IPL 2021

IPL 2021: An analysis of the squads after the auctions

Mar. 9, 2021

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Ajai Kannan

The Indian Premier League governing council met last Sunday and announced the schedule of the much-awaited 2021 season of the IPL. The schedule has been devised keeping in mind the various restrictions to be followed while keeping the players in a bio-secure bubble. However, the teams have expressed their contempt over the decision to play all the matches at neutral venues, thereby not giving them the home advantage. The BCCI is yet to respond to this reaction from the teams. In the auctions that happened in the last month, a total of 57 players were bought by the franchises out of the 292 players who went under the hammer. The auction had its share of surprising buys, with the teams spending quite a large amount of money for players who failed to perform in the previous seasons. On the other hand, it was equally surprising to witness few talented players being bought at their base prices.

Chennai Super Kings:

Purchases: Moeen Ali (INR 7 Cr), K Gowtham (INR 9.25 Cr), Cheteshwar Pujara (INR 50 L), M Harisankar Reddy (INR 20 L), K. Bhagath Varma (INR 20 L), C Hari Nishanth (INR 20 L) The CSK management went into the auction lacking an explosive batsman who could bat lower down the order. With Dhoni not in his usual touch and Dwayne Bravo terribly out of form, the team has failed to capitalise on the momentum their top-order provides in the past two seasons. The team will be hoping that Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham will put an end to this misery. Moeen Ali is an impressive prospect considering that he can both open the innings and don the role of a finisher based on the need. Pujara could serve the place of the accumulator just in case Rayudu or Raina fail to shine. Despite all these, the batting order of the team fails to inspire confidence and largely resembles a lineup from 3 years ago. If the usual batting order fails to perform, the team must show no hesitance in replacing them with youngsters like Gaikwad and Hari Nishanth.

Mumbai Indians:

Purchases: Adam Milne (INR 3.20 Cr), Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 5 cr), Piyush Chawla (INR 2.40 Cr), James Neesham (INR 50 L), Yudhvir Charak (INR 20 L), Marco Jansen (INR 20 L), Arjun Tendulkar (INR 20 L) MI was the only team who had their first-choice eleven figured out even before the auctions. In my previous post, I had stated that Mumbai might consider purchasing pacers and might go after players like Chris Morris and Jhye Richardson. However, since the prices of Morris and Jhye skyrocketed, MI had to find their substitutes in Adam Milne and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Piyush Chawla might find a place in the playing-XI given that Krunal Pandya went for runs in the previous season. Getting James Neesham at his base price is the best outcome for MI in the auctions. The team also bought Arjun Tendulkar at his base price of 20L. The move comes as no surprise as, if any team was planning on buying him, it had to be MI!

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Purchases: Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 Cr), Sachin Baby (INR 20 L), Rajat Patidar (INR 20 L), Mohammed Azharuddin (INR 20 L), Kyle Jamieson (INR 15 Cr), Daniel Christian (INR 4.80 cr), Suyash Prabhudessai (INR 20 L), K.S. Bharat (INR 20 L). In the previous analysis, I had mentioned how RCB’s bowling had let them down more often and why they should be looking to fix their bowling. Surprisingly, the team management once again bought many batsmen, including Glenn Maxwell, at a whopping Rs. 14.25 crores. Except Jamieson, all of their purchases were batsmen. Despite the questions behind the high-price tag on Maxwell, when in form, he can score some quick runs as a finisher, which the team currently lacks. However, the team’s bowling unit seems a bit too weak when compared against their mightier batting lineup.

Rajasthan Royals:

Purchases: Shivam Dube (INR 4.40 Cr), Chris Morris (INR 16.25 cr), Mustafizur Rahman (INR 1 cr), Chetan Sakariya (INR 1.20 Cr), KC Cariappa (INR 20 L), Liam Livingstone (INR 75 L), Kuldip Yadav (INR 20 L), Akash Singh (INR 20 L) The Rajasthan Royals made quite a few expensive purchases, including Chris Morris, who, at the price of Rs. 16.25 crores, was the costliest buy of this season. After the purchase of Morris and Mustafizur, the team’s bowling unit now looks strong. However, it is unlikely for both the players to feature in the playing XI as there are other essential overseas players like Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer who can’t be left out. Also, with a relatively inexperienced captain, the team could have considered purchasing a senior player at a reasonable price, who might have been of help to Sanju in pressure situations. Despite all that, the overall squad looks good enough to be in the contention for the title.

