As the IPL 2021 is fast approaching, all the IPL teams will be gearing up to fill the missing link in their 2021 IPL squads ahead of the mini-auction. The IPL auction date has been announced as the event is scheduled to be held on February 18 in Chennai. With not many players up for grabs, it will be critical for all the teams to use their remaining IPL auction purse wisely at the auction table.
It could be a contrasting auction in terms of activity for various IPL franchises at the auction table. While the likes of RCB, KXIP, and MI might go on a shopping spree, SRH, KKR might not have a much greater role to play on the day. However, ahead of the auction, all teams released players to enhance their budget for the upcoming edition. While most released players would fancy a buyer at the auction, a few players might even go unsold.
Here's a look at 5 released players who might go Unsold in the 2021 IPL Auction:
1. Kedar Jadhav
After a disastrous season in IPL 2020, CSK made a slew of expected releases in the lead-up to the 2021 auction. Kedar Jadhav, who was one of the released players, was shown the way out after a disappointing couple of seasons for CSK. A release that was always on the cards, allowed CSK to increase their budget by a whopping margin of INR 7.8 Cr.
In IPL 2020, he scored only 62 runs in the five innings at a poor SR of 93. It was much inevitable that the middle-order batter had to warm the benches for the majority of the season for CSK. Kedar, who was a regular member of the Indian ODI team till early 2020, has been out of favor even in the national squad. It won't be a surprise if Jadhav goes unsold and doesn't find any buyer at the 2021 IPL auction.
2. Sheldon Cottrell
The West Indies' pacer Sheldon Cottrell was one of the most after sought players in the last year's IPL auction and was eventually picked by the Kings XI Punjab for a whopping price of INR 8.5 Cr. The paceman failed to deliver at the bug stage and could only manage to pick six wickets in as many games for the Punjab-based franchise.
His IPL season went downhill after he conceded five sixes in an over against Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah. He didn't play any role in KXIP's resurgent run towards the second half was expectedly released ahead of the 2021 auction. Ever since, Cottrell hasn't done anything worthwhile, especially in the T20s, to induce any bid even in the IPL auction 2021. In all likelihood, he might go unsold at this year's auction.
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3. James Neesham
James Neesham was another player released by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. Despite being a valuable contributor for New Zealand in T20Is, Neesham has failed to replicate his success in the limited opportunities in the IPL so far. He was bought by the Punjab-based franchise for an auction price of INR 50 lakhs. However, he didn't do a great deal to be retained by the franchise.
In the five IPL games in 2020, the 30-year old failed to create any match-winning impact. He was trusted as a valuable overseas all-rounder who could muster quick runs as a finisher and deliver a few overs of medium pace. However, Neesham could only score 19 runs to go with his two wickets at a high economy of 9.86.
It was quite reasonable for Kings XI Punjab to release the Kiwi all-rounder before IPL 2021. Given his past record in the sub-continent conditions and the available overseas options at the auction table, Neesham is likely to go unsold at the IPL auction in 2021.
4. Varun Aaron
Varun Aaron was regarded as one of India's fastest bowler but his inability to hit consistent areas saw him fall behind in the pecking order. His inconsistency can be established from the fact that the speedster has played only 50 IPL matches, picking up 42 wickets in a career that has spanned for over a decade now.
Even in IPL 2020 for the bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals, the Aaron failed miserably and couldn't pick a single wicket in his three games. Eventually, he was one of the first players to be released by RR. There's a high probability that he might go unsold in the 2021 auction despite a dearth of Indian fast bowlers in the IPL squads.
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5. Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020 and was one of the few overseas recruits who didn't get enough opportunity in the playing XI. He played just three games and always looked far from his best both with the bat and the ball. Fittingly, he was one of the twelve players released by RCB before IPL 2021. With the quality of overseas players available, it will be tough for the England all-rounder to find a buyer at the 2021 IPL auction.