Last Wednesday, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises announced the players they have retained and released for the 2021 edition of the tournament, which is slated to begin in March.
As per the reports, the 2021 IPL auction will take place on 18th February. The BCCI has set February 4th as the cut-off date for the players to register for the 2021 IPL auction.
In all likelihood, we will not witness a mega auction this year, and we will seemingly have to wait for the 2022 edition of the IPL to witness one.
🚨NEWS🚨 – 𝐈𝐏𝐋 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬
No of players retained by the franchises – 1⃣3⃣9⃣
No of players released – 5⃣7⃣
More details 👇
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) January 21, 2021
The impending mini-auction will be a crucial one for franchises such as CSK, RCB, and RR, who will be looking to revamp their squads ahead of the new season. However, there will be a few released players who might not get much attention from the franchises at the auction and may go unsold.
Let us look at three released openers who may go unsold at the 2021 IPL auction.
Murali Vijay had a horrendous run at the IPL last year. The Chennai-born opener featured in only three games and amassed just 32 runs at an astoundingly low average of 10.66 and a strike-rate of 74.41.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) January 20, 2021
Vijay was heavily criticized for his performances in last year’s IPL before getting dropped for the remainder of the season. More so, it wasn’t surprising when CSK announced they would not be retaining Vijay for IPL 2021. With sub-par performances in IPL 2020 and no recent T20 experience, the IPl franchises are unlikely to want Vijay in their squads.
Tom Banton was the breakout player in 2019 as his flamboyant stroke-making at the top of the Somerset order earned him a spot in England’s T20 squad. He also drew the attention of franchises from around the world.
The lanky opener showed his prowess in the 2019-20 edition of BBL and KKR then bought him at the 2020 IPL auction for 1 crore. However, Banton didn’t get many chances to show display his talent in IPL 2020.
In the limited number of opportunities he got, Banton scored only 18 runs at a low average of 9.00 and a sub-par strike-rate of 90.00. Ahead of the 2021 IPL auction, KKR released Tom Banton as they could not find a place for him in their batting order.
Banton had an average 2020 with the bat as he scored 149 runs at an average of 24.83 and a strike-rate just under 137. In addition to that, the Englishman also withdrew from the BBL. With plenty of Indian openers in the market, franchises might not look at Tom Banton as an opening prospect.
Aaron Finch has an outstanding record in the limited-overs format for Australia. However, the swashbuckling open has failed time and again to showcase his batting ability in the IPL.
Thank you @AaronFinch5
For being the perfect mentor and an opening partner to a young Devdutt, and playing a huge part in the leadership group, thank you for bringing in all your knowledge and expertise to the RCB family, Finchy! 🙌🏼#PlayBold #ThankYouAaronFinch pic.twitter.com/GuJ02jZRgd
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) January 21, 2021
The Australian skipper had a disappointing run in IPL 2020. In 12 games, Finch managed to score only 268 runs at an average of 22.33 and a strike-rate of 111.20.
Owing to Finch’s poor form at IPL 2020, RCB released him ahead of the 2021 auction. The release didn’t come as a surprise for the fans because of the player’s performance in the past and a string of unimpressive knocks in the ongoing BBL.