IPL 2023 Auction: 3 teams that can target Nicholas Pooran

Ahead of the IPL 2023 Auction, which is scheduled to take place in Kochi on December 23.

Nicholas Pooran
(Image Courtesy: CWI media)

The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), champions of IPL 2016, also revealed their list of retentions, deciding to keep and release as many as 12 players each. One of the players that SRH opted not to retain was Nicholas Pooran.

Pooran, who was snapped up by SRH for a hefty price of ₹10.75 crore at the IPL 2022 mega-auction, failed to justify his price tag and lost his contract.

In 14 games he played in this year’s IPL, Pooran mustered a total of 306 with just two half-centuries to his name.

With Pooran now being released by SRH, other franchises might be eyeing the Caribbean left-hander.

One of the cleanest strikers in cricket, Pooran is hugely talented and a match-winner in the shortest format.

On that note, let’s take a look at the three franchises that can show real interest in Pooran and might target him at the upcoming IPL 2023 auction.

#3 Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

KKR released all three of Sheldon Jackson, Baba Indrajith, and Sam Billings ahead of the auction, and this opens up an opportunity for Pooran, who can keep wickets and bolster the middle order.

The only wicketkeeper KKR has on their roster is Rahmanullah Gurbaz, whom they traded from the Gujarat Titans (GT).

While acquiring Pooran will fill a significant gap for the Kolkata-based franchise, it won’t be as easy for them since they are left with the lowest purse value at ₹7.05 cr for the upcoming auction.

#2 Gujarat Titans (GT)

Another franchise that might look to rope in Pooran are the defending champions Gujarat Titans. While the Hardik Pandya-led side have two wicketkeepers in Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade, the duo didn’t inspire much confidence.

Saha is now well past his prime, while Wade, on the other hand, had a disastrous first season with GT this year. In the 10 matches he played in IPL 2022, the Aussie left-hander managed a mere 157 runs at an average of 15.70 and an equally disappointing strike rate of 113.77.

Picking Pooran at the auction might not only sort out GT’s wicket-keeping woes but will also further solidify their middle order, which already has superstars including Pandya and David Miller.

#1 SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH)

The most straightforward possibility for Pooran in IPL 2023 could be to join his former franchise, SRH, once again. The Orange Army released the southpaw to add up ₹10.75 cr to their purse and will be well-equipped to buy him back come the auction in December.

Considering that Pooran has not set the world alight with his batting in recent times, his price might not soar as much this time as it did in the IPL 2022 mega auction.

Much like KKR and GT, Hyderabad too will be looking out for a specialist wicketkeeper in the market, and having already worked with the franchise previously, Pooran would be an ideal candidate for SRH.

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