Just two months after the conclusion of the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the preparations for the next season have begun in full swing. With the completion of the three-year cycle, mega auctions were scheduled to be held this year.
However, the time constraint because of the small gap between the two editions has meant that the plan has been postponed to next year. The franchises submitted the names of the retained and released players for IPL 2021 on 20 January 2021. A total of 57 players were let go by the franchises with Royal Challengers Bangalore releasing the maximum of ten members. Sunrisers Hyderabad released just five.
Here is the purse available for the teams before the auction (in INR Cr).
KXIP 53.20, RCB 35.90, RR 34.85, CSK 22.90,
MI 15.35, DC 12.9018, KKR 10.75, SRH 10.75
The teams have opted to retain the core and would try to plug the holes during the trading window and subsequent auctions. Among them, KXIP and RCB have the highest purse available. They would be the busiest teams at the auctions as they also have the most vacant slots.
The IPL auctions can be quite tricky as the teams have to shell out a huge sum of money to acquire the services of an in-demand player. Hence, they have to be well placed in terms of available purse heading into the auctions.
Thus, the franchises find it difficult to continue with all the expensive players on their roster for the next season. Consequently, they are forced to release a few to free the funds. There have been instances of teams buying back their released players for a lesser amount during the auctions. For example, Jaydev Unadkat was bought by Rajasthan Royals in 2018, 2019, 2020 at INR 11.5 Cr, 8.4 Cr, 3 Cr respectively.
In this article, let us have a look at some released expensive players that the IPL franchises may buy back for a lower sum during the auctions.
#3 Chris Morris
2020 Team: RCB, Salary: INR 10 Cr
He missed the initial part of IPL 2020 due to injury but impressed later. Morris picked 11 wickets in nine matches at a good economy rate of 6.63. In the limited opportunities with the bat, he did not contribute much. Morris was among the ten players released by the Bangalore franchise.
In a video posted by Royal Challengers Bangalore on Twitter, their Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson pointed out that Morris had not played any competitive cricket post the IPL 2020. It would have thus been a risk retaining him at such a high price. Hesson also hinted at their interest in him, terming the South African as a good player and that they would see what happens at the auctions.
The all-rounder can be a match-winner both with the bat and the ball. It is likely that the management would try to get him back at a lower price during the IPL auctions.
Latest IPL Auction 2021 news & updates available now on Sportskeeda.
#2 Glenn Maxwell
2020 Team: KXIP, Salary: INR 10.75 Cr
Having been adjudged the Man of the Series in the ODI series in England, the Australian could not replicate his form in the IPL. He returned with just 108 runs in 13 games at a poor average of 15.42. To make matters worse, Maxwell could not hit even a single six in IPL 2020, ending with a low strike rate of 101.88.
With the low returns and a high price, he was duly released by the franchise. However, the Aussie has been in decent form at the Big Bash League 2020-21. He has scored 379 runs in 14 matches at an impressive strike rate of 143.56, with 17 hits over the fence. Knowing the Punjab-based franchise’s fondness for him, it would not be a surprise if they bid for Maxwell again during the auctions.
#1 Steve Smith
2020 Team: RR, Salary: INR 12.5 Cr
Steve Smith was retained by Rajasthan Royals before the 2018 mega IPL auctions for a whopping amount of INR 12.5 crores. He took over the captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane towards the end of the 2019 season.
The Royals failed to make it to the IPL playoffs in both the 2019 and the 2020 seasons. They finished at the bottom of the points table in the latter, despite a great start to the campaign at Sharjah.
Smith’s personal form was also not that great as he scored just 311 runs at a low average of 25.91. There were several debatable calls as a captain too and the management opted for a change this season, naming the Kerala wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson as their captain. However, it came as a surprise that they did not retain a world-class batsman like Smith even as a player.
Smith is a class player and the Royals might apply the Jaydev Unadkat-style strategy to get him back at a lower price at the IPL auctions.