IPL 2024: Rating all 10 teams based on their squads

IPL 2024: Rating all 10 teams based on their squads

Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena served as the global stage for the IPL 2024 auction on December 19. With 119 overseas players in the auction pool, franchises vied for their services in a spirited bidding war. As franchises aimed to assemble winning squads with a budget of INR 100 crore, rivalries unfolded at the bidding table. Kolkata Knight Riders, Gujarat Titans, and Punjab Kings emerged as the big spenders, setting the stage for an intense season that promises fireworks both on and off the field.

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As the dust settles from the bidding wars, it’s time to analyze and assess the squads assembled by the 10 IPL franchises. Here is the rating of all 10 teams based on their squads:

Royal Challengers Bangalore (8)

In an ambitious bid to rebuild their bowling attack, Royal Challengers Bangalore entered the IPL 2024 auction with a clear focus. The release of Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, and Josh Hazlewood signaled a mass overhaul. However, the acquisition of Cameron Green through trade limited their pursuit of marquee fast bowlers, leading to a high-stakes attempt to secure Pat Cummins’ services, ultimately claimed by Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Facing the auction dynamics and with competitors holding hefty budgets, RCB adjusted their targets. The hunt for Mitchell Starc, a familiar face at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, became elusive. RCB pivoted, securing the services of Alzarri Joseph for INR 11.50 crores, relying on his ability to hit hard lengths. Concerns lingered in the death overs, prompting pursuits of ‘Baby Malinga’ Nuwan Thushara. Lockie Ferguson and Tom Curran joined as overseas pace backups, while Yash Dayal, a left-arm pacer, aimed to fill the void left by Harshal Patel. Despite these moves, spin resources appeared thin, with Swapnil Singh being the lone addition to the roster, alongside Mayank Dagar, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, and Glenn Maxwell. The bowler-centric strategy unveiled a determined RCB at the auction table.

Kolkata Knight Riders (8.5)

Kolkata Knight Riders strategically addressed their squad’s needs in the IPL 2024 auction. With a focus on securing an Indian wicketkeeper, experienced pacers, and bolstering all departments except spin, KKR entered the bidding arena with clear objectives. The spotlight-stealer, however, was the staggering INR 24.75 crores spent on Mitchell Starc, dominating headlines and signaling KKR’s commitment to strengthening the pace department.

Despite initial thinness in the pace lineup, KKR made impactful early moves, acquiring Chetan Sakariya and Starc, followed by a late bid for Gus Atkinson. These purchases injected much-needed vigor into the pace attack.

With a solid batting core already in place, KKR further fortified their lineup with the acquisitions of Ramandeep Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, and Manish Pandey, adding considerable heft and muscle. The spin department, possibly the strongest in the competition, received a boost with the addition of Mujeeb ur Rahman.

Delhi Capitals (8.5)

Delhi Capitals executed a meticulous plan in the IPL 2024 auction, addressing specific team requirements with strategic precision. The acquisition of Harry Brook, a backup overseas batter, was an early move that played to DC’s advantage, securing him for INR 4 crores. 

As uncertainty looms over Rishabh Pant’s role as the primary wicketkeeper in IPL 2024, DC strategically hedged their bets. Options for the wicketkeeper’s gloves include Stubbs, Hope, and high-priced surprise pick Kumar Kushagra at INR 7.20 crore, reinforcing DC’s commitment to bolstering the wicketkeeper slot. The eyebrow-raising addition of two more keepers, Ricky Bhui and Sumit Kumar, further underlines DC’s contingency plans, hinting at a potential shift for Pant into a pure batter role.

Amidst the recovery of Anrich Nortje from a long-term injury, DC diversified their pace bowling arsenal by bringing in Jhye Richardson. In a well-rounded auction strategy, DC left no gaps unfilled, signaling their readiness for a competitive IPL campaign.

Punjab Kings (8.5)

Punjab Kings emerged from the IPL 2024 auction with a sense of satisfaction, having strategically addressed crucial gaps in their squad. The pursuit of Harshal Patel showcased their determination to fortify the seam department and secure a reliable death overs option alongside Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada. While high bids for Rilee Rossouw and Chris Woakes position them as backup choices, the duo may not find immediate spots in the starting XI but serve as alternatives for Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran.

Despite a bold attempt to bring back Shahrukh Khan, PBKS gracefully accepted the outcome and compensated by acquiring Shashank Singh. Although Singh may not feature prominently in the playing XI due to the abundance of hard-hitting batters, his presence adds depth to the squad.

Lucknow Super Giants (8.5)

The Lucknow Super Giants navigated the challenges of the IPL 2024 auction with a focus on addressing specific squad requirements. In pursuit of an experienced Indian seamer and additional depth in the domestic batting department, LSG made strategic selections to optimize their limited budget.

LSG managed to secure Australian middle-order batter Ashton Turner, adding international experience to their batting lineup. However, the challenge lies in integrating Turner into an already packed middle order, which includes KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, and Ayush Badoni. The signing of David Willey contributes valuable all-round utility across departments.

