IPL Auction 2021 – CW Analysis



Keerthivarman reviews the results of the IPL Auction that was held in Chennai on 18th Feb for the 2021 edition and gives his analysis of how every team went.

The IPL is scheduled to be played across April and May with this year’s edition to be played in India. The UAE is not being considered as a backup venue.

Team: Chennai Super Kings

Best Starting XI

  • Faf du Plessis (O)
  • Jagadeesan
  • Suresh Raina
  • Ambati Rayudu
  • S. Dhoni (C & WK)
  • Ravindra Jadeja
  • Moeen Ali (O)
  • Sam Curran (O)
  • Deepak Chahar
  • Shardul Thakur
  • Imran Tahir (O)

What went wrong in 2020?

  • Lack of Quickfire start with the bat
  • Wicketless phase for spinners in the middle overs
  • The perfect death bowler
  • The lack of quality backups

What’s better than in 2020?

The team performed well towards the end of the league stages, showing that they had the potent to win games. Now the line-up is in a good mix with left-right combination throughout the line-up. They also bat deep till 10 and they have players to float across the order.

They also have the variety in the spin department with addition of two off spinners to the squad and they can bat and do the new ball duties too. Now they can field an offie, left arm spinner and a wrist spinner.

If things goes wrong like last year with the availability of key players, still they have good bench so that the void isn’t as large as last year with experienced players like Uthappa, Pujara and Bravo finding it difficult to get in the starting XI.

Still a grey area!

With most of the problems being resolved, the death bowling is still a concern for CSK. With Bravo not at his best and ageing too, there is a lack of quality death bowler. With Chahar being a premium new ball bowler, Thakur not going to be selected on all the occasions and Curran who is a lot younger, CSK might find it tougher in the end overs.

The best buy of the Auction

Moeen Ali: With CSK going hardly on Maxwell and losing it in the end put a huge pressure on the team management to sign an off spinner with Harbhajan Singh released. Moeen Ali also brings in something with the bat which was evident with the innings at Chennai. He can bat anywhere in the order which adds a cushion for the team.

 Team: Mumbai Indians

Best Starting XI

  • Quinton de Kock (O) (WK)
  • Rohit Sharma (C)
  • Suryakumar Yadav
  • Ishan Kishan
  • Krunal Pandya
  • Hardik Pandya
  • Kieron Pollard (O)
  • Nathan Coulter-Nile (O)
  • Trent Boult (O)
  • Rahul Chahar
  • Jasprit Bumrah

What went wrong in 2020?

  • Lack of Quality Spinners
  • Lack of Quality Back-up options

What’s better than in 2020?

Having released 3 foreign pacers, MI needed someone to back up Boult in the overseas pace department, they managed to get back Nathan Coulter-Nile for a lower price to strengthen the pace bowling department and the addition of Piyush Chawla gives the cushion for them with Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya struggling in the UAE tracks.

Still a grey area!

With Hardik not sure in the bowling front and Krunal struggling with the bat, an injury to a player in the top order will leave a great confusion in the starting XI. The back-up for Bumrah is also not up to the mark.

The best steal of the Auction

James Neesham- He brings in a great variety with bat and ball and provides a good back-up to Pollard. He was a steal considering snapping him at the base price of 50L and can fit in the line-up as a good pace bowling all-rounder.

Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Best Starting XI

  • Devdutt Padikkal
  • Josh Philippe (WK) (O)
  • Virat Kohli (C)
  • AB de Villiers (O)
  • Glenn Maxwell (O)
  • Washington Sundar
  • Harshal Patel
  • Kyle Jamieson (O)
  • Navdeep Saini
  • Mohammed Siraj
  • Yuzvendra Chahal

What went wrong in 2020?

  • Over Reliance on the top three batsmen
  • Lack of good middle order batsman and finisher
  • Lack of quality foreign pacer

What’s better than in 2020?

RCB have definitely addressed two of their major owes by signing Maxwell who provides the stability to the fragile middle order and can ease out some pressure off Kohli and de Villiers. With Phillipe having a good BBL, he will take over the keeping duties from ABD which gives ABD time to focus on his hitting alone. The signing of Jamieson adds the extra pace option who can also bat in the lower order. The addition of Sams and Christian gives more all-rounder options to the team.

Still a grey area!

