The player auction for IPL 2021 will commence on Thursday (18 February) at three in the afternoon. A total of 292 players (164 Indian, 128 overseas including three from Associate Nations) will go under the hammer as the eight teams look to reinforce their squads ahead of the forthcoming edition.
Here, we shall have a look at where Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore, finalists of IPL 2016, stand ahead of the auctions, and what they need to do to set up winning cores for the upcoming season.
The Champions of the 2016 season go into the auctions with just three slots to fill. Their strong top order, consisting of the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey, has been one of the main reasons for them being able to make it to the Playoffs every season since 2016. Their star spinner Rashid Khan and a strong core of Indian pacers have played a vital role too. However, of late, they have lacked the spark needed to make it to the final.
What they need
One area that has troubled them always is their batting in the final overs. They scored at below 9 in the death overs in two of the last three editions. This is an area that requires an immediate fix. They have retained their core of first-choice foreign players, which has left them with room for only one overseas cricketer even after releasing Billy Stanlake. Under such circumstances, they are likely to invest in an overseas fast bowler and an Indian power hitter. Kyle Jamieson may fit both bills.
Auction Purse: ₹10.75 Crores
Potential Options: Shivam Dube, Shahrukh Khan, Vishnu Solanki, Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kyle Jamieson
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Despite having one of the strongest squads, RCB didn’t perform to their full potential last season. Despite starting off brightly, their performance fizzled out towards the end, and they failed to make it past the Playoffs. Having released several players, they are going into the auctions with 11 slots (three overseas) available. They will be hoping to find the winning formula this time.
What they need
One of the major issues RCB had last season was their run rate in the middle overs. They scored at 6.93 between overs 7 and 15, the lowest among all teams in the league. A middle-overs enforcer who can take some load off Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers is the need of the hour. They need a quality death-bowler as well. With plenty of overseas fast bowling options available, we might see them splashing a lot of cash in this area. They will look to get an Indian wicketkeeper too, now that Parthiv Patel has retired.
Auction Purse: ₹35.40 Crores
Potential Options: Glenn Maxwell, Lewis Gregory, Daniel Christian, Shahrukh Khan, Vishnu Vinod, Vishnu Solanki, Mohammad Azharuddin, Jhye Richardson, Kyle Jamieson, Riley Meredith
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