Despite the absence of a seasoned Indian pacer, LSG secured the services of Shivam Mavi, an efficient option with long-term potential. The additions of M Siddharth, a useful defensive spinner, and Mohammed Arshad Khan, a promising rookie left-arm pacer, further diversified the team’s bowling options.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (9)

Sunrisers Hyderabad entered the IPL 2024 auction with a well-defined strategy and emerged with a squad that aptly addressed their key requirements. SRH executed their plan seamlessly, making decisive early moves to secure high-quality overseas players. Travis Head, the explosive Australian opener and Player of the Tournament in the recent World Cup final, promises to provide the team with dynamic starts, addressing a concern from the previous season. Pat Cummins, acquired as the second-most expensive player in IPL history, injects essential pace and a world-class bowling dimension to the squad.

Wanindu Hasaranga’s inclusion is a strategic upgrade, strengthening SRH’s spin department and replacing the void left by Adil Rashid. In bolstering the pace department, SRH secured the services of Jaydev Unadkat, a seasoned left-arm pacer who can serve as a reliable backup to the injury-prone T Natarajan. Akash Maharaj Singh, with prior experience in RR and CSK, further enriches the team’s left-arm seam options.

Mumbai Indians (9)

Mumbai Indians approached the IPL 2024 auction with a focus on fortifying their fast-bowling arsenal and securing depth in crucial positions. The franchise successfully achieved these objectives, making shrewd moves that promise to elevate their bowling prowess.

In a bid to complement the formidable Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai Indians strategically acquired three overseas fast bowlers. Dilshan Madushanka, a standout performer in the recent World Cup, was secured for INR 4.60 Crores. Adding to this, they successfully bagged the promising South African star Gerald Coetzee, forming a potent overseas pace trio at an economical combined price.

The surprise inclusion of Nuwan Thushara, acquired after a competitive bidding war, adds a thrilling dimension to MI’s pace battery. While finding a direct replacement for Hardik Pandya proved challenging, MI strategically added uncapped players to their squad, recognizing the need for emerging talents. In the spin department, the franchise secured the services of Shreyas Gopal and the experienced Mohammad Nabi, providing valuable backup options.

Rajasthan Royals (9)

The Rajasthan Royals entered the IPL 2024 auction with a specific agenda—bolstering their all-round options, securing a backup Indian batter, and finding support for Jos Buttler. Despite finishing with the smallest squad (22 out of a maximum 25) and the slimmest remaining purse (INR 20 lakh), RR’s auction strategy reflects calculated decisions to address key areas.

RR invested significantly in Shubham Dubey, a 29-year-old from Vidarbha with a stellar performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Dubey’s impressive average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 187.28 showcased his credentials as a valuable addition to the squad.

RR secured the services of Rovman Powell, the West Indies T20I captain known for his aggressive batting and handy medium-pace bowling. Nandre Burger, a left-arm seamer from South Africa, was strategically picked as a backup for Trent Boult, providing depth to the pace department.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore, one of the five keepers in the squad, brings versatility by batting anywhere in the top six, enhancing RR’s batting depth. Abid Mushtaq, a skilled left-arm orthodox spinner from Jammu & Kashmir, joins as a valuable addition, contributing to the team’s spin resources.

Gujarat Titans (9)

The runner-up from last season approached the IPL 2024 auction with a clear wishlist – acquiring a seam-bowling all-rounder, securing Indian wicketkeepers, and reinforcing their pace-bowling resources. While they made significant moves in fulfilling these requirements, the challenge now lies in crafting their optimal playing XI from the diverse pool of talent at their disposal.

Despite a keen interest in securing the services of Mitchell Starc, the Titans faced competition from Kolkata Knight Riders, resulting in a miss. In response, they strategically invested in Australia’s emerging left-arm pacer, Spencer Johnson, emerging as their costliest buy at INR 10 Crore. Johnson joins the squad as a like-for-like foreign pacer, providing valuable depth behind Joshua Little.

To address the need for backup pacers, the Titans enlisted the experience of Umesh Yadav, Kartik Tyagi, and the promising Sushant Mishra, bolstering their pace arsenal. The middle-order dynamics received a boost with the acquisitions of Afghanistan’s Azmatullah Omarzai and Tamil Nadu’s Shahrukh Khan, the latter secured for INR 7.4 Crore.

Chennai Super Kings (9.5)

CSK entered the IPL 2024 auction with a clear agenda: find an all-rounder to fill Ben Stokes’ shoes, secure an Indian top-order batter following Ambati Rayudu’s departure, and acquire an overseas pacer to complement Matheesha Pathirana.

CSK clinched the services of Daryl Mitchell with a bid of INR 7.60 crores, outbidding competition from DC and PBKS. For the crucial Indian top-order role, CSK opted for 20-year-old Sameer Rizvi from Uttar Pradesh, showcasing faith in his explosive batting prowess, as evidenced by his outstanding performances in the UP T20 league.

Although pursuing Travis Head, CSK pivoted towards Rachin Ravindra at a cost-effective INR 1.80 crores, providing a dynamic top-order option with spin-bowling capabilities. The acquisition offers flexibility, allowing choices between Ravindra and Moeen Ali based on the team’s requirements. In their quest for an overseas pacer, CSK secured Mustafizur Rahman at his base price of INR 2 crore. CSK reinforced their Indian pace department by bringing back Shardul Thakur, a two-time IPL winner, adding experience and additional batting depth.

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