IPL 2021 Auction disrupted everyone’s perception of how a franchise would operate in a mini-auction. We saw teams throwing cash at an injury-prone cricketer, an unknown commodity and a guy who has not scored an IPL fifty since 2016.
While that was the headline story, IPL 2021 Auction also had teams pulling off a few smart buys. In fact, these signings could help them win quite a few games. In this article, we bring to you a playing XI which costs under INR 5 crores. We will be sticking with the IPL rule of having four foreigners in the playing XI.
Openers: Sheldon Jackson (WK) (INR 0.2 cr) and C Hari Nishaanth (INR 0.2 cr)
Sheldon Jackson has forever been in form in domestic cricket. As a reward, he got his IPL contract at the auctions. He will keep wickets for this team. Partnering with him will be C Hari Nishaanth, the Tamil Nadu player who had an excellent SMAT. Hari will play for his home-franchise CSK in IPL 2021.
Middle-Order: Cheteshwar Pujara (C) (INR 0.5 cr) and Karun Nair (INR 0.5 cr)
We have only two specialist batsmen in the middle-order. India’s Test No.3, Pujara, will enact a similar role in this team. A CSK player now, the Saurashtra man could actually do well if he gets the chances. Although he is out of form, Karun is a talented cricketer and will surely come good in the coming months.
All-Rounders: Ben Cutting (INR 0.75 cr), James Neesham (INR 0.5 cr), Jalaj Saxena (INR 0.3 cr) and Fabian Allen (INR 0.75 cr)
The bulk of the foreign flavour will be to the all-rounders’ department of this XI. Ben Cutting, James Neesham and Fabian Allen were all sold at their base price. On their day, each of these three can win matches in either department of the game. Jalaj Saxena is a veteran in the domestic circuit. Although his primary skills are with the ball, Jalaj is decent with the bat as well.
Bowlers: Marco Jansen (INR 0.2 cr), L Meriwala (INR 0.2 cr) and M Siddharth (0.2 cr)
South African player Marco Jansen will play for Mumbai next season. He was a surprise pick, considering MI could have targeted an established pacer. That said, Jansen will bring variety to the line-up. L Meriwala was one of the bright performers for Baroda in SMAT 2021. He will also play IPL this year. M Siddharth, the hero of the SMAT 2021 final will operate at DC next season.