So, we are back on track again for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. All the teams have issued a list of players kept and released by them. We have a mini-auction likely scheduled for 18th February. The trade window is open till 4th February. We have seen few players getting transferred to a new franchise, and there might be room for some more.

There are a lot of things happening at this moment. Let’s understand the real maths behind the great Indian festival, aka Indian Premier League.

Every team can have a maximum of 25 players. Out of this, the maximum number of foreign players that teams can include is 8. Out of these eight players, only four players can make it to the final XI.

Teams will look to first fill the gaps with the purse amount that they have. Second, they will try to find a like-for-like replacement for key players.

This edition of the Indian Premier League will most probably be happening in India. India would also host the next big thing this year, i.e., the T-20 World Cup.

Each international team and player will have an eye on the Indian Premier League because this will give them enough match practice. So, there are very few chances that a player will leave in between the tournament for national duties.

Let’s analyze each team and try to understand each aspect.

Mumbai Indians

Retained Players: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohsin Khan

Released Players: Prince Balwant Rai, Digvijay Deshmukh, Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford, Mitchell McClenaghan

Mumbai Indians have bid adieu to their core pace attack. It means that they would now look for a new fast-bowler in the mini-auction.

They have 15.35 crores left in their purse. They would surely go bonkers over a quality fast-bowler.

The thing here is that there are only four international players in the team at this moment. So, this quality fast-bowler would be a foreign player for sure. They might go for Mitchell Starc, which every other team will also do.

Apart from this, there are no changes that they will try to make. Mumbai Indians always back their players. It is the reason that they have a solid core group. It is also the reason they are the five-times champion.

Delhi Capitals

Retained Players: Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes

Released Players: Alex Carey, Keemo Paul, Tushar Deshpande, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mohit Sharma, Jason Roy, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel

They always had too many openers. By releasing Jason Roy, they have saved some money that they can invest in some other player.

Alex Carey was their second-choice wicket-keeper last season. It means that they only have Rishabh Pant behind the wicket.

Tushar Deshpande played five matches last season. He had a horrible outing where he dismissed three batsmen and was bowling with an economy of 11.29. Mohit Sharma played a single game last year and took one wicket.

DC’s Indian pace bowling attack now has Ishant Sharma and Avesh Khan.

They have 12 crores in their purse for the mini-auction. They might rope in some good Indian pace bowlers in the team.

They have many Indian spinners, and it was certain last season that Sandeep Lamichhane was not a part of their plan anymore.

Delhi ticked all the checklists last season. It won’t be a surprise if they pull off something similar to the previous season.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Retained Players: David Warner, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad

Released Players: Billy Stanlake, Sandeep Bavanaka, Fabian Allen, Sanjay Yadav, Prithviraj Yarra

Even if you remove all the released players from the list, the Sunrisers Hyderabad team doesn’t change.

They suffered last season because of injuries to some key players.

They have some excellent Indian pace bowlers. They have Warner and Bairstow as openers. Last season they discovered young talents like Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg, and Abdul Samad. 

They have 10.75 crores in their purse. They can rope in two Indian and one foreign player in the team.

Mitchell Marsh was not there last year because of an injury. They replaced him with Jason Holder. This time they are having both of them in the team.

They have some of the best international players in the team. Providing enough game time to each would be an issue for them again this year.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Retained Players: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md. Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Phillipe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson

Released Players: Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Isuru Udana, Gurkeerat Mann

Traded Players: Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel (both from Delhi Capitals)

Royal Challengers Bangalore has done it again. They released several players from the team.

The way they release players every other season shows that the team management of RCB doesn’t have enough confidence in the players.

They purchase some decent players every time and release them within a season.

Few of the players that RCB has released were part of the core team last year.

They have 14 players in the team now. They will again build a team from scratch this time. Next year, we’ll have a mega auction. After that, RCB would then be a new team.

The deal regarding the trade of Sams and Patel is specifically not precise. Daniel Sams replaced Jason Roy in Delhi Capitals last year. DC picked Roy for his base price of 1.5 crores in the 2020 auctions.