The middle order looks strong with Maxwell, but after him are all-rounders who aren’t that much prolific with the bat which means a collapse at the top can have a huge impact on the team. Having spent heavily on Maxwell and Jamieson, the Indian contingent didn’t get a pump-up with 5 uncapped players signed at the base price which provides not enough bench strength to choose from.

The best buy of the Auction

Glenn Maxwell- Though they spent more than 14 CR on him, he will be a great addition to the powerful batting line-up, if they get a chance to play some games in Bangalore, the brutal hitting of Maxwell will come into the party. He also can chip in with the ball as evident from his performance in BBL this year.

 Team: Delhi Capitals

Best Starting XI

  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Marcus Stoinis (O)
  • Steve Smith (O)
  • Shreyas Iyer (C)
  • Risbabh Pant (WK)
  • Axar Patel
  • Ravichandran Ashwin
  • Amit Mishra
  • Kagiso Rabada (O)
  • Anrich Nortje (O)
  • Ishant Sharma

What went wrong in 2020?

  • Lack of proper top order
  • Lack of quality back-ups
  • Lack of experienced foreign players

What’s better than in 2020?

Delhi Capitals possessed one of the best Indian batting line-up but the continuous failure of Shaw and Rahane at the top, injury to Pant hurt them badly and they had to change their line-ups to fit in players. Now with Stoinis going to his favourite spot at the top, the addition of Steve Smith gives Delhi a solid top order and experience in the thinktank too. The back-ups are sort out with the signing of Tom Curran and Umesh Yadav adding some cushion to the bowling combination.

Still a grey area!

Though they signed Sam Billings and Vishnu Vinod, still a quality back-up is missing for Pant. An injury to Mishra made a huge hole and the team management hasn’t added a good player to back-up the ageing leg spinner. Their bench is strong in the batting front so that they have to bench some good players.

The best steal of the Auction

Steve Smith- Delhi Capitals would’ve been the luckiest team by signing in a sensation player for just 2.25 Cr. Smith is a captaincy material who can bat in different gears accessing the situations and can help Iyer in the captaincy front as well. His recent form as an attacking player expected a heavier bidding from the franchises but Delhi snatched him at a cheaper price expecting to lift the trophy this time around.

 Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

Best Starting XI

  • David Warner (O) (C)
  • Jonny Bairstow (O)
  • Kane Williamson (O)
  • Manish Pandey
  • Kedar Jadhav
  • Vijay Shankar
  • Rashid Khan (O)
  • Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
  • T Natarajan
  • Shahbaz Nadeem
  • Sandeep Sharma

What went wrong in 2020?

  • Lack of solid middle order
  • Lack of experienced Indian Batsmen
  • Lack of quality Indian spinners
  • Lack of Quality back-ups

 What’s better than in 2020?

The middle order problem has been sorted with the signing of Kedar Jadhav. Though he is not in rich vein form, he brings the stability to the fragile middle order and also adds some part time spin option too. They had improved the spin department with the addition of Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Suchith for lesser money.

 Still a grey area!

SRH appears to be one of the strong teams with a good starting XI but they do rely on the foreign players with T20 specialists like Nabi, Mujeeb warming the bench. It is also hard to fit in Mitch Marsh who is a solid all-rounder but has to fall out on the overseas criteria. If they had got a quality Indian spinner would’ve made a solid unit on all grounds.

The best steal of the Auction

Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman- SRH signed their third Afghan player in the form of Mujeeb for just 1.5Cr, which is considered as a smart buy although his chances in this season will be limited. But he can form an able partner to Rashid and can be a good back-up for Rashid. Mujeeb can take the new ball too and his varieties are aplenty and given a chance he would waiting to prove a statement.

 Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

Best Starting XI

  • Shubman Gill
  • Rahul Tripathi
  • Nitish Rana
  • Eoin Morgan (O) (C)
  • Andre Russell (O)
  • Dinesh Karthik (WK)
  • Sunil Narine (O)
  • Lockie Ferguson (O)
  • Prasid Krishna
  • Shivam Mavi
  • Varun CV

What went wrong in 2020?

  • Lack of experienced Indian bowlers
  • Lack of proper back-ups for overseas all-rounders
  • Lack of back-up Indian Keeper

What’s better than in 2020?

KKR could be considered one of the teams who would have been satisfied with the auction having got more than what they desired to get. They found the perfect back up for Narine in form of Shakib and also Cutting as back-up for Russell. They also added depth in the spin bowling unit by adding Negi along with Harbhajan Singh. The addition of Jackson gives the team a back-up for an Indian keeper. Karun Nair’s inclusion gives a good cushion to the batting order.

