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Conducting A Mock IPL 2022 Draft – Stokes Or Starc For The Number One Pick?

Mitchell Starc and Ben Stokes
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The 2022 NBA Draft takes place this week in New York, an annual event conducted after the conclusion of each NBA campaign to bring new talent into the league for the next season. In the NBA draft, the teams that finish at the bottom of the standings in the previous season get the first pick, while the teams who finish at the top of the table pick last to ensure that the level of competition improves in the years to come.

You might be asking yourself what this has to do with the IPL. Well, today we will be applying this concept to the Indian Premier League and see what an IPL draft would look like in 2022, with each of the ten teams making one pick to add to their squad ahead of the next IPL season in 2023.

The picks will be made in reverse order of the 2022 IPL table, meaning the Mumbai Indians get the first pick in the draft while the Gujarat Titans get the last. For this fantasy exercise, the purse and cost is irrelevant, each team just gets to pick the best player available to them in the draft.

Here is our IPL 2022 Mock Draft.

1. Mumbai Indians – Ben Stokes (England)


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In this format, the Mumbai Indians’ reward for finishing with the worst record in IPL 2022 would be the first pick in the draft, allowing them to bolster their squad significantly for the next season. Three marquee players would make sense for Mumbai to take at this position – Stokes, Starc, and Curran – but the player we are going for is the English captain.

Stokes would solve various issues for Mumbai’s middle order, adding the much-needed firepower they missed out on in IPL 2022. With Kieron Pollard showing signs of decline, Stokes will slot in perfectly in place of the West Indian at number five, giving Mumbai a scary middle order, which features Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ben Stokes, Tim David, and Daniel Sams.

Stokes gives Mumbai a pace-hitting option through the middle to complement the likes of Tilak Varma and Tim David while also providing a sixth-bowling option to bowl 2-3 overs through the middle.

2. Chennai Super Kings – Mitchell Starc (Australia)


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With Deepak Chahar returning next season and Mukesh Choudhary picking up the second-most powerplay wickets in IPL 2022, CSK are well covered in the powerplay and hence don’t need to go for Sam Curran. The one area where CSK need reinforcements is their death bowling, and the best option the Men in Yellow can go for is left-armer Mitchell Starc.

Starc hasn’t played in the Indian Premier League since 2014 but is still one of the best death bowlers in the world in T20 cricket, who gives the team an extra left-arm option as well as some additional batting depth at number nine. Starc can play the role the youngster Matheesha Pathirana played in the back half of IPL 2022, and a bowling attack of Starc, Chahar, Choudhary, Theekshana, Jadeja, Ali, and Shivam Dube would be up there with the best in the competition. 

3. Sunrisers Hyderabad – Adam Zampa (Australia)


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Barring the form of Kane Williamson, the biggest problem for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022 was the lack of a top-quality wrist-spinner. Each of the top five teams in IPL 2022 had a leg-spinner to rely upon through the middle overs – Rashid Khan, Bishnoi, Chahal, Hasaranga – and the lack of a wicket-taking option through the middle cost the Men in Orange.

There aren’t that many domestic spinners for Sunrisers to choose from, and with an Indian pace quartet of Bhuvi, Malik, Tyagi and Natarajan, Hyderabad are one of the few teams who can go for an overseas leg-spinner. Adil Rashid and Adam Zampa are both quality options for SRH to choose from in this position, but the Australian gets the edge since he has already proven he can deliver in the IPL.

4. Kolkata Knight Riders – Colin Munro (New Zealand)


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The biggest worry for the current Kolkata Knight Riders squad is the batting, with the top-order averaging just 24.38 at a strike rate of 114 against high-end pace in IPL 2022. KKR had a revolving door of openers throughout last season and addressing those top-order issues will be a priority in this draft.

Alex Hales will solve some of the woes if he returns to play in 2023, but the Englishman can’t be relied on after pulling out of the tournament last season, and Kolkata can draft Colin Munro as a backup opening option. The Kiwi batter has struggled in the IPL before for Delhi, but the left-hander smashes pace-bowling for fun and can complement the likes of Iyer and Rana nicely at the top of the order.

5. Punjab Kings – Sam Curran (England)


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The Punjab Kings will be delighted that a player of Sam Curran’s quality has dropped down to number five in the draft. The Englishman debuted in the Indian Premier League for the Kings in 2019 and would be the ideal fit in their team at number seven.

Curran is an upgrade on Odean Smith in this role since he is more reliable as a bowler in the powerplay or through the middle and is also an extremely valuable batter who can be promoted as a pinch-hitter or offer brilliant depth at number seven.

6. Delhi Capitals – Jhye Richardson (Australia)


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There isn’t much room for improvement in the Delhi Capitals team for IPL 2023, with most of the playing XI picking themselves. Player availability and their top stars blowing hot and cold was one of the main reasons the Capitals faltered in IPL 2022, and Delhi will have to address these issues ahead of next season.

Anrich Nortje’s injury woes forced the Capitals to play with a weakened bowling lineup for large parts of last season and adding Jhye Richardson as cover for the South African would be an excellent move in the draft. Although Richardson had a poor IPL season in 2020 for Punjab, the Australian has been one of the best Big Bash performers throughout the last few years and can bowl across all phases.

7. Royal Challengers Bangalore – Heinrich Klaasen (South Africa)


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Following their third-place finish last season in the IPL, most of RCB’s playing XI is settled ahead of the 2023 campaign. RCB’s main weakness last season was their batting against spin through the middle overs, with too much responsibility placed on Glenn Maxwell to score quickly in this period.

Although RCB are hamstrung due to their four overseas players being locked in – Faf, Maxwell, Hasaranga, Hazlewood – one option they could look to draft for their squad is Heinrich Klaasen. The South African acts as perfect insurance for Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik in the middle order and can bat anywhere from number three to number six. Although he is a right-hander, Klaasen is an excellent player of away spin – as shown in the recent series against India – and can also give the team another wicketkeeping option. 

8. Lucknow Super Giants – Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)


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The Lucknow Super Giants had one of the strongest squads on paper last season but failed to convert that promise into a title as they were knocked out in the Eliminator by RCB. Although the Super Giants had the strongest opening combination in the competition – Rahul and de Kock – they failed to find a permanent number three throughout the season, with Manish Pandey, Evin Lewis and Ayush Badoni all frequently being used in that role. The one player Lucknow could draft to solve this issue is Shakib Al Hasan. The Bangladesh all-rounder gives the team a left-handed middle-order batter who can also bowl a couple of overs in the powerplay or through the middle. 

9. Rajasthan Royals – Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand)


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The Rajasthan Royals struggled with their balance throughout IPL 2022, with Ravichandran Ashwin batting at number seven and occasionally playing up the order as a pinch-hitter. The Royals need an all-rounder at number seven who can provide some batting depth and bowl through the middle overs and at the death, and the one player they can draft at number nine for this role is Kyle Jamieson. The Kiwi all-rounder has a strike rate of 138 in T20 cricket and has the height and speed needed to be effective throughout the middle overs as an enforcer.

10. Gujarat Titans – Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka)


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Gujarat need to upgrade the Matthew Wade spot at number three, and the 2022 IPL Champions could add Charith Asalanka to their side with the last pick in the draft. Although his T20 record isn’t incredible, Asalanka showed plenty of promise at the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he scored 231 runs at a strike rate of 147, and the Sri Lankan gives the team a second left-hander in the top five alongside David Miller.