The IPL 2021 auction is set to occur shortly and is a crucial time for sides to plug gaps in their teams.
With the mega auction a year away, the current IPL auction will see teams plan for short-term goals as many look to regain strength ahead of the new season.
Let us now look at each side’s requirements ahead of the auction.
Chennai Super Kings:
The Chennai Super Kings endured their worst season last year, finishing seventh and outside the top four for the first time in IPL history.
A revamp is expected with poor performance and aging players, while Shane Watson has also retired from the IPL.
With Harbhajan Singh released, the side is missing an off-spinner, barring Suresh Raina.
Another target for CSK could be a potential leader, as a replacement for MS Dhoni, when he calls it a day.
The side has one overseas spot left, leaving Glenn Maxwell and Moeen Ali as off-spinning all-rounder options, while Dawid Malan can strengthen the batting line-up.
While the IPL 2021 auction is crucial for CSKs fightback, the side will be boosted by returning their most prolific batsman, Suresh Raina, who missed IPL 2020.
Key Areas to Cover: Off-spinner, a spin-bowling all-rounder, a power hitter.
Potential targets: Glenn Maxwell, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, K Gowtham, Jason Roy.
The Delhi Capitals finished as runners-up in IPL 2020, enjoying a good run for the post-season.
The side initially showed good form but tapered away at the back-end, while Rishabh Pant endured a mediocre tournament.
With a settled squad, the side may look for back-ups for players like Marcus Stoinis, the South African pace pair of Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje.
After struggling to replace an injured Rishabh Pant, a back-up wicket-keeper will also be on the list.
The Delhi Capitals have eight slots, of which three are overseas, and a purse of 13.4cr.
Key Areas to Cover: An all-rounder to provide cover for Marcus Stoinis, a back-up pacer, an Indian Wicket-keeper.
Potential Targets: Glenn Maxwell, Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Jason Behrendoff, Joel Paris, Sam Billings.
Kings XI Punjab:
IPL 2020 saw Kings XI nearly pull off a fantastic comeback.
They started dreadfully but clawed their way back to contention and stumbled at the final hurdle.
The Kings XI Punjab has one of the best top-orders in the league, but the middle-order has disrupted the balance.
With Glenn Maxwell and Jimmy Neesham struggling, Punjab has released the two and Mujeeb Ur Rahman and K Gowtham.
The releases leave them without quality finger-spinners and overseas options in the middle-order.
The side has the largest purse for the IPL 2021 auction, with INR 53.20 Cr in hand.
As the side released Sheldon Cottrell, an extra pacer may be on Punjab’s mind.
Key Areas to Cover: Middle-order batsman and All-rounders.
Potential Picks: Moeen Ali, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Curran, Fabien Allen, Glenn Maxwell.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders had mixed success in the previous season, with the top four for most of the season.
After some inconsistent performances in the second half, the Kolkata Knight Riders failed to make the final four.
They changed their captain mid-season, and Eoin Morgan may continue to lead the side.
The main reasons behind the Knight Riders’ late struggles were Russel’s fitness and Narine’s work as an opener.
The two players were not at their best and faced issues at various points of the season.
Andre Russel struggled with the bat, was good with the ball, but injured in the latter stages.
Sunil Narine shuffled around the batting order and was reported for his action mid-way through the season.
Finding all-rounders for the two players is likely to be the main priority.
Barring the two West Indian players, the Knight Riders don’t have too many gaps to fill in the IPL 2021 Auction.
Key Areas to Cover: All-rounders to fill in for the West Indian pair.
Targets: Tom Curran, Dan Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Shakib Al Hasan, Shivam Dube, Shah Rukh Khan.
The five-time champions and defending champs enter the auction with a purse of INR 15.35 CR.
They have seven slots left.
With James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter Nile released, an overseas pace bowler is likely to be the first target.
The next could be a back-up for Kieron Pollard and an extra spinner to fill in for Rahul Chahar, who struggled last season.
Hardik Pandya’s workload may influence the Mumbai Indians plans as a bowler, and Quinton De Kock’s availability, as they have Chris Lynn in the wings.
Key Areas to Cover: Overseas Fast Bowler
Potential Picks: Kyle Jamieson, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter Nile, Shakib Al Hasan, Jimmy Neesham.
The Rajasthan Royals finished last on the table in IPL 2020 and came to the IPL 2021 auction with a lot of work.
For starters, the side let go of their skipper, Steve Smith, and Indian batsman, Robin Uthappa.
The bowling struggled, with Rajasthan’s pace attack working to support Jofra Archer.
The team kept chopping and changing their opening pair and rebuilding with Sanju Samson as their new skipper.
Rajasthan Royals have a purse of INR 34 Cr and will look for a fast bowler, batsman, and all-rounder.
Critical Gaps to fill: A fast bowler to support Archer, a batsman to replace Smith, an all-rounder.
Potential Options: Sheldon Cottrell, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Jason Roy, Shivam Dube, Kyle Jamieson.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Despite reaching the final four and looking good throughout IPL 2020, the Royal Challengers Bangalore released many players.
They released Aaron Finch, and Moeen Ali, while Chris Morris was released despite a good season.
After releasing most of the squad, the Royal Challengers will support Virat Kohli and Ab De Villiers.
With the second-highest purse in the IPL 2021 auction, the Royal Challengers Bangalore can look at some big names and some domestic all-rounders to replace Shivam Dube and Gurkeerat Singh.
They will be among the busier teams in the auction as they once again seek balance.
Critical Areas to Cover All-rounders, Specialist Batsman.
Potential Targets: Shakib Al Hasan, Glenn Maxwell, Dawid Malan, Fabien Allen.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t release many players and are likely to be the quietest in the IPL 2021 auction.
They have maintained their style of retaining their core set of players and looking for balance with the squad.
They have a small purse and only one overseas spot, along with two Indian spots.
The sole overseas spot could be repurchase Shakib Al Hasan, who was with Hyderabad before his ban.
Another target could be an experienced middle-order batsman, as the Sunrisers struggled with their middle-order for a big part of IPL 2020.
Key Areas to Cover: The Middle Order
Potential Targets: Shakib Al Hasan