The mini-auction for IPL 2021 witnessed some intense bidding wars. Franchises did not hesitate to spend big for the assets they wanted, which led to records being shattered in one day. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who came into the auction with massive holes to plug, were involved in the action right from the start. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, fixed a minor chinks or two with smart choices, while keeping a low profile.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Josh Philippe (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat
Auction buys (INR): Glenn Maxwell (14.25 crores), Sachin Baby (20 lakhs), Rajat Patidar (20 lakhs), Mohammed Azharuddeen (20 lakhs), Kyle Jamieson (15 crores), Dan Christian (4.8 crores), Suyash Prabhudessai (20 lakhs), KS Bharat (20 lakhs)
Strengths: RCB’s real strength lies in its strong top four. Kohli and AB de Villiers have been the stalwarts of their batting unit for many years now. Youngsters like Padikkal and Philippe have proved with their performances that they belong to this level as well. The spin-bowling attack consisting of Chahal, Sundar, and Zampa have a pretty good look as well.
Weaknesses: RCB went into the Auction this year looking to plug two major holes — their lower-middle order and death bowling. However, even after splashing so much money, they can’t say that they have completely fixed the issue. To solve their middle-order woes, RCB have placed their trust in Maxwell, who has not delivered to his potential for some time now. As far as solving their death bowling issues go, Mike Hesson and co. have picked Jamieson, who will be touring the subcontinent for the first time. Moreover, the inexperience of the Indian players and the acquisition of a 37-year-old Christian doesn’t inspire much confidence either.
RCB Best Playing XI: Josh Philippe (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Squad: David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sreevats Goswami (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Auction buys (INR): Kedar Jadhav (2 crores), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1.5 crores), Jagadeesha Suchith (30 lakhs)
Strengths: SRH went into the auctions with minor additions in mind. They have been one of the most consistent sides in the IPL, having made the Playoffs every year since winning the title in 2016. Their main strength is their international experience, thanks to the likes of Warner, Williamson, Holder, Rashid and Bhuvneshwar, among others. They have a Indian core of pace bowlers as well, who have delivered the goods consistently. Their spin attack, which consisted of Afghan internationals Rashid and Nabi, now looks even stronger with the addition of Mujeeb.
Weaknesses: Their lower middle-order was their weak link last year and it looks like things haven’t changed much after this auction either. They added Jadhav to their roster in order to add some much-needed experience, which mostly consists of youngsters. However, Jadhav had a terrible last couple of IPL seasons as far as his batting is considered. Hence, it remains to be seen how he fares with SRH.
SRH best Playing XI
David Warner (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan
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