The IPL auction for the 14th season was held recently in Chennai, with 57 for the 61 available slots being filled up. 22 of the players purchased were overseas buys. South African all-rounder Chris Morris walked away with the biggest price, becoming the most expensive buy at the auction, having been purchased by Rajasthan Royals for Rs. 16.25 crore. With all the franchises making an effort to strengthen their squads, we rank how the teams stand post the auction.

1. Mumbai Indians

There is really no surprise here. Mumbai had a very strong base going into the auction. They are, after all, five-time winners as well as the defending champions in the IPL. Mumbai purchased pacers Adam Milne and Nathan Coulter-Nile for Rs. 3.20 crore and Rs. 5 crore respectively. As always, they made a smart purchase, going for young and tall South African fast bowler Marco Jansen for Rs. 20 lakh. There were mixed reviews on the purchase of Arjun Tendulkar. Piyush Chawla at Rs. 2.4 crore also seems a bit high. Still, MI remain the strongest side in the league. With skipper Rohit Sharma, Pandya brothers and Jasprit Bumrah, they go into IPL 2021 as favourites.

MI squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile , Piyush Chawla , James Neesham , Yudhvir Charak , Marco Jansen and Arjun Tendulkar

2. Delhi Capitals

The runners-up at the IPL 2020 edition, Delhi Capitals made a few interesting choices at the auction. They picked up former Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith for Rs. 2.2 crore. Further, they were willing to shell out Rs. 5.5 crore for Tom Curran to strengthen their all-round department, which already comprises Marcus Stoinis. They also went for wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings at Rs. 2 crore. That apart, they added a few local talents like Lukman Meriwala and Ripal Patel. Like Mumbai, their core is also more or less settled with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

DC squad: Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Steve Smith, Sam Billings, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Ripal Patel, Lukman Hussain Meriwala and M Siddharth.

3. Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad did not have much to do at the IPL auction. With a salary cap of Rs. 10.75 crore available for them, they went for only three players. They purchased Kedar Jadhav for Rs. 2 crore, which was somewhat of a surprise, considering he looked completely out of sorts last season for Chennai Super Kings. Their other two purchases were decent ones – Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman for Rs. 1.5 crore while Indian bowler Jagadeesha Suchith was picked for Rs. 30 lakh. SRH have one of the most versatile squads of all. Their batting possesses hard-hitters like David Warner and Jonny Bairstow as well as smart hitters like Kane Williamson and Wriddhiman Saha. In the bowling department, there is Rashid Khan, T. Natarajan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

SRH squad: David Warner, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and Jagadeesha Suchith.

4. Royal Challengers Bangalore

Having released many big names prior to the auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore splurged big. And then ended with some massive purchases. Buying the unpredictable Glenn Maxwell at a whopping Rs 14.25 crore will remain debatable. At the same time, there will be high hopes from tall New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson, who has been bought at Rs 15 crore. Daniel Christian at Rs. 4.8 crore and Mohammed Azharuddeen at Rs 20 lakh are smart purchases. RCB did well last year to make the play-offs. They would hope to do even better this time. Skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Devdutt Padikkal, which have good bowlers to back them up this year.

RCB squad: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Phillipe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharudeen, Suyash Prabhudesai and Kona Srikar Bharat.

5. Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders have been inconsistent of late. They made a clever purchase, picking up experienced Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for Rs 3.2 crore. But, just like Jadhav for SRH, question marks remain over 40-year-old Harbhajan Singh being acquired at his base price of Rs 2 crore. The talented Ben Cutting should strengthen the squad while Karun Nair and Pawan Negi were also picked. KKR have a reasonably strong squad with the likes of Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Lockie Ferguson. But they need to perform to the potential to do well.

KKR squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy and Tim Seifert, Shakib-al-Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson and Vaibhav Arora.

6. Rajasthan Royals

RR have taken a massive risk by shelling out Rs 16.25 crore for Chris Morris. If it comes off, nothing like it. But, Morris has a history of getting injured, which is something the Royals will need to be wary of. All-rounder Shivam Dube (Rs. 4.4 crore), bowlers Chetan Sakariya (Rs. 1.2 crore) and Mustafizur Rahman (Rs. 1 crore) are good buys. Rajasthan have match winners in Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and, now, Rahul Tewatia as well. What they will need is for the team to gel together, which has been their Achilles heel of late.

RR squad: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Robin Uthappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Andrew Tye, Christopher Morris, Shivam Dube, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, Liam Livingstone, K.C Cariappa, Akash Singh and Kuldip Yadav.

7. Chennai Super Kings

It was surprising that CSK did not adopt a fresh policy ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, despite coming up with their worst performance last year. Their purchase of England all-rounder Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore was a shrewd one. Buying all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham for Rs. 9.25 crore also seems a decent move. They further went for some good local talent. There wasn’t much wrong with their strategy at the auction. The problem is they have stuck to most of their ageing warriors, who seem past their prime.

CSK squad: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore, Krishnappa Gowtham, Moeen Ali, Cheteshwar Pujara, K Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth and M Harisankar Reddy.

8. Punjab Kings

Kings XI Punjab have a talented bunch of players. That is their strength as well as weakness. Their purchases at the auction didn’t do much to change the make-up of the squad. They spent big at the auction since they had a purse of over Rs 50 crore. Jhye Richardson, at Rs 14 crore, should strengthen their pace bowling. Australian pacer Riley Meredith was also purchased for Rs 8 crore. Apart from Shahrukh Khan, they also picked up World No.1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan, that too at his base price of Rs 1.5 crore. The challenge for skipper KL Rahul and the PBKS management will be to turn a team of star players into a match-winning unit.

PBKS squad: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Ishan Porel, Sarfaraz Khan, Murugan Ashwin, Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Arshdeep Singh, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar

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