New Delhi: Permutations of who wants what in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) players' auction are innumerable but Delhi ki team Delhi Daredevils seems to be engineering some exciting plans to add new cogs to their wheels that got jammed just short of the champions podium on three occasions.
So if you thought World Cup is the next big thing to happen in India, think again! It's the IPL players from all the participating teams going under the hammer ahead of the quadrennial event, following completion of their three-year contract with the respective franchises.
With GMR having money in the bank, Delhi's mind is clear who to bid for – given the influx of Delhiites into the Indian team.
Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Ashish Nehra, and Ishant Sharma are among the 20-odd players taking turns to play for India in the last 3-4 years. Add to that Shikhar Dhawan, the Daredevils are more or less sorted about who they want as the cream of domestic players.
THE FOUR RETAINEES
Delhi has so far 'Dared' to retain only their 'Devil' Virender Sehwag for the fourth season. With three more piggybank places to fill, Gautam Gambhir and South African AB de Villiers are set to retain their jobs.
The final vacancy will be a tossup between New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori and Australian pacer Dirk Nannes and the Kiwi's all-round skills should help him win that election.
DELHI'S AUCTION PLANS
While the Devils will look to place a banana peel under fellow bidders' feet, they have to watch out for one under their own.
Bidding for the above-named home players, especially the purple-patcher Virat Kohli, won't be a snatch-job with the Mallyas and Ambanis around. And if their franchise decides to retain them, they can be considered lost!
But Delhi has already rolled up its sleeves to leave for the auction venue with a handy list in its pocket.
They want Adam Gilchrist or Kumar Sangakkara in their ranks to have quality options available when it comes to deciding who would captain the ship, in case they decide against Gautam Gambhir who didn't impress last year with his leadership. That, in effect, also means that Delhi is hunting for a stumper to replace Dinesh Karthik.
The sniffers are also indicating that if Delhi decides to go against retaining either Nannes or Vettori, they would save the one who is thrown to the wolves by bidding for him.
As far as the foreign recruits go, Delhi's radar is also blinking at the sight of Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, South African pacer Dale Steyn and Australian quickie Shaun Tait.
In the bracket of low-budget players, Delhi is eagle-eying to buy back Mithun Manhas, who is in good form this season, and even prolific scorer Manish Pandey, who has got Delhi's brainstormers interested.
But if Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals meet a fateful end, players like Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, Yuvraj Singh, Mahela Jayawardene and Irfan Pathan can turn bidding plans upside down and force the franchisees back to their drawing boards to plan fresh strategies for the auction.
Even if that happens, Delhi will have less to worry if their plans to gobble up home players come off. In that case, their mathematics will be limited to expats and a few fringe domestic players.
That makes Delhi's strategy pretty transparent, that they want hardcore Delhiwallahs to form the nucleus of their Daredevils. And if they bring them and the expats of choice under one umbrella, the Indian capital's team will be ready to go that missing extra mile in IPL Season Four.