The IPL auction on December 19 gives the best teams in the next edition of the competition a chance to plug the gaps in their squads, and the ones with unsettled line-ups to add muscle, even overhaul the core of their sides. But how do the franchises look as things stand?
Chennai Super Kings
Squad: Ambati Rayudu , KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Jagadeesan Narayan, Karn Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Monu Singh, MS Dhoni, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Shardul Thakur, Suresh Raina
Player slots left: Five (three domestic, two overseas)
Money spent: INR 70.40 crore (US$ 9.9 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 14.60 crore (US$ 2.1 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Back-up allrounder for the injury-prone Dwayne Bravo, overseas quick as cover for Lungi Ngidi, and a couple of domestic players.
The Super Kings have a big enough purse to buy the one or two key players they might be looking for. Historically, they have targeted players MS Dhoni has played with or who have experience with the side. The slow nature of the Chennai pitch will dictate their picks and if they want one major player, they could actually spend more than 60% of their available purse on him alone.
Overseas: Sam Curran, Chris Morris, Jason Holder, Pat Cummins
Domestic: Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shahrukh Khan, Jaydev Undkat, Aakash Singh
Squad: Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer
Player slots left: 11 (six domestic, five overseas)
Money spent: INR 57.15 crore (US$ 8.1 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 27.85 crore (US$ 3.9 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Overseas quicks (left-arm seamer), overseas allrounder and overseas middle-order wicketkeeper-batsman
The Capitals have a strong core Indian contingent and can, in fact, make a good first XI with only the domestic players. This auction, Capitals will be heavily focused on their overseas buys, but they are bound to face stiff competition from the likes of Kolkata Knight Riders, Royals Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, all of whom will be on the prowl. The Capitals might need to think out of the box or look for a few X-factor players whom they can buy at low prices.
Overseas: Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shimron Hetmyer, Eoin Morgan, Fabian Allen, Sam Curran, Mitchell Marsh, Kesrick Williams
Domestic: Priyam Garg, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Porel, Jaydev Unadkat
Kings XI Punjab
Squad: Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, K Gowtham, Hardus Viljoen, Harpreet Brar, Jagadeesha Suchith, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan
Player slots left: Nine (five domestic, four overseas)
Money spent: INR 42.30 crore (US$ 6 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 42.70 crore (US$ 6 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Overseas opener (back-up for Gayle), overseas allrounder, overseas and domestic quick (left-arm seamer), domestic legspinner
The franchise with the maximum money to spend. Don't be surprised if Kings XI look to pick up an experienced hand like Eoin Morgan or Aaron Finch first up as they could be potential candidates for the captaincy after R Ashwin was traded to Capitals. With so much money in the purse, Kings XI can also play spoilsport by hiking up the prices of players other franchises would be keen to buy. With former India captain Anil Kumble taking over as head coach, the franchise is likely to focus on putting together a strong bowling attack.
Overseas: Jason Roy, Chris Lynn, Aaron Finch, Eoin Morgan, Chris Morris, Jimmy Neesham, Fabian Allen, Pat Cummins, Sheldon Cottrell
Domestic: Rohan Kadam, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Porel, Akash Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravi Bishnoi
Kolkata Knight Riders
Squad: Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine
Player slots left: 11 (seven domestic, four overseas)
Money spent: INR 49.35 crore (US$ 7 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 35.65 crore (US$ 5 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Overseas opener, overseas allrounder (back-up for Andre Russell), domestic spinner, domestic allrounder
Having released Chris Lynn, Knight Riders will definitely target an overseas opener, potentially even trying to buy back Lynn. The other target would be an allrounder, and the franchise could consider Glenn Maxwell and even think of playing him as an opener, as radical as it might sound. Having released Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla, and with Kuldeep Yadav still struggling for form, Knight Riders will aim to find replacements for the first two and a capable back-up for the third.
Overseas: Tom Banton, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell,Pat Cummins,Alex Carey, Fabian Allen
Domestic: Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan
Squad: Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McCleneghan, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Rohit Sharma, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult
Player slots left: Seven (five domestic, two overseas)
Money spent: INR 71.95 crore (US$ 10.2 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 13.05 crore (US$ 1.8 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Overseas opener (back-up for Quinton de Kock), mystery spinner/overseas right-arm pacer (back-up for Lasith Malinga), and domestic options
Similar to Super Kings, Mumbai are well poised with a first XI already in place. The purse will be used to just buy back-up options in case of injuries. This should be a pretty quiet auction for the reigning champions, who also do not have a lot of money to splurge.
Overseas: Jason Roy, Tom Banton, Hayden Walsh Jr, Chris Green, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins
Domestic: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Deepak Hooda, Priyam Garg
Squad: Ankit Rajpoot, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Steven Smith, Varun Aaron
Player slots left: 11 (Seven domestic, four overseas)
Money spent: INR 56.10 crore (US$ 7.9 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 28.90 crore (US$ 4.1 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Back-ups for the roles Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Steven Smith and Ben Stokes play and domestic fingerspinners
The overseas options Royals need to go for are pretty straightforward, but their support cast is a bit thin. Their focus will be to fill the domestic slots, which is not very easy in a small auction. With new coach Andrew McDonald at the helm, one can expect some relatively smart role-specific players to be picked.
Overseas: Alex Carey, Fabian Allen, Chris Green, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Curran
Domestic: R Sai Kishore, M Siddarth, Ravi Bishnoi, Pavan Deshpande, Virat Singh
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Squad: AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal
Player slots left: 12 (six domestic, six overseas)
Money spent: INR 57.10 crore (US$ 8.1 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 27.90 crore (US$ 3.9 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Overseas allrounders, overseas wicketkeeper, overseas quicks
This might turn out to be an interesting auction for the team. With the domestic players sorted, the focus will only be on the overseas buys. They need to fill up six slots and they do not have too much money for it. They may be able to buy one expensive overseas player with their budget. With the T20 World Cup coming up, one could expect Virat Kohli to bat at three and Royal Challengers to look for overseas opening options. With a new coaching staff and scouting system in place, it will be interesting to see if the franchise has some tricks up their sleeve.
Overseas: Alex Carey, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Morris, Jimmy Neesham, Pat Cummins, Sheldon Cottrell
Domestic: Priyam Garg, Pavan Deshpande, Rohan Kadam, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Virat Singh
Squad: Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha
Player slots left: Seven (five domestic, two overseas)
Money spent: INR 68 crore (US$ 9.6 million approx.)
Purse remaining: INR 17 crore (US$ 2.4 million approx.)
Holes to fill: Overseas allrounder, overseas quick, domestic allrounders and batsmen
Sunrisers do not have much money to play with and have specific gaps to fill to complete the squad. They have been dependent on the top three for a while now and will be looking to get some strong finishers in their line-up, ideally Indian.
Overseas: Chris Morris, Fabian Allen, Jimmy Neesham, Eoin Morgan
Domestic: Priyam Garg, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Robin Uthappa, Shah Rukh Khan, Rohan Kadam, Pavan Deshpande