IPL 2017 Auction: Top franchises that could land Ben Stokes
Published - Feb 15, 2017 4:56 pm | Updated - Feb 15, 2017 4:57 pm
As the IPL 2017 Auction comes towards the day of reckoning, all eyes will definitely be on Ben Stokes. The England all-rounder has cooked up an impressive reputation for himself with some amazing all-round performances. Pundits and analysts expect the big bucks to simply flow in for the Englishman. Now that he also has been named as the deputy for the England side in Test matches, his stock would have certainly gone up.
Now, there are a few teams in the IPL who are short of a few players when it comes to the all-rounder department. There are even more franchises who certainly have the resources to buy a player who is certainly the caliber and quality of Stokes. Who buys him remains to be seen, but the fact is that there is a bidding war to take place with almost surety.
Here are some of the sides that would be looking at Stokes as a viable option to strengthen their squad rather significantly.
Kolkata Knight Riders
One of the favorites to land the recently appointed Test vice-captain for England would definitely be the Kolkata Knight Riders. This heavy linkage to the KKR is something that is quite expected given the fact that they have just the two all-rounders at the moment. These two all-rounders are Yusuf Pathan and Shakib-al-Hasan, both of whom are spinners. The addition of the 26-year old Stokes would not just be a regular addition, but one of value given the fact that they are short in this particular area.
Moreover, when it comes to pace bowling, at the moment, the Knight Riders only have Umesh Yadav and Ankit Rajpoot. With Andre Russell suspended by the WADA, it would seem as a logical yet important and crucial buy as far as the Knight Riders are concerned. Stokes could very well be added in a bid to shore up both departments while the Knights will be looking for another buy as well.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
While the Royal Challengers Bangalore would certainly be one of those looking to break the hoodoo and win the Indian Premier League this time around. They have come awfully close many a time and have choked at the last moment. However, with a few world-class players in their side, they would perhaps be looking at Stokes as someone who’d come in and add a lot more balance to the side as well.
With David Wiese released from the side and the Challengers looking at Shane Watson as a higher-order batsman, the signing of Stokes could very well be that one thing that propels them to the title, something they have shown that they truly deserve in the grand scheme of things at the very least. Moreover, they have also shown in recent seasons that they have a pretty feeble bowling attack despite the presence of the likes of Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree, both of whom are world-class commodities. However, when it comes to favorites, they will be the ones looking to cash in.
Rising Pune Supergiants
For perhaps the first time in a plethora of IPL seasons MS Dhoni has featured in, he has not had a season as bad as the one last time around. The Rising Pune Supergiants simply could not make things happen for them on the day as they crashed out of the Playoffs contention pretty early on in the tournament. However, in spite of this, they now have the opportunity to shore up their squad.
When it comes to all-rounders, Rajat Bhatia is certainly not getting any younger while 25-year old Mitchell Marsh has indeed struggled with consistency in the subcontinent. While the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Steve Smith can certainly deputize in the role of the all-rounder, the fact is that Stokes is perhaps the only one who would add the much-needed balance in the side. That said, the RPSG side is perhaps the other in addition to the Knight Riders who desperately require an all-rounder in the side.
Coming into the auction, the Delhi Daredevils would have thought long and hard about the right buy. Last season’s buy of Pawan Negi, one who was expected to make it big with a massive price-tag simply did not work out and was rather disappointing as well. the Daredevils also have a massive balance sheet with 21.5 crore rupees in the bank, something that would certainly allow them to buy Ben Stokes, someone in their view who’d surely guide them to glory they are yet to gain.
As far as Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan would be concerned, the fact of the matter would be that they’d like someone to compliment Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris as they look to make their presence felt this time around.