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IPL 2021 Auction | Kings XI Punjab – Dream, realistic, wildcard and suggested buys
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Rumor is that, ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, Punjab are all set for a name and logo change. That was the only thing they hadn’t attempted all this while, for 13 seasons, wasn’t it?There are teams that try everything. But Punjab are well and truly a franchise that have TRIED EVERYTHING. From retaining their core to rendering every single player in the franchise dispensable to appointing ex-players as coaches to changing captains mid-season to splashing the cash in the auction to transforming their brand of cricket to changing the face of the franchise, they’ve tried everything. Yet 13 seasons on, here they are- one of two franchises to have never won the competition and perhaps the most irrelevant club in the competition. But hey, honestly, who cares? At least they entertain us thoroughly. Long may it continue. KL Rahul (c), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan PorelThe Missing LinksEven by KXIP’s low standards, the value for money they gained from their purchases last season was an abomination. But thanks to some prudent buys they made in 2018 and 2019, the club, remarkably, find themselves as one of the best-placed sides heading into the auction. The need for Punjab is simple: having released Maxwell, they need an out-and-out power-hitter who can compliment the stacked top-order and, having let go of Cottrell, they need a world-class overseas seamer who can lead the attack. Anything else will be a bonus but given they have five overseas slots and a ludicrous 53.20 left in their kitty, expect Punjab to be going about buying players for fun. The Dream Signings - Shahrukh Khan and Kyle JamiesonGiven this is Punjab, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re suggesting them to replace Preity Zinta with SRK but nah, we’re actually talking about the only Shahrukh Khan whose cameos are actually worth watching: the one who plays for Tamil Nadu. Punjab, as we all know, have a stacked top-order and able accumulators like Mandeep and Sarfaraz but something they’ve always lacked is an Indian finisher. Well, you could say Hooda, but he fires once in three years. Literally. Which is precisely why SRK would be a dream signing. The bulky 25-year-old can muscle the ball like few can in the entire country, and is, as things stand, simply the best finisher in the domestic circuit. In SMAT 2020/21 he got the job done for TN everytime he walked out to bat and did so at an SR of 220.00. SRK would be an invaluable addition per se, but that he’s Indian is a double-bonus as it would enable KXIP to potentially field 2 overseas seamers.And one of those two foreign seamers, in a dream scenario, would ideally be Kyle Jamieson. You might think he's a ‘Test bowler’ but really, Jamieson (1.42) has a far better wickets-per-inns ratio than Mohammad Shami (1.13) in T20s. His pace and bounce would add a completely new dimension to Punjab’s already-versatile attack, but, most importantly, his hitting ability down the order will complete the side which boasted of a sorrow-looking tail last season.The Realistic Signings - Jason Behrendorff and Daniel ChristianIn the unusual scenario of them being outbid for one or both the aforementioned players, Punjab needn’t panic: they will still have a plethora of options at their disposal. And, realistically, two of them would be Jason Behrendorff and Daniel Christian. The reason why Punjab signed Cottrell last season was to bamboozle sides with swing early on but, unfortunately for them, it didn’t work out. In Behrendorff, however, the Kings have a much more refined and lethal version of Cottrell, who also has prior IPL experience. The left-armer made his comeback from injury in BBL 10 and had an outstanding season, picking 16 wickets in total, and in particular was a gun with the new-ball, picking 10 wickets in the first 4 overs at quite a remarkable ER of 6.62. Pairing him with Shami would be a nightmare for teams, and it would also allow them to use both Jordan and Arshdeep dynamically. But talking of dynamism, it would be outrageous for a side like KXIP - in need of a finisher - to overlook Dan Christian. The 37-year-old has aged like a fine wine and in BBL 10 batted as well as he ever has. In a title-winning campaign for sixers, Christian struck 272 runs at a SR of 182.55 - the highest for any batsman who scored at least 250 runs - including a 15-ball 50 versus the Strikers. In terms of experience, he is Gayle-esque, and he also can bowl at the death, something he showcased in BBL 10 by bowling the Power Surge overs. What more can a team ask for?The Wildcard - Colin de GrandhommeCDG was our wildcard pick for KXIP last season too but they passed him on and purchased Maxwell. But now that the Maxwell experiment has backfired, there is every reason for Punjab to go and pursue the Big Man. One of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball, CDG has everything you expect from a player of his mould: he scores quick runs, hits huge sixes, bowls handy overs and is an x-factor who can make a difference on his day. Having a CDG at 7 would enable Punjab to field 6 specialist batsmen and not worry about a potential collapse - something they were prone to, a lot, last season. Lower-order hitters who can bowl spin are a rarity and there are less than a handful of cricketers in the world who are adept at doing both as Moeen Ali. Despite doing a fine job with bat and ball for RCB two seasons ago, Ali was mismanaged by the franchise and frozen out of the set-up last year, but the 33-year-old could very well be the final piece in Punjab’s puzzle. Given KXIP already have two leg-spinners, the off-spin of Moeen Ali would, in many ways, complete their bowling attack. More valuable, however, would be his batting. With an SR of 158.46, Ali is, at least statistically, one of the best finishers to have ever played in the IPL and his addition would only strengthen an already-indomitable Punjab batting. The coup of Ali alone would be huge for the side, but in addition to it, if they could rope in his England teammate David Willey, Punjab will be right in the mix to be called the most balanced side in the competition. One of the most prolific short-format wicket-takers with the new ball in the last half a decade, Willey would not just provide an impetus for the side with the ball, he would also be a force of destruction down the order with the bat. Neither England nor any IPL side have thus far tapped into Willey’s potential, but lying in front of KXIP is a weapon which, if utilized effectively, could help them make big strides forward. Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IPL 2021 Auction | Chennai Super Kings – Dream, realistic, wildcard and suggested buys
