@ovshake42 5 minute read
Root’s decision to enter the IPL auction was surprising to some. After all, he will be 32 by the time the next season begins – certainly not the most common age-group for IPL debutants, particularly among those with a glittering decade-long international career behind them. Root has also not played a Twenty20 International since the summer of 2019. Since then, he has played a mere 12 T20 matches along with four appearances in the Hundred.
Yet at the same time, it was perhaps expected, for now he has the burden of Test captaincy off his shoulders and a stint in the IPL would be excellent preparation for next year’s 50-over World Cup. He has also batted well in India, averaging 50 in each format in the country. His T20I strike rate in India (129) may be sub-par, but he hasn’t played there since 2016/17. He brings with him the advantage of being an outstanding player of spin – and that may be his greatest USP in a tournament where quality spinners play a key role. But while Root is keen for an IPL debut, will the franchises – with constraints on both budget and overseas slots – go for him?
Chennai Super Kings (overseas slots: 2)
Having released Dwayne Bravo, Chris Jordan, and Adam Milne, Chennai are now left with only Deepak Chahar as their senior seamer. They are very likely to fill their overseas slots with at least one (if not two) fast bowlers – to replicate Josh Hazlewood’s role from 2021.
Delhi Capitals (overseas slots: 2)
Delhi have retained David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Rovman Powell, and Mustafizur Rahman. Unless several of them get injured or lose form simultaneously, it is unlikely that Root, if bought, will pip three of them to find a spot.
Gujarat Titans (overseas slots: 3)
The defending champions are one of Root’s most promising bets. Last year, the Titans had played a batter light, using Rahul Tewatia at No.6 and Rashid Khan to No.7. The high-risk approach went their way, but for that Hardik Pandya who had to abandon his usual self. He faced 25 balls per innings (more than twice of the usual 11), but his strike rate fell from 154 to 131. Will they leave that to Root this time?
Kolkata Knight Riders (overseas slots: 3)
Kolkata’s problem is not balance but budget. They have released 16 cricketers and got three via trade, and are yet left with only INR 7.05 crore, the smallest budget of all the teams. They may go for Root, but only if he sets himself a low price.
Lucknow Super Giants (overseas slots: 4)
Lucknow already have Quinton de Kock, Marcus Stoinis, and perhaps Mark Wood as certain starters. To anchor their innings, they already have KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda. There is unlikely to be a place for Root.
Mumbai Indians (overseas slots: 3)
With an exciting set of youngsters in the middle-order and Rohit Sharma at the top, Mumbai’s focus is likely to be on all-rounders and – in case Jofra Archer skips the 2023 edition – a fast bowler.
Punjab Kings (overseas slots: 3)
Releasing Mayank Agarwal has freed up Punjab’s budget, but Root will have to fight with overseas players like Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, and his Yorkshire teammate Jonny Bairstow for a place in the XI – and that’s just the batters.
Rajasthan Royals (overseas slots: 4)
Rajasthan have released Daryl Mitchell, Rassie van der Dussen, and Karun Nair – ‘anchors’ – all in one go. Root’s chances will depend on them wanting to bring in others for that role or backing Devdutt Padikkal as the only one dedicated to the job.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (overseas slots: 2)
It is very unlikely that Bangalore will fill one of their two slots with someone unlikely to play in the XI ahead of at least two of captain Faf du Plessis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell, and Finn Allen.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (overseas slots: 4)
Sunrisers’ whopping purse (INR 42.25 crore) is 10 crores clear of anyone else’s. That will allow them to go all out in pursuit of stars – Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Cam Green, Tymal Mills, Jason Holder, Bravo, Agarwal – essentially whoever they want to. At the same time, over the years, they have sought big overseas names like Kumar Sangakkara, Warner, and Kane Williamson lead them. They may fill that Williamson-shaped void with Root – only if they cannot get Stokes, that is.