South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris became the most expensive player signed up for the Indian Premier League through the auction when Rajasthan Royals paid Rs 16.25 crore for him in Chennai on Thursday.
Among Indian players, Krishnappa Gowtham set a new record for an uncapped domestic player with his move to Chennai Super Kings, while Shivam Dube and Shahrukh Khan also attracted multi-crore bids.
A host of stars picked up hefty contracts for the 10-week tournament that is scheduled to start in April and expected to be played in India.
The fee for the 33-year-old Morris smashed the record Rs 16 crore paid for Yuvraj Singh by Delhi in 2015. Australian bowler Pat Cummins had previously been the most expensive foreign player, when he went to KKR for IPL 2020.
The IPL clubs opened up their cheque books without worries about building for the long term, with the next auction set to be for a major squad reshuffle.
New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for 20 times his start price at the auction. Bangalore also bought Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for big money after another bidding battle. Maxwell, 32, was released by Punjab Kings after last season.
Here are the squads of all eight teams and the list of players bought:
(Scroll sideways or swipe right to view all columns. Players added to squad are highlighted in bold.)
Chennai Super Kings
Reports of a rebuilding proved to be greatly exaggerated when CSK announced their retentions and this auction was always going to be about playing it safe with one or two additions. In Moeen Ali, they might have a much-needed power-hitting floater in their lineup and can be a top signing. Gowtham too will play a significant role with his finger-spin and big-hitting, two areas CSK are weak at.
CSK squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Suresh Raina||Deepak Chahar||MS Dhoni||Dwayne Bravo|
|Ambati Rayudu||KM Asif||N Jagadeesan||Mitchell Santner|
|Faf du Plessis||Imran Tahir||Ravindra Jadeja|
|Ruturaj Gaikwad||Karn Sharma||Sam Curran|
|Robin Uthappa (trade)||Lungi Ngidi||K Gowtham|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||Shardul Thakur||Moeen Ali|
|C Hari Nishaanth||Josh Hazlewood||K Bhagat Verma|
|R Sai Kishore|
|M Harisankar Reddy|
Players bought by CSK at auction
|Krishnappa Gowtham||All-Rounder||Rs 92500000|
|Moeen Ali||All-Rounder||Rs 70000000|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||Batsman||Rs 5000000|
|K.Bhagath Varma||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|C Hari Nishaanth||Batsman||Rs 2000000|
|M. Harisankar Reddy||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
Did the Delhi team need Steve Smith? Anchor-type batsmen is not exactly a problem area for the side. But when a player of that quality is available for Rs 2.2 crore, suppose the right decision would be go for it. It will perhaps be good to have Smith in the leadership group too. Otherwise the franchise focussed largely on getting uncapped Indian players in getting squad roles. Tom Curran and Umesh Yadav are good purchases to back-up their lead South African pacers, if they are not available early on.
DC squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Shreyas Iyer||Amit Mishra||Rishabh Pant||Axar Patel|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Avesh Khan||Sam Billings||R Ashwin|
|Prithvi Shaw||Ishant Sharma||Vishnu Vinod||Marcus Stoinis|
|Shikhar Dhawan||Kagiso Rabada||Lalit Yadav|
|Shimron Hetmyer||Pravin Dubey||Chris Woakes|
|Steve Smith||Anrich Nortje||Tom Curran|
|Umesh Yadav||Ripal Patel|
Players bought by DC at auction
|Tom Curran||All-Rounder||Rs 52500000|
|Steven Smith||Batsman||Rs 22000000|
|Sam Billings||Wicket Keeper||Rs 20000000|
|Umesh Yadav||Bowler||Rs 10000000|
|Ripal Patel||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|Vishnu Vinod||Wicket Keeper||Rs 2000000|
|Lukman Hussain Meriwala||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
|M Siddharth||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
Kolkata Knight Riders
Have KKR really improved their batting lineup from 2020? It’s hard to say. The team struggled for consistency with their batting performances and by adding only Karun Nair and Shakib Al Hasan, it does not feel like they have addressed that issue. Of course, if DreRuss finds form and Gill shines at the top, then they might still be alright. Harbhajan’s addition is a good one for the squad that needed a finger spinner. Shakib is a steal at the price they got him for, but his availability and where he fits in the XI is still up in the air.
