The mega auction is on us and the franchises are all done making their strategies for the big auction to build their squad. A good auction strategy transforms into success, Delhi Capitals is a good recent example of it. After struggling during the first decade of the IPL, the Delhi-based franchise heavily invested in a strong and young Indian core during the 2018 mega auction.
The auction strategy for Delhi helped them make to the playoffs the last three seasons in a row. All 10 Teams must be looking on certain factors for the auction. In this article, we’ll look after 3 important factors a team should keep in mind for this mega auction.
The first priority for teams is to pick the captain for the squad. Then secondary is empowering the captain. There have been cases where IPL franchises have picked a team and then picked a leader.
R Ashwin at Punjab Kings in 2018 and 2019, and Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith at Rajasthan Royals are some of the examples in recent years where players were bought at the auction and then given captaincy. The format demands dynamic decision making. A captain should not be predictable and always be one step ahead of the opposition.
In a regular auction, teams understand that the options are very limited and hence prices are hiked due to a huge demand . This mistake should be avoided in a big auction, when franchises are building a squad. Spending about 15 to 20 crores on one player is approximately 20% of the budget on one player.
Hence, it is important to understand the maximum price of a role from experience, and work around that. Shreyas Iyer for example could be a beneficiary of this price view in the coming auction as franchises might frantically bid for him hoping that suddenly he would have the captaincy skills of Dhoni, the batting skills of Virat Kohli and the power of a Pandya.
Picking the right players
Skillset remains the first priority for a franchise while making a squad. Understanding where the player stands in terms of his goals and his role and what the team wants from him. Understanding a player’s background is equally important, and this is where a good scouting team comes useful.
While owners and CEOs can take the price calls at the auction table, they need to be fed with the right information from the scouts, analyst and coaches – especially while picking uncapped Indian players. For example, Kolkata Knight Riders, their scouts identified Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer . Now both players are part of the franchise’s core having been retained before the mega auction.
Mumbai Indians, who have one of the best scouting networks, comprising former international coaches, players and selectors. They picked the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya , Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya as uncapped talents, and then retained them. Scouts at Royal Challengers Bangalore even visit the families of potential buys they have identified from the trials to understand the culture and the environment they come from. In the end a happy player is a free player who can perform at his best.