It was inevitable that Umesh Yadav would be released by Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the IPL 2021 auction – the right-arm pacer played just a couple of games last season going wicketless and leaking runs at an economy of 11.86.
With RCB having several pacers in their squad – retained a few and traded in a couple – and Umesh’s price of 4.2 crores from three seasons ago also looked too much for someone who is on his wane. The 33-year-old is not at all done and dusted as he remains potent with the new-ball in the powerplay; and of course, a decade-long experience of bowling at the international level will add to his value.
IPL 2021 Auction: 3 Teams Which Can Target Umesh Yadav
It was transparent last season the lack of support for Jofra Archer, who was the Player of the Tournament last season, was a key reason for Rajasthan Royals finishing last on the points table in IPL 2020. Hence, they have released four pacers who had disappointing returns and will be desperately eyeing plenty of fast bowlers in the auction.
Umesh Yadav will be on the radar of the inaugural champions. The Vidarbha seamer could be a complement Archer well in the powerplay. This could also have RR not play Andrew Tye and strengthen their batting even further with an overseas batsman or an all-rounder.
With significant contributions from Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, Delhi Capitals reached their maiden IPL final last year. Although the Capitals seem to have a healthy amount of pacers in their squad, a closer look into it may reveal some concerns for the Shreyas Iyer-led side.
Rabada and Nortje, both are now starters for South Africa, and Rabada and Ishant Sharma have a history of injuries; Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel are traded out to RCB; Chris Woakes on Indian pitches, in particular the slow and low bounce track in Delhi, is still unproven; 3 other pacers are released. Hence, it could be a decent idea for DC to grab Umesh Yadav as a back-up for Rabada and Nortje.
It would also mean more overs for the two Protea pacers in the death, and Ricky Ponting could go with Yadav over Woakes.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab had a similar issue as Rajasthan Royals last season – there weren’t decent enough pacers to support Mohammed Shami in the powerplay. It would mean that Rahul had to bowl Glenn Maxwell and Chris Jordan in the powerplay, reducing Jordan’s overs from death where he specializes.
Anil Kumble could go after Umesh Yadav in the auction to solve this problem has already offloaded plenty of bowlers and all-rounders including Sheldon Cottrell, who was supposed to be their new ball enforcer. Umesh would also gell well with Shami having played together for the national team for several years.