KKR squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Eoin Morgan||Kamlesh Nagarkoti||Dinesh Karthik||Andre Russell|
|Shubman Gill||Kuldeep Yadav||Sheldon Jackson||Sunil Narine|
|Nitish Rana||Lockie Ferguson||Pat Cummins|
|Rinku Singh||Prasidh Krishna||Shakib Al Hasan|
|Rahul Tripathi||Sandeep Warrier||Ben Cutting|
|Karun Nair||Shivam Mavi||Pawan Negi|
|Varun Chakravarthy||Venkatesh Iyer|
Players bought by KKR at auction
|Shakib Al Hasan||All-Rounder||Rs 32000000|
|Harbhajan Singh||Bowler||Rs 20000000|
|Ben Cutting||All-Rounder||Rs 7500000|
|Karun Nair||Batsman||Rs 5000000|
|Pawan Negi||All-Rounder||Rs 5000000|
|Venkatesh Iyer||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|Sheldon Jackson||Wicket Keeper||Rs 2000000|
|Vaibhav Arora||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
The defending champions had specific requirements after the players they released and they did a good job of taking care of that without going overboard. They were interested in Chris Morris and Jhye Richardson but went with Adam Milne and a return for Nathan Coulter-Nile, both good squad options. The addition of Piyush Chawla will keep Rahul Chahar on his toes. Arjun Tendulkar provides a left-arm option they like as well. The franchise is already talking up the potential of South African youngster Marco Jansen, that will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.
MI squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Rohit Sharma||Jasprit Bumrah||Quinton de Kock||Hardik Pandya|
|Suryakumar Yadav||Jayant Yadav||Ishan Kishan||Krunal Pandya|
|Chris Lynn||Rahul Chahar||Aditya Tare||Kieron Pollard|
|Saurabh Tiwary||Trent Boult||Anukul Roy|
|Anmolpreet Singh||Dhawal Kulkarni||James Neesham|
|Mohsin Khan||Yudhvir Charak|
|Nathan Coulter-Nile||Arjun Tendulkar|
Players bought by MI at auction
|Nathan Coulter-Nile||Bowler||Rs 50000000|
|Adam Milne||Bowler||Rs 32000000|
|Piyush Chawla||Bowler||Rs 24000000|
|James Neesham||All-Rounder||Rs 5000000|
|Yudhvir Charak||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|Marco Jansen||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|Arjun Tendulkar||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
The team that was supposed to be the busiest, of course, ended up being the busiest but they perhaps did not quite enjoy the auction they would have hoped for. Chris Morris, especially, was a clear first-choice they had in mind and were pipped to it by Rajasthan Royals. When you consider they finished the night with a full quota of players and still nearly Rs 19 crore left in their purse, one cannot help but wonder if they could have used their funds better to get their primary targets. They stopped short for Moeen Ali and Shakib al Hasan too, among other big names. As things stand, Shahrukh Khan might just be the most important addition they made to their batting lineup on the day, for the first XI.
Ultimately, they picked up a few smart options in Fabian Allen, Dawid Malan and Jalaj Saxena. And when you consider the potential of Jhye Richardson, their bowling unit does have an improved look from last season. Still, whether that’s enough to end the wait for a title, remains to be seen. But it is not easy to say at the moment if PBKS had a good auction, given the potential they had.
PBKS squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Mayank Agarwal||Mohammed Shami||KL Rahul||Deepak Hooda|
|Chris Gayle||Arshdeep Singh||Nicholas Pooran||Sharukh Khan|
|Mandeep Singh||Darshan Nalkande||Prabhsimran Singh||Moises Henriques|
|Sarfaraz Khan||Hardeep Brar||Fabian Allen|
|Dawid Malan||M Ashwin||Jalaj Saxena|
|Ishan Porel||Saurabh Kumar|
|Ravi Bishnoi||Utkarsh Singh|
Players bought by PBKS at auction
|Jhye Richardson||Bowler||Rs 140000000|
|Riley Meredith||Bowler||Rs 80000000|
|Shahrukh Khan||All-Rounder||Rs 52500000|
|Moises Henriques||All-Rounder||Rs 42000000|
|Dawid Malan||All-Rounder||Rs 15000000|
|Fabian Allen||All-Rounder||Rs 7500000|
|Jalaj Saxena||All-Rounder||Rs 3000000|
|Saurabh Kumar||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|Utkarsh Singh||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
The team that had the least work to do in the auction, did the least work as expected. The most interesting thing about their day was who they missed out on rather than who they picked up, with VVS Laxman saying that the franchise wanted Glenn Maxwell and saw slip him out of their price range (and then some.) Laxman also added that Shivam Dube was a target they missed out on and considering they ended the day with Rs 7 crore left in their kitty, it is another case of wondering whether they missed out on improving in areas where they had clear requirements. But, as such, Kedar Jadhav could still prove to be a shrewd acquisition for a top heavy side, if he can hit the ground running. Mujeeb is unlikely to feature heavily when Mohammad Nabi too doesn’t, while J Suchith is a good squad player to have.
