England batsman Joe Denly will be finding him in the IPL auction pool once again this season after being released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ahead of the mega event in Kolkata. Denly was bought by the Knight Riders in 2018 and just played one match last season. He opened the innings against Delhi Capitals in that match and got bowled on the first delivery of the game by Ishant Sharma. KKR didn't give him any other chances after that game.
KKR has made their intentions clear for the upcoming season by releasing its foreign players. The likes of Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Lynn, Joe Denly, and Anrich Nortje are such examples. From the Indian players, Piyush Chawla and Robin Uthappa are the most significant casualties.
Humbled to have this opportunity to Coach this group of talented @KKRiders players. We understand that the @IPL Auction will be an important time for us to strengthen our squad in various departments. Off the field we have formed a strong support crew. We move towards the target. pic.twitter.com/VK8BRxxRJj— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) November 17, 2019
With Denly back in the pool, we look at teams who could buy the top-order batsman for the upcoming edition.
After trading the opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane to the Delhi Capitals, the Rajasthan Royals side will need an opener who can support England batsman Jos Buttler at the top as well as provide the team with more experience. Denly seems to be the perfect replacement, having opened the innings for KKR and the England side previously. With the middle order already stacked up with great talent, the opening spot is the likely option for the right-handed batsman.
The defending champions will be looking for a back-up opening batsman if at all their skipper Rohit Sharma plays in the middle order. Denly would be a perfect candidate for opening with the South African opening batsman Quinton de Kock. As both being the power hitters, they both can put up a good score for the Mumbai Indians.
The Chennai side will be looking for a replacement for the former Australian batsman Shane Watson. He was recently appointed as the president of the Australia Cricketers Association (ACA). Chennai will be looking for a backup opener and Denly could be a probable replacement for Watson. And if Chennai picks him up, he could pretty much see himself open the innings with South Africa's Test captain Faf du Plessis.
Denly is currently the part of the England Test team which is playing a 2-match Test series in New Zealand at present. In the ongoing first Test match, Denly scored a fine 181-ball 74 which helped the visitors reach 241-4 at Stumps on Day 1 on Thursday.