Still a grey area!

Having flared well with the limited purse by signing good buys but they didn’t address their main problem of good pace bowlers mainly Indian seamers. The trio of Prasid, Mavi and Nagarkoti are relatively young and inexperienced and are also injury prone.

The best steal of the Auction

Shakib Al Hasan – With teams going on spin bowling all rounders heavily, Shakib is one of the best among the group. By signing him for a lesser amount of 3.2 Cr would be considered as a steal and he can be a perfect replacement for Narine who is being less effective with the bat and his new bowling action yielding him lesser returns.

 Team: Punjab Kings

Best Starting XI

  • KL Rahul (C & WK)
  • Mayank Agarwal
  • Dawid Malan (O)
  • Mandeep Singh
  • Nicholas Pooran (O)
  • Deepak Hooda
  • Jhye Richardson (O)
  • Chris Jordan (O)
  • Mohammed Shami
  • Murugan Ashwin
  • Ravi Bishnoi

 What went wrong in 2020?

  • Lack of All-rounders
  • Lack of good pacers
  • Lack of good middle order batsmen
  • A good starting XI

What’s better than in 2020?

The Kings made two great signings in the pace bowling contingent with the signing of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith for bigger amounts. Both the pacers had a breakout season in the BBL this year and fill a major void they had last season. They also made a remarkable signing of the number 1 T20I batsman Malan, who will be playing his first season in the grandest league. He will leading the middle order which was weak and conceded games last season and will be the cover for the Universal Boss. The signing of young Tamil Nadu sensation Shahrukh Khan is a great buy considering his recent exploits in the domestic T20 competition. They also signed good all rounders in Moises Henriques and Fabien Allen who will come in handy as the tournament progresses.

Still a grey area!

The Indian all rounder unit was weak before the auction and they haven’t done much in the auction too. Though they have signed Saxena and Saurabh Kumar, still the all rounders front looks a little weak still. They don’t have for good injury cover for the Indian players and the presence of abundant openers makes the batting heavy at the top and little weak as it goes down. The choice between Gayle and Malan will take a huge impact on the middle order while the later has an edge being a stable batsman than being a dasher at the top. They also don’t have any world class spinner with the spin duties being handled by the Indian duo of Murugan Ashwin and Bishnoi who are less in experience.

The best steal of the Auction

Dawid Malan – The number one T20I batsman was expected a huge bidding war by many franchises but surprisingly was sold for lesser amount. The Kings got him for just 1.5 Cr and he could provide the Punjab team the stability which was missing in the previous seasons. He can bat at any position in the batting order and go through gears when required.

 Team: Rajasthan Royals

Best Starting XI

  • Jos Buttler (O) (WK)
  • Ben Stokes (O)
  • Sanju Samson (C)
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal
  • Shivam Dube
  • Chris Morris (O)
  • Jofra Archer (O)
  • Rahul Tewetia
  • Shreyas Gopal
  • Kartik Tyagi
  • Jaydev Unadkat

What went wrong in 2020?

  • A proper batting order
  • Lack of Finishers
  • Lack of Indian bowlers and back-ups
  • A good finger spinner

What’s better than in 2020?

Having released their captain of 2020 season, Royals had to do a lot of rebuilding to the squad. They did the biggest buy in the IPL history by signing Morris for a record breaking 16.25 Cr who is a handy finisher and also good with the ball in the death overs too. They also signed Shivam Dube who fills in the finisher role which was left missing last season. They also strengthened the pace bowling unit by signing Mustafizur Rahman who forms a good foreign pacers unit with Archer, Tye and Morris. Royals known for unearthing fresh Indian talents has signed in good domestic talents in the form of Chetan Sakariya, Kuldip Singh and Akash Singh.

Still a grey area!

The best starting consists of as many as nine bowling options and bats till nine which makes the team an ideal T20 team. But the middle order lacks of a solid Indian batsman and they don’t have anyone in the back-ups to fill the void. Also, Royals failed to sign a good finger spinner this time around and have to back on young Jaiswal to do those duties.

The best steal of the Auction

Chetan Sakariya- As said above, the Royals are known to provide chances to young domestic talents and the signing of Sakariya makes him one of the talents to be exhibited this season hopefully. He is a good left arm pacer who bowls well at various stages of the game and he would make his IPL debut at some point this season and with the depth in the bowling, Royals would be expected to give him an extended run to  create a star for the future.

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