The Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction on Thursday could see a huge demand for bowlers even as Australian batsmen Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Glenn Maxwell, England’s Dawid Malan, all-rounders Chris Morris of South Africa and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan could be the hottest properties. Smith, the Australian batting mainstay was released by Rajasthan Royals recently after he failed to put up big scores for them. He may, however, find interest from Punjab Kings (PK), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), or Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who all are looking to strengthen their batting.
Labuschagne could also evince interest from the three franchises, especially from KKR or CSK. PK have a heavy purse left with Rs.53.2 crore and they could go in for Smith (base price: Rs 2 crore) or Labuschagne (Rs.1 crore) or both.
At the moment, they have a settled top three but with uncertainty over Chris Gayle`s availability for all matches, they could be looking to include Smith whose price could challenge both KKR (remaining purse: Rs 10.75 crore) and even CSK (remaining purse: Rs 19.9 crore).
Maxwell (Rs 2 crore), who cost Punjab a whopping Rs.10.75 the last time but was released, could also be in line to picked again by Punjab at a much lower price. This could be true of Chris Morris (Rs 50 lakh) also, who was bought for Rs.10 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) but was released ahead of this auction.
“If the player is overpriced then franchises can let go off a top player and buy him back at a lower price,” an official in the know of things told news agency IANS.
Both Maxwell and Morris could also find some interest from either CSK or KKR. Both franchises are looking for a finisher. KKR’s Andre Russell failed with the bat last time and was exposed against short deliveries.
Rajasthan Royals, whose batting is already settled, will look to shore up their fast bowling and find support for Jofra Archer, who is with them. They have Rs.37.85 crore available.
Among pace bowlers that could be up for grabs would be Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand, who has performed well over the last year. Umesh Yadav, who was released by RCB this season, is expected to be a hot property.
While both Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Capitals (DC), the finalists this year, seem to have a settled unit, they have less money left and that rules out the possibility of them going for too many big names. MI, who have Rs.15.35 crore left, have four slots for foreigners left (out of seven) after they released James Pattinson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, and Nathan Coulter-Nile, all pace bowlers. They also released Sherfane Rutherford.
DC have three (out of eight) slots for foreigners left. Shakib Al Hasan, who did not play the IPL last season as he was serving International Cricket Council (ICC) ban, for failing to report a bookie approach, could also be in demand due to him being a top ranked all-rounder in ICC rankings. KKR may look to buy the player who has played for them before.
The franchises could also show keen interest in Indian uncapped players who showed their ability to hit hard in the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy -- Shahrukh Khan (Tamil Nadu), Vishnu Solanki (Baroda), and Mohammed Azharuddeen (Kerala).
Another player who would be followed keenly at the auction would be Sachin Tendulkar’s son, Arjun. He is a left-arm seamer who has played just two T20s for Mumbai. RCB, who have released Shivam Dube, could go for him.
Here’s a look at how all the eight franchises look before the auction...
Chennai Super Kings (CSK):
Purse: Rs 19.90 cr; Slots left: 6; Overseas slots left: 1
Retained players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore.
Delhi Capitals (DC):
Purse: Rs 13.40 cr; Slots left: 8; Overseas slots left: 3
Retained players: Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes.
Punjab Kings (PK):
Purse: Rs 53.20 cr; Slots left: 9; Overseas slots left: 5
Retained players: KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR):
Purse: Rs 10.75 cr; Slots left: 8; Overseas slots left: 2
Retained players: Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert
Mumbai Indians (MI):
Purse: Rs 15.35 cr; Slots left: 7; Overseas slots left: 4
Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohsin Khan
Purse: Rs 37.85 cr; Slots left: 9 ; Overseas slots left: 3
Retained players: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Robin Uthappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Andrew Tye
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB):
Purse: Rs 35.40 cr ; Slots left: 11; Overseas slots left: 3
Retained players: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md. Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Phillipe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH):
Purse: Rs 10.75 cr; Slots left: 3; Overseas slots left: 1
Retained players: David Warner, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad.
You can watch the IPL 2021 auction Live Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar from 3pm onwards.
(with agency inputs)