IPL 2021 Auctions : Maxwell , Jamieson, Morris , Richardson attract eyeballs and dollars

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Finally the much awaited IPL 2021 auction got through and as predicted in cricnews24 website  Punjab Kings , Royal Challengers Bangaluru and Rajasthan  Royals were the busiest teams at the auction and most of the high price tags travelled through their biddings . KKR , CSK , SRH and Mumbai Indians had a much quieter presence .

The beief teamwise round up in the aftermath of  the Auction is as under.: 

Chennai Super Kings :  With already a settled team , made two major buys in Moeen Ali (7cr) & Gowtham (9.25 cr) both going at higher price than expected as multiple teams went for them . Pujara was more of an emotional buy after his resilience in India’s greatest series win abroad . Moeen to add value with his off spin & batting.

Royal Challengers Bangaluru :  Had to plug few loopholes . Unpredictable Glen Maxwell bought at 14.25 crs. Went to buy back  Morris whom they had released before auction  but went over their budget so had to go all out for Jamieson & finally succeeded in getting him at high price of 15 cr.  Jamieson had a great international debut but will play in India for 1st time . They further bought BBL legend Dan Christan for 4.8cr . Only time will tell whether Maxwell , Jamieson can add more value to the flawed  franchisee .

Delhi Capitals :  Settled team , hence hardly had to break a sweat but getting Steve Smith at 2.2 crs, Umesh Yadav at 1 cr & Sam Billings at 20 lacs are absolute windfall buys . Smith may well be needed to bolster up a fragile season 2020-end batting in many games . Umesh can provide an Indian fast bowling option apart from Ishant  in an otherwise settled team.

Mumbai Indians : Did not require to do much . Bought back Coulter Nile at 5 lacs and got kiwi quick Milne.  Finally as expected bought Arjun Tendulkar at base price  to start his IPL journey . Also hiked the prices of some buys of other franchisees to erode their purchasing power. 

Kolkata Knight riders : Another settled unit . Got back old guard Shakib Al Hasan at a relatively cheap 3.2 crs who should figure in 1st XI . Cheap buys of Karun Nair , Harbhajan Singh will bolster their reserves while getting quality players.  Ben Cutting at 75 lac is another good buy for them . A good enough player to feature in 1st XI if needed . 

Rajasthan Royals : They needed a good fast bowler and got Morris after a herculean tug of war with several teams in the fray . Finally Morris was bought at an all time IPL record of 16.25 cr . Hopefully he will add value and exceed all expectations after getting this huge price tag. Shivam Dubey was a good buy for them though at a somewhat higher price of 4.4 cr. Mustafizur Rahman was bought at a cheap 1 cr  who will add value on slower decks.  Rest of the team pretty settled.

Sunrisers Hyderabad : With very settled unit , was hardly visible at the auction . Bought Mujibur Rahman at a cheap price of 1.5 crore and now have a strong Afghan contingent with Rashid & Nabi in same  team . 

Punjab Kings :  They needed some replenishments and went all out to get them . As expected bolstered their pace attack with Australian pace of talented Jhye Richardson ( 14 cr) and Roy Meredith (8 cr) after strong tussle with other franchisees . Surprisingly did not go for Shakib and could not get Moeen. Henriques purchased at 4.2 cr is another good resource. They gained a lot by getting Dawid Malan (1.5cr) & Fabian Allen (75 lac) cheaply  to bolster their strong reserves . Both good enough to feature in 1st XI . They should have gone for another good Indian fast bowling option .  Overall the  Punjab owners should be happy with their replenishments.

** by Amitava Mukherjee

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