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IPL Auction 2021 Review: Chris Morris creates history while Jamieson & Maxwell go for big bucks


18th February 2021 saw another exciting edition of the IPL Auction being completed in Chennai which saw teams fight it out for some youngsters and many superstars. Steve Smith was the first buy of the Auction while Arjun Tendulkar turned out to be the last buy of the IPL Auction 2021. 4 players fetched 14 crores or more with Chris Morris being the most expensive player in IPL Auction history with 16.25 crores to be picked by RR and Krishnappa Gowtham was the most expensive Indian player with 9.25 crores to CSK.

Kyle Jamieson became the highest-earning New Zealand player in an IPL Auction with his 15 crores buy to RCB (Image Source: Twitter.com)

#1. Rajasthan Royals (RR)

The Jaipur-based franchise spent big bucks on the South African all-rounder Chris Morris who was bought for a whopping 16.25 crores, an IPL Auction history. Morris’ ability to finish the innings with the bat and be an effective death bowler will be key for the double R’s. Shivam Dube was another notable buy at 4.4 crores with the Mumbai all-rounder being an effective bowler and an aggressive batsman in the middle & death overs.

Mustafizur Rahman was signed as a backup pacer for 1 crore while they made promising buys like Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav & Akash Singh. The team setup looks quite impressive after the auction but they did end up overspending massively on Chris Morris considering his injury-prone history. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 7/10.


#2. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

RCB had the second-highest purse in IPL Auction 2021 after retaining only 12 players and adding 2 more in the trading window. Middle-order batting was a concern as it usually slowed their innings down last season and death bowling has been an ever-present problem since the inception of this franchise. After missing out on Steve Smith, RCB went in strong for the other big name Aussie batsman in the auction and bought Glenn Maxwell for 14.25 crores. They went a notch higher for the highly touted New Zealand bowling all-rounder Kyle Jamieson who was bought for 15 crores.

Daniel Christian was a smart buy for RCB who got him in for 4.8 crores while they also added notable strength to their bench with the signings of Azharudeen, Baby, Patidar, Prabhudesai, and KS Bharat at their base price of 20 lakhs each. This RCB squad now looks like the real deal as they covered most bases and they might go far in this edition. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 9/10.


#3. Punjab Kings (PBKS)

Going into the IPL Auction 2021, Punjab had the highest purse and had more than 5 crores to spend per player on average. Death bowling has been an issue for Punjab over the years and death batting also proved to be a concern for Punjab last season. With Chris Gayle’s fitness being curious, Punjab’s first buy was a 1.5 crores steal of World no.1 T20 batsman Dawid Malan.

PBKS bought the Australian fast bowling all-rounder Jhye Richardson for a massive fee of 14 crores. Having impressed in the SMAT 2021, Shahrukh Khan from Tamil Nadu was bought for 5.25 crores with an aim to improve the finishing. BBL star Riley Meredith was bought for a whopping 8 crores while BBL 2021 winning captain and Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques was bought for 4.2 crores.

PBKS added depth to their squad by buying Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen & Saurabh Kumar at their respective base prices. Punjab looks like another strong squad on paper now after this auction. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 9/10.


#4. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Thala’s Army released a lot of experienced players before the auction with a view to reduce their average age by signing young talent & improve the performances of this team. Having released Harbhajan Singh, CSK were desperate to find an off-spinner with the added benefit of his batting and they splashed the cash for Moeen Ali whose mini-audition in the Chennai Test got him a move to the local franchise for 7 crores. Moeen might open the batting when Faf Du Plessis is unavailable for selection.

Finishing the innings with the bat hasn’t been a real concern for Chennai but having someone who could bowl off-spin and tonk the ball in the stands is always a benefit and they signed uncapped Indian all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham who has the ability to hit 30-35 runs in 10 balls. Their buy of Cheteshwar Pujara at his base price received a round of applause not only in the auction room but all over India.

Local talents Harishankar, Bhagath Varma, and Nishath were also added to this team at base price. The squad does now seem a blend of experience and youthfulness but they did overpay for both Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 7/10.


Delhi Capitals signed Steve Smith for only 2.2 crores in IPL Auction 2021 (Image Source: Twitter.com)

#5. Delhi Capitals (DC)

Last year’s IPL Finalists got the first buy of the IPL Auction 2021 with Steve Smith for a low-key 2.2 crores. The decision did raise eyebrows among DC fans with respect to where he could potentially bat and whether Ponting looks at Smith potentially being the captain for the upcoming season. It is more likely that Smith would either open the batting or come in at No.3. There is no doubt he adds immense value to the team but it could disturb their foreign players’ combination.

Umesh Yadav was probably the steal of the auction with Delhi Capitals getting him at his base price of 1 crore. They added young uncapped talents like Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, and M Siddharth before splashing the cash again for English all-rounder Tom Curran as DC bought him for 5.25 crores.

Curran and Woakes could be potentially opening the season with the ball for DC considering the international involvement of Rabada and Nortje in the SA vs Pak Limited overs series. Sam Billings was signed for 2 crores although he will only be a backup for Rishabh Pant. DC did miss out on signing an Indian wicketkeeper who would have been more ideal for their setup to add to the slightly confusing Smith buy but they did get good deals in Umesh, Meriwala, and Curran. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance an 8/10.


#6. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

KKR did go into the IPL Auction 2021 with the least budget and with multiple questions to find answers. Kolkata’s first buy was their former 2-time champion all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. His availability for the entire duration of IPL 2021 is under question adding to his lack of cricket in the last year or so. Harbhajan Singh was also another one of their big-money buys for a whopping 2 crores but with Kuldeep, Varun Chakravarthy & Sunil Narine already being there with similar skillsets, Harbhajan’s role is questionable.

One good buy they did make was Ben Cutting at his base price for 75 lakhs while also signing Karun Nair to add depth to their batting. Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson, & Vaibhav Arora were also added for their respective base prices. The auction probably added more questions to KKR’s strategy than it gave answers but Shakib Al Hasan and potentially even Ben Cutting could be looked at as good buys. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 5/10.


#7. Mumbai Indians (MI)

The 5-time and reigning IPL Champions went into the Auction to primarily buy a foreign fast bowler and have backups for certain other positions in their team. Adam Milne, the New Zealand pacer, was their first buy in the IPL Auction 2021 for 3.2 crores. Having released Nathan Coulter-Nile before the auction, Mumbai got him back for 5 crores but managed to save 3 crores on the player and add another player in those savings. Milne along with Coulter-Nile have been a part of the MI setup before and will gel in instantly with this team.

MI bought Piyush Chawla for 2.4 crores as a backup for Rahul Chahar and got an absolute steal for 50 lakhs in James Neesham who could be a more than handy backup for Kieron Pollard. Highly rated Marco Jansen along with Yudhvir Charak and Arjun Tendulkar were signed for their base price. Having already covered all bases, Mumbai added even further depth to the already strong squad and TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 9/10.


#8. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

The Hyderabad-based franchise had already retained 22 players including 7 foreign players before the IPL Auction 2021. While it looked from the outside like they had come for the delicious free buffet, the Sunrisers added even further depth to their squad to make themselves look like potential champions on paper. They signed J Suchith, Kedar Jadhav, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman for their respective base prices.

Kedar Jadhav could be a handy trump card with the bat & ball towards the later stages of the season while on turning tracks the combination of Mujeeb and Rashid could be a massive boost for Hyderabad. TSD would rate their IPL Auction 2021 performance a 9.5/10.


Also Read: Reliving the 161 by Rohit Sharma – A Fan’s Point of View

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