Currently, Ben Stokes is seen as the best all-rounder in the game. Yes, his form in T20 cricket might not be great but in a franchise league, having a player like Stokes is a luxury. The Englishman did not play in IPL 2022 because of other commitments. However, as per reports, he is all set to enter the upcoming IPL auctions. On that note, here, we take a look at three teams that can target Ben Stokes in the upcoming IPL 2023 Mini Auctions.
1) Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR missed having a solid opener in IPL 2022. Both Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer did not have a great time opening for KKR. The team’s top order is filled with players such as Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana, who are not exactly great against pace. Hence, KKR will look to address both these issues in IPL 2023 mini-auctions.
The best possible target for them will be Ben Stokes. He can open the batting and is excellent against pace. On top of this, he can give you a few overs of medium pace and is also a terrific fielder. Many issues of KKR will be solved by hiring Stokes for IPL 2023.
2) Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians are also one of the teams that can target Ben Stokes in the upcoming IPL 2023 Mini Auctions. The franchise did not enjoy a great outing in IPL 2022. Kieron Pollard did not perform well and the franchise must look for an alternative.
Although not a like-to-like replacement, Stokes can play at No.5 and form a good combination with Tim David. Mumbai Indians also had balance issues in IPL 2022. With a player who can offer four overs in the Top 6, MI can opt for various other combinations to be successful. The five-time champions are anyways known for big-name signings and Stokes will be the biggest name in the auctions.
3) Punjab Kings
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⏩ The biggest buzz is the apparent interest of Ben Stokes.
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) November 4, 2022Advertisement
Punjab Kings struggled not having a left-hander in the middle order. Although Bhanuka Rajapaksa played well, he was not consistent as desired. PBKS also had issues with team balance because they lacked a genuine all-rounder. All these issues can be put to rest with the signing of Stokes.
Stokes at No.3 is good for the franchise. He also provides a few overs in the bowling department and that adds depth to the line-up. If the team can somehow find a good Indian batter for the No.5 role, PBKS will have a solid batting line-up.