Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 Player Auction: With IPL 2019 Auctions around the corner, all eyes will be on the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK). And, yet again they have done something unusual, just like they did in the 2018 edition – This year they have released only three players from their squad, dropping England pacer Mark Wood and uncapped Indian duo of Kanishk Seth and Kshitiz Sharma. The core looks familiar, which suggests that they have got only two slots left for the upcoming auction, which will be held on Tuesday, December 18.
CSK has been the most consistent and the most dominant side in the IPL history. They scripted a fairytale comeback in the 2018 edition, winning the title with a mix of players aged above 30, because of which they were written off before the tournament commenced.
The present team comprises of destructive batsmen and all-rounders like MS Dhoni, DJ Bravo, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh amongst others. The only factor which would concern them is their pace department, so they will be targeting pace bowlers in this auction.
Meanwhile, there are only two slots left for the Chennai-based franchise to buy and they are only allowed to bid for Indian players. So, here are the players CSK could break their bank for:
1. Jaydev Unadkat:
CSK will definitely be looking for the variety in their pace line-up and Unadkat would be an ideal match for the team pertaining to his fair share of experience of playing under MS Dhoni, during his time at Rising Pune Supergiants, as well as the fact that he is a left-arm bowler, which could add a new feather to the bowling-up.
The left-armer was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs. 11.5 crores, registering the highest bid of the 2018 edition. However, he was not able to deliver his best for the team and failed to live up to the expectations. He managed to scalp only 11 wickets in 15 games with the best figure of 3/46 in last year’s edition. Unadkat is the only Indian with the highest base price of Rs. 1.5 Crore.
2. Rajneesh Gurbani:
The 25-year-old pacer from Vidarbha had a pretty good Ranji season last year, his Hat-trick against Delhi earned him lots of praise and name. But, despite being a hero in the Ranji Trophy (2017-18), he went unsold in the 2018 edition of IPL. In T20s also, he has grabbed 13 wickets at an average of 26.07, strike-rate of 20.30, with an economy of 7.70. And, as far as MS Dhoni’s way of investing in young guns and flourishing them under his captaincy is concerned Gurbani will get a great exposure if gets a chance to play for the team like CSK under MS Dhoni in this flagship tournament
3. Mohit Sharma:
The 30-year-old right-armer made his debut from the same team and had a fairy-tale first year for CSK as he picked up 23 wickets in 15 games. Moreover, he had mushroomed under the captaincy of MS Dhoni and was able to make his debut for the national side in 2013. Though, he couldn’t manage to cement his place in the national side. But, with only Indian slots available for CSK, it could be a homecoming for Mohit Sharma if CSK bids for him the auction.
4. Mohammed Shami:
Injuries have cost him many big tournaments in his cricketing life and he has not been able to make the best out of his IPL opportunities, but arguably he is one of the best pacers in India and would be a great buy for CSK if they really want to invest in pace.
5. Yuvraj Singh:
The two-time World Cup winning southpaw is at the fag end of his career and what better than watching him stitch partnerships with old-mate MS Dhoni, CSK fans would love him. If they want to solidify the middle order, experienced Yuvraj could be the ideal fit. Yuvraj also has it in him to finish games also up the ante as in when required. The southpaw may not be in the form but as they say ‘Form is temporary but class is permanent’. Why not give Yuvraj a way for the last time with the Chennai Super Kings?