UPDATED: February 18, 2021 10:48 IST
The countdown for the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction, in Chennai, has started. As the proceedings of the mini-auction begin, on Thursday (February 18), as many as 292 players will go under the hammer of which a maximum of 61 candidates can be recruited by the eight franchises in participation.
In this story, indiatoday.in looks at Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals’ current squad and what additions and alterations they would need at Thursday’s IPL auction.
Chennai Super Kings (19) – Rs 19.9 crore | 6 remaining, 1 overseas
Retained Players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore.
Released Players: Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Monu Singh, Shane Watson.
Player traded in: Robin Uthappa from Rajasthan Royals
The Chennai Super Kings franchise have released 6 players in the lead up to the mini-auction. It was a dismal season of the IPL for the 3-time champions. They have a purse of Rs 19.9 crore remaining with which they can buy a maximum of 6 players.
CSK getting knocked out in the league stage was one of the most unusual things in the last edition of the IPL. But the IPL giants will be back in their own den as the marquee T20 league is likely to ahead in India. The team will surely miss core members Shane Watson and Harbhajan Singh who have retired ahead of the new edition. However, under MS Dhoni’s leadership the core team remains strong and hopes are high this time around.
CSK have let go of Piyush Chawla, who was bought for 6.75 crore ahead of IPL 2020 and also senior cricketers Kedar Jadhav and Murali Vijay. Hence, it’s clear that Chennai need a backup opener for Vijay and spinners for the slow wickets in India. Also, with Dwayne Bravo’s fitness being an uncertain factor, Chennai will need a frontline pacer. However, CSK can only pick one overseas player. Who could it be?
CSK possible picks: Batsmen (Mohammed Azharuddeen, Karun Nair, Steve Smith) All-rounder (Moises Henriques, Shivam Dube), Bowlers (Umesh Yadav, Krishnappa Gowtham).
Mumbai Indians (18) – Rs 15.35 crore | 7 remaining, 4 overseas
Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan
Released players: Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter Nile, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford, Mitchell McCleneghan, Digvijay Deshmukh, Prince Balwant Rai
Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians have quite a complete squad, with 19 players currently, in the lead up to the mini-auction on Thursday. They do have a fair amount of money to remaining in the purse with as well but they have their bases covered except for the fast-bowlers department in which filling up the big hole that Malinga has left behind will be of prime significance.
The 5-time and defending IPL champions have almost nothing to worry about despite having released players like Coulter-Nile and Malinga. With Rs 15.35 crore remaining in their purse, they can only afford one big buy but they have 4 overseas slots to be filled. Their biggest challenge would probably be at the auction as their performances on the field have been flawless.
MI possible picks: Batsmen (Karun Nair, Hanuma Vihari, Tom Banton), All-rounders (Glenn Maxwell, Moeen Ali) Bowlers (Mustafizur Rahman, Jhye Richardson, Prithviraj Yarra).
Punjab Kings (16) – Rs 53.2 crore | 9 remaining, 5 overseas
Retained players- KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel
Released players- Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh
Punjab Kings, led by KL Rahul, is looking for quite a revamp ahead of the IPL 2021 mini-auction. They have the biggest amount remaining in the purse (Rs 53.2 crore) and have the field all ready for them to play it out against the 7 other franchises.
The release of star all-rounder and very expensive Glenn Maxwell, who had an abysmal season last year, has led to big gap in the side but on auction day that gap could come as a heap of opportunities for the side. They have also let go of spinners Krishnappa Gowtham and Mujeeb Ur Rahman which makes it quite a field day for them in the auctions given that they many shoes to fill.
PK possible picks: Batsmen (Shahrukh Khan, Dawid Malan), All-rounders (Moises Henriques, Shakib Al Hasan, Tom Curran) Bowlers ( Prithviraj Yarra, Jalaj Saxena, Piyush Chawla, Jhye Richardson)
Rajasthan Royals (16) – Rs 37.85 crore | 9 remaining, 3 overseas
Retained Players: Sanju Samson, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Mayank Markande, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Anuj Rawat
Released Players: Steve Smith, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Ankit Rajpoot, Aniruddha Joshi, Shashank Singh, Oshane Thomas, Akash Singh
Traded out: Robin Uthappa to Chennai Super Kings
The challenge will be on and off the field for Rajasthan Royals who are looking for quite a revamp in their side even though the only gigantic change that they have gone for is letting go of their captain Steve Smith. The Royals have chosen Sanju Samson as their next captain and hence there’s a senior some experience required in the batting order that’s heavily dependent on Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
If RR utilise Riyan Parag and David1 Miller well, their finisher problem will be almost sorted but to built a strong innings, Rajasthan will need someone up the order. Moreover, a backup for Jofra Archer becomes a must as the fierce England pacer could be prone to injuries.
RR possible picks: Batsmen (Alex Hales, Shahrukh Khan), All-rounders ( Shakib Al Hasan, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris) Bowlers (Umesh Yadav, Kyle Jamieson).