The mini-auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will take place in Chennai on Thursday (February 18). Just like every season, It’s going to be an event where a mix of uncapped and experienced players will go under the hammer.
Earlier this week, all the eight franchises had announced their list of released players. As many as 55 players were released including some big names of the fascinating sport. All the eight teams will work hard to pick some top players.
Three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had released the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Murali Vijay and Kedar Jadhav and they will try to explore all options in order to make a good combination.
CSK had a dreadful IPL 2020 season in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their IPL history.
The Super Kings still have spots left for one overseas and six Indians, and it will be interesting to see what combination CSK shall choose for the 2021 edition.
Let’s have a look at four players CSK might target in the upcoming auctions:
1.) Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell had a terrible IPL 2020, where he failed to score even one six while playing for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Despite consistent poor performances in the previous season, the KXIP management kept backing him for his splendid experience in the shortest format. However, the Australian couldn’t deliver in a single match. As a result, KXIP decided to release him ahead of the IPL 2021 auction.
In 13 matches, Maxwell could only score 108 runs at a miserable average of 15.42 and scalped three wickets in total. But as soon as he went back to Australia and wore the colourful jersey against India in the limited-overs series, Maxi surprised everyone. The right-handed batsman smashed 167 runs in three ODIs – at a strike-rate of 194.18.
After the series against India, Maxi shined with the willow in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21. The Victorian amassed 379 runs from 14 games at a strike-rate of 143.56 with three half-centuries. CSK needs a batting all-rounder down the order who could score quick runs and bowl few overs in the middle and Maxwell is a perfect choice for this role.
2.) Dawid Malan
Not only CSK, quite a few other teams might try for Dawid Malan in the upcoming auction process. . The T20 specialist has never been part of IPL but has scored plenty of runs in other T20 leagues.
The left-handed batsman is currently the No.1 ranked batsman in T20I rankings, and he can boost any team’s middle-order.
The English cricketer has so far played 19 T20Is and scored 855 runs in with a spectacular average of 53.43.
3.) Siddhesh Lad
Siddhesh Lad is a pretty popular name in the domestic circuit. The top-order batsman is known for his steady temperament, Siddhesh Lad and ability to take on the bowlers from the word go. Lad, who emerged as Mumbai’s ‘crisis man’ at first-class level, has played only one IPL match so far.
Back in April 2019, Lad opened the batting alongside Quinton de Kock in a match against KXIP at Wankhede Stadium. But he could not leave his impact in the game after Mohammed Shami cleaned him up for 15 runs. Since then he hasn’t played any other IPL match.
Ahead of the 2021 auctions, MI released the right-handed batsman from the squad. Lad has overall played 48 T20s, scoring 730 runs at a strike-rate of 121 with three half-centuries. He has also taken 18 wickets with his off-spin bowling. Considering his all-round ability, Lad can be picked by CSK in the 2021 auction.
4.) Krishnappa Gowtham
A Street-cricket smartness and ability to turn the game on its head, Krishnappa Gowtham is a supremely talented player. Gowtham, who hails from Karnataka, is a top-quality off-spinner and explosive lower-order batsman.
The Bangalore-born has so far appeared in 24 IPL matches, where he has picked up 13 wickets at an impressive strike-rate of 31.38 with 2/12 being his best.
With 186 runs from 19 innings, Gowtham has shown that he can bat and add some crucial runs down the order. He last played for KXIP in IPL 2020 against MI. The right-armer scalped one wicket in 4 overs. Ahead of the 2021 auctions, the Mohali-based franchise released him.