With the auction to the IPL 2021 soon approaching, every franchise will have their wishlists well-sorted to make the most out of what’s available. Since it’s not going to be a mega auction this time around- as the BCCI recently confirmed- most teams won’t be looking for a complete overhaul as such.
Having said that, the preceding IPL 2020 season did highlight a fair number of anomalies and areas of concern in each of teams. Likewise, every team would be eager to address them before the auction so as to go ahead with the best skeleton of a team into the bidding table.
Thankfully, the pre-auctions trade-window offers just that exact opportunity for teams to let of go the players they no longer feel the need to retain. In the process, the other franchises are able to strengthen their line-ups by acquiring these quality players at a reduced cost. So with that in mind, here’s a look at a batsman, each of the teams might consider trading ahead of the IPL 2021 auctions. Additionally, we’ll also be discussing the batsmen/ type of batsman they’ll look to acquire in exchange of the traded player.
Batsmen that can be traded ahead of IPL 2021
Mumbai Indians: Chris Lynn
It’s not often that you come across a franchise with a star-studded batting lineup like the Mumbai Indians. A hard-hitting opening combo, consistent run-getters in the middle-order, flamboyant finishers- frankly, it’s quite a complete batting package.
In fact, last year’s IPL saw several prolific international names sit out because of how well MI’s first-choice XI fared. Australia batsman Chris Lynn happened to be one such player. The mercurial 30-year-old right-hand opener made a switch-over from the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020, but couldn’t play any role for his new franchise.
He was benched throughout the entire IPL 13, as MI opted for an overseas fast-bowling twin combination. On the batting front, too, Quinton de Kock and Kieron Pollard’s stellar run in the team never allowed Lynn to break into the Mumbai playing XI.
Considering the abundance of batting options, MI possesses besides Lynn- both overseas and domestic, who can also double-up as openers- it doesn’t seem very likely that Mumbai will think about retaining Lynn’s services for the next season. Instead, they’ll be eager on acquiring quality overseas spin-bowling all-rounders, like Fabian Allen (SRH), or Moeen Ali (RCB) to bolster the slow-bowling department that they’re lacking in.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw
Things haven’t gone too promisingly in recent times for Prithvi Shaw, the 21-year-old Mumbai opener. A prolonged run of poor form saw him get axed from both the national team and his IPL franchise, the Delhi Capitals, last year.
While there’s no doubt on the promise that the former India under-19 captain offers, at the moment, there seem to be some glaring issues with Shaw’s techniques. Commentators and analysts- including the likes of batting legends, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara- have strongly advocated for the youngster to take some time off and fine-tune his skills.
Shaw’s stats from the 2020 IPL don’t make for an impressive reading either. Across 13 games, he could only collect 228 runs at a disappointing average of 17.53. As previously mentioned, his dwindling returns even forced the DC management to replace him with Ajinkya Rahane in the latter stages of the tournament; who did a fairly impressive job in the team’s second-place finish.
Besides Rahane, DC also has some tailor-made opening options available in the form of Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis. Relieving Shaw from his role would allow Delhi to rope in an extra finisher, which is a department where they’ve been lacking. Incumbent players like Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel will get more opportunities to showcase their batting lower down the order. Alternately, DC can poach batsmen like Rinku Singh (KKR) and Gurkeerat Mann (RCB) in exchange for Shaw.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Fabian Allen
The David Warner-led Hyderabad franchise have lived up to their underdog reputation rather well. Year after year, despite coming across some critical challenges, SRH always manage to land a blow above their weight and progress into the playoffs. 2020 wasn’t much different on that particular regard either. The Sunrisers were dealt with a huge blow in the opening game itself, when Mitchell Marsh- their all-rounder of choice- copped an ankle injury that ruled him out of the tournament.
Holder and Williamson, in particular, hugely compensated for the spark in batsmanship they were missing lower down the order. Consequently, SRH could afford to leave out Jonny Bairstow and Mohammed Nabi- two of their proven top-performers- from the playing XI. Clearly, there is a problem of plenty at the SRH camp, and it would help if they can rule out some of their options. Jamaican all-rounder Fabian Allen, unfortunately, stayed on the bench for the whole season and couldn’t really showcase his prowess.
And given the top-quality stars he’s competing against in that pecking order, it doesn’t seem very likely that Southpaw will get to make many appearances for the Orange Army. Admittedly, it’s a bit more unfair on Allen than some of the other players on this list. But trading him for a quick-bowling lower-order batsman like Isuru Udana (RCB) or James Neesham (KXIP) does seem like a better option.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Gurkeerat Singh Mann
IPL 2020 saw the Virat Kohli-led RCB team register one of their most commendable performances in a long time. After three successive seasons of disappointment, the Bangalore boys finally found some balance this time around and booked their first playoff appearance in four years.
There were, however, a few aspects that the men-in-red were found wanting in. Most notably, their lower-order batsmen couldn’t quite live up to their potential. The likes of Shivam Dubey, Washington Sundar, and Gurkeerat Singh Mann, all got a fair number of chances to showcase their big-hitting skills at the latter stage of the innings.
