The dust has settled on the eagerly anticipated 2018 IPL auction, as all eight franchises have selected their strongest possible squads for the upcoming season.
This was arguably the most even auction that has ever taken place, as all teams came well prepared for the event. There were hardly any rash decisions taken by the franchises, as everyone had learned from their mistakes in previous auctions.
The biggest winners of the auction were Delhi Dardevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad, as the two franchises bought well and formed a strong core group of players that will serve them well over the years.
Delhi in particular should be very happy, as they brought in the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Kagiso Rabada and Prithvi Shaw in addition to the retained trio of Pant, Iyer and Morris.
Sunrisers Hyderabad also had a very strong auction, as they supplemented Warner and Bhuvneshwar with Dhawan, Rashid, Shakib, Pandey, Williamson, Hooda, Saha and Pathan.
But what about captaincy options for each team?
Sunrisers Hyderabad will continue to have the brilliant David Warner lead them in next season’s IPL, as the Aussie will hope to lead his side to yet another IPL title.
Delhi Daredevils needed a captain, and found a perfect one in Gambir. The legendary KKR skipper was let go by his previous team, and returned to the team where it all began for the left hander.
Kings XI Punjab have a couple of captaincy options in Ravi Ashwin in Yuvraj Singh. Yuvi was KXIP’s first captain back in 2008, and would be the sentimental choice. But it is worth remembering that Yuvraj did not have a great run as skipper, and may not be the best choice now at the fag end of his career,
Ashiwn though could prove to be a shrewd choice, as the off-spinner has proven his captaincy credentials in domestic tournaments previously.
KKR also have a dilemma, as the loss of Gambhir leaves them without a figure head in the side. Right now it looks like one of Karthik or Uthappa will become the new captain, as both players have the experience to put on the skipper’s hat.
KKR would probably go with Uthappa, as he is a former IPL winner with the side and will have the crowd’s backing.
Mumbai Indians will have Rohit Sharma lead them again, as he will hope to win yet another IPL title with his home town side.
CSK will have MS Dhoni as their skipper. (As if there was any doubt about that!)
Rajasthan Royals have already hinted that Steve Smith will be their captain for the next season. Smith was RPSG’s captain last year and will be hoping to win the title this time around with the Royals.
Finally, RCB will once again turn to Virat Kohli and hope to break their duck and lift their first ever IPL trophy.