IPL 2021 Auction: 5 players with surprisingly low base prices

Chris Morris has set his base price at INR 75 lakhs for the upcoming IPL auction

Jhye Richardson

Dawid Malan

Marnus Labuschagne

Aaron Finch

Chris Morris

The IPL 2021 auction will be held on February 18th at 3:00 PM IST in Chennai, with a number of world-class players going under the hammer. Around 1114 players had registered for the auction. 292 were ultimately shortlisted by the BCCI after receiving lists from the franchises with their choices.

While the minimum base price for uncapped players is ₹20 lakh, the same for a capped player is ₹50 lakh.

Many players have been optimistic while setting their base price and have tried to take it as close as possible to the maximum limit of ₹2 crore. However, some players have gone the other way by keeping their base price lower than expected. Let’s take a look at five such players who have set their base price lower than their perceived stature.

Jhye Richardson has been in red-hot form of late and is one of the most exciting young fast bowlers in world cricket right now. He picked up 29 wickets in the recently-concluded Big Bash League and was the leading wicket-taker of the season.

He can also use the long handle if required and it is almost certain that he will be among the prime targets of many IPL franchises. So it was a bit shocking to see the Australian speedster setting his base price at ₹1.5 crore and not at the highest limit of ₹2 crore.

With a number of teams eyeing a wicket-taking overseas speedster, Richardson is surely one of the hot properties in the IPL 2021 auction and could have a big pay day.

IPL is considered one of the best franchise leagues in the world. Thus, it is almost a shame that the current No.1 ranked T20I batsman has not yet played in the cash-rich league. Dawid Malan has been almost an irreplaceable part of England’s T20I team of late.

In just 19 T20Is, the 33-year-old has scored 855 runs at an outstanding average of 53.43 and also has a century to his name. The world-class English batsman is almost certain to be sold for big bucks to one of the franchises.

This made his decision to set his base price at ₹1.5 crore even more perplexing. Malan definitely should have set his price tag to the highest possible ₹2 crore. Nevertheless, he is likely to earn much more than his base price as there will surely be a bidding war for the Englishman’s services.

Marnus Labuschagne, along with Steve Smith, are arguably the best Australian batsmen currently. He has proved time and again that he has the game to shift from red-ball cricket to white-ball cricket.

In the 2020-21 Big Bash League, Labuschagne was also a genuine wicket-taker for the Brisbane Heat. Thus, such an all-round package deserves more than the ₹1 crore price tag that the 26-year-old has set for himself in the IPL 2021 Auction.

There are a number of IPL sides who do not have a strong middle-order batsman. Thus, it is highly unlikely that Labuschagne would go unsold. He should have set his price tag higher than ₹1 crore as he is an impactful player with both bat and ball and could certainly attract a bidding war.

Australia’s white-ball skipper and former No.1 ranked T20I batsman Aaron Finch raised a few eyebrows when he set his base price at just ₹1 crore in the IPL 2021 auction.

Finch had an underwhelming season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he scored just 268 runs from 12 games. However, he is an experienced IPL campaigner with 87 games under his belt in which he has scored 2005 runs.

He may have felt that the poor IPL 2020 season might play a part in him being unsold this time around. However, he should have faith in his ability and impact as a T20I batsman. With the likes of Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings needing an experienced opener, Finch could well be a part of a bidding war.

Perhaps the most shocking name in this list is that of South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who has set his base price at an unbelievably low ₹75 lakh. He was snapped up by RCB last year and was sensational for them with the ball, having picked up 11 wickets from 9 games.

However, injury woes and a lack of impact with the bat might have led RCB to releasing the 33-year-old ahead of the upcoming IPL season. Nevertheless, the kind of all-round skills that Morris possesses, it is almost certain that he will be among the most sought-after players at the auction.

Thus, it is really hard to understand that he didn’t even set his base price in crores. Having been sold for a whopping ₹10 crore at the last IPL auction, it won’t be shocking if Morris gets signed up for a similar price this time too.

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