Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI successfully organized IPL 2020 in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year. The fans were not allowed inside the stadium, but the matches received record-breaking viewership on TV and live streaming platforms. BCCI has already declared that the IPL would return to its original window of March-May next year, meaning that the IPL Auction 2021 could happen anytime soon.
The Indian cricket governing body is reportedly planning to introduce two new franchises in the league next year. If the league becomes a ten-team tournament, a mega auction will occur before the next season. Even if the mega auction does not happen in 2021, Australia’s left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc will be in great demand. In this article, we will have a look at those five teams which could sign Mitchell Starc next year.
5. Kings XI Punjab
The Kings XI Punjab have one top-class fast bowler in Mohammed Shami. They had two overseas pacers to accompany Shami in the pace-bowling attack, namely Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan. Although both fast bowlers have impressive T20 records, they could not perform consistently in the IPL.
The Mohali-based franchise has hinted that it may sign new overseas players by releasing a few big names ahead of the IPL Auction 2021. Mitchell Starc could form a deadly combination with Mohammed Shami at the Kings XI Punjab. The conditions in Mohali will assist the pace-bowling duo.
4. Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings did not have a great IPL 2020 season in the United Arab Emirates. Captain MS Dhoni does not believe in altering his playing XI regularly. However, during IPL 2020, fans saw that the bowling department of CSK was not settled.
The Super Kings have got Sam Curran as a future replacement for DJ Bravo. They now need a terrific overseas fast bowler who can bowl with Curran and Deepak Chahar. Also, they need a death bowler who can keep a check on the run flow during the slog overs. CSK could benefit a lot by signing Mitchell Starc in IPL 2021 Auction.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders are unlikely to retain Pat Cummins for 15.5 Crores after his disappointing performance in IPL 2020. In 14 matches, Cummins could pick up only 12 wickets. They might think of releasing him and buying him back at a cheaper price. Nevertheless, they can also look to buy Mitchell Starc in the auction.
KKR have some great Indian fast bowlers in their squad. Someone like Mitchell Starc could form a solid combination with the Indian right-arm pacers. In IPL Auction 2018, the Kolkata Knight Riders had signed Mitchell Starc. This shows that the Kolkata-based franchise had interest in the Australian fast bowler.
2. Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals have invested a lot in Jaydev Unadkat’s services. Unfortunately, the Indian pace bowler has not lived up to the price tag. The Royals have a deadly pace bowler in the form of Jofra Archer. Tom Curran and Andrew Tye could not support Archer much in the Jaipur-based franchise’s pace-bowling attack.
If they sign Mitchell Starc in the IPL Auction 2021, the Rajasthan Royals will have one of the best bowling duos in cricket history. No batsman would want to face Jofra Archer and Mitchell Starc in the death overs. Since the Rajasthan Royals finished at the eighth position in IPL 2020, the team management could take the big decision of signing Starc.
1. Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore tried two overseas fast bowlers in IPL 2020, namely Dale Steyn and Isuru Udana. Both pacers could not perform up to the mark consistently. Thus, they will look to release them and hunt for new options.
RCB could go after their former fast bowler Mitchell Starc in IPL Auction 2021. The left-arm fast bowler had done a brilliant job at the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He can join Navdeep Saini and Chris Morris in the pace attack, with Mohammed Siraj being the fourth option. Chahal and Sundar could be the two spinners, completing a solid bowling attack.