IPL 2023 Auctions: Will the T20I World Cup save these players?

By Indraneel Chakrabarty: The BCCI is set to hold the IPL 2023 edition auctions (mini-auction) in mid-December 2022. Though the league dates remain unknown, the tournament is believed to kick-off during the 4th week of March, with restoration of the home and away formats. Per sources the salary purse is increase by Rs. 5 crores, to be Rs. 95 crores. It may grow further if a franchise opts trade/release players.

Some IPL players with not-such-a-memorable IPL 2022 season, are still backed by their respective cricket boards, being included their respect T20I World Cup 2022 national squads. The spectre of IPL Damocles sword would be looming over them during the ongoing T20I World Cup. SRH skipper Kane Williamson returned home post 13 IPL 2022 outings, for the happy occasion welcoming his new-born. A stray glance at his numbers may raise questions. The stroke-playing batter contributed 216 @ 19.64 average with a SR of 93.51. His lowest ever in IPL! SRH would be following his exploits for the Black Caps during the 2022 T20I World Cup keenly.

Wicketkeeper and lower middle-order batter Matthew Wade, was instrumental in Australia and T20 World Cup 2021 title triumph, yet he failed to fire-up during IPL 2022, turning out for Gujarat Titans. He still remains key to Australia’s battle-plans for the ongoing T20I World Cup. Gujarat franchises would be eyeing his results closely prior to December’s mini-auction.

West Indian all-rounder Odean Smith, acquired by KXIP for whopping Rs. 6 crores at the pre-IPL 2022 auction, hasn’t delivered, with his IPL 2022 report-card reading 6 wickets @ 11.87 economy rate, and 51 runs @ 115.91 SR with the bat. To break into the Super 12, West Indies would need Smith at peak output. His World Cup outing would be of much significance to KXIP’s powers-that-be.

Perceived as CSK’s answer for their death-over woes, yet with the limited opportunities which came his way Chris Jordan proved unimpressive. A reputed death-over specialist, his 2 wickets in 4 games @10.52 economy rate of 10.52, led CSK to bench him. His England performances, though, reflect a stark contrast. In 81 T20Is, Jordan has taken 90 wickets @ 8.67 economy rate. As a death bowling asset, he is a significant factor for the English team’s fortunes at the 2022 T20I World Cup. With turbulence brewing within their squad, CSK is expected to analyse his World Cup outing with microscopic precision.

Kiwi all-rounder James “Jimmy” Neesham has performed credibly whilst donning his New Zealand colours. Yet, at the IPL events, he received scarce opportunities and ones which materialized didn’t bring him favourable results. In the 2 matches he played in IPL 2022, Neesham bowled only 3 overs for RR, wicketless @ 9.67 economy rate. With the bat, he could notch-up 31 runs @ 114.81 SR.

Despite his lacklustre IPL 2022, he has the backing of the New Zealand team to deliver the goods. The Australian Test captain and pace spearhead, Pat Cummins, played 5 matches for KKR bagging 7 wickets @ 10.69 economy rates. Dropped due to performance and a death-over thrashing, Cummins still left his mark in IPL 2022 with the bat, playing two memorable knocks, exhibiting the variety he’s capable of. The Rs.7.25 crores acquisition player, despite his off-colour IPL 2022 outing, still has his national squad’s backing to dish out devastating spells to opposition batters. He is dangerous and possesses the requisite game awareness to win matches. KKR will be watching intently.

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