The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Auction took place in Chennai, witnessing a total of 57 out of the 292 players find a shelter at the expense of more than ₹145 crores. Each of the 8 teams, came in with contrasting objectives and did extremely well in fulfilling most of them on a primary sight. While there were multiple high-eyebrow moments throughout the auction, it was largely underlined by high bids and higher stakes. Here’s a look at how teams have finally settled down with their best starting combinations.
Good auction. We have eight very competitive teams in the fray. #IPL2021
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 18, 2021
The champions from last year let out a few of their most valued veterans in Mitchell McCleneghan and the retired Lasith Malinga before the auctions, going in with a need for a few overseas fast bowlers. The reacquisition of Nathan Coulter Nile, the addition of Kiwis Adam Milne, James Neesham, and experienced Piyush Chawla was well planned and thought off. The inclusion of the two Kiwis also reiterates MI’s quiet love for New Zealand speedsters and all-rounders with the likes of Corey Anderson, James Franklin, Mitch McCleneghan, and Trent Boult having played crucial roles in the past.
Mumbai Indians, like all other franchises also bought a few uncapped players during the auction, but given the reputation of Mumbai’s scouting set-ups, these lesser-known names could well be ones to look out for. Overall, a champion team seemed to be on a hunt only for a few backups and they certainly did find a few good ones through the day.
Auction Picks: Nathan Coulter Nile (₹5 Cr), Adam Milne (₹3.2 Cr), Piyush Chawla (₹2.4 Cr), James Neesham (₹50 L), Marco Jansen (₹20L), Arjun Tendulkar (₹20 L), Yudhvir Charak (₹20 L)
Kolkata Knight Riders:
The two-time IPL champions had arguably one of the best auctions this season. Seeking answers to a few questions and backup options for a few others, Kolkata almost filled all its apparent holes or weaknesses. They came in with great clarity of thought, also visible in their bidding strategy. The return of Shakib al Hasan, the late inclusion of Ben Cutting, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair as also domestic stars in Sheldon Jackson, and Pawan Negi gave a good shape to the squad.
It will now be interesting to look at who Kolkata Knight Riders opt for in the playing XI, especially with only 4 foreigners allowed. The KKR team, who had a hot and cold-like tournament last year will look to take giant strides under Eoin Morgan this time.
Auction Picks: Shakib Al Hasan (₹ 3.20 Cr), Sheldon Jackson (₹ 20 L), Vaibhav Arora (₹ 20 L), Karun Nair (₹ 50 L), Harbhajan Singh (₹ 2 Cr), Ben Cutting (₹ 75 L), Venkatesh Iyer (₹ 20 L), Pawan Negi (₹ 50 L)
Rajasthan Royals was one of those teams that came into the auction with a lot on their agenda. Eager to fill in the multiple gaps in their set-up, much evident last year, Rajasthan Royals already set an example by implementing a change in leadership. They also looked to revamp their batting as well as the bowling core. Incidentally due process, they also recorded the highest ever pick at the IPL Auction in Chris Morris, to go with Mustafizur Rehman, KC Cariappa, Shivam Dube, and Liam Livingstone.
While the Rajasthan Royals will look to come into this IPL 2021 with a lot more purpose and added value to their campaign, the availability of the overseas players – courtesy of their national tours – is worth keeping an eye on.
Auction Picks: Chris Morris (₹ 16.25 Cr), Shivam Dube (₹ 4.4 Cr), Mustafizur Rahman (₹ 1 Cr), Chetan Sakariya (₹ 1.20 Cr), KC Kariappa (₹ 20 L), Liam Livingstone (₹ 75 L), Kuldip Yadav (₹ 20 L), Aakash Singh (₹ 20 L)
With only limited slots at hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad were the most relaxed team going into the auction room on Thursday. A fairly settled side under David Warner and with the likes of Bairstow, Williamson, Holder, Rashid, and other foreign stars, the Sunrisers only needed to add a few to their young and rather under-tested middle order. While they acquired the services of another Afghan, Mujeeb ur Rehman, they also added Kedar Jadhav and Jagdeeshan Suchith as the other all-rounder and spin bowling options respectively.
If the Sunrisers Hyderabad could get their middle-order sorted out, perhaps with a consistent Vijay Shankar or an inspired Kedar Jadhav, Sunrisers Hyderabad is a candidate to be one of the most balanced teams this IPL.
