|Kings XI Punjab||Chennai Super Kings||Mumbai Indians||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|Delhi Capitals||Kolkata Knight Riders||Rajasthan Royals||Sunrisers Hyderabad|
The IPL auction 2021 took place on Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18 2021 as the eight IPL franchises revamped their squads by releasing players who were surplus to requirements and buying new ones who solved problem areas or added some stardust to already strong ones.
The whole IPL auction process is rather complex and in addition to the straight auction, there’s also a period where teams can trade players before the auction gets underway.
But to simplify things: all players in the auction were either released by their IPL side since last season or weren’t playing in the IPL at all last year.
Franchises then bid for the available players against other franchises. The biggest bid gets the player, as long as the base price (the minimum amount they’ll sign for) is met. In addition to that, the eight teams have salary caps they can’t breach.
As ever, the IPL Auction 2021 threw up some interesting surprises. There were some real bargain buys, some examples of properly wasted money, some smart purchases and a few big names who went unsold.
Among the eye-catching purchases were Chris Morris, who when moving to the Rajasthan Royals for 16.25 crore became the most expensive player ever purchased in an IPL auction. Other big names included Glenn Maxwell moving to RCB for 14.25 crore, while Kiwi youngster Kyle Jamieson (15 crores) moved to RCB as well and Moeen Ali made the switch from RCB to Chennai for 7 crores.
RCB were the big-spenders on the day as we’ll soon see but there were some other eye-catching purchases, such as veteran Harbhajan Singh getting another deal and Arjun Tendulkar (son of Sachin) being snapped up by his father’s former side, the Mumbai Indians.
The RR auction saw Rajasthan purchase Chris Morris to make him the highest-paid player in the history of the IPL. He’s a good player but that seems like a ridiculous amount to play for a capable all-rounder who has yet to make a real splash in the IPL.
Better purchases came in the form of Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and big-hitting English opener Liam Livingstone. Out went Steve Smith, who had a quiet IPL last time but who secured a deal at Delhi, albeit on considerably less money.
RR Team for IPL 2021
Sanju Samson (captain), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Christopher Morris, Shivam Dube, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, Liam Livingstone, K.C. Cariappa, Akash Singh, Kuldip Yadav
Last year’s wooden spoon winners and a side who permanently seems to be struggling. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes were excellent, but they just always seem to lack enough quality Indian players in their ranks. They may want to replace Steve Smith both as player and captain because this doesn’t seem to be his format.
There could be more of the same here: yet another rock bottom finish.
Even before the CSK auction, Chennai had already released veterans Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson and Kedar Jhadav, a good move considering they had too many ageing players in the squad.
Their most high-profile buy was Moeen Ali, the English all-rounder who’s a fine spinner and big-hitting batsman who can bat anywhere between 1 and 6. He cost them INR 7 crore but could be worth every penny.
Other purchases were experienced spinning all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham from Rajasthan and Chet Pujara. Pujara is a curious choice seeing as he’s very much a Test player who hasn’t featured in the IPL since 2015.
CSK Team for IPL 2021
MS Dhoni (capt), Ambati Rayudu, C Hari Nishanth, Cheteshwar Pujara, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Harisankar Reddy, Imran Tahir, Josh Hazlewood, K Bhagath Varma, K Gowtham, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Moeen Ali, Narayan Jagadeesan, R Sai Kishore, Ravindra Jadeja, Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Suresh Raina
CSK had their worst-ever season in the IPL, finishing way outside the Playoff places and at one stage looking like they were going to end bottom. MS Dhoni will surely be around for another season, but it may be the last we’ve seen of the likes of Shane Watson or Kedar Jadhav because they’ll need to get in a few fresh faces and younger legs.
Youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad impressed at the backend of the season as an opening batsman so that's something for CSK fans to get excited about.
CSK should feel happier playing back in India but there are lots of issues to address in their team. Even just making the Playoffs would be seen as a decent result.
Veteran Harbhajan Singh comes in to be a frontline spinner while Shakib Al-Hasan, who has already won two titles with KKR during his first spell at the franchise, returns to Eden Gardens as well. Al-Hasan has only just come back from a one-year ban and will provide an excellent option either alongside Andre Russell or instead of him if Russell gets injured again.
Local players Karun Nair and Pawan Negi could prove good additions after being brought in at the KKR auction.
Ben Cutting, fresh from a good season with the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash, also joins the ranks. So they’re well-stocked in terms of star overseas all-rounders but may have trouble finding places for them all.
