While the IPL 2021 auction is done and dusted , as we reflect on some of the unsold players in the list , it gets more obvious that many names in the unsold list should have found a team in the auction. Many of them are expected to return in the mega auction of 2022 as the demands will obviously be higher. The only reason that can explain the name of some major players in unsold list is the lack of demand for certain spots which most teams having a set lineup and that the bowlers were more in demand than batters.
There were a plethora of openers who missed the bus : Jason Roy , Alex Hales , Evin Lewis , Shaun Marsh and Mathew Wade . Even though demands for openers were less , both Jason Roy and Alex Hales not finding a team is surprising . Both are gun players and cannot be ignored in any auction . Also Mathew Wade too as he has showed his expertise as a belligerent opener in T20s in BBL and also against India plus his keeping skills . Shaun Marsh and Evin Lewis are other lefthanders who missed the bus as well as Martin Guptill .
There were middle order missouts too , Alex Carey released from Delhi did not find any team as also Marnus Labuschagne & Hanuma Vihari , both similar type players , solid middle orders and decent spinners . For both Marnus & Hanuma , the strike rate was the issue . Hanuma was recalled at the auction for 2nd time but was unfortunately not bought. Ben McDermott was another aggressive middle order and highly successful in BBL who could not find a team.
Even a few fast bowlers missed buyers . Isuru Udana , Varun Aaron did not have great IPLs in 2020 , hence were out of favour . There were expectations that Mitchel Mcclenaghan , experienced left arm seamer released by Mumbai Indians and experienced in IPL , might get a buyer but surprisingly went unsold along with another Kiwi Neil Wagner . Also surprising that Ankit Rajpoot , did not get a buyer . He has good pace and is a wicket taker . Could have expected a team like Punjab Kings buying him to strengthen their reserves and also get a good Indian fast bowler as both their new overseas recruits Jhye Richardson and Meredith are inexperienced in IPL .
However with mega auctions next season many of the above players can expect buyers next year.
*** by Amitava Mukherjee