The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is around the corner, and teams have already assembled around the five venues hosting the league stages. IPL 2021 will start from April 9 with the mega clash between Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians in Chennai.
Before the glitz and glamour-filled tournament began, the teams had the chance to plug the holes from last year, and they did so with some exorbitant buys and some cheap buys in the IPL 2021 auction in February.
While many players went for base prices, here are some of the top names that could end up being a steal deal for the franchises come May 30, when the final takes place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Mumbai Indians bought Sachin Tendulkar’s son and a left-arm bowling all-rounder, who can bat a fair bit as well, Tendulkar Jr. (MI) the fag end of the auction for his base price of INR 20 lakh.
Venkatesh Iyer was in fine form at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) and the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and it was rewarded by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who bought him at his base price of INR 20 lakh.
A tall left-arm fast bowler from South Africa, who had once got the better of Virat Kohli during one of India’s tour to South Africa, was also bought by MI following some years of scouting.
KS Bharat has already been a part of the IPL before when he was signed by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2015 for INR 10 lakh but didn’t get a game. However, this time, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for INR 20 lakh — his base price.
A right-arm pacer by trade, Vaibhav Arora picked up a hat-trick on List A debut for Himachal Pradesh recently but to his bad luck, perhaps, that the auction had already happened, and KKR bought him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.
The hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman impressed everyone with his 137* for Kerala against Mumbai in the SMAT. However, with slots already filled for most teams, he went at his base price of INR 20 lakh to RCB.
Sheldon Jackson is a veteran in the domestic cricket circuits and has played in the IPL before KKR. He was picked at his base price of INR 20 lakh as a cover for former captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik.
Sachin Baby, who was bought by RCB for INR 20 lakh, has already played 18 matches in the IPL, scoring 137 runs at a paltry average of 15.22
M Siddharth was a part of the KKR set up last year but didn’t get a game and was picked up by Delhi Capitals this season for his base price. He is a slow left-arm orthodox bowler by trade.
Other players went for their base prices of INR 20 lakh, but the ten above are the most prominent or have some prior experience in the IPL.