Like all other IPL auctions, the IPL 2021 auction proved to an exciting and memorable event. A tally of 298 players went under the hammer, out of which only 58 players earned bids ahead of what will potentially prove as a life-changing season for them. And similar to most IPL auctions, the overseas cricketers continued to rule the roost and took away big money.
Of the 22 players sold, three overseas players went on to bag deals that were above INR 10 crores. It has indeed raised eyebrows amongst some experts who highly doubts whether they were worth such hefty amounts. For instance, the Royal Challengers might have overestimated Kyle Jamieson’s ability to perform in the sub-continent. While Jamieson has undeniably taken the cricketing world by storm since his debut in 2020, INR 15 crores might be overpriced.
We take a look at five overseas players who should not have been picked in the IPL 2021 auction:
James Neesham might be a highly impactful player for New Zealand in limited-overs cricket; however, he isn’t so in the cash-rich league. James Neesham took part in IPL last year for the first time since 2014 and did not have a productive season. Kings XI Punjab bought the 30-year old at his base price of INR 50 lakhs and hardly got any returns.
The Auckland-born all-rounder featured in five matches and managed only 19 runs while taking two wickets at 74. But it didn’t stop from earning bids as Mumbai Indians secured Neesham for the same amount as last year. The move did not make much sense since the defending champions have Kieron Pollard, who remains a permanent fixture in their playing eleven.
West Indian bowling all-rounder Fabian Allen has shown glimpses in international and franchise cricket that he could be a highly effective player. However, Fabian Allen remains far from a finished product, having not entirely mastered his batting or bowling skills. Nevertheless, the Jamaican earned bids from Punjab Kings, who had INR 53.2 crores to dish out.
The 25-year old was part of SunRisers Hyderabad and, unfortunately, could not get a game. And with Punjab Kings having secured Allen’s services, it looks unlikely that he would get an opportunity in IPL 2021. The Punjab-based franchise not only has a potent and impactful collection of spinners but also lower-order hitters and overseas players.
All-rounder Moeen Ali adds a massive value to any T20 side and has proved it time and again through his all-round skills. While Moeen Ali was part of Royal Challengers Bangalore and could not make an impact, he remains an X-factor. The 33-year old featured in three matches, managing 12 runs while grabbing only one wicket, but Chennai Super Kings paid INR seven crores for him.
The Birmingham-born all-rounder could add flexibility to the Chennai Super Kings’ batting line-up that struggled for consistency and power-hitting in IPL 2020. But it remains to be seen whether Ali gets a chance as the yellow army have players like Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, and R Sai Kishore to perform the all-rounder’s, power-hitters or spinner’s role.
Rajasthan Royals let go of Steve Smith after his struggles with the bat was significantly responsible for the franchise finishing at the bottom in IPL 2020. But Steve Smith, who set his base price at INR 2 crores, had takers amongst the Delhi Capitals. Royal Challengers Bangalore was the first to bid for him; however, Delhi Capitals had the final say.
But there were debates over the Capitals’ decision as to whether they have packed their squad with too many top-order players by adding Smith in the mix as well. The Capitals already have Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, and Shreyas Iyer. Perhaps, the former Australian former captain could have been a better addition for some other franchise.
Adam Milne last played an IPL match back in 2017 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and recurring injuries have kept him out of the national side too. Despite that, Mumba Indians decided to dish out INR 3.2 crores on the Kiwi quick, having released James Pattinson from their ranks. However, investing in Milne was not entirely justified.
With the IPL 2021 likely to occur in India after the UAE hosted the last edition, Mumbai Indians have accumulated far too many pace bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have their places etched in the playing eleven while Nathan Coulter-Nile, who the defending champions bought for INR 5 crores, remains their third choice. Hence, Milne, who has not displayed consistency either, might not fit in the side.