It is quite a shocking fact that England’s Adil Rashid, one of the best limited-overs leg-spinners of this generation, has never been bought in the auction of the IPL, the biggest T20 league in the world.
It was only so late in 2021 that Punjab Kings signed Adil Rashid as an injury replacement for Jhye Richardson. He had a terrible IPL debut, leaking 35 runs in 3 wicketless overs vs RR, and was dropped for the entire remaining season, and again went unsold in the IPL 2023 mega-auction.
This time, in the IPL 2023 mini-auction, however, Adil Rashid could finally be bought in an IPL auction.
Not as if his status, class, quality, and smarts as a leg-spinner needed more pronouncement before – he had helped England to the 2019 World title, final of the 2016 T20 WC, and semi-final of the 2021 T20 WC – but now that he produced two terrific match-winning performances in the 2022 T20 WC – in the semi-final vs India and final vs Pakistan – the IPL franchises would learn that a leg-spinner of Rashid’s quality and experience is not present in India.
Here are 3 IPL teams who can target Adil Rashid in the IPL 2023 auction:
Chennai Super Kings
While Theekshana and Moeen Ali did well for Chennai Super Kings as off-spinners last season, they weren’t really difference makers as the MS Dhoni-led side finished 9th in the 10-team tournament. As a captain of India and CSK, Dhoni has always preferred to have more spin-bowling options, something which he lacked at CSK last season, especially with Jadeja’s disappointing form.
In search of a wicket-taking spinner option, CSK and Dhoni could set their eyes on Adil Rashid. The 34-year-old Yorkshire leg-spinner who is the number 3 ranked ICC T20I bowler, could be the x-factor that CSK lacked in their spin department last season. That would, however, mean that CSK won’t be able to play Theekshana for Rashid, who can bowl and take wickets in all three phases of the game.
Also, now that CSK will return to the spin-friendly Chepauk, Dhoni would want his leg-spinner to know how to make use of the pitches, and an experienced bowler over a youngster will always be an advantage when looking to utilize the home advantage.
If there is one franchise that will be desperately hunting for a quality leg-spinner in the IPL 2023 mini-auction, it will be SRH. SRH had released Rashid Khan before IPL 2022 and suffered expectedly finishing with just 6 wins.
Their spin-bowling attack with Suchith, Sundar, and Shreyas Gopal was toothless; in fact, they had to use Markram and Abhishek Sharma and Gopal only featured in one match. SRH have the biggest purse of all the teams – INR 42.25 crore – so one can expect them to go hard after Adil Rashid.
Another team that had a forgettable tournament was the Mumbai Indians, and it showed that they will mean business in the auction when they released 13 players, including two leg-spinners Mayank Markande, and Murugan Ashwin after being unimpressed by their performances last season.
While they have retained their other two spinners – Kumar Kartikeya and Hrithik Shokeen – both of them have little experience. In their glory days, Mumbai Indians had leg-spinner Rahul Chahar and before that the veteran Harbhajan Singh led the spin department.
Now, they might rope in someone like Adil Rashid to lead their spin attack with Kartikeya and Shokeen in the support role. On the batting-friendly Wankhede pitches, where MI will now play half of their matches from next season, the leg-spinner’s role of containing runs while also hunting for wickets will be crucial.