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The dynasty has fallen and how! The invincible Super Kings went to the verge of demolition in the 2020 edition, a prized snapshot for millions of fans who despise CSK and its ridiculous dominance in the league. Can they roar back and quieten the detractors? The auction will lay the foundation.One thing that you always associate Chennai Super Kings with is MS Dhoni and his unfrazzled charisma to sail his team through troubled waters. He had done that time and again and when the franchise found themselves in a never-seen-before situation, with the absence of their talisman Suresh Raina, everyone’s hopes were pinned on him.However, T20 cricket is seldom won on reputation. The systematic imbalance in the side was way too radiant as Dhoni found himself in a cocoon of his outdated formula. CSK lost and lost and lost and it needed a Ruturaj Gaikwad special towards the fag end of the tournament to slide the wooden spoon tag.Does 2021 promise better? From the retention/release date, it seems like CSK will approach the auction with a bit of pragmatism and conservatism - a hallmark of the side - yet the fact that a lot of dreck is out of the place, we might see an interesting auction from the Men draped in Yellow. The Missing LinksShane Watson is gone, but Robin Uthappa has joined the cathedral. CSK are still sorted in terms of spinners but every single one of them turns the ball away from the right-hander. Given CSK have released Harbhajan Singh from the roster, the hammer is set to be tight in search of an offie. Further, can the side carry on without a power-hitter, especially because that was one area where they struggled big-time last year? Kedar Jadhav’s release allows the side to look for that one option who can be effective down the order or perhaps be a replacement for an injury-prone Dwayne Bravo.The Dream Signing(s) - Alex Hales/Shivam DubeEven though CSK got them covered with the trade deal of Robin Uthappa, there is no harm in going for an overseas opener who gives an attacking edge to the side. Especially with the absence of Shane Watson, it will be great if they can swoop in Alex Hales for their remaining one overseas spot. Hales not only provides a brilliant power-hitting option at the top, something MS Dhoni admitted was their Achilles Heel last year, but also allows the middle-order to retain their originality. Plus, the search for a power-hitter is never more prudent. CSK hoped Kedar Jadhav to do the job last year but he was strangely reticent in his approach and that might push the three-time champions to go for someone like Shivam Dube, a solid all-round option and doesn’t even take a crucial overseas spot. If the franchise can manage to buy any of the two, it will definitely be a dream addition.Shahrukh Khan, Naam to Suna hi Hoga! An absolute beast for Tamil Nadu in the last couple of years, Shahrukh Khan has really grown in stature as a finisher and that was in show in the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Batted only four times, but remained not out in three of them, and none of it with an SR less than 180. It says something about his astonishing ability - something the Men in Yellow could be benefitted from. If they wish for a like-for-like replacement to Bravo, whose propensity to injuries made him a volatile figure in the CSK side, then Chris Morris is also not a bad option either. Morris was decent for RCB last year and after the side released him into the market, you could really trust CSK going for the man who had played for them in the past. The Wildcards - Liam Livingstone/ Steve SmithAfter the kind of BBL Liam Livingstone, one of the most complete T20 cricketers currently, had, one would be hard-pressed to imagine him without a gig this year. He chose to stay away from the auction last time to focus his energy on the County Cricket for a possible English Test return which didn’t materialize but guess what, he can actually set the IPL stage on fire. Possibly, Stephen Fleming has already made a note of his BBL returns as well as his mixture of off-break and leg-break even though people least expect him to join CSK. Steve Smith is another option that the Chennai-based franchise might look forward to, as the Australian’s dynamic approach might be sustainable. What works further is that MS Dhoni understands Steve Smith really well thanks to his stint with Rising Pune Supergiant(s) and the duo shared a fantastic partnership as far as leadership is concerned, with Dhoni sharing his tips with Smith in every possible opportunity. Won’t be a bad option either, looking at the existing top-order. SportsCafe Suggests - Tom Curran/K GowthamSam Curran was great for CSK last year - so why don’t CSK add another Curran to the jungle? Well, jokes aside, Tom Curran brings in a complete all-round package just like his younger brother and can be suitable to their needs in dire situations. Curran might have conceded way too many runs for Rajasthan Royals last year but the fact that bowlers tend to do well under MS Dhoni’s guidance can be a propelling factor. And one shouldn’t forget the kind of impact he had on death in the T20 cricket over the years. On the other hand, remember Krishnappa Gowtham - one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball in the country and more than a handy off-spinner. It is a mystery why the Royals decided to release him to the pool when he didn’t cost much, thus stay his addition to the CSK group can be an effective exercise. Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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283 overseas players register for IPL 2021 Player Auction; West Indies top the list with 56
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) have confirmed that a total of 1097 players - 283 overseas players - have registered for the 2021 auction, with West Indies having the most number of representatives (56). Among the 1097 registered players, there are 21 capped Indians and 186 capped overseas players.The auction for the 2021 Indian Premier League will be held in Chennai on February 18, 2021 (3:00 PM IST) and a total of 1097 players have registered for the same. The registration for the auction was closed on February 4, 2021. The players list incorporates 207 capped, 863 uncapped and 27 Associate players. The detailed list is as below:-Capped Indian (21 players)Capped International (186 players)Uncapped Indian players who have played at least 1 IPL match (50 players)Overseas uncapped players who have played at least 1 IPL match (2 players)Uncapped Indians (743 players)Uncapped International (68 players)Note:- If every franchise were to have the maximum of 25 players in their squad, 61 players will be taken in the auction (of which up to 22 may be overseas players). The country-wise breakdown of 283 overseas players is listed below:Afghanistan - 30Australia - 42England  - 21Ireland - 2Netherlands - 1New Zealand - 29South Africa - 38Sri Lanka - 31USA - 2West Indies - 56Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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