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Feature

Roles plugged, holes to fill: How the 10 IPL franchises stack up

What key positions do the teams need to fill during Sunday's bidding?

Lucknow Super Giants made several key signings  •  BCCI

Lucknow Super Giants made several key signings  •  BCCI

After a long first day of the mega-auction for IPL 2022 in Bengaluru, which featured countless bidding wars and plenty of surprises, all ten franchises have at least an outline of their squads for this season's tournament. Here, ESPNcricinfo examines how each team fared on Saturday - and which roles they will be looking to add on Sunday.

Chennai Super Kings

Purse spent: INR 69.55 crore
Purse left: INR 20.45 crore
Roles covered: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings did not surprise anyone. They went about doing what they do best: buying back the players who have done well for them. The plan appears to be to build a team for the upcoming season as opposed to looking beyond. Deepak Chahar became the first player ever the Super Kings bought for over ten crores in an auction. The ten-team auction forced them to go behind one big player and that was Chahar. They also acquired Dwayne Bravo, Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu. Along with Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, they now seem to have their top eight slots sorted.
Gaps to be filled: The major roles they are looking for are: a replacement for Faf du Plessis at the top and a couple of overseas fast bowlers. These skillsets are not hard to find, since there are plenty of options available. Super Kings will also look to get one of the two Saurashtra and India left-arm fast bowlers Chetan Sakariya and Jaydev Unadkat to bolster their pace attack. Options they might look at for Gaikwad's opening partner could include Devon Conway, Liam Livingstone, Evin Lewis and Finn Allen. Gaurav Sundararaman
Possible XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Overseas opener, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 KM Asif, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Overseas fast bowler

Delhi Capitals

Purse spent: INR 73.50 crore
Purse left: INR 16.50 crore
Roles covered: Delhi Capitals are going to have an opening pair like no other with Prithvi Shaw and David Warner, whom they bought for just INR 6.25 crore. With Mitchell Marsh and Rishabh Pant in the middle order and allrounders Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel before the tail, their batting is almost covered. In the spin department, Kuldeep Yadav has joined Axar.
Gaps: If Pant bats at No. 4, who will be their Nos. 5 and 6? They also haven't been able to fill the void left by Avesh Khan and Kagiso Rabada. Mustafizur Rahman may not play all games and Kamlesh Nagarkoti is still unproven at this level. Anrich Nortje will hope he gets another big name to partner with, especially from India. Vishal Dikshit
Possible XI: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 David Warner, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt/wk), 5 Sarfaraz Khan, 6 Indian finisher, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Mustafizur Rahman, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Anrich Nortje

Gujarat Titans

Purse spent: INR 71.15 crore
Purse left: INR 18.85 crore
Roles covered: Gujarat Titans bought quick bowlers Mohammed Shami and Lockie Ferguson, spinners Noor Ahmad and R Sai Kishore, and allrounder Rahul Tewatia. So they need not chase too many bowlers on Sunday. They also have the hard-hitting Jason Roy at the top to open with Shubman Gill.
Gaps: They don't have a wicketkeeper yet. To add to that, they will need a few Indian names in the middle order to bridge the gap between the openers and Hardik Pandya. It's also unlikely the Afghan duo of Rashid Khan and Noor will get many games together and with Hardik's bowling still not 100%, they might still want some Indian pace bowlers in the squad. Vishal Dikshit
Possible XI: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Jason Roy, 3, 4 & 5 two Indian and one overseas batter (including wk), 6 Hardik Pandya (capt), 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Indian bowler, 11 Mohammed Shami

