BCCI has confirmed that IPL will become a 10-team tournament in 2022. However, the 2021 season will comprise eight teams only. This means that there will be no mega-auction in 2021. The teams will just make a few signings in the mini-auction. In case of a mega auction, the teams could have retained a maximum of three players.
However, there will be no limits for retention now. Teams like Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad will not make many changes to their squad. But the teams that finished in the bottom half of the table might look for new players. Foreign players are always in high demand in IPL. These five overseas stars can receive massive deals in the mini-auction.
5. Dawid Malan
Dawid Malan is the world number 1 T20I batsman. He had a great 2020 in the game’s shortest format. Malan was rumoured to join CSK as Suresh Raina’s replacement. However, the rumour proved to be false. Malan can earn his maiden IPL deal in 2021.
He is a top-order batsman. Also, he bats left-handed and has much T20 experience. So, CSK could actually sign him in 2021 auction. Another team that might be interested in his services would be RCB. Both CSK and RCB need a top-order overseas batsman because Shane Watson has retired and Aaron Finch did not have a great season.
4. Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc has been away from the IPL for a long time now. He missed the previous IPL because he wanted to be ready for the T20 World Cup. Unluckily, the global event got postponed. Starc will now look to make his IPL return. He is one of the most feared pacers in the world at the moment.
Many IPL franchises would show interest in him. CSK need a big overseas fast bowler in their line-up. Even RCB could go after him as Isuru Udana and Dale Steyn did not impress much. KXIP need a fast bowler to support Mohammed Shami. Also, KKR could rope him in by releasing Pat Cummins.
3. Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen performed brilliantly for South Africa in ODIs in 2020. He can even keep the wickets. Also, he has done well against Indian bowlers. Having played for RCB and RR before, Klaasen could return to the league in 2021. RCB can buy him back in place of Joshua Philippe.
Or else, DC could go after Klaasen. Alex Carey was not so effective with the bat in IPL 2020. In case Rishabh Pant is unavailable, DC would need a decent back-up option. Also, Klaasen could take Shimron Hetmyer’s place in the middle order. Thus, there could be a bidding war for the South African stalwart.
2. Evin Lewis
Evin Lewis surprisingly went unsold in IPL 2020 Auction. No team showed interest in the Caribbean opener. However, as mentioned ahead, several franchises need a foreign top-order batsman now. So, Lewis could earn a deal. Perhaps, CSK could sign him as an opener to replace Watson.
Otherwise, RCB can go for him and form a left-hand combo of Devdutt Padikkal and Lewis. Every cricket fan knows how destructive Lewis is in T20s. The flat pitch in Bengaluru will suit him. The shorter boundaries will make his job easy. Hence, Lewis can earn a massive IPL contract in the mini-auction.
1. Mustafizur Rahman
Multiple franchises wished to sign Mustafizur Rahman as a replacement player but BCB denied him a NOC. Rahman might enter the IPL 2021 Auction and could earn another deal. He has played for MI and SRH in the past. He is the only overseas player to win the Emerging Player of the Year award. So, Rahman will be an attraction in the upcoming auction.
Mustafizur’s deadly yorkers can floor dangerous batsmen like Andre Russell. He can also do a good job in the middle overs. Also, Rahman has much experience now. Teams with death bowling issues could sign him in the auction. Thus, these five players can earn huge deals in the mini-auction.