Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra has hailed Rajasthan Royals' IPL 2024 auction strategy as 'robust' and 'clear', saying the addition of players like Rovman Powell, Shubham Dubey gives a solid boost to the overall team composition. The IPL 2024 auction was held on December 19 in Dubai, the first time it was held outside India.
Data, analysis, calculations and all things auction. Catch all the behind-the-scenes action of what went into the Royals' IPL 2024 auction:
This year, the Royals went in with one of the lowest purse amounts (INR 14.5 crores), having retained a strong core of 17 players. With a maximum of 8 slots to be filled, the think-tank opened the account by successfully bidding for the West Indian Rovman Powell, who was also the first player to come up in the bidding process. Powell, a clean and explosive hitter of the ball, is already part of another franchise in the Royals ecosystem, leading the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Chopra feels that the inclusion of the Windies skipper bolsters the Royals' lower middle order.
“They went with an extremely clear strategy into the auction, that they need batters who can bat down the order. For that, they first started bidding for Rovman Powell, who interestingly enough came in the first set, and they went after him. They said they needed him. I liked the clarity.”
The former Indian opener also said that the inclusion of Shubham Pandey, the 29-year-old batter from Vidarbha was a fantastic move from the Royals, boosting an already solid batting group comprising pinch-hitters Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel and the likes. Shubham had a pathbreaking outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023, where he finished as his team's leading run-scorer.
“They didn’t stop there. It wasn’t easy to buy an Indian finisher in this auction. Shubham Dubey, Shahrukh Khan, and Kumar Kushagra were the options. They tried their best and acquired Shubham Dubey. He is a left-hander who has come from tennis-ball cricket. He can tonk the ball properly,” Chopra said.
Source: Aakash Chopra/YouTube