The Indian T20 League auctions have mostly seen two types of teams – one who retain their core players leaving little gamble for the auction and the other who goes all out to revamp their team year after year. However, there are teams who use the opportunity to cherry pick world class players like Trent Boult and Eoin Morgan, who could add real value to their side and further go on to become the differential in the tournament.
Here’s a list of such players who have been a game changer for their side this IPL 2020.
Having dug out talents like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya who now form the core of their team, MI has always been venerated for their incredible scouting team. But the four-time champions showed how shrewd a business they could do with the trade of Trent Boult in 2019. With Delhi looking to offload a high-priced Trent Boult, for they already had Kagiso Rabada, MI’s quick thinking before the IPL 2020 auction has proved to be a gamechanger so far. With the Kiwi speedster and Jasprit Bumrah taking care of eight overs for them every match, Team Mumbai has an advantage no other side has.
A change in administration meant a change in mindset as well, and the KKR management exhibited their trust in coach Brendon McCullum at the Indian T20 League 2020 auction when the franchise had to see off Delhi Capitals in order to secure Eoin Morgan for a price of Rs. 5.25 crores. The 2019 ICC World Cup-winning captain was placed at a base price of Rs. 1.5 crore and the spike in his price was an indication of his experience and talent. And KKR have been getting good returns from the Englishman as well.
Chennai spilling the cash has been a rare sight at Indian T20 League auctions over the years but when a talent like Sam Curran was up for grabs, they weren’t shying away. The 21-year-old bowling all-rounder was the most expensive English player at the Indian T20 League auction as CSK fought tooth and nail with Delhi Capitals to get him for Rs. 5.5 crores. Shelling out the cash made sense as well after the inexperienced player had turned heads for KXIP last season by taking 10 wickets in nine matches and scoring with an average of 23.75 despite coming as a tailender.
CSK’s most expensive buy at the Indian T20 League 2020 auction, however, had come in the form of leg-break Piyush Chawla, who was not retained by KKR. Even then, spending a whopping Rs. 6.75 crores on a player, who was no longer a part of the Indian national team and out of vogue for years, was questionable. However, MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming have always identified the perfect talents for Indian T20 League, and they weren’t wrong this time either. Chawla proved his worth by sending Rohit Sharma home in just his fourth ball of the season that also took him past Harbhajan Singh as he had reached 150 wickets in the tournament.
From Ajantha Mendis to Sunil Narine, KKR have been a pioneer in introducing mystery spinners in Indian T20 League from the very beginning. But their forte had seemingly rotten over time since their last big find. Though Varun Chakravarthy’s talent isn’t unknown in domestic circles – KXIP had bought him for a massive Rs. 8.4 crores in 2018 – his injury-plagued career had helped him very little before Indian T20 League 2020. KKR had to spend a significantly less amount of Rs. 4 crores to get the spinner and they have been getting solid returns since. Having bamboozled David Warner previously and then MS Dhoni a few matches later, Chakravarthy has mastered the art of leg-spin, carrom ball, leg-cutter, off-spin, the flipper, the topspin, and the arm ball.
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