IPL 2021 auctions saw most of the teams getting what they wanted. Many franchisees were able to fill in the gaps from the auctions while few teams bolstered their squad. Teams like Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore spent big money on players like Chris Morris and Kyle Jamieson respectively. The newly christened Punjab Kings weren’t far behind in the auction. They acquired the services of pacers like Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith. The other teams opted for balance and player backups as well. Here we go rank IPL teams based on their final squads
StumpsandBails ranks the 8 IPL teams based on their final squads:
#8 Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings had a terrific top-order ahead of the IPL 2021 auctions. KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, and Nicholas Pooran form their core. They needed a solid middle-order option that could provide solidity and explosiveness at the death.
The Punjab franchise had the maximum purse to acquire such a player (Steve Smith or a Shakib Al Hasan). But strangely they didn’t go all out buying them. They rather opted for Dawid Malan who is a like-to-like replacement for Chris Gayle.
The Kings needed an experienced Indian pacer to support Mohammad Shami but they rather invested heavily on imports like Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith. Their middle order weakness and Indian pace bowling might come back to hurt them.
#7 Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings were clearly lacking an explosive opener especially with the retirement of Shane Watson. It was expected that the yellow brigade will go for someone like Alex Hales or Jason Roy to fill the gap. But they went for neither of them. They did try going in for Maxwell but couldn’t get him in and managed to bag Moeen Ali who they can probably use as a floater.
They splurged heavily on Krishnappa Gowtham who can be a handy lower-order batsman and a useful spinner. The CSK squad still gives a feeling that they might have missed a trick or two in the auction.
#6 Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise were always on the lookout for a strong middle-order batting option. They picked up veteran Kedar Jadhav for INR 2 crores to bring in experience. Jadhav may bring in experience but his best years as a batsman is well behind him. It will be interesting to see how he adds value to the setup.
Apart from the middle-order issue, SRH were sorted on almost all counts. They have brought in Mujeeb Ur Rahman as a backup for Rashid Khan and have added Jagadeesha Suchith to their ranks too.
#5 Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders missed out on a playoffs berth by a whisker last year. They had their top-order batting combinations to be blamed. They wanted someone who could slot in with Shubman Gill to open the innings. KKR managed to bring in Karun Nair for that role.
The Best Buy for KKR in the auction was the acquisition of Shakib Al Hasan. He is an apt replacement for Sunil Narine. While KKR also bought in Ben Cutting who will be a backup for injury-prone Andre Russell. KKR have added 25 players to the squad for the first time in the last 4 years. It is fair to say they have had a good auction.
#4 Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals shed all the tag of being a money-ball team this auction. They broke the record by fetching Chris Morris for a whopping INR 16.25 crores. Morris will complement Jofra Archer beautifully. They also acquired the services of Shivam Dube who will prove to be a great middle-order option. Royals have also brought in Mustafizur Rahman into the mix. They have a terrific starting XI who can run any opponent down on their day.
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise mixed the big buys with valuable purchases at the auction. They bought in big-ticket players like Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson to the mix while they also brought Dan Christian into the squad.
RCB signed domestic star Mohammad Azharuddeen who could potentially open the batting alongside Devdutt Padikkal. This will leave with a middle-order comprising Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, and Kyle Jamieson. Beat that for a batting line-up!
#2 Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals surprised everyone when they bought Steve Smith for just above his base price. They later got in Umesh Yadav for his base price. Smith and Yadav bring in rich IPL experience while the signing of Tom Curran provides backup for the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.
DC also got in Sam Billings who could be the backup wicket-keeping option as well as a backup for a player like Shimron Hetymer. They will be hoping to go one better this season and will believe they have the arsenal to do it.
#1 Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians had very little to do in the IPL 2021 auctions as they already had their starting XI ready. They were primarily looking for backups and they ended up getting that. MI retained Nathan Coulter-Nile for a lesser price as compared to last year.
They have brought in Marco Jansen who will be an ideal backup for Trent Boult while Jimmy Neesham will shadow Kieron Pollard. The MI side is a world-beating one and it will take a miracle to overcome them this season too.