The IPL Player Auction in Kolkata saw over 300 players going under the hammer. The franchises shelled out a stirred sum of INR 140.30 crores. The Aussies stole the limelight with as many as 12 players made the cut into different teams. Pat Cummins became the most expensive overseas buy (INR 15.5 cr) overcoming the previous record bid by the Royals to acquire Ben Stokes ( INR 14.5 cr) in 2017.
The Challengers went into the Player Auction with a purse of 27.90 crores with as many as 6 overseas slots to be filled. RCB has looked to plug in all the holes by centralizing their main issue which is their death bowling department.
The addition of Aaron Finch proved to be vital for the bold squad as he brings experience and leadership shrewdness into the table. Aaron Finch has been leading the Australian contingent in the shorter formats of the game for quite a while now. Finch has a phenomenal track record in the T20 format, he has compiled 1878 runs in 58 matches with 172 being his highest score against England.
RCB needed a player of the stature of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, with the acquisition of Finch, it will ease the pressure on the two stalwarts of the game. Finch possesses a strong CV, especially in the shorter format of the game and he can well be the man who can fill in the shoes of Chris Gayle.
Chris Morris: The biggest buy for RCB this season
Chris Morris’s multidimensional skills and ingenuity bolsters the lower middle-order and the death bowling department.
Chris Morris who was a part of the Delhi franchise for quite a time made his in-way into the Challengers roster. The Challengers went into a bidding war with Kings XI Punjab but finally broke the bank to acquire the services of the Proteas all-rounder for a hefty sum of INR 10 crores. His manifest striking ability and also the proficiency of bowling well at the death overs convinced Mike Hesson to go for him at the Auction table.
The addition of Morris brings about a proliferation of all-rounders in the roster which further strengthens their batting depth and also the bench strength. With as many as 8 quality all-rounders in the set-up, RCB has also enhanced their bench strength.
Joshua Philippe: The Surprise Package
The 22-year-old from Western Australia has impressed everyone with his impeccable stroke play in the Big Bash League. The acquisition of Josh really comes as a surprise to all but his uncanny ability to strike the ball with sheer power is what makes him look special. The wicketkeeper-batsman can prove to be the X-factor for the team and the dimensions of the Chinnaswamy Stadium is tailor-made for a batsman like him who relishes on the surface which aids bounce. Josh has all the arsenal in the book to graduate to the International arena and also stamp the authority. Josh is a really good player of the spin which might also come handy in the subcontinent tracks.
Dale Steyn: Homecoming 3.0
Dale Steyn was the cynosure of all eyes when he combined forces with the Challengers last year after over a decade, he impressed everyone with his bowling in a short stint. His verve and potency will help the team in achieving greater stature of things.
The South African speedster ended with 15 wickets in 8 matches in the recently concluded Mzansi League and was also the third-highest wicket-taker in the competition. Dale Steyn’s economy rate (6.77) in the IPL speak volumes about the proficiency of the player and also boasts of having a better economy rate than MI bowling stalwarts Lasith Malinga (7.14) and Jasprit Bumrah (7.56).
Dale Steyn will also be a great mentor figure for the bowlers like Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. The Bold Army were ecstatic to hear that Dale Steyn’s tryst with the Chinnaswamy will continue for the upcoming season of the cash-rich league. They will hope that he stays fit and stimulate the team to go all the way in the 13th edition of the IPL.
The amalgamation of the Trans-Tasman duo might well prove to be a masterclass in guiding the franchise to their first silverware.
The Perennial underachievers of the IPL have finished at the bottom of the table twice in …