We will need to be extremely fluid and flexible in IPL mega auction: Saba Karim

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Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Capitals’ head of talent search, Saba Karim said on Wednesday that it is imperative to go into the IPL Mega Auction on February 12 and 13 at Bengaluru with a thorough clarity on what the composition of the playing XI should be like and what should be the “core element” to become a successful side.

Sharing his insight about the upcoming Mega Auction, the former wicketkeeper-batter said, “We need to first have a strategy in terms of the core element, which is needed to become a successful side. But, before that, it is equally important to understand the composition of your eleven, and if one is able to do so. Then accordingly you can fill in players with that kind of a role.”

As the JSW and GMR co-owned Delhi Capitals gear up for the IPL 2022 auction, they have retained four players in Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and Anrich Nortje, and Saba Karim said they will form the “base of our team”.

“The four retained players form the base of our team, and in addition to that, we need to look at some more match-winners, who can fill up the vacant slots and then overall we can have a complete kind of a side,” said Saba Karim.

On his approach to rebuilding the side for IPL 2022, Karim said, “I think we need to be extremely fluid and flexible. To have that core factor involved not only helps Delhi Capitals but also other teams because you get seven domestic players in the eleven.

“So, you need to have the right kind of mix between the capped and the uncapped players, and on top of that, you have those four foreigners. I think it’s a level-playing field. All the teams would vie to spot the right kind of domestic talent, and all this leads up to a very healthy atmosphere for domestic cricketers,” Saba Karim opined.

On head coach, Australian great Ricky Ponting, and captain Pant’s involvement in the auction process, Saba Karim said, “Eventually, it is the captain and the coach who put up the side in the IPL. It’s very important to have that kind of exchange of ideas with them because whatever we as a scouting team offer, will come in handy and become extremely effective if it has synergy with the head coach and the captain, so in that sense, it’s been excellent.

“The kind of rapport we have with Ricky and Rishabh, I think that’s a very conducive environment one can think of when you are trying to build a side,” he said.

Saba Karim also said that since he would be taking part in his maiden IPL auction, the excitement was palpable.

“This is pulsating. I am really enjoying this entire preparation. It is a mega auction, so we need to plan ahead, we need to have a vision that will help the side to do well. We need to look at some potential matchwinners, we need to look at some more investments, but overall, it’s been a very healthy experience,” he added.

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