On February 18, Chennai will be hosting the much-awaited players’ auction for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). On this occasion, a total of 164 Indians and 128 overseas cricketers will be up for grabs as the eight franchises would look to fine-tune their squads ahead of IPL 14. In this piece, we will look to analyze the possible auction strategies of two of the most successful IPL franchises, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
Purse: INR 15.35 crore.
Slots available: Seven, including four overseas
Retained players: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Aditya Tare (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy
Released Players: Lasith Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, Digvijay Deshmukh
Despite having a near-perfect show in the IPL held in the UAE last year, Mumbai Indians have released a bulk of their overseas fast bowlers. The think-tank may be looking for younger and fitter fast-bowling options to form a quality backup force for frontline pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. The likes of Chris Morris, Jhye Richardson, Kyle Jamieson, Mark Wood, David Willey, Sheldon Cottrell, Adam Milne, and Liam Plunkett will be on the radar of this Rohit Sharma-led franchise.
Furthermore, because of the fading form of Krunal Pandya and the inexperience of Rahul Chahar, the defending champions certainly need some cover in the spin department. So, it won’t be surprising if Mumbai regenerate their interest on veteran Harbhajan Singh. Among overseas cricketers, Sandeep Lamichhane can be a decent choice.
Chennai Super Kings
Purse: INR 19.9 crore
Slots available: Seven, one overseas
Retained Players: MS Dhoni (c & wk), N Jagadeesan (wk), Suresh Raina, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Josh Hazlewood, Robin Uthappa, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir
Released Players: Piyush Chawla, M Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Monu Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson (retired)
Following a disastrous IPL last year, CSK have let go quite a few senior cricketers. Though their core group is still intact, but from this auction the Dhoni’s team will search for quality replacements for the likes of Harbhajan, Jadhav, Chawla and Watson. Their available overseas quota is just one, and the Men in Yellow have enough money to go for marquee options like Shakib Al Hasan and Glenn Maxwell. Both these players will suit ideally to the need of this team and on the slow-low Chepauk surface.
From the Indian pool, Chennai should target top-order batsmen like Kerala’s Mohammed Azharuddeen or Saurashtra’s Avi Barot, who had impressed during the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Among all-rounders, Shivam Dube or Pawan Negi might find bid from this franchise.
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