooran and Hetmyer, but he seems to be a much more reliable batsman at the top of the order – who has all the shots in his repertoire.
Talking about Australian batsmen, Chris Lynn is one name who in all likelihood would be on the radar of every franchise. Not often do we see such big names up for grabs in an auction and with someone like Lynn – who can go hammer and tongs right from the word go, the fans might get to see a huge bidding war in Kolkata. Glenn Maxwell is another Australian cricketer who has had made a name for himself in the tournament. The Big Show’s vulnerability against leg-spinners is something franchises might be wary of, but Maxwell still remains to be a huge asset in the shortest format of the game. (Also Read: 3 crorepatis who are likely to go unsold in IPL 2020 auction)
In the initial years, and even today, while the franchises cannot hold their hands while bidding for batsmen, what costs matches to most of the franchises, is lack of quality bowlers. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood need no introduction, and while the former is expected to be one of the top-5 costliest players at the auction, the latter’s variation on Indian tracks makes him a pretty handy option to have in the team. What goes in Cummins’ favour, is his ability to score runs lower down the order. The franchises must have their eyes set on the two world-class bowlers and teams with bigger purse will definitely want to ruin the party for others……….Read More>>