KKR Team for IPL 2021
Eoin Morgan (capt), Andre Russell, Ben Cutting, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, Pawan Negi, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Tim Seifert, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer
The move to appoint Eoin Morgan as skipper came a little too late last time out but with the England captain in charge from the start this time round, they can aim higher.
There are some high-class players on board such as Pat Cummins, Morgan and Shubman Gill but they’ll need to have a Plan B in case Andre Russell carries on struggling. He’s not the Superman he used to be and maybe the time has come to replace him with another world-class all-rounder if they can.
It could be touch and go as to whether they make the playoffs but they’ll need more firepower at the top of the order if they’re to improve.
Mumbai have taken the view that you don’t mess with a winning team and who can blame them? So there wasn’t a whole lot of action from them at the MI auction this year.
They re-signed Aussie all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile and improved their fast bowling options by bringing in Kiwi paceman Adam Milne. Fellow Black Cap James Neesham comes in as well, another all-rounder, but he may not get many chances to impress.
The biggest story of all though was that they signed Arjun Tendulkar, the 21-year old son of Sachin Tendulkar. Arjun, a pace bowler rather than a batsman like his father, was bought for the lowest price of anyone (INR 20 lakh) and was the very last player to be bought in the whole auction.
MI Team for IPL 2021
Rohit Sharma (capt), Adam Milne, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Neesham, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Yudhvir Singh Charak
MI franchise are arguably the strongest-ever in T20 franchise cricket and tick every box, with quality players in set roles in every position from 1 to 11.
They did win the 2020 IPL pretty comfortably, bossing the Group Stages, winning the Qualifier 1 and then the final pretty comfortably, both against Delhi.
Unless they lose a load of players in the off-season, they'll be very much the team to beat again. They may, however, look to bring in another big-name overseas player to come in for James Pattinson, arguably the weak link last time out. A place in the final looks to be the bare minimum.
The biggest moves at the DC auction saw Delhi purchase Tom Curran (INR 5.25 crore) and Steve Smith (2.2 crores) two former Rajasthan players. They’re not great purchases with Curran no more than a decent bowler in this format who’s done well in England Australia but not so well in India.
And Smith is completely unsuited to this format given he scores too slowly for T20. But buy them they did.
A better purchase is Sam Billings (INR 2 crore), who has some real class as a wicket-keeper batsman and had a fine season in the Big Bash recently. He can play innings of real substance or just smash it at the death.
India Test bowler Umesh Yadav also comes in and he could be important for them.
DC Team for IPL 2021
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Daniel Sams
A team very much on the up after a Play-Off spot last year (2019) and a place in the final this time round. In the end, they were let down by their star-studded batting line-up, where the local players just didn’t fire, bar Shikhar Dhawan.
But they’re well-stocked in the bowling departments with South African duo Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje assisted by some high-class Indian spinners.
If they can get their young Indian batsmen firing next time, they'll be very strong again.
They should have learned a lot from the last season and with a well-balanced team with plenty of energetic youngsters, they can aim to repeat their excellent season by comfortably qualifying for the Playoffs, or even better.
It was mostly about the Aussies in the PJ auction with fast bowlers Jhye Richardson (14 crores) and Riley Meredith (INR 8 crore) being snapped up to help the team when it comes to pace bowling, a problem area for the Punjab Kings over the years. Both will be making their IPL debuts.
Moises Henriques was another Aussie joining the ranks and this is a vastly experienced player we’re talking about.
There was a good value purchase in the form of Dawid Malan. The World's number 1 ranked T20 batsman cost just INR 1.5 crore, although he’s yet to feature in the IPL.
A curious purchase was local lad Shahrukh Khan, who cost the high sum of 5.25 crore despite being uncapped by India and never playing in the IPL. It’s even more curious when you consider that though his strike rate in T20s is good at 131, his average of 18 with no fifties from 31 games is pretty unimpressive.
PK Team for IPL 2021
KL Rahul (capt), Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Jalaj Saxena, Jhye Richardson, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Moises Henriques, Murugan Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Riley Meredith, Sarfaraz Khan, Saurabh Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, Utkarsh Singh
It was a real rollercoaster of a season in 2020 with a terrible start countered by a brilliant run of wins late on. In the end, it wasn’t enough for a playoff spot, however, they showed plenty of fight and ability under pressure to win some close games.
It will be fascinating to see if they bring back veteran Chris Gayle, so influential in those late-season wins.
Hard to know what to make of this side and much will depend on skipper KL Rahul as usual, but with a few good additions to the team, they could sneak into the last four.
