IPL transfer window: What to expect?

With the first leg of the Indian Premier League out of the way, the franchises will be keen to strengthen their squad during the mid-season transfer window.

Virat Kohli's RCB has had a difficult start to its IPL campaign.   -  AFP

Ten years since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League authorities decided to tighten the competition further by introducing the mid-season transfer window. The operation, popular in football leagues, started from April 29. The franchises can move players until May 10.

While the scouts and analysts prepare their list of awaited entries and exits, Sportstar takes a look at the slots that could be filled by each sides.

READ: What is the mid-season transfer window?

Mumbai Indians

The defending champion lost five out of the seven games in the first half of the tournament and on four occasions, the bowlers let it slip in the second innings. MI failed to defend 165 (against Chennai Super Kings), 147 (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), 194 (against Delhi Daredevils) and 167 (against Rajasthan Royals).

What it needs: To regroup as a bowling unit, it could hire another death overs specialist who could complement Jasprit Bumrah. Since Akila Dananjaya didn’t fit the bill, a mystery spinner could also change their fortunes.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Bowling remains a concern for RCB too. On three occasions, it conceded more than 200+ runs in an innings. Rajasthan Royals slammed 217 and MI posted 213 against them. When RCB crossed the 200-run mark against CSK, the bowlers were not able to defend the total. Apart from Umesh Yadav, no other bowler featured in all seven games.

What it needs: Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme and Pawan Negi appeared in flashes. RCB may need to consolidate these spots to avoid the musical chair.

Chennai Super Kings

There is nothing that CSK could do wrong in its comeback season, but the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side have had its share of injuries. The yellow army couldn’t procure the services of New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner (due to his knee injury before the start of the tournament) and there has been no replacement yet. Kedar Jadhav’s hamstring injury ruled him out too after he struck the winning runs in the opener.

What it needs: As of now, CSK may look to fill in the spots left vacant by Jadhav and Santner, but the new recruits may have a tough time to break into the playing XI, which looks balanced.

Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab, owing to its five wins in seven games, now look one of the favourites to win the title. But all their fireworks are limited to the top-order led by K.L. Rahul and Chris Gayle. If it wants to strengthen the combination, three slots in the middle-order could be up for grabs. Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch and Mayank Agarwal have failed to make an impact.

What it needs: A bit of firepower in the middle-order to consolidate on the start provided by Gayle and Rahul upfront.

READ: IPL Report Card - Have the retained players delivered?

Rajasthan Royals

The Ajinkya Rahane-led side has been largely inconsistent in the tournament so far, despite having some of the prominent names like Ben Stokes and Jos Butler in its ranks. With Stokes failing to fire, the side has lacked some big-hitters, who could win games. It looks like the team is heavily reliant on Sanju Samson, so during the mid-season transfer, the Royals could well explore the idea of getting some big-hitters who could help to put its campaign back on track.

What it needs: A big-hitting batsman who would ideally take charge in the middle overs.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Bowling at death has been a major of concern for the Dinesh Karthik-led side in the first leg of the IPL. Despite having some of the big names like Mitchell Johnson and Andre Russell in its ranks, the side has been largely inconsistent in the final overs, and that’s one area that the franchise might be interested in filling up in the mid-season transfer window.

What it needs: A bit of zing in the pace bowling department.

Delhi Daredevils

Despite having a star-studded line-up, Daredevils has flattered to deceive in the first leg. Strike bowling is one area that the team will be hoping to fix in the mid-season transfer. While the known names have not been able to make an impact in the bowling department, the franchise may look for some fresh faces.

What it needs: It desperately needs to spice up its bowling attack to put pressure on the opposition.

READ: Prithvi to Mavi - Future perfect after IPL tryst

Sunrisers Hyderabad

If there is one side that has looked absolutely settled from the beginning, that’s Sunrisers. Under the watchful eyes of its skipper, Kane Williamson, the side has ticked all the right boxes. Its biggest highlight of the season has been the trick to defend the lowest of the totals. So, as the mid-season transfer window opens, the side doesn’t need much. But in case, it wants to stress a bit more on its middle-order, it may indulge in some trading.

What it needs: Mostly nothing. There, however, is scope for improvement in the middle-order.