Mumbai: The recent IPL auction brought about changes in all teams that were involved in last year's tournament. While the finalists Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians retained most of the core members of their squads, the same was not true with the other teams. The absence of Matthew Hayden, Anil Kumble and other senior players has meant that teams have spent huge amounts and fiddled with their composition in order to strike a balance on both the batting and bowling fronts. While top players like Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh have gained from the 2011 auction, it is the upcoming young stars like Saurabh Tiwary and R Ashwin who have had extraordinary increases from their 2008 base prices. It remains to be seen however, if they can justify the big spending with quality on-field performances as they did in earlier seasons.
The auction has meant that there have been significant differences in the batting and bowling strengths of teams as compared to last year. The table below summarises the stats of the top five batsmen and bowlers of each team in IPL 2010 and the 2010 stats of the players in the present squads.
Chennai and Mumbai remain strong
Chennai, who won both the IPL 2010 and the Champions League, were by far the best team last year. They had a balanced batting line-up with Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina in top form. Hayden's absence has been compensated for by the inclusion of the talented Faf du Plessis and West Indian allrounder Dwayne Bravo. Muttiah Muralitharan, who was outstanding in last year's tournament, will be missed but Chennai have an excellent bowling attack that includes Doug Bollinger and R Ashwin, who were among the top wicket-takers in IPL 2010. The addition of Tim Southee, who picked up 18 wickets in the 2011 World Cup, is a further boost to their bowling. From the table, it can be seen that Chennai have not been affected in either the batting or bowling fronts as a result of the auction.