After yet another disappointing season last time out, a good RCB auction was certainly needed and they got it. They had the most to spend of any side and that’s what they did.
Kyle Jamieson (INR 15 core) is a tall, strong all-rounder from New Zealand who has already impressed at international level. He’s joined by Glenn Maxwell, who left Punjab after a poor season last year but had yet another fine season in the Big Bash. But Maxwell has plenty to prove in the IPL after some poor seasons and will be desperate to remind everyone what he’s all about.
Finally, there’s Dan Christian. One of the most experienced T20 players in the world and a born winner, they’ll need to find a place for him.
The slightly inconsistent Sachin Baby was the most high profile purchase from among Indian players.
RCB Team for IPL 2021
Virat Kohli (capt), AB de Villiers, Adam Zampa, Daniel Christian, Daniel Sams, Devdutt Padikkal, Glenn Maxwell, Harshal Patel, Joshua Philippe, Kane Richardson, KS Bharat, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Pavan Deshpande, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Shahbaz Ahmed, Suyash Prabhudessai, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal
Different year, the same story. Too many changes to the team over the course of the season, not enough class in their bowling, not enough smart plans in their tactics. Could the unthinkable happen and they replace Virat Kohli as skipper? A more plausible scenario is that he starts to open the batting.
Until they bring in one or two bowlers who can change games, they look like they may miss out on the Playoffs once again. RCB managed to qualify last time, but this could be a season of real struggle.
The prize for arguably the best value-for-money purchase of the IPL auction was Mujeeb Ur Rahman (INR 1.5 crore), the Afghan spinner who’s played in the IPL before for the Punjab Kings and for the Brisbane Heat in the BBL, alongside a few other T20 leagues. He’s an excellent bowler who can bowl at the start of the innings, in the middle or at the death. Perhaps best of all, he’ll form a dangerous partnership with their main man, Rashid Khan.
Less understandable in the SRH auction was the purchase of Kedar Jhadav for INR 2 crore. His best days are behind him, he hardly bowls any more and he played some truly inexplicably poor innings last year for CSK before eventually being dropped. He’ll do well to prove the doubters wrong.
SRH Team for IPL 2021
David Warner, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jason Holder, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mitchell Marsh, Mohammad Nabi, Priyam Garg, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Virat Singh, Wriddhiman Saha, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Found their form at the back end of last season but the same problems persist: the lack of a strong middle-order and match-winning fast bowlers. The likes of Rashid Khan and David Warner can usually make up for that, but it still looks a slightly unbalanced team.
Another side for whom it’s 50/50 as to whether they can get out of the Group Stages. But a top-class fast bowler in their ranks will make that a lot likelier.
There is no shortage of fierce rivalries in the IPL and that is, of course, one of the many things to look out for when the season gets underway.
One fixture to look out for is Mumbai v Delhi (MI vs DC). Four times they played each other last season, four times Mumbai won, including the Qualifier 1 and then, of course, the final itself. The Capitals will certainly want to make amends for that this year.
Another big game involving the Mumbai Indians is their clash against CSK.> As the IPL’s two most successful sides, they’ve played plenty of big matches over the years and it’s generally been Mumbai who have had the upper hand, something CSK will no doubt want to change.
As for Chennai, they also always have a big game against RCB. It pits former India captain (in all three formats) MS Dhoni against India’s current skipper (also in all three formats), Virat Kohli. There’s huge respect between Dhoni and Kohli, mutual admiration and it’s worth remembering they scored 100s of runs batting together for India. But it also means that they’re both desperate to get one over each other.
For very different reasons, Rajasthan v Kings XI is always a big game. Many a season they’re both trying to avoid finishing last and at least a win over their lowly rivals gives them a chance of not finishing bottom.
Do you want to know the history of the most exciting IPL rivalries? Check our history lesson for the best cricket IPL matches:
|CSK vs SRH||CSK vs MI||CSK vs RCB||KKR vs RCB|
|CSK vs KXIP||CSK vs RR||CSK vs DC||CSK vs KKR|
|DC vs MI||DC vs RCB||DC vs KXIP||KKR vs DC|
|DC vs RR||DC vs SRH||KKR vs KXIP||KXIP vs MI|
|KKR vs MI||KKR vs RR||KKR vs SRH||RCB vs KXIP|
|RR vs KXIP||SRH vs KXIP||RCB vs MI||RCB vs RR|
|RCB vs SRH||RR vs MI||SRH vs MI||SRH vs RR|