Pat Cummins and Chris Woakes "could go for big money" at the IPL auction on December 19, according to Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting.
Cummins, No. 1 and No. 5 in the ICC rankings for Test and ODI bowlers respectively, was part of the Delhi franchise in 2017, where he topped their wicket-taking chart with 15 strikes from 12 games with an economy rate of 8.07. He has set himself a base price of INR 2 crore (US$ 282,900 approx.) this time.
Woakes, who has earlier been part of Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, has set his his base price at INR 1.5 crore (US$ 212,195 approx.).
"There's going to be a lot of focus and attention on fast bowlers, overseas ones in particular. Pat Cummins could go for big money, as could Chris Woakes," Ponting said in a Capitals statement. "Allrounders are always interesting in my opinion. Players like Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme could all be big picks."
Ponting also welcomed the addition of R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane to the Capitals' ranks, saying the two senior India cricketers will "bring tremendous experience with them".
Rahane and Ashwin, two big-ticket Indian players have already joined the Capitals during the trade window to bolster their top-order batting and spin bowling. "They are the kind of players who are likely to do well on the [Ferozshah] Kotla wicket, and of course, bring tremendous experience with them."
Capitals, who have 14 players and go into the auction with 11 available slots - six Indian and five overseas - have INR 27.85 crore (US$ 3,939,760 approx.) to spend at the auction.
"Going into the auction you have to be very specific about the kind of players you need," Ponting said. "For instance, we've got three openers [Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw], so we don't need to look for one. You need to identify the problem areas in your starting eleven, and essentially plug the gaps.
"We've had several discussions over the last few months, and have put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that we're well prepared. You can do all the planning in the world, but at the auction table, the unpredictable always happens."
The Capitals have never won the IPL, with final-four finishes in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2019, the last season, their best performances to date.
"The semi-final loss against Chennai [Super Kings] was disappointing of course," Ponting said of the 2019 season. "But we played some great cricket, and even now, about 7-8 months after the tournament, I feel like there were times when we were the best team in the competition.
"I just remember how much fun everybody had. It was a totally different environment than most other IPLs that I have been a part of. The idea is to recreate that atmosphere and culture with our new and existing bunch of players."