With the IPL auction coming to an end, almost all the teams got their respective targets. As expected, we saw bidding wars on a few players and we saw some new faces in the auction as well. The heart of the auctions was none other than the South African all-rounder, Chris Morris.
Chris Morris will now join Rajasthan Royals and they did not pay a small amount for him. He was bought for INR 16.25 crore by the Royals, which not only made him the most expensive buy of IPL 2020 but also made him the most expensive buy of all time. He will be the player to watch out for, considering his price tag.
Along with Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kyle Jamieson, and Krishnappa Gowtham were the most expensive players. The addition of these guys in their respective squads will certainly make them stronger.
Here, we will rank the eight IPL teams based on their final squads:
8. Punjab Kings
Kings XI Punjab have changed their name to Punjab Kings hoping that they also have a change of fortune. However, with an unstable middle order, it might not be as easy. KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, and Mayank Agarwal will be the key for the Kings. Nicholas Pooran in the middle order needs to be at his best to give Punjab a chance to win the IPL for the first time ever.
The introduction of Jhye Richardson is definitely going to give them the much-needed boost in their bowling lineup. Along with him, they also bought Riley Meredith for 8 crores, making him the most expensive uncapped overseas buy of IPL history. The English number 3, Dawid Malan will also play for the Kings in the IPL 2021. They also bought an Indian finisher, Shahrukh Khan, who was sensational in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.
Punjab Kings have a decent bowling lineup, especially with the inclusion of Jhye Richardson. Along with him, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami are likely to be the two other pacers. For the spin department, the Punjab Kings have the youngster, Ravi Bishnoi, and a mystery spinner, Murugan Ashwin.
7. Sunrisers Hyderabad
The middle order of Sunrisers Hyderabad has always been a weakness. Although they signed Kedar Jadhav, his current form might not be enough to overshadow that weakness. David Warner has usually been the one-man army, but this year, the burden on him might reduce.
Wriddhiman Saha’s stint in IPL 2020 strengthened his place in the team as an opener. With that, there is an overseas spot vacant for Kane Williamson. Jason Holder could also play as a finisher along with Abdul Samad or Abhishek Sharma.
The bowling is undoubtedly the biggest strength of Sunrisers Hyderabad. There is no weakness for the Orange Army with the ball and are probably the best bowling line-up of the tournament. The death bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan is hard to score against and Rashid Khan in the middle overs completely stops the run-flow. If their batting does as good as their bowling, no team can stop them from winning the IPL tournament.
6. Chennai Super Kings
Whenever you talk about the IPL, you talk about the consistency of Chennai Super Kings. Chennai have failed to make it to the playoffs only once in their IPL history, and it was in 2020. With them struggling recently, the probability of them winning the tournament has slightly deteriorated. However, you can never count the yellow army out, especially in the presence of the legend, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
CSK would like to forget IPL 2020 considering how bad their performance was, especially with the bat. Suresh Raina had withdrawn from the IPL 2020 citing personal reasons, leaving Chennai’s middle-order vulnerable. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sam Curran were the only positives for them in the last edition.
However, MS Dhoni’s army will go into the IPL 2021 with a massive boost as Suresh Raina has returned to the side. Along with his return, there are new signings as well which could change the fortunes of the team. Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham are the latest notable additions to the Chennai squad. Along with them, CSK have also signed Cheteshwar Pujara. If everything clicks, Chennai could once again lift the IPL trophy.
5. Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders were just inches away from making it to the play-offs of IPL 2020. They were level on points with the RCB but missed out due to their negative net run rate. The lack of proper bench strength cost them a spot in the play-offs. However, KKR have worked on it in this year’s auctions.
The Knight Riders signed Bangladeshi all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, who will be ready for another stint at his former team. Shakib’s inclusion could put Sunil Narine’s position in jeopardy should he fail to perform. KKR have a deep bowling lineup with as many as 7 bowling options. In addition to that, they also have signed the veteran Indian spinner, Harbhajan Singh, who would be looking to share his experience with a rather young team.
With Shubman Gill opening the innings, KKR will have some stability at the top of the order. His technique gives license to finishers to go for the attack at the back end of the innings. Last but not the least, Kolkata’s most destructive weapon, Andre Russell can take the game away from the opposition within a blink of an eye.
4. Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals probably had the best auction this time around and they most certainly made their team stronger. With the addition of Chris Morris, the Royals now have the batting depth as well as the much-needed bowling depth. Bowling was an issue for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 and Chris Morris’ addition will certainly nullify the weakness.
Ahead of the auction, Rajasthan Royals made a bold move by releasing their captain, Steve Smith, and appointed Sanju Samson as their captain. Since then, they have taken calculated risks and have strengthened their core. They also have signed the left-arm quick from Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman.
Apart from Chris Morris, the Royals also signed Shivam Dube, who is one of the hottest prospects in the Indian domestic circuit. Shivam Dube could provide a couple of overs in the middle to reduce the burden on other bowlers. He could also go out on a smashing spree whenever he comes to bat. With Stokes and Buttler at the top and Jofra Archer handling the new ball, Rajasthan Royals could be serious contenders for the trophy.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
With Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers, you can never count the Royal Challengers Bangalore out as one of the strongest teams on paper. Mostly, the team is about this duo, probably the reason why they always fell short of the trophy. Over the years, RCB hardly had a player other than the two, but things might just change this season as they signed Kyle Jamieson for INR 15 crores in the auction along with Glenn Maxwell for 14.25 crore.
With Devdutt Padikkal having an exceptional season in IPL 13, the batting looks stronger. The middle-order looks stronger now with the addition of Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson and Washington Sundar to follow. The batting looks deep and the lower middle order does not look vulnerable.
Yuzvendra Chahal will once again be the go-to bowler for RCB. The difference this time is that there are other top-tier options for Virat Kohli to consider; Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, and Kyle Jamieson. Virat Kohli’s form will determine the fate of RCB this season.
2. Delhi Capitals
The finalists of last season are again in line to contest for the trophy. This season they are serious contenders to win the tournament as well. With the addition of Steve Smith, the versatility they get in their batting order will prove to be beneficial.
IPL 2020 turned out to be excellent for the Delhi Capitals, they were just one step away from the trophy. They lost the finals of the IPL to Mumbai Indians by 5 wickets. Delhi Capitals would still be pleased with the season they had.
Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant were out of form for the most season, but this season, both of them will look to give their absolute best. Marcus Stoinis’ all-round performance for the Capitals last season was a game-changer for them. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje being their spearheads proved to be monumental in their top-class season. They would look to continue that partnership in IPL 2021 and hopefully win the IPL trophy for the first time.
1. Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians being the strongest team going into the IPL 14 comes as a no-brainer. Mumbai Indians were probably the only team that had all their bases covered. The champions are likely to play their IPL-winning squad.
What makes Mumbai Indians the best team on paper is the depth within the playing XI. They have players who can bat till 8 and they can use 7 different bowlers in a match, assuming Hardik Pandya is fit to bowl. They are capable of scoring over 50 runs in the last few overs, thanks to the finishing prowess of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard.
When it comes to bowling, they are undoubtedly one of the best units of the tournament. With Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult being their ace pacers, you ought to restrict the opposition as low as possible. All in all, they look the most formidable side, once again.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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