Kolkata Knight Riders

Purse spent: INR 77.35 crore
Remaining purse: INR 12.65 crore
Roles covered: Kolkata Knight Riders were one of teams to enter the auction with the primary strategy of retaining their core from last year, which had taken them to the IPL final. They had already retained four match-winners in Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer, who won the emerging player award last year in his first IPL season.
Knight Riders' first buy today was Australia's Test captain Pat Cummins, who has performed the role of lower-order hitter and strike bowler successfully in the past. But the one position Knight Riders were keen to fill was the captain's spot and in the India batter Shreyas Iyer they might have found a frontrunner. They also bid hard to buy back the uncapped Indian fast bowler Shivam Mavi, who was one of the most improved seamers during IPL 2021. And then there was Nitish Rana, one of the most consistent top-order batters who can also bowl a few overs of spin if need be.
Gaps to be filled: They need an opener and at least one more fast bowler, and will surely be looking at a fast-bowling allrounder. The tough part is they have a smaller purse. Nagraj Gollapudi
Possible XI: 1 Venkatesh Iyer, 2 Indian opening batter, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Keeper-batter, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Fast bowler, 10 Shivam Mavi, 11 Varun Chakravarthy

Lucknow Super Giants

Purse spent: INR 83.10 crore
Remaining purse: INR 6.90 crore
Roles covered: If they were playing a match on Sunday, Lucknow Super Giants would walk out with a solid XI. The Super Giants probably were the best performers on the first day of the auction as they packed their team with a host of allrounders who will all likely be part of their first XI. Quinton de Kock, who was one of the bargain buys on Saturday, will open with KL Rahul.
In Manish Pandey, they have a No. 3 or middle-order batter and an experienced player in Indian conditions. If they already had a power-hitter in Marcus Stoinis, Super Giants have added Jason Holder, Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya, who will cover the lower order as well as bowl majority of the middle overs. They also have an enviable new-ball pair in Mark Wood and Avesh Khan - one who can generate speeds only few can and another who can bowl at all points in an innings.
Gaps to be filled: Super Giants will be mostly quiet on Sunday considering they have the weakest purse. But they might consider picking another spinner or fast bowler from the uncapped lot. Nagraj Gollapudi
Possible XI: 1 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 2 Quinton de Kock, 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Middle-order batter, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Deepak Hooda, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Jason Holder, 9 Mark Wood, 10 Ravi Bishnoi, 11 Avesh Khan

Mumbai Indians

Purse spent: INR 62.15 crore
Remaining purse: INR 27.85 crore
Roles covered: What exactly are Mumbai Indians doing? That question occupied everyone in the auction room and outside as the five-time champions were the slowest off the blocks on day one and remained quiet virtually through the day. However, Mumbai did make the biggest purchase of the day when they staved off fierce competition from three other franchises to snatch India wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan for INR 15.25 crore.
It was the first time Mumbai had crossed the ten-crore mark in an auction to buy a player. Kishan's acquisition means Mumbai now have their core back, having retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard before the auction. In the uncapped South African batter Dewald Brevis, who excelled at the Under-19 World Cup, Mumbai might have found a middle-order batter, too.
Gaps to be filled: Mumbai's two other purchases on the day - Murugan Ashwin and Basil Thampi - will likely end up being back-ups, so there are quite a few roles yet to be filled including a couple of bowling allounders, at least one batter, a specialist fast bowler and a spinner.
What stands in Mumbai's favour is they enter the final day of the auction with the second-strongest purse and will be aggressive in the accelerated phase of the auction which will feature the West Indies bowling allrounders Odean Smith and Romario Shephard, and England's Livingstone. Don't be surprised if Mumbai try and seek out England fast bowler Jofra Archer, too. Nagraj Gollapudi
Possible XI: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Middle-order batter, 5 Middle-order batter/batting allrounder, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Bowling allrounder, 8 Bowling allrounder, 9 Wristspinner, 10 Fast bowler, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Punjab Kings

