The prelude to the 2021 IPL season began with a bang on 18th February as the IPL auction saw the eight franchises make some key additions to their squad for the 14th edition of the tournament.
- Mumbai Indians are the strongest contenders to retain the title after a good performance in the auction
- Rajasthan Royals have good odds of making it to the play-offs after a few smart acquisitions
Slots filled and overseas buys
There were 292 players up for grabs and 61 slots to fill ahead of the auction as the eight teams had released players in the build up to the auction. 57 of the 61 slots were filled in the auction with a few teams not completing their allowed quota of players. However, all 22 overseas slots to be filled were completed.
Chris Morris with a record fee of INR 16.25 lakh commanded the biggest attraction as Rajasthan Royals bought him. The South African is now the highest valued overseas player in IPL history with the latest signing.
Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand was bought for INR 15 crore, while Glenn Maxwell was purchased at INR 14.25 crore, both by Royal Challengers Bangalore. They also feature in the top five biggest purchases of all-time.
Jhye Richardson went for INR 14 crore to Punjab Kings, renamed from Kings XI Punjab. Riley Meredith, the Australian domestic pacer, commanded a fee of INR 8 crore by Punjab Kings, making him the biggest overseas uncapped player in IPL history.
Krishnappa Gowtham, bought for INR 9.25 crore by Chennai Super Kings became the highest uncapped Indian player in all IPL seasons.
Who had a great auction?
Rajasthan Royals, arguably, had the greatest auction as they not only filled in key holes in their line-up, but also completed a perfect four overseas group to play in the starting XI. Morris, alongside Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, makes Rajasthan a formidable team for the upcoming season.
Which players were bought at a budget?
Dawid Malan, the no.1 ICC T20I batsman, was sold at a base price of INR 1.5 crore to Punjab Kings, making it one of the best buys in the auction. Punjab also acquired West Indies all-rounder, Fabian Allen at base price of INR 75 lakh, again a really good purchase. Thus Punjab have a promising squad following the auction for IPL 2021, however we are still to find out if they will be once again plagued by consistency issues.
Umesh Yadav at INR 1 crore to Delhi Capitals and Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh superstar, at INR 3.2 crore to Kolkata Knight Riders were the other budget picks. DC and KKR have had an intense rivalry ever since the start of the Indian Premier League and the upcoming season of the league will be no exception.
Who has the strongest squad after auction?
Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, five-time title winners, once again boast one of the most complete T20 squads and are perfectly placed to add to their massive trophy cupboard.