IPL 2020 might be over but it is not too far before the IPL 2021kickstarts with the mega-auction for the 2021 season. While there is still uncertainty surrounding the host for IPL 2021, it is most likely that a mega-auction will take place before the next edition. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, in one of his statements, also mentioned the desire to schedule the next year's IPL in India during the upcoming summer.
IPL 2020 has thrown a lot of stars who might fetch some huge bids in the upcoming 2021 auction. While each team can only retain a maximum of three players, along with two RTMs (Right to Match), a lot of good players will be up for the grabs in the 2021 mega-auction. There were a few players whose contribution might have slipped under the radar but played an equally crucial role like any other superstar in the team. It is natural that these players might not be retained and could be under each team's target in the forthcoming auction for the 2021 edition of the IPL.
Here's a look at 5 players who might be targeted by each team in the IPL 2021 mega-auction:
1. Varun Chakravarthy
Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020, Varun Chakravarthy was one of the few spinners who was able to create an impact in the tournament. With 17 scalps in the entire season, Varun ended up being the highest wicket-taker for KKR in IPL 2020. He was quite effective with his mystery spin and was a bankable customer for Kolkata in the middle-overs. His brilliant season with KKR soon turned out to be gold when he was selected in the Indian T20 squad for the tour of Australia 2020.
While it is likely that Chakravarthy might not be retained by KKR in 2021, he might induce a high bidding price at the auction ahead of the next season. Each team would target such a spinner who carries some mystery in making life difficult for the opposition batters. A team such as Mumbai Indians might look to attain the services of Chakravarthy for IPL 2021, especially considering the lack of depth in their spin bowling department.
2. Devdutt Padikkal
The 20-year old youngster from Bengaluru, Devdutt Paddikal made his IPL debut in 2020 while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Playing as an opener, Paddikal made the most of his opportunity and ended up scoring the most runs in IPL 2020 for RCB. With his great maiden outing, there is no doubt that the youngster will be in huge demand at the 2021 IPL mega auction.
Paddikal will be a great acquisition for most of the franchises as one of the attacking openers at the top of the order. With IPL likely to be back in India for the 2021 season, the southpaw will relish an opportunity playing at home conditions. It is likely that RCB might use the RTM card to retain the services of the youngster. Though he might still fetch huge bids if the mega-auction takes place ahead of the next year's IPL.
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3. Anrich Nortje
The South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje had an impactful maiden IPL outing for Delhi Capitals in 2020. The right-arm quick ended up being the 2nd highest wicket-taker for the franchise just behind his compatriot Kagiso Rabada. Nortje, who joined the DC squad as a replacement for Chris Woakes, impressed everyone with his pace and was one of the main reasons why DC reached their maiden finals.
A genuine fast bowler, Nortje proved his ability with his performances in IPL 2020. In a format that is usually dominated by the batters, the 27-year old bowled some fast spells to unsettle batsmen with his quick bowling and accuracy. So it wouldn't be a surprise if most IPL teams go after the South African speedster in the upcoming IPL auction 2021.
4. Nicholas Pooran
Nicholas Pooran is one of the most sought after T20 players across the world. He has had a brief but impressive career in the IPL in the two seasons for KXIP so far. Pooran has the ability to change the course of the game in a matter of few balls with his power hitting. Coupled with his ability to muster quick runs, he's one of the best fielders going around in the T20 circuit.
Despite his short stature, Pooran packs a punch with his batting. KXIP was unlucky to miss out on a playoff berth but the southpaw was the 3rd highest run-getter for the team scoring 353 runs at a strike rate of 169 coming in the middle-order. West Indies players have usually been in high demand at the auction table, and it's no different for Pooran who might have caught the eye of more than a few IPL franchises.
5. Trent Boult
Trent Boult had one of his best IPL outings in the 2020 edition in UAE. The Kiwi pacer combined well with Jasprit Bumrah to form a lethal bowling pair for the Mumbai Indians in helping the side record its fifth IPL title. Boult was the second-highest wicket-taker for MI in the recently concluded IPL.
The left-arm fast bowler has years of experience behind him and will be a useful addition to any team in the 14th edition of the IPL. He is a genuine wicket-taker and holds the record of taking the most wickets in the powerplay in IPL history. Given his ability to wreak early in the innings, a lot of IPL teams might consider availing the services of the Kiwi pacer at the IPL 2021 auction.