But barring a few innings of note, none of them were able to make any genuine impact. Gurkeerat, in particular, played as a specialist three-down batsman, and only had 71 runs from his 5 innings. Meanwhile, the others operated as all-rounders and made significant bowling contributions; Washington going as far ahead to finish with 8 wickets from the season.
RCB’s strategy to play a well-rounded team clearly had a few issues. Playing Gurkeerat as a specialist finisher at that position was certainly one of them. Going ahead, they might target to replace him with an all-rounder from the domestic circuit, like Harpreet Brar (KXIP) or Mahipal Lomror (RR).
Kolkata Knight Riders: Nikhil Naik
The 2020 IPL season saw KKR try several of their young, local batsmen across different batting positions. The likes of Rinku Singh, Rahul Tripathi, and Nikhil Naik, all got to feature in the playing XI at some point or another. While none of three really had a breakthrough season with the bat, the team seems to have identified Tripathi as a long-term option. This potentially endangers the position of the remaining batting options in the squad.
But between the duo of Nikhil and Rinku, Nikhil seems like the more vulnerable candidate who can miss out on representing KKR next year. Rinku, despite not being a regular in the team, happens to be an integral part of the team as the first-choice substitute player. His on-field agility and sublime fielding skills make him vital to KKR’s back-up plans.
The 25-year-old Nikhil, meanwhile, clearly falls behind on the fitness aspect. He does provide a handy wicket-keeper option if needed, but with Tim Seifert’s recent induction to the side, even that particular area seems covered. As a result, KKR might opt to trade him for a local all-rounder, like Krishnappa Gowtham (KXIP), Monu Kumar (CSK) or Anukul Roy (MI).
Kings XI Punjab: Karun Nair
2020 proved to be a season of two-halves for the passionate Kings XI Punjab team. A series of narrow losses at the early stages of the tourney almost ruled out their playoff chances; before they made a spirited comeback, winning five matches on the trot, to give themselves a genuine shot at winning their maiden title.
But for as fluctuating as KXIP’s campaign story turned out to be, one constant that really let the team down was its disappointing batting. Barring the top three batsmen- and Nicholas Pooran to a certain extent- the rest of the Punjab batting order looked terribly out of touch, and failed to make any significant contributions.
While we could go on a lengthy rant sharing most of the blame between Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham, one player who didn’t really live up to the reputation was Karun Nair. The elegant Karnataka batsman has been associated with the #wakhrasquad since 2018, but hasn’t really been able to establish himself as a batting mainstay in the team. The last IPL season saw Karun play only 4 games, where he could register only 16 runs.
It’s fair to assume that the KXIP management is starting to lose patience on Karun as a senior team-member. Consequently, they might consider trading him in the auction pool to acquire more promising middle-order batters, like Saurabh Tiwary (MI) and Nikhil Naik (KKR).
Chennai Super Kings: Kedar Jadhav
There are a lot of issues that can be dissected about the Chennai Super Kings’ underwhelming campaign in 2020. Poor captaincy, cricketers playing past their prime, uninspiring bowling performances- the list goes on. But one aspect that really hurt the men-in-yellow- especially during the first half of their campaign- was their batting. As cliched as it sounds, but CSK batters severely lacked intent, and ended up botching several run-chases in the most spectacular fashion.
While it’s unfair to single out one particular batsman for an all-round unimpressive performance, Kedar Jadhav’s abysmal run of form cost the team big-time. In 8 matches, the 35-year-old right-hander could amass only 62 runs at an average of 20.66. His under run-a-ball strike rate just further illustrates how disappointing his form with the bat was.
Chennai is one of those franchises that are in dire need of a complete overhaul, so it doesn’t really help to engage in single-player trades in the longer run. For the time being, though, they will be eager to replace Jadhav with a young and more dynamic lower order batsman, who could also double up as a convenient bowling option. Abhishek Sharma (SRH) and Shahbaz Ahmad (RCB) are two names that might pique their interest ahead of the next auction.
Rajasthan Royals: Robin Uthappa
While they did finish with the wooden-spoon, in reality, the Rajasthan Royals’ IPL 2020 campaign wasn’t as bad as it looks on paper. The men-in-pink unearthed some promising young players this time around, and their contingency of overseas stars also delivered on their promise. Obviously, that’s not to say RR’s campaign wasn’t teeming with some glaring issues. One of the bigger challenges the Jaipur-based franchise faced was on the batting front, which was Robin Uthappa’s dismal show with the bat.
The 35-year-old Karnataka-born opener batted across several positions on the batting order. Sadly, he couldn’t make much of an impact in any of them, even when he got reinstated to his preferred opening role. Overall, Robbie’s stats from IPL 13 read 196 runs from 12 matches, averaging 16.33.
RR’s punt to stick with experience over the promise of youngsters like Yashaswi Jaiswal and Manan Vohra clearly didn’t pay off the way they would’ve wanted to. Going ahead, they should try to rope in some of their lesser aged options. But even if they do want to stick with experience, RR will most likely consider releasing Robin in the auction pool in exchange for options like Prithvi Shaw (DC) and Karun Nair (KXIP).
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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