On Thursday (18 February) the mini player’s auction for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw 57 out of a pool of 292 cricketers getting picked across the eight franchises. Prior to the 14th edition of the IPL this auction provided the teams an opportunity to plug the loopholes in their respective squads and at the end of the day the franchises eventually got what they were looking for.
In this piece we will highlight how current defending champions and five-time winner Mumbai Indians (MI) and last year’s runner-up Delhi Capitals (DC) went about their business in this player’s auction.
Players bought: Seven
Purse spent: Rs 11.70 Cr
Purse left: Rs 3.65 Cr
Squad strength: 25
Players retained: Rohit Sharma (c), 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
Full list of players Mumbai purchased:
Nathan Coulter-Nile Bowler Rs 5,00,00,000
Adam Milne Bowler Rs 3,20,00,000
Piyush Chawla Bowler Rs 2,40,00,000
James Neesham All-Rounder Rs 50,00,000
Yudhvir Charak All-Rounder Rs 20,00,000
Marco Jansen All-Rounder Rs 20,00,000
Arjun Tendulkar All-Rounder Rs 20,00,000
As predicted, the primary focus for Mumbai in this auction was adding versatility in their bowling attack. Earlier, they offloaded their foreign pace quartet of Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile. To fill those slots they repurchased Coulter-Nile for Rs 5 crore alongside securing the services of New Zealand’s Adam Milne and young South African pace bowling all-rounder Marco Jansen. The experience of Milne and Coulter-Nile will add value to their fantastic pace bowling department whereas the left-armer Jansen seems like a back-up for Trent Boult and of course an investment for the future.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) February 19, 2021
The think-tank also trusted the all-round skills of James Neesham, who had a horrible outing in the last IPL for Kings XI Punjab. The Kiwi all-rounder primarily seems like a cover for someone like Kieron Pollard and unlikely to feature in the first-choice XI. The management further beefed up their spin attack by picking up Piyush Chawla, who will give Rahul Chahar a stiff competition for a spot in the playing XI.
Yudhvir Charak and Arjun Tendulkar have come in as uncapped all-rounders and are unlikely to be a part of their scheme of things in the upcoming season.
Players bought: Eight
Purse spent: Rs 10.65 cr
Purse left: Rs 2.15 cr
Squad strength: 25
Players retained: Shreyas Iyer (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes
Full list of players SRH purchased:
Tom Curran All-Rounder Rs 5,25,00,000
Steven Smith Batsman Rs 2,20,00,000
Sam Billings Wicket Keeper Rs 2,00,00,000
Umesh Yadav Bowler Rs 1,00,00,000
Ripal Patel All-Rounder Rs 20,00,000
Vishnu Vinod Wicket Keeper Rs 20,00,000
Lukman Hussain Meriwala Bowler Rs 20,00,000
M Siddharth Bowler Rs 20,00,000
Quite surprisingly, Delhi started proceedings in the auction by adding Steve Smith in their already saturated batting-up. The move has raised a few eyebrows as this team already has a settled top-four and it will be pretty tough for the team management to accommodate Smith in the line-up.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) February 18, 2021
Meanwhile, Capitals needed a quality third seamer in their attack to support Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, and found it in Umesh Yadav – who was purchased at his base price of Rs 1 Cr. The pacer is expected to be in their starting line-up ahead of the injury-prone Ishant Sharma.
Delhi also snapped in bowling all-rounder Tom Curran for a slightly higher price tag. Primarily, he is expected to be a cover for Marcus Stoinis. They also picked up wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings to fill up the vacant slot of Alex Carey. Billings can open the batting as well and in case Prithvi Shaw struggles with his form, he will come into the scheme of things. If required, Delhi can also use Billings as a finisher as well.
Amongst the uncapped picks, left-arm spinner M Siddharth seems like a like-for-like cover of Axar Patel. As a back-up Indian wicket-keeper they roped in in-form Kerala player Vishnu Vinod. The other two purchases are Baroda left-arm pacer Lukman Meriwala and Gujarat batsman Ripal Patel.