Purse spent: INR 61.35 crore
Purse left: INR 28.65 crore
Roles covered: Punjab Kings started with a virtually clean slate after only two retentions and the biggest purse, which they used wisely: they have the clear outline of a starting XI and the most money to spend on Sunday.
They bought Shikhar Dhawan early to form a proven Indian opening partnership with Mayank Agarwal, apart from picking Kagiso Rabada from the marquee set. Shahrukh Khan predictably sparked a bidding war and while they paid over the odds for him, that was offset by the purchase of Jonny Bairstow for INR 6.75 crore, which looks like a steal. Rahul Chahar was another value buy at INR 5.25 crore.
Gaps: Rabada should be able to cover the death overs along with Arshdeep Singh. So a new-ball bowler - such as Reece Topley, Adam Milne or Dushmantha Chameera - or a fast-bowling allrounder will be key additions on Sunday. They will also look to add depth to their middle order tomorrow, with Livingstone and Tim David among the potential targets. Matt Roller
Possible XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Mayank Agarwal (capt), 3 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 4 Indian middle-order batter, 5 Overseas finisher, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Harpreet Brar, 8 Overseas fast bowler, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Arshdeep Singh

Rajasthan Royals

Purse spent: INR 77.85 crore
Purse left: INR 12.15 crore
Roles covered: Rajasthan Royals started the day with three batters and no bowlers but managed to put together what looks like a strong starting XI. Their spin attack has struggled in recent seasons but the combination of R Ashwinand Yuzvendra Chahal for INR 11.5 crore looks like shrewd business.
Prasidh Krishna's record in the IPL is underwhelming but the Royals are banking on him converting his India ODI form into short-form performances, while Trent Boult will lead the attack. Manoj Badale, their owner, suggested that Devdutt Padikkal will bat at No. 3, behind Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal, with Sanju Samson at No. 4, but they have plenty of options if circumstances demand a reshuffle - including Shimron Hetmyer, who will start as a finisher.
Gaps: The Royals have one clearly-defined position that they desperately need to fill heading into Sunday. With four-fifths of a first-choice bowling attack in place, they are crying out for a fast-bowling allrounder who can bat at No. 7 on Sunday. Marco Jansen, Chris Jordan, Sean Abbott and Odean Smith are among the potential candidates. Matt Roller
Possible XI: 1 Jos Buttler (wk), 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Devdutt Padikkal, 4 Sanju Samson (capt), 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 Overseas allrounder, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Prasidh Krishna

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Purse spent: INR 80.75 crore
Purse left: INR 9.25 crore
Roles covered: Having already retained Glenn Maxwell, Royal Challengers Bangalore made three key overseas signings in the first half of the day: Faf du Plessis, who is likely to open the batting and captain the side; Wanindu Hasaranga, who will be their main wristspinner and float in the middle order; and Josh Hazlewood, who will lead the fast-bowling attack.
The trio cost a combined INR 25.5 crore, a significant outlay. Recruiting Dinesh Karthik as a finisher (and wicketkeeping option) and bringing back Harshal Patel at INR 10.75 crore further depleted their budget, but their attack could be among the best in the competition.
Gaps: They will have to recruit wisely on Sunday, going into the second day with the second-smallest purse behind Super Giants. They will be eyeing domestic batters to give them options in the middle order, as well as another Indian spinner to compete with Shahbaz Ahmed. Matt Roller
Possible XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Anuj Rawat/Indian top-order batter, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Indian middle-order batter, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Shahbaz Ahmed/Indian fingerspinner, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Purse spent: INR 69.85 crore
Purse left: INR 20.15 crore
Roles covered: After coming late into the auction, Sunrisers Hyderabad built a solid core of bowlers for the future with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kartik Tyagi and T Natarajan. They also acquired two allrounders in Abhishek Sharma and Washington Sundar, and splurged on Nicholas Pooran (INR 10.75 crore) for wicketkeeping.
Gaps: For Sunday, their biggest task will be to beef up their batting, which still looks feeble, with a lot currently resting on Kane Williamson, who has also been battling an injured elbow for a while. They need at least a couple of big Indian names who can take the pressure off Williamson and solve their old issue of not being able to finish games off. Vishal Dikshit
Possible XI: 1 Kane Williamson (capt), 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 4 Priyam Garg, 5, Experienced batter, 6 Abdul Samad/Abhishek Sharma, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Overseas quick bowler, 10 Kartik Tyagi/T Natarajan, 11 Umran Malik

Gaurav Sundararaman is senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo; Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor; Vishal Dikshit and Matt Roller are assistant editors