With the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League set to kick off on April 3, the nine franchises in fray would like to put the finishing touches to the squads that will represent them in the twenty20 tournament.
However, ITC Grand Chola in Chennai is not expected to see a lot of action on Sunday as franchises have the broad framework of their sides in place and are only looking to fill spots where they are deficient.
Some of the franchises have come out the open about the strategy they will look to employ. For example, two- time champions and perennial favourites Chennai Super Kings will not look for any foreign players.
We want to develop our relations with the same players as they have understood the needs of the team and the management. The fans expect consistency from the players and performance and we need to deliver that,” coach Stephen Fleming said.
The former New Zealand skipper will be looking for a good Indian bowler at the auction. We did not have a local bowling leader.
We are trying to rectify that for the coming season. We are looking for young bowlers are will fit in to our thinking,” he said.
Rajasthan Royals have the largest salary cap available at $ 7.7 million ( ` 40.94 crore). They would like to buy a good pace bowler like South African Vernon Philander or Doug Bollinger.
New team Sunrisers Hyderabad would like to strengthen their spin department and may go for Rangana Herath or Johan Botha.
Kings XI Punjab will look for a seamer to take advantage of the helpful Mohali conditions. Veteran Adam Gilchrist’s fitness is an issue and fellow Aussie Matthew Wade can be a good choice.
Pune Warriors India have had a forgettable time in the IPL so far. With Sourav Ganguly moving on, they will look to a senior player and the $ 400,000 price tag for Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting is unlikely to faze them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have the explosive Chris Gayle in their ranks, but may need a middle- order batsman and a good spinner.
Despite the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai Indians have been plagued by an inconsistent top order.They can do with a good opener like Phillip Hughes.
Delhi Daredevils will lose Kevin Pietersen towards the end of the tournament when he tours New Zealand. With Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron out injured, they may need to bolster their pace bowling department as well. Champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look for a partner for speedster Brett Lee.
All this is just conjecture and one needs to wait till Sunday to see how the various franchises act to give themselves the best possible chance to emerge triumphant on May 26.