Punjab Kings:

Purchases: Dawid Malan (INR 1.5 cr), Jhye Richardson (INR 14 cr), Shahrukh Khan (INR 5.25 cr), Riley Meredith (INR 8 cr), Moises Henriques (INR 4.20 Cr), Jalaj Saxena (INR 30 L), Utkarsh Singh (INR 20 L), Fabian Allen (INR 75 L), Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 L). As if their existing batting unit wasn’t deadly enough, the Punjab Kings expressed much interest in buying explosive batsmen. Their notable purchases include Dawid Malan, the №1 ranked world T20I batsman, and the explosive TN opener Shah Rukh Khan. The Kings now arguably have the best batting lineup among all the eight teams. Ironically, except buying Meredith, the team did very little to strengthen its fragile bowling. The management can only hope that Meredith doesn’t end up leaking runs like Sheldon Cottrell in the last season.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

Purchases: Shakib Al Hasan (INR 3.20 Cr), Sheldon Jackson (INR 20 L), Vaibhav Arora (INR 20 L), Karun Nair (INR 50 L), Harbhajan Singh (INR 2 Cr), Ben Cutting (INR 75 L), Venkatesh Iyer (INR 20 L), Pawan Negi (INR 50 L). The KKR management seems to have retained faith in their existing batsmen and hence looked to add a little variety to their bowling attack by purchasing bowlers. Since they had the lowest purse value of all the teams, they ended up making a few dirt-cheap yet smart purchases. Harbhajan Singh could aid by containing runs in the middle overs, considering how expensive Kuldeep was in the previous season. Ben Cutting and Shakin Al Hasan would reduce pressure on Andre Russel and let him play his natural game.

Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Purchases: Jagadeesha Suchith (INR 30 L), Kedar Jadhav (INR 2 Cr), Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (INR 1.50 Cr). With an already strong squad, we expected SRH to sit through as spectators at the auction. The team did exactly that, except for three purchases — Kedhar Jadhav, Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman and Jagadeesha Suchith. The spin attack of SRH, with the addition of Mujeeb, is now the strongest of all teams. However, it is unlikely that the team will play both Mujeeb and Rashid in the same game. Someone like Nabi, who can bowl and is also a handy bat, might be a better option over playing both Rashid and Mujeeb. Jadhav might get a few games if the team’s current middle order goes out of form.

Delhi Capitals:

Purchases: Steve Smith (INR 2.20 Cr), Umesh Yadav (INR 1 cr), Ripal Patel (INR 20 L), Vishnu Vinod (INR 20 L), Lukman Meriwala (INR 20 L), M Siddarth (INR 20 L), Tom Curran (INR 5.25 Cr), Sam Billings (INR 2 Cr). In the previous analysis, I had mentioned that the team lacked a batsman who could anchor the innings. The DC management addressed this by purchasing Steve Smith. The team has had problems with openers, as Prithvi Shaw failed to shine. They eventually had to promote Stoinis up the order to solve this issue. With Billings in the squad, the team can now consider opening with Billings and let Stoinis play the finisher’s role. With ace Indian pacers Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma and world-class spinners Ashwin and Axar Patel, the team has a mighty all-Indian bowling attack. Though it has been decided to stage the initial matches under closed doors, the IPL governing committee has promised to consider allowing spectators towards the later stages of the season. With just a month left for the season to begin, teams are planning to start training as soon as possible. It would certainly not be an exaggeration to affirm that an exciting season of IPL awaits us! To create stories and analyses like this for the IPL, backed by sports data from relevant sources, check out Roanuz Cricket API. Analyse player and team performances and find interesting content prospects with Performance API endpoints from Roanuz Cricket API. You can also build Live Score & Fantasy apps with the IPL APIs from Roanuz Cricket API. Get Started with Roanuz Cricket API
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