Auction Buys: Jagadeesha Suchith. (₹ 30 L), Kedar Jadhav (₹ 2 Cr), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (₹1.5 Cr)
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Year in and year out, the Royal Challengers Bangalore team and its fans have hoped for a title, only to bow out wishing the miracle for the next year. This time around, once again, the RCB team management seemed to have a well-crafted plan at the auctions. They were clear on the players they wished to buy and went all out till they were added to the #PlayBold family. They were also one of the biggest spenders in the auction, with two out of the Top 3 picks going to the Bangalore franchise. The two, Glenn Maxwell at INR 14.25 Cr and Kyle Jamieson at INR 14 Cr, were picked up for a reason – a hard hitter and a match-winner beyond ABD and a pace bowler, also capable of contributing with the bat – something, the franchise has missed for the longest of times.
With one of the most loyal fanbases to exist in the country, the RCB squad yet again looks one to give them their best chance at a successful “Ee Saala Cup Namde” campaign.
Auction Picks: Glenn Maxwell (₹14.25 Cr), Sachin Baby (₹ 20 L), Rajat Patidar (₹ 20 L), Mohammed Azharrudeen (₹ 20 L), Kyle Jamieson (₹ 15 Cr), Daniel Christian (₹ 4.8 Cr), KS Bharat (₹ 20 L), Suyash Prabhudesai (₹ 20 L)
The runners-up from last year, Delhi Capitals were more conservative in filling the holes, than opportunistic going for bigger bids. They picked up the Aussie captain Steve Smith for a little above his INR 2 CR base price, and two Englishmen Tom Curran and Sam Billings to complete their overseas set-up. Umesh Yadav and a few other uncapped Indian players, roped in the later part of the auction, could also play a major role in the shaping up of the team and the team environment.
The foreign department for the Delhi Capitals looked the most settled after Mumbai Indians in the previous edition. The inclusion of Steve Smith could therefore create some chaos in the selection process and therefore, it would be interesting to look at Delhi’s team combinations.
Auction Picks: Steve Smith (₹ 2.2 Cr), Umesh Yadav (₹ 1 Cr), Ripal Patel (₹ 20 L), Vishnu Vinod (₹ 20 L), Lukman Meriwala (₹ 20 L), M Siddharth (₹ 20 L), Tom Curran (₹ 5.25 Cr), Sam Billings (₹ 2 Cr)
Chennai Super Kings:
“Definitely Not” read the t-shirts of the Chennai Tea Management at the IPL 2021 Auction this Thursday. Perhaps, suggesting that this could well be ‘Thala’ Dhoni’s last IPL, the Chennai Super Kings went all guns blazing in the auction. However, with a limited purse at hand, their interests were subdued by ones with more money. Despite showing keen interest in the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris, CSK failed to get either of the two all-rounders. Instead, they filled in the slot with Moeen Ali and K Gowtham. They also produced the moment of the auction by picking up the Indian Test mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara – thereby also attracting extended applause from the other franchises.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) February 18, 2021
One of IPL’s most successful teams, under one of India’s or even the world’s greatest captains, Chennai Super Kings would look to kill the demons of the UAE this time around. The return of Suresh Raina to the squad and a few valued editions from the auctions could allow MSD to have yet another successful IPL campaign.
Auction Picks: Moeen Ali (₹ 7 Cr), K Gowtham (₹ 9.25 Cr), Cheteshwar Pujara (₹ 50 L), Harishankar Reddy (₹ 20 L), Bhagath Varma (₹ 20 L), Hari Nishanth (₹ 20 L)
Despite owning more than a quarter of IPL 2021 Auction’s total purse, rebranded Punjab Kings had a mixed auction. They were seen to be on the losing end of the auction battles often but eventually did manage to spring in a few exciting youngsters and players to look out for. The addition of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith to strengthen their struggling bowling attack, Shahrukh Khan, and Dawid Malan were some key buys from the auction table. Getting Malan, the World No. 1 T20 batsman at the base price was arguably the most fortunate buys of it all. However, as seen ample times previously in the tournament, it is important for the team to play as a collective and not as individuals.
It would therefore be interesting to see if the Punjab Kings, stay true to their rebranding and unleash an unknown Punjab team in IPL 2021.
Auction Picks: Jhye Richardson (₹ 14 Cr), Shahrukh Khan (₹ 5.25 Cr), Dawid Malan (₹ 1.5 Cr), Riley Meredith (₹ 8 Cr), Moises Henriques (₹ 4.20 Cr), Jalaj Saxena (₹ 30 L), Utkarsh Singh (₹ 20 L), Fabian Allen (₹ 75 L), Saurabh Kumar (₹ 20 L)