Indian Premier League IPL 2021 Auction: The player auction for the 2021 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will commence at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in Chennai from 3:00 pm IST on Thursday (February 18). Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the proposal of one or more new teams coming in for the 2022 season, the IPL 2021 auction will be a 'mini' auction with just 292 players (164 Indian, 125 overseas, and 3 associate) going under the hammer as the 8 teams look to tweak or top-up their squads in a bid to find the winning core ahead of the much-awaited season (IPL 2021), kick beginning from April this year.
With two days to go, the eight franchises have shortlisted their picks for the IPL auctions, scheduled for February 18 in Chennai. A total of 292 players have made the cut, comprising many T20 specialists. Some of these big guns like Glenn Maxwell, the ICC No. 1-ranked T20 Player Dawid Malan will be on the hit list at the IPL Auctions. Take a look at the top five players who can set IPL auction on fire.
1) Dawid Malan
England southpaw Dawid Malan has been in the peak form across the shorter format of the game. Malan is currently lead the ICC Men's T20 Player Rankings for batsmen with 915 rating points. In the 19 T20I outings, he has notched 855 runs with an average of 53.45. So, he will be in demand at the upcoming player auction ahead of IPL 2021.
2) Glenn Maxwell
The Big Show, popularly known for his power-hitting abilities will be a hot pick up for grabs for all IPL franchises this season. Meanwhile, he hasn't scored a single Six last in IPL 2020 by virtue of which Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) let him go. With his outstanding batting show against India and West Indies in the recently concluded ODI and T20 series, each of the eight IPL teams will be eyeing the Aussie all-rounder for the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, Glenn Maxwell has said he wouldn't mind playing for Kohli's RCB as that would allow him to fulfill the desire of playing together with his 'idol' AB de Villiers.
3) Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan recently made his comeback in international cricket after serving a one-year ban from ICC. On his return, the veteran southpaw impressed with both bat and the ball to help Bangladesh register a 3-0 clean sweep in the ODI series against West Indies. Each team might be interested in roping Shakib as the Bangladesh all-rounder will resolve the middle-order woes and his abilities with the ball will further strengthen the team's bowling attack.
4) Steve Smith
Rajasthan Royals' released Steve Smith remains a top prospect at the IPL 2021 auction. His ability to stabilize the innings, handle pressure, long innings, and accelerate when required makes him an ideal candidate for teams looking to bring in quality and experience. Smith is also a reputed player and that enhances his value for the upcoming season. Notably, Smith has been captain of the IPL sides on several occasions and provides better leadership.
5) Mohammed Azharuddin
The rookie right-handed batsman from Kerala has earned fame in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where Azharuddin slammed a 37-ball ton (137 off just 54 balls against mighty Mumbai, hitting 9 fours and 11 sixes. Notably, It was the 3rd fastest T20 hundred by an Indian batsman after Rishabh Pant (32 balls) and Rohit Sharma (35 balls).