SRH squad after IPL 2021 auction
|David Warner||Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Jonny Bairstow||Mohammad Nabi|
|Kane Williamson||Rashid Khan||Shreevats Goswami||Abhishek Sharma|
|Manish Pandey||Sandeep Sharma||Wriddhiman Saha||Vijay Shankar|
|Virat Singh||T Natarajan||Mitchell Marsh|
|Priyam Garg||Basil Thampi||Jason Holder|
|Abdul Samad||Shahbaz Nadeem|
|Kedar Jadhav||Siddharth Kaul|
Players bought by SRH at auction
|Kedar Jadhav||All-Rounder||Rs 20000000|
|Mujeeb Zadran||Bowler||Rs 15000000|
|J Suchith||Bowler||Rs 3000000|
A side that was light on batsmen and struggled for consistency throughout 2020, released their captain and traded their senior Indian opener, somehow managed to not add a single first-choice option to the squad after the auction. Spending Rs 16.25 crore on Morris is keeping in with their recent trend of going hard after one big name signing, but it has not paid off on the field for Royals, so why persist with that? Make no mistake, Morris improves their bowling attack and it was an area that cried out for improvement and Archer would be delighted to see quality company. And Mustafizur too is a good signing and a steal. The pace unit looks more threatening, with Dube adding strength to the middle order as well.
But does that batting unit look capable of reaching the playoffs if either of Buttler or Stokes or Samson do not fire every single game?
RR squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Yashasvi Jaiswal||Jofra Archer||Sanju Samson||Ben Stokes|
|Mahipal Lomror||Mayank Markande||Jos Buttler||Rahul Tewatia|
|Manan Vohra||Shreyas Gopal||Anuj Rawat||Chris Morris|
|Riyan Parag||Jaydev Unadkat||Shivam Dube|
|David Miller||Kartik Tyagi||Liam Livingstone|
| ||AJ Tye|
Players bought by RR at auction
|Christopher Morris||All-Rounder||Rs 162500000|
|Shivam Dube||All-Rounder||Rs 44000000|
|Chetan Sakariya||Bowler||Rs 12000000|
|Mustafizur Rahman||Bowler||Rs 10000000|
|Liam Livingstone||All-Rounder||Rs 7500000|
|K.C Cariappa||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
|Akash Singh||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
|Kuldip Yadav||Bowler||Rs 2000000|
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The supply-demand aspect of the IPL auction is often brought up, especially when it’s a mini-auction. And it is usually brought up by the team that has spent over the top on a player (or two) as a reasoning for doing so.
And so, at the auction for IPL 2021, the word was mostly associated with RCB who splurged nearly Rs 30 crore on two players. One an enigma wrapped in a mystery, in the form of Maxwell. The other a rookie who just had a breakthrough season and with no international experience outside New Zealand, in the form of Kyle Jamieson. It’s all well and good insisting that these were dictated by the dynamics of the auction, but surely this couldn’t have been a part of their detailed planning process? Surely they cannot justify such an outlay on two risky signings when the squad is anything but complete? Surely it did not make sense to go up Rs 9.75 crore for Chris Morris after releasing him for Rs 10 crore and commenting openly about how his injury worries cost them last season? Surely all this combined cannot be part of some elaborate masterplan?
They brought in an in-form, shrewd performer like Dan Christian and he is a trophy magnet. In pairing up Sachin-Azhar, they have gone retro but with good reason to back domestic talent. And yes, Maxwell (if he clicks) will improve their batting and yes, Jamieson is an exciting talent.
But the question is: were these smart moves dictated by data? Or punts built on hope?
RCB squad after IPL 2021 auction
|Virat Kohli||Mohammed Siraj||AB de Villiers||Washington Sundar|
|Devdutt Padikkal||Navdeep Saini||Josh Phillipe||Harshal Patel (trade)|
|Pavan Deshpande||Yuzvendra Chahal||Mohammed Azharuddeen||Daniel Sams (trade)|
|Sachin Baby||Pavan Deshpande||Kona Srikar Bharat||Kyle Jamieson|
|Rajat Patidar||Shahbaz Ahmed||Glenn Maxwell|
|Adam Zampa||Dan Christian|
|Kane Richardson||Suyash Prabhudesai|
Players bought by RCB at auction
|Kyle Jamieson||All-Rounder||Rs 150000000|
|Glenn Maxwell||All-Rounder||Rs 142500000|
|Dan Christian||All-Rounder||Rs 48000000|
|Sachin Baby||Batsman||Rs 2000000|
|Rajat Patidar||Batsman||Rs 2000000|
|Mohammed Azharuddeen||Wicket Keeper||Rs 2000000|
|Suyash Prabhudesai||All-Rounder||Rs 2000000|
|Kona Srikar Bharat||Wicket Keeper||Rs 2000000|
Players who went for more than twice base price
|Full name||Country||Category||C/U/A||Base price (Rs lakh)||Bid made(Rs lakh)||Times over base price||New team|
|Chris Morris||South Africa||AR||Capped||75||1625||21.67||RR|
|Kyle Jamieson||New Zealand||AR||Capped||75||1500||20.00||RCB|
|Adam Milne||New Zealand||Bowl||Capped||50||320||6.40||MI|
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