Murali Vijay was released in the IPL 2021 auction pool by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). While Murali Vijay, given his international and IPL experience and quality batting, is expected to be bought in the auction by any franchise – however, he will be picked as a back-up opener.
Considering he played in only 6 matches in the last 3 seasons with CSK, it won’t be anything new or dissimilar for Murali Vijay. His strike rate has decreased season after season; in IPL 2020 Vijay scored 32 runs in 3 matches at the strike rate of 74! He hasn’t also played any professional level cricket since the last IPL season – he had opted out from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 due to personal reasons.
IPL 2021 Auction: 3 Teams Which Can Target Murali Vijay
Royal Challengers Bangalore
As mentioned earlier, Murali Vijay will be seen as a reserve opener in the auction. After releasing Aaron Finch, Royal Challengers Bangalore, against whom Vijay struck a match-winning 95 in the IPL 2011 final, could grab the opener.
Vijay could be a good substitute for the likes of Devdutt Padikkal and Josh Philippe if either needed to be replaced. If Philippe’s form drops or he is injured, an Indian opener in Vijay would give a chance for Virat Kohli to add an overseas bowler in the line-up.
Kolkata Knight Riders
With the offloading of Chris Lynn before IPL 2020 and Sunil Narine’s form with the bat dropping significantly, Kolkata Knight Riders struggled to find a trustful opening partner for Shubman Gill and have used the likes of Nikhil Naik, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, and finally settled with Nitish Rana last season.
Murali Vijay could be bought by the Eoin Morgan-led side as a makeshift opener if Shubman Gill or Rana or Tripathi weren’t available. KKR have jettisoned Banton, Naik, and Siddhesh Lad – hence Murali Vijay could be forayed into the squad of the two-time champions.
Chennai Super Kings
Murali Vijay was bought by CSK for Rs. 2 crores three seasons ago. Chances were few and far between for the right-hander in the presence of the likes of Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, and Faf du Plessis.
However, now, since Watson has retired; Rayudu and Du Plessis could be used in the middle-order to strengthen it from the waning prowess of MS Dhoni with the bat, hence, they could buy back their former opener, albeit at a cheaper price, if not for the playing eleven, then Vijay could be used a backup alternative for the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and N Jagadeesan.