It was on May 9th 2013 when Sreesanth played his last IPL game. Since then, he has been away from the game due to the ban he faced due to his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. However, the Kerala fast bowler was proven innocent and subsequently, his ban was lifted. Thus, Sreesanth finally got back on the field playing professional cricket after seven and a half years.
The Kothamangalam-born pacer who celebrates his 38th birthday next month played four games for Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He took three wickets and did look rusty at times. However, he was getting some nice shape with the new ball and he might get better with more match practice.
Thus, with the 14th edition of IPL is only a few months away and the auction is likely to take place next month. Sreesanth’s name is one of the big ones that will go under the hammer. He has played 44 IPL games and has picked up 40 wickets in his IPL career. Moreover, he has already featured in three IPL teams – Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab, Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
Here are three teams that could possibly target Sreesanth in the upcoming auctions.
Delhi Capitals (DC)
Delhi Capitals (DC) had a stellar run in 2020 and one of the reasons for their continued success was the way their fast bowlers bowled, especially their overseas players like Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. However, injuries are part of the game and there might be times when Delhi won’t be able to play both their star overseas pace bowlers.
Thus, DC need some Indian backups. Moreover, Delhi have just a couple of Indian fast bowlers in their ranks – Ishant Sharma and Avesh Khan. Sreesanth could be a good addition to the pace attack. His experience could come in handy. In addition to that, he could be the enforcer with the new ball and allow the likes of Rabada and Nortje to force the pace in the middle and death overs.
Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Like Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals (RR) don’t have a lot of Indian pace bowling backups or a variety to choose from. Jaydev Unadkat and Kartik Tyagi are the only Indian pace options available in the squad at the moment. In fact, the pace attack’s inability to complement Jofra Archer hurt them quite a bit last time around.
Thus, Sreesanth could come in handy in such areas. He is someone who can build pressure from his end. He can move the ball both ways as well and can be a pretty good new-ball pair alongside Archer. Also, the tracks in Jaipur (if RR play in Jaipur), it may well suit Sreesanth. RR also have a lot of money remaining in the purse. They won’t want to spend a lot on Sreesanth but they can still afford him even if he slightly up and down their budget.
Mumbai Indians (MI)
This could well come as a surprise but Mumbai Indians (MI) might as well target someone like Sreesanth. There is absolutely no doubt that they look like the most complete side after the retentions list came out. The five-time IPL champions have almost every base covered and that too in solid strength.
However, they could do pretty decently with the inclusion of Sreesanth. Talking of their fast bowling reserves, Jasprit Bumrah leads the pack with Trent Boult being the premier overseas bowler. Hence, MI might be on the hunt for fast bowlers, both Indian and overseas options. They have Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohsin Khan as their other Indian pacers and hence, Sreesanth could be a good addition to this line-up.
Moreover, the new ball might nip around at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. And Sreesanth could be used in combination with Boult, giving Bumrah that freedom to start his spell any time and at any stage of the game.