The 2021 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is upon us but before that, a mini-auction will be held later this month where each of the eight franchises will be looking to bolster their respective squads and plug whatever holes they have in their set-up.
However, there are a few franchises, who, in an unlikely event do not buy any new players in the auctions, still have enough options in their existing squad to form a formidable playing XI.
Here’s a look at 3 IPL teams who will have a strong squad even if they don’t buy a player in this year’s auction:
Delhi Capitals enjoyed a breakout season last year as they went on to qualify for the finals for the first time in their history where they were eventually beaten by Mumbai Indians.
The Shreyas Iyer-led unit released just six players- Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Alex Carey, Jason Roy, Keemo Paul, Tushar Deshpande- from their 2020 squad ahead of the IPL 2021 auctions.
But such is the strength that the Capitals possess in almost every department of their squad that even if they don’t buy any new player in the mini-auctions (highly unlikely I know), then they will still be best placed ahead of the 14th edition.
In Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, they have enough firepower in their batting, while the trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, and Axar Patel are as good as it gets when it comes to spin-bowling options.
The overseas duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje will spearhead the fast bowling unit with Daniel Sams being a prudent backup option, while Ishant Sharma can play the role of the 3rd seamer.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Yeah! I know Kolkata Knight Riders endured an abysmal IPL season last year but to be brutally honest, that was not because of the lack of arsenal in their ranks but because of their inability to zero in on an ideal match-winning combination.
KKR released the likes of Tom Banton, Chris Green, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Manimaran Siddharth, and Harry Gurney ahead of the 2021 IPL auctions but even if they don’t buy any new player for the 14th season, they are still well placed as far as forming a formidable playing 11 is concerned.
In Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Tim Siefert KKR boast of formidable options in the batting department, followed by quality spin options in Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, and Kuldeep Yadav.
In the fast bowling department too, KKR has options in the form of Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, and Prasidh Krishna.
Of course, it has to be the defending champions and five-time winners, the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians released the likes of Digvijay Singh, Prince Balwant Rai, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, and Sherfane Rutherford ahead of the 2021 auctions but such is their bench-strength that even if they don’t pick any new player in the auction, they will still be a force to reckon with.
In Quinton De Kock, skipper Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, and the Pandya brothers- Hardik and Krunal- the five-time champions boast of possibly the most fearsome top-7 in the IPL. The likes of Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, and Anmolpreet Singh are prudent backups.
In the spin-department, they have Rahul Chahar, who had a brilliant season last year along with quality backup reinforcements in the form of Jayant Yadav and Anukul Roy. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult are the leaders of the fast bowling unit with Dhawal Kulkarni serving as the third seamer.