IPL 2021: Full squads, strengths, and weakness of IPL teams
Within months of the conclusion of IPL 2020, we are ready for another hit season of the Indian Premier League. Ahead of the 14th edition of the league, there was a mini-auction organized by the BCCI. It was some mega buys and some surprise inclusions.
Mumbai Indians boast of the most-balanced and complete squad in the league. The defending champions, with the core intact, needed few overseas pace options. They successfully bid for Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Milne. The experienced and newly bought Piyush Chawla will be adding depth to the wrist-spin department. Even Zaheer Khan looked happy while talking about the vast experience of Chawla.
For Mumbai Indians, the auction was mostly about strengthening the reserve bench. In the process, they got players like James Neesham. There was some excitement around Arjun Tendulkar. Although many franchises were not keen on bidding for the junior Tendulkar, Mumbai Indians did not lose the chance of having the hometown player.
Delhi Capitals had a fantastic journey to the finale last time. They had few specific areas to address in the IPL 2021 auction, and they came with a specific plan to work on the loopholes. They mainly required an overseas batsman at the top in Jason Roy’s place, and they got Steve Smith. They needed a senior Indian bowler, and they opted for Umesh Yadav.
The satisfaction at the Delhi Capitals table after acquiring Umesh revealed how well they were following their strategy. They also got an Indian back-up wicketkeeper for Rishabh Pant in the form of Vishnu Vinod, apart from having Sam Billings, an overseas wicketkeeper-batsman. They had to buy an overseas batting all-rounder as back-up for Marcus Stoinis, but they failed to manage one.
Sunrisers Hyderabad can give tough competition to any other franchise with some high-profile names in their batting order. But the Hyderabad side had the target of fixing instability in the middle-order in the auction. They got Kedar Jadhav, and the senior experienced Indian batsman should deliver the much-required stability.
Sunrisers Hyderabad got Mujeeb Ur Rahman which means Mujeeb will be bowling alongside Rashid Khan. Sunrisers Hyderabad currently has three Afghanistan players in their team as they already had Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan.
Mujeeb is the third addition from the neighbouring country. However, the Hyderabad-based franchise required an overseas fast bowler. They failed to get one on board and have to manage whatever resources they have for the time being.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
After a decent run in the last edition of the Indian Premier League, it came as a surprise when Royal Challengers Bangalore decided to release 10 players in ahead of the auction, including the one like Chris Morris. They clearly had a lot of work to do in the auction. And they had a plan to bid for Morris.
It seemed his previous franchise wanted to have him for a lesser salary bracket, but Morris went on to break all the records to become the most expensive player in the history of IPL. Bangalore had to settle with Maxwell, which means the middle-order gets stability.
They still do not have an Indian middle-order batsman, which might hurt their cause. They got Kyle Jamieson for a whopping Rs 15 crore, and he should be filling in as a fast-bowling all-rounder.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Harbhajan Singh, who was unsold in the first round, found a new Kolkata Knight Riders team. The Riders went to strengthen their spin attack by adding the experienced Harbhajan Singh to the squad. Having the legend on board means having a world-class mentor for the juniors as well.
Also, in case Sunil Narine has to be subbed, Singh is any day a great back-up. Kolkata Knight Riders stacked up Shakib Al Hasan, and considering the kind of player Shakib is; this was a great buy. Back from the suspension, even Shakib would be well motivated to give his best again on the field. Ben Cutting is another all-rounder KKR went for. With these, KKR successfully solved their issue with finishers too, but they probably lack a back-up opener.
Punjab Kings had the biggest purse in the auction and spent most of their money on two Australian bowlers, Richardson and Meredith. At times the Kings seemed to have gone overboard with some players. Thankfully, they could ensure the services of Dawid Malan and Shahrukh Khan. They managed to get several back-up all-rounders like Moises Henriques and Fabian Allen, who can be useful in place of Chris Jordan in case of injuries.
However, Punjab Kings still lack an Indian pace bowling option. Mohammed Shami and the Aussie duo have all the potential, but apart from these high-profile names, the unit looks slightly inexperienced. The full squad looks quite solid and should be doing well in the league if used smartly.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings had a forgettable tournament last year, and they cannot wait to get on the field to do justice to their old reputation. For the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League, MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings ended the tournament at the 7th position. In the IPL auction, therefore, they had to buy some key players for a strong comeback.
Chennai Super Kings became the reason for the comeback for Cheteshwar Pujara. It was a bit surprising but interesting bid. While they went for some base price buys, they stacked up two players for a total of 16.25 crore. Chennai Super Kings’ challenge was to get some young players on board to strengthen the core balance. However, they needed a back-up opener.
Rajasthan Royals needed a top-order batsman to fill in the gap for Steve Smith. Unfortunately, the target remained unaccomplished, and they failed to secure any such buy on the auction day.
However, they were lucky with players Chris Morris and Mustafizur Rahman, who can support Jofra Archer with the new ball at the deaths. Morris, however, was a massive buy, and the management would expect to see him at his best to justify the sum. For the injury-prone Archer, they required some back-ups, and the area remains a concern.
The Royals once again went for some young domestic talents for which they are famous. Hopefully, the Rajasthan-based franchise would cover the weaknesses they still have with their available core players.
|Mumbai Indians||Rohit Sharma (capt), Adam Milne, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Neesham, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Yudhvir Singh Charak
|Delhi Capitals||Shreyas Iyer (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Chris Woakes, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Lalit Yadav, Lukman Meriwala, Manimaran Siddharth, Marcus Stoinis, Praveen Dubey, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Ripal Patel, Rishabh Pant, Sam Billings, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Steven Smith, Tom Curran, Umesh Yadav, Vishnu Vinod
|Sunrisers Hyderabad||David Warner (capt), Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jagadeesha Suchith, Jason Holder, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Kedar Jadhav, Khaleel Ahmed, Manish Pandey, Mitchell Marsh, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Priyam Garg, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Virat Singh, Wriddhiman Saha
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||Virat Kohli (capt), AB de Villiers, Adam Zampa, Daniel Christian, Daniel Sams, Devdutt Padikkal, Glenn Maxwell, Harshal Patel, Joshua Philippe, Kane Richardson, KS Bharat, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Pavan Deshpande, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Shahbaz Ahmed, Suyash Prabhudessai, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal
|Kolkata Knight Riders||Eoin Morgan (capt), Andre Russell, Ben Cutting, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, Pawan Negi, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Tim Seifert, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravathi, Venkatesh Iyer
|Punjab Kings||KL Rahul (capt), Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Jalaj Saxena, Jhye Richardson, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Moises Henriques, Murugan Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Riley Meredith, Sarfaraz Khan, Saurabh Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, Utkarsh Singh|
|Chennai Super Kings||MS Dhoni (capt), Ambati Rayudu, C Hari Nishanth, Cheteshwar Pujara, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Harisankar Reddy, Imran Tahir, Josh Hazlewood, K Bhagath Varma, K Gowtham, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Moeen Ali, Narayan Jagadeesan, R Sai Kishore, Ravindra Jadeja, Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Suresh Raina
|Rajasthan Royals||Sanju Samson (capt), Akash Singh, Andrew Tye, Anuj Rawat, Ben Stokes, Chetan Sakariya, Chris Morris, David Miller, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Kartik Tyagi, KC Cariappa, Kuldip Yadav, Liam Livingstone, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Mustafizur Rahman, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Gopal, Yashasvi Jaiswal