The buzz around Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction, scheduled for February, is at an all-time high. A lot has been said about star players and their futures with their current teams as retention policies are being drafted by the governing council ahead of the fresh auctions.

Not just the players, but it seems coaches are also in high demand as teams, including Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals who are returning after their two-year suspensions, will look to get their combinations right.

Delhi, Rajasthan in race for Ponting

As it turns out, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting is all set to replace Paddy Upton as Delhi Daredevils coach in the 11th season of the cash-rich league, according to the Times of India. Notably, the 42-year-old batting great led Mumbai Indians to title during the first of his two-year stint between 2015 and 2016.

Ponting was also credited for identifying and moulding young talents. His work with the Pandya brothers - Hardik and Krunal - has proved to be a benefiting factor for both the franchise and Indian cricket.

However, the Daredevils, who have been the most inconsistent side in the 10-year history of the league, will have to work hard to get Ponting on board as Royals are also showing interest in the Australian legend.

"Ponting is most likely to be signed up by the Daredevils as their next coach. However, apart from the Daredevils, he's also being wooed by the Rajasthan Royals," a source close to developments said, as quoted by the news report.

Ricky Ponting Rohit Sharma Mumbai Indians
File photo of former Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting and Rohit SharmaIANS

Ponting's speculated link-up with Daredevils comes a day after the Delhi-based franchise decided to part ways with head coach Upton and director TA Sekar, who is likely headed to Mumbai.

No Dravid in IPL

Notably, India A and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid stepped down as the mentor of the Daredevils earlier this year after a conflict of interest issue cropped up over his roles at both the national level and franchise level.

Dravid had worked with the Delhi-based franchise in 2016 and 2017. Despite not being able to lead the team to the title, the Karnataka legend was influential in grooming youngsters of the likes of Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson.