There's still some time to go for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but the players' auction is upon us. The 2021 auction will take place in Chennai on 18 February. A total of 61 slots can be filled on Thursday, 39 of which will go to Indian players.
A total of 164 Indian players, capped and uncapped, are up for grabs including some very big names. We take a look at 10 Indian players who can spark a bidding war at IPL auction 2021.
The veteran Indian off-spinner gave the previous edition a miss and has been released by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) but all that should not do any harm to his reputation. He had a terrific season in 2019 and has an impressive overall record in the league, having collected 150 wickets in 160 matches at an economy rate of 7.05. 'Bhajji', as he is called by his teammates, is a prime candidate to spark a bidding war at the auction.
Another spinner, who could make headlines at the auction is the Uttar Pradesh tweaker. Just like Harbhajan, Chawla has been released by CSK as the franchise aims to infuse youngsters into its setup, but Chawla comes into the auction with a wealth of experience and a bag of tricks. Third in the all-time wicket-taking charts of IPL, Chawla has 156 wickets from 164 matches at an economy rate of 7.87.
The Indian pacer may not rank among your favourite Indian fast bowlers from the IPL but Yadav has all the experience and talent that a franchise seeks during an auction. A proven performer at the international level, Yadav has 119 wickets from 121 IPL matches. His economy rate of 8.51 can be an issue but he compensates for that with his pace, swing and wicket-taking abilities.
The Maharashtra cricketer is another victim of the exodus that took place at CSK. Still, he should not face any problem finding a suitor in the auction. With a healthy strike rate of 124.15 and 1,141 runs from 87 matches, Jadhav has shown over the years that he can be a handy finisher. Teams always are on the lookout for good Indian talent and Jadhav definitely fits that bill.
With 34 wickets from 50 matches at an economy rate of 7.86, Negi certainly has a decent record and that could make him a hot property in the auction. He has recently struggled to control the flow of runs and that has led to him being sidelined, but his past experience and the fact that he is an India player who could also score some runs can work in his favour.
The last time Dube was in the auction he attracted a bid of Rs 5 crore from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). After two seasons, he is back in the auction and would once again gather a lot of attention. Dube's growth trajectory hasn't exactly been as it was expected but he has improved as a batsman and can take crucial wickets when required. We have seen glimpses of his talent in the international arena and he is set for an exciting auction.
Uncapped Azharuddeen has a base price of Rs 20 lakh but can go for a lot more after his recent Mushtaq Ali Trophy heroics. In the tournament, he scored 214 runs from just five matches playing for Kerala and all those runs came at a mind-boggling strike rate of 194.54. He looks destined to become a crorepati.
Another hard-hitting youngster who impressed in the domestic T20 tournament was Services player Rahul Singh. The 25-year-old amassed 244 runs in just five matches at an impressive strike rate of 176.81. The game is shifting towards the mindset of having players who accelerate from word 'go' and Rahul provides exactly that.
The Saurashtra batsman also had a successful Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign as he put his hat in the ring to become a crorepati in the 2021 auction. In five matches, Barot accumulated 283 runs at a strike rate of 184.96.
The Saurashtra pacer has many things working in his favour. He is a left-arm fast bowler and that would provide an extra dimension to the teams. Besides this, Sakariya also had a successful campaign at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he picked up 12 wickets in just five matches, but the most impressive thing about his performance was the miserly economy rate of 4.90. A left-arm pacer who can take wicket without giving away much runs, what more can you ask for!
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Over 80 percent of RCB’s available purse at the auction was shelled out in acquiring Kyle Jamieson and Glenn Maxwell.
Here's how Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) went about their business in this player's auction.
"Then the first paddle went up, which was probably (only) like 10 seconds or five seconds (later), but it felt like a lifetime. I feel like I played a game yesterday. I mentally exhausted myself of feeling all these emotions, of feeling sick and excited," Richardson said.