The Indian Premier League (IPL) is scheduled to begin from March next year, and before that, the players’ auction will take place on December 19, 2019 in Kolkata. As many as 971 players have applied to test their fortunes. A total of 713 Indian and 258 overseas players will contest for 73 vacant spots.
The franchises have rolled up their sleeves to take part in the upcoming auction to make a perfect combination of domestic and overseas players.
Teams who will look for a domestic yet experienced player can go for the Karnataka-born Robin Uthappa.
Uthappa needs no introduction as he is quite a familiar name in IPL. He has been a consistent performer in the cash-rich league. Famous for his ability to score at the top of the order, Uthappa can be a crucial batsman for any team.
Uthappa played a notable role in Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and helped his side to clinch the IPL crown in 2014 when he won the Orange Cap by scoring 660 runs in 16 innings. However, his last few seasons had not been up to the mark and hence he was released by KKR ahead of the 2020 auction.
The right-hander is also the 8th highest scorer in IPL. In 177 matches, he has amassed 4411 runs with 24 half-centuries.
Apart from KKR, Uthappa has been a part of Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and Pune Warriors. Franchises would be looking forward to taking him in order to strengthen their top order.
Let’s have a look at three teams that might bid for Uthappa in the upcoming IPL auction:
Rajasthan Royals (RR) finished at the 7th spot last year. They had a great combination of Indian and overseas players yet they failed to uplift the ante as some of the foreign players left in mid-way for their national commitments ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Recently, Royals released Ajinkya Rahane who had been a part of the side for over 100 games. Rahane’s strike rate might be a reason that he was transferred to Delhi Capitals (DC) via trade window.
Royals have Jos Buttler as their first choice opener but they need one more power-hitter to open the innings and what better option it could be then Robin Uthappa. Uthappa knows what kind of a game does it require in the power-play overs.
Moreover, Uthappa can also help the side to power up the Indian core, and young domestic players will get to learn a lot from the veteran.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
It’s always a surprise when one sees a team full of superstars fails to deliver. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had a similar story in all seasons of the gigantic league. It is noticeable that RCB relies heavily on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
The Challengers finished at the last spot in the 12th edition and they would undoubtedly be looking to change the fortunes in the upcoming season. Apart from the inconsistent bowling, Kohli-led RCB has always struggled to find a decent opening batsman who not only can hit bowlers out of the park but also can build the innings if the team loses quick wickets, and Robin Uthappa can play both the roles quite easily.
Having Uthappa on the side can solve RCB’s opening problem and skipper Kohli can contribute at his comfortable spot the No. 3 followed by De Villiers at No. 4. The best thing for RCB would be that Uthappa knows the batting conditions of Chinnaswamy Stadium pretty well as he hails from Karnataka.
Kings XI Punjab
With the likes of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, one could say why Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) would need a top-order player like Robin Uthappa but the reason that Punjab may go for Uthappa in the upcoming auction is to find the solution of their middle-order crisis.
If KXIP decides to play Rahul and Gayle at the top followed by Uthappa at No.3 then it would turn out to be a deadly combination and the trio has the ability to take the game away at any moment in the game.
Rahul has been a part of RCB where he used to come down the order, so he knows the game and having Uthappa in the top will solve the problem of shifting the momentum if Gayle or Rahul fails to deliver in any match.
Punjab has the biggest purse and surely they can try few combinations to win their maiden IPL title.