The player auction for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) took place on February 18 in Chennai.
Most teams participated actively in the auction even though a limited number of players were on offer, but not all came away with what they were looking for. While some teams struck gold with value additions, others were left rueing what could have been.
In this article, we rate (out of 10) each team's auction business from worst to best. Note: Incoming trades which happened ahead of the IPL 2021 auction have also been considered.
#8 Punjab Kings - 5/10
Bought Players: Shahrukh Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Saurabh Kumar, Fabian Allen, Moises Henriques, Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan
Objectively speaking, PBKS didn't have a poor auction like the rating suggests as they acquired top-class T20 players such as Dawid Malan and Shahrukh Khan.
But their signings didn't really help plug the holes on the roster. The pace department needed beefing up, and Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith were signed with the same in mind. The prices, however, were exorbitant to say the least, and left PBKS without enough funds to sign even one world-class all-rounder.
KL Rahul doesn't have a single reliable all-rounder to call upon, and PBKS really should've made that their first priority in the IPL 2021 auction. Moreover, Richardson and Meredith are entirely untested at the IPL level, while many of the others aren't even going to be close to a spot in the playing XI.
#7 Royal Challengers Bangalore - 5/10
Bought Players: Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat
Traded Players: Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel
Only time will tell whether RCB had a good IPL auction or not, as their buys have the potential to be massive hits while also having the risk to be resounding flops.
Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson were signed for a combined amount of almost INR 30 crores. While the former has a shambolic IPL track record, Jamieson seemed like a good signing before being taken to the cleaners by Australia.
RCB also acquired Indian keepers in Mohammed Azharuddeen and KS Bharat, but quite where they fit into the batting lineup remains to be seen. At the end of the day, Virat Kohli is left without death bowlers, middle-order batsmen and depth once again, although Dan Christian might prove to be an astute buy.
On paper, and according to recent form, RCB may be on the wrong end of yet another IPL auction.
#6 Rajasthan Royals - 6/10
Bought Players: Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, K C Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
RR splashed the cash on Chris Morris and acquired a solid Indian all-rounder in Shivam Dube, but overall they might be a touch disappointed with their buys in the IPL 2021 auction.
They had to shell out INR 16.25 crores for a player who isn't even part of his national team, while the Indian players they signed aren't going to compete for a spot in the playing XI. But at the time, Morris seemed to be a decent purchase to support Jofra Archer.
Archer is now going to miss a portion of IPL 2021, and RR are left short-handed in the pace department. They find themselves heavily reliant on their overseas core once again.
#5 Sunrisers Hyderabad - 6.5/10
Bought Players: Kedar Jadhav, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
SRH had very few spots available on the roster, and the two Indian players they purchased are decent additions. While Jadhav adds a wealth of experience to the previously struggling lower-middle order, Suchith proved his worth to the team even when he wasn't in the playing XI in IPL 2020.
But SRH could've done better with their final pick, Mujeeb. While the spinner joins a growing Afghanistan contingent in the side, there's next to no chance of him making the XI. The franchise might have been better served going after a player who would've been more than a backup.
Given the budget and spot constraints they had, though, SRH had a decent IPL auction - as usual.