DC bought Harshal Patel in 2018 for his base price of 20 lakhs.

These figures might help to conclude the remaining purse of RCB.

They might have around 30 crores to spend on the mini-auction. They can purchase a maximum of eight Indian and three foreign players in the min-auction.

They need few players to handle their middle order and pace bowling attack.

They need to form a core team. RCB requires few players who can perform well so that the team management can consider them again in the next auction.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Retained Players: Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert

Released Players: Chris Green, Harry Gurney, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Tom Banton, Ali Khan

KKR has maintained its core team for this season. They have 10.75 crores in their hand to spend on the mini-auction. They can purchase a maximum of six Indian and two international players in the auction.

They might try to find some like-to-like replacements for a few players. They have little to spend when compared to other teams.

They have a sorted bowling attack. KKR have finishers who can win the game for them. They have made an ODI World Cup-winning captain as their captain. They have sorted almost every issue that can arise and are looking great on paper.

Kings XI Punjab

Retained Players: KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh

Released Players: Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Zadran, Hardus Viljoen, James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Karun Nair, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tejinder Singh Dhillon

KXIP has released a lot of players. But one thing which is interesting here is the release of Glenn Maxwell.

Maxwell is someone who has always been a regular for them. He has been in and out of the team previously. But is KXIP finally done with Maxwell? Will they go after him again in the mini-auction or the mega auction? There are definite questions that one can ask regarding KXIP and Maxwell.

After releasing so many players, KXIP has maintained its core team. They also have the highest amount of purse left to use in the mini-auctions. They have 53.20 crores in their hand. They only have three foreign players at this moment.

They will look to add a few international players to the team. They can add an experienced fast bowler who can partner with Mohammad Shami. They have some gifted players in the top order. They need to find a proper finisher and a middle-order batsman.

Chennai Super Kings

Retained Players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore

Released Players: Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Monu Singh, Shane Watson

Traded Player: Robin Uthappa (from Rajasthan Royals)

Shane Watson retired from IPL last year, and hence his exclusion was not a surprise for anyone. There were questions around Kedar Jadhav. But now, after his release, there is none.

The exclusion of both Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla makes sense. They already have Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma as spinners.

They have some talented young Indian players. They also have an experienced player like Robin Uthappa. They also have maintained a core team.

They have around 5-6 openers in the team. There might be a tussle between a few regarding the opening.

Their pace attack comprises a mix of some decent Indian and foreign players. They have a sorted pair of spinners in the team.

They have around 20 crores in their hand that they can use in the mini-auction. They can only purchase one foreign player in the auction.

There are some questions about who will lead the team after Dhoni’s departure? The purchases that they will make this year will be the answer to the questions regarding the future.

Rajasthan Royals

Retained Players: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Andrew Tye

Released Players: Steve Smith, Akash Singh, Anirudha Joshi, Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Shashank Singh, Tom Curran, Varun Aaron, Robin Uthappa (traded to CSK)

You look at the list of released players, and immediately there would be a question. It is because they have released Steve Smith from the team.

Smith was the captain of the team. Now, Sanju Samson will lead the team in this year’s IPL.

We have seen things like this happening in the past. Mumbai Indians made Rohit Sharma the captain by replacing Ricky Ponting in 2013. Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) made Shreyas Iyer the captain of the team in 2018. He replaced Gautam Gambhir.

Rohit Sharma has helped Mumbai Indians win the IPL trophy five times under his captaincy. Delhi Capitals have qualified for the playoffs twice under Iyer’s regime.

Rajasthan Royals will also hope to see results like these after the change.

RR has a lot of budget in their hands. They have over 35 crores to spend on the mini-auction. They can purchase a maximum of 8 players in the auction.

They can look to add a new bowler to the team. They also might target Mitchell Starc. They have players like Archer and Stokes who can finish the game on any given day.

They also have a few young Indian players who can deliver more than required.

Rajasthan Royals has a fine mix of young and experienced players. They can buy a few other players in the auction to enhance this mix. 

RR’s strategy at the auctions has always been wonderful to watch. We all can